Living as a true ‘Green’ will get you . . . this

Drew Johnson's picture

Environmental activists regularly scare Americans about our domestic energy resources — and urge us to abandon development of them. Witness the various efforts to stop hydraulic fracturing, offshore and onshore drilling, and the like.

What life would look like in this new green world, though, rarely gets coverage. Considering environmental activists aren’t very secretive about their agenda, it’s worth looking at the dramatically different lifestyle they envision for all of us.

When you wake up in your new sustainable home, the first thing you notice is the cramped quarters. Today, the average home size in the United States is around 2,700 square feet. That’s about five times more than environmentalists think you need.

The founder of treehugger.com, for instance, just moved into a sustainable home many consider a model for the future. At 420 square feet, the home comes with movable walls to create separate spaces when you need them.

The upside is you won’t need much space for appliances. Environmentalist guru Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, notes that a 60 percent reduction in fossil fuel usage would result in a dramatic reduction of carbon emission per person.

Says McKibben, “If you carpooled [six miles per day], you’d have about three pounds of CO2 left in your daily ration — enough to run a highly efficient refrigerator. Forget your computer, your TV, your stereo, your stove, your dishwasher, your water heater, your microwave, your water pump, your clock. Forget your light bulbs, compact fluorescent or not.”

But surely your electric vehicle will get you around greenly? Unfortunately, no.

A recent study by the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership suggests electric powertrains actually have a bigger carbon footprint than internal combustion engines once you take manufacturing the battery and producing the electricity into account. Electric cars don’t even out with their gas counterparts for about 80,000 miles.

You’ll be biking everywhere. But not to the shopping mall. As McKibben has said: “[S]lash your stock of clothes to a comfortable (or even uncomfortable) minimum ... If we reached that point — the point where great closetfuls of clothes seemed slightly absurd, unnatural — then we might have begun to climb down from the tottering perch where we currently cling.”

It’s a long way down. The Internet, for example, collectively generates emissions equivalent to half the fossil fuels burned in the United Kingdom. That’s a lot of CO2. No more web-surfing for you.

But surely we can move heavily into renewables and stave off these extreme lifestyle modifications, right? Again, no.

The Worldwatch Institute notes the problem with that approach, “[I]n order to produce enough energy over the next 25 years to replace most of what is supplied by fossil fuels, the world would need to build 200 square meters of solar photovoltaic panels every second plus 100 square meters of solar thermal every second plus 24 3-megawatt wind turbines every hour nonstop for the next 25 years. All of this would take tremendous energy and materials — ironically frontloading carbon emissions just when they most need to be reduced.”

It turns out that building solar panels and wind turbines takes a lot of power and emits a lot of carbon — to say nothing of the effects of the extraction of the rare earths, metals, and other materials required to produce them.

But don’t worry, the same environmental groups opposing oil and gas production are also opposed to rare earth extraction. So environmentalists themselves have made sure these alternative energy sources will remain out of reach for some time.

To sum up, you’re back in your postage-stamp home after work. Your clothes are sweaty from riding your bike. You mustn’t buy new ones. You don’t have a washing machine. You’re off-line for good. Some life, huh?

Fortunately, Americans still have access to clean and abundant energy thanks to the oil and natural gas industry — a sector that depends on market demand, not government subsidies.

[Drew Johnson is a senior fellow at the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA), a nonpartisan, nonprofit educational organization dedicated to a smaller, more responsible government. Visit TPA online at www.protectingtaxpayers.org.]

rolling stone
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A modest proposal

Hungry? Out of work? Eat an environmentalist.

MikePatton
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I guess some people think we

I guess some people think we have unlimited oil and natural gas, overpopulation won't happen, and our anti-utilitarian lifestyles will be sustainable for millions of years.

I support subsidizing efforts to wean us off of a finite resource that we will eventually run out of. Its not an abstraction to attempt to preempt problems that the human race will inevitably face in the next century. And a century is not a long time.

mudcat
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And some other people think we have unlimited tax$

to throw at bogus solar power companies. Solution is pretty simple - same solution to most problems KEEP GOVERNMENT OUT OF IT! Let the marketplace decide what it needs and wants. That's how we got cars in the first place. No government entity or political party was wringing their hands over an upcoming shortage of horses or carriages. Didn't happen that way.

