American Elephants


Turn Them On. Turn Them All On. Celebrate Electricity! by The Elephant's Child

lightbulb1

At 8:30 pm on Saturday, March 23, 2013, the World Wildlife Fund has mandated that millions of people should turn off all their lights for one hour, for no discernible reason. They call it “Earth Hour.” I suggest you turn them all on, to celebrate electricity. “Abundant, cheap electricity has been the greatest source of human liberation in the 20th century. Every material social advance of the 20th century depended on the proliferation of inexpensive and reliable electricity.”

Ross McKitrick continued: “Giving women the freedom to work outside the home depended on the availability of electrical appliances that free up time from domestic chores. Getting children out of menial labour and into schools depended on the same thing, as well as the ability to provide safe indoor lighting for reading. Development and provision of modern health care without electricity is absolutely impossible. The expansion of our food supply, and the promotion of hygiene and nutrition, depended on being able to irrigate fields, cook and refrigerate foods, and have a steady indoor supply of hot water. Many of the world’s poor suffer brutal environmental conditions in their own homes specifically because they have no access to electricity.”

I have lived without reliable electric power, without any electric power, and a modern refrigerator has it all over an icebox and putting up ice in the winter. Filling the lamps, trimming the wicks and cleaning the chimneys loses big time to simply changing a lightbulb.

This is another of those precious gestures so favored by the environmental left, that simply don’t work.

Between 2006 and 2011, U.S. farmers converted more than 1.3 million acres of grassland into corn and soybean fields. In corn-belt states like Iowa and South Dakota, about 5 percent of pastureland is being converted into cropland every year. This pasture destruction will lead to serious environmental harm. Grassland soil captures carbon better than cropland. Corn crops require more fertilizer and pesticides, and are turning prairie into a potential dust bowl.

Congress passed the Renewable Fuel Standard in 2005, expecting considerable production of cellulosic ethanol made from switchgrass, wood chips, and other plant refuse. This has driven up prices across the board, and harmed millions of people in poor countries dependent on U.S. corn exports. And biofuel still has not been reliably produced.

The Renewable Fuels law mandates that ethanol production ramp up from 13 billion gallons this year to 36 billion gallons by 2022. The idea was that ethanol would help America to achieve energy independence, but with new technologies America could be energy independent right now, if Obama would stop blocking it. Refiners are crashing into a “blend wall”, where the feds have forced them to purchase more ethanol than they can safely put in their gasoline. Consumers don’t want it, and a higher blend 14.4% next year, will damage older cars and small engines.

That incandescent light bulb ban was another environmental bad idea. Governments are simply incapable of good business decisions. The free market is always better than politicians at picking efficient solutions. CFLs are impractical, more expensive and may be a cancer risk.

Solar energy was going to save us from foreign oil, except they forgot that the sun goes down in the west every night. Wind  energy would replace all those coal-fired power plants, except that they found the wind only blows occasionally, chops up birds like a Cuisinart, and makes unbearable noise.

The whole global warming scare is turning out to be a fraud, and governments all over the world are retreating from their failed green dreams as millions freeze because they can’t afford enough energy to keep warm in a cooling climate.

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