Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Religion of Economic Suicide

The greens/democrats frequently trot out the argument that even if we began drilling for energy in the areas that they have placed off limits for decades, it will be up to a decade before any such new sources will be available to relieve our current pain resulting from skyrocketing fuel prices. This argument is specious in light of the 2 year lapse in time between the the development of the north Alaska oil fields and the completion of the trans Alaska pipe line. They refuse on the other hand, to advise us of any specific date when their sources of as yet undiscovered "clean alternatives" will be available to relieve that pain. We are supposed to rely on their pie in the sky "alternative sources" while rejecting proven sources and technologies? Present energy sources from so called fossil fuels may be finite and exhaustible which over the long run will cause their costs to rise, but to artificially limit their exploitation by political fiat which has resulted in the present situation is insane.

The contradiction behind the green lifestyle [religion] fad is the idea that we can reject industrial civilization -- and the fuel that powers it -- while still enjoying a modern, prosperous, "First World" standard of living.

The more shallow followers of the green [religion] get around this contradiction through "greenwashing": finding a superficial "green" angle to rationalize buying expensive goods and living pretty much the same opulent lifestyle they enjoyed before. My favorite example is a magazine article on "green" houses that advocated buying more expensive, nicer-looking "architectural grade" asphalt roof shingles, because they won't have to be replaced as often and will therefore -- if you can follow this chain of reasoning -- use less resources over the long run. Maybe so, maybe not. But it gives well-off, upper-middle-class types an excuse not to feel guilty about telling the roofer to go with the upgrade.

Among more serious devotees, the green contradiction takes the form of endless, arbitrary debates about which lifestyle choices are really more-green-than-thou. They debate over whether to ask for paper or plastic bags at the grocery store, or whether to buy milk in glass jugs or cardboard cartons, and a whole host of other eco-theological conundrums that turn out to be more convoluted and harder to resolve than the [religious] debate over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

What both groups are trying to evade is that truly consistent environmentalism demands the sacrifice of all prosperity. The only genuine way to slash your "carbon footprint" is to stop consuming goods. The "lifestyle" it really demands is not about hemp bracelets, bamboo textile skirts, and reusable burlap grocery sacks-the entire Whole Foods scene. It's really about abject, Third World poverty.



Rose said...

Well put! We're sure seeing it here (Humboldt County, California) - the shut it down crowd is in full swing, and they won't be happy until nothing functions anymore.

Wollf Howlsatmoon said...

And the constant argument that "It'll take ten to twenty years...."?

KMA. If we had been drilling twenty years ago......
Morons, go to a Renaissance Faire or something, and leave me alone.

sexy said...