American Elephants

Sierra Club Radicals Declare Another War, This Time Against Common Sense. by The Elephant's Child

You are familiar with the Sierra Club, aren’t you? They have those lovely books and calendars with famed photographer Ansel Adams pictures of Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada Mountains. All the bookstores have them. The Sierra Club was founded as an environmental organization devoted to protecting Yosemite, the Sierras and the Redwoods.  Did you know that it has become one of the most radical environmental organizations in the world?

They have just declared war on the natural-gas industry. The Sierra Club already has their “Beyond Coal” campaign, and “Beyond Oil,” and they are renaming their efforts against natural gas as “Beyond Gas”. Clever.

Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said “As we push to retire coal plants, we’re going to work to make sure we’re not simultaneously switching to natural-gas infrastructure. And we’re going to be preventing new gas plants from being built wherever we can.

Perhaps you have read about the new discoveries of massive supplies of energy found in shale deposits, and thought gratefully about the possibility that your energy bills would go down. Not so fast. The environmental organizations and the Left want the country to depend on “clean energy,” which is, so far, embodied entirely in wind farms and solar arrays. It is hard to understand their motivation: they are zealots, they are dimwits, they are useful idiots?

•In 2011, the United States produced 23.0 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, making it the world’s largest natural gas producer.• In 2011 the U.S. produced 5.67 million barrels of oil, making it the world’s third largest oil producer. •The U.S. has 261 billion tons of coal in its proved coal reserves. •These are the world’s largest coal reserves and over 27 percent of the world’s proved coal reserves. •Proved conventional oil reserves worldwide more than doubled from 642 billion barrels in 1980 to more than 1.3 trillion barrels in 2009. •The U.S. has 486 billion tons of coal in its demonstrated reserve base, enough domestic coal to use for the next 485 years at current rates of consumption. •This doesn’t include Alaska’s coal resources, which according to government estimates, are larger than those in the lower 48 states. • The world could hold more than 700 quadrillion (700,000 trillion ) cubic feet of methane hydrates — more energy than all other fossil fuels.

♦In 2011, wind power produced 1.2 percent of the energy used in the United States. ♦ In 2011, solar power produced 0.1 percent of the energy used in the United States. ♦ In 2011, hydroelectric power contributed  3.3 percent of the energy used in the United States and 7.9 percent of the electricity. ♦ There are 104 nuclear reactors in the U.S. and construction for all began prior to 1974.

Since 1970, the six “criteria pollutants” have declined by 63 percent, even though the generation of electricity from coal-fired plants has increased by over 180 percent.

The subsidies for wind energy are running out as they were part of Obama’s stimulus plan. If they are not renewed, the wind industry probably cannot survive on its own without governmental force. Aside from all the scandal and crony capitalism in the “renewables” field, wind and solar combined cannot produce the energy we need to keep warm in the winter and cool in the summer. People die from the cold. Germany now has 15% fuel poverty — people cannot pay for the energy they need. Britain has had huge problems with fuel poverty— it wasn’t long ago that British seniors were buying up used books at jumble sales to burn for fuel. And the earth is cooling instead of warming.

The zealots apparently believe that if they just give enough money to their well-connected friends who are involved with “renewable energy” that the industry will somehow take off. If they just ban enough of our cheap, abundant resources, then people will be forced to use “renewable energy,” and if they switch us all to electric cars — oh wait, the electricity for our electric cars is produced by coal-fired or gas-fired plants.  Well, they’ll force us all onto light rail and high-speed trains — oh wait…  You will notice if you are paying close attention that the term “renewable energy” has dropped from favor, and been replaced by “clean energy”— the “renewable” bit only worked when we were running out of fossil fuels. Now that they are truly plentiful, they have to come up with another tactic. Just imagine if we eliminated coal and eliminated natural gas! Basic, elementary common sense and logic fail. Besides that, remember than wind and solar require 24/7 backup from regular coal or gas-fired power plants. How is this possibly supposed to work?  Are they zealots, dimwits or useful idiots?

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