And part of keeping government out of the way is to remove these ridiculous bans on off shore drilling and fracking in the upper mid-west. No matter how hysterical the left wing political whackos whine about this stuff, it is not going to happen overnight. So just back off and let responsible dedicated scientists and business people develop better cars, better heating and cooling and power generating systems and bring them to market at a reasonable price and people will embrace it. You think Bill Gates would have created Microsoft or Steve Jobs Apple if the government were there looking over their shoulders giving them design and performance parameters or deadlines? I don't think so.

Just leave us alone to do what Americans do best. Government can tax all the new inventions after they are done.

taxed too much
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US has plenty of Energy Resources

We are doomed if we continue to rely on the Middle East for oil. News Flash---They hate the US! They want us dead! We have abundant oil here in North America. Vote the Socialist out in Nov. Oil and Coal are good. If you want to brag about your "green lifestyle" by all means you have the freedom to live "green" if you want.

mudcat
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He's more of a fascist than a socialist

because he wouldn't want the responsibility of actually owning the companies he is shaking down with excessive taxes and regulations. But getting him out in November is certainly the way to go. Romney said he'd give waivers to all 57 states for Obamacare on day one in office. I think day two should be devoted to vacating all those bans on fracking, offshore drilling and pipelines. That means on day three hundreds of thousands of jobs are created, the stock market jumps 500 points and many ordinary people plan to run for elective office to ensure we don't repeat this horrible mistake of letting the childish liberals loose to experiment with our country and the economy. Yea I know, its Bush's fault. Fine, let's not elect him either.

The problem is that everybody is a liberal when they are in college and even later in their 20's living the dream - unmarried and usually in a big city. Then they get married, raise kids, understand how payroll taxes, social security and income taxes actually work. Some start businesses and create jobs, meet a payroll and contribute to the community in some way. All of this promotes maturity, responsibility and Republican values and most complete this transition by age 30 or 35. Or that's the way it used to be. Now because of many lagging behind the maturity curve - specifically "40! It is the new 25", women having careers first babies second, gay people choosing not to mature personally or politically and a stagnant economy that thwarts advancement or prosperity the end result is way too many clueless and non-productive people in their 30's and even 40's many of whom are unemployed or under-employed that think liberal and vote Democrat. There is also a huge number of newly-created government jobs filled by these people. I think we can also blame LBJ's Great Society programs and the Republicans who have served since then - mostly spinelessly.

So when Obama goes away and Romney creates hundreds of thousands of high-paying jobs in mostly oil and energy production and hundreds of thousands more in the support-service-supply chain that inevitably follows most growth, many of those clueless liberals will make a late conversion to maturity and responsibility and the Republican Party will grow in strength and numbers. Of course there will always be liberals, but fewer of them in the safe havens of college campuses, the media, the welfare rolls and the unions. If we keep them there and out of government and keep their numbers down to 20% of the total population, they can do no harm.

rolling stone
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Bans? What bans?
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vacating all those bans on fracking, offshore drilling and pipelines

I think you meant controls but why stop there. Repeal the laws of physics that control the dire consequences of cutting the same branch on which we are sitting.

taxed too much
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How to Fix the Mess that govt has gotten us into...

Repealing all of the recent (2006 to present) EPA regulations on the energy industry would be a good start for the US to greatly improve employment. Not to mention lower fuel prices. I won't even get into the ethanol b.s. because burning fuel to convert food (i.e corn) to lower grade fuel is just plain stupid and raises food prices. Wake up people!

Anyway, Lower taxes across the board and a full repeal of the "affordable care act" will immediately create an environment for improving employment. More people working creates a need to improve individuals housing situations. An improved housing industry puts more people to work in a number of industries. When home values go up, wealth and "confidence" increase. Increased wealth, lower taxes and more confidence opens the door for more wealth and opportunity as businesses expand. More opportunity means less people enslaved by welfare/food stamps/EBT cards/etc. Less people enslaved by the government means less fraud and abuse of mine and your tax dollars.

And yes I said ENSLAVED because that is what it is. Our government is one Big Slave Owner creating generations of dependent people. Remember Katrina? Dependent people sat on a bridge waiting and waiting on Government to save them. That ain't the America that I know. IN-Dependent People make things happen, sometimes get knocked down, get back up and work harder and smarter...the don't rely on someone else. The welfare "slave class" that has been created is downright disgusting and sickening.

I have never seen this country so divided and I have never seen a president who seems to only know how to agitate people and campaign. Extreme lack of leadership and statesmanship. And before you ignorant people yell racism, because that is what many of you automatically yell when you cannot intelligently reply...you need to look at facts. The great campaigner in chief/great speech reader/great divider has really hurt this great country. Don't listen to what he says, watch what he does. Do your research and look at the facts. God Bless America!

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