American Elephants


Environmental Mismanagement Is Only Where It Starts by The Elephant's Child

We have had some nice rain over the last two days, and the skies have cleared, the air has cleared, and we’re pretty much back to normal. California is not. The government is not sure at all just who they should listen to, and the result has been a catastrophe.

Environmentalists want everyone to believe that we can forego nasty petroleum fuels, and rely on clean, beautiful wind and solar energy which is free, well, except for the huge cost of wind turbines, their upkeep, the rare minerals required to construct them and the underlying simple fact that the wind does not blow all the time, nor does the sun shine on solar arrays all the time. There are cloudy days and rainy days when neither wind nor sun are noticeable. Wind and sun may be visible, but they are not necessarily available when needed.  We are so accustomed to having energy at the flick of a switch that we don’t really give it any thought at all.

At the dawn of the nuclear age, we thought we could power anything with nuclear energy, but then there was the Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine, still an abandoned city, I believe. And then the Fukushima accident in Japan in 2011 in  Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, which was started by the Tòhoku earthquake and tsunami. A couple of disasters like that and interest in nuclear plants begins to fade. In the United States we have some great river systems and dams that produce lots of reliable energy, but the environmentalists squawk about the fish runs and damage the dams do. Probably everything that has an upside also has a downside. Some want to remove all dams, just because.

We are uncertain about costs and benefits, usefulness and dangers, needs, in other words we don’t know very much about the problems at all, and are apt to fall for anything that sounds good, particularly if it is fairly remote. When it’s your house that burned down, you pay a little closer attention.

Dr. Roy Spencer PhD,  who runs the satellites that measure the earths’ temperature for NASA, has several basis articles at his website on, for example, “Global Warming 101”, “Global Warming Background”, “Global Warming Natural or Manmade?” which you will find useful. There are others in the sidebar, and each of those will direct you to other scientific sites.

California Governor Gavin Newsom is getting a well-deserved batch of criticism for his handling of the wildfires. The Native Americans learned to minimize the damage by controlled small fires and cutting away dead trees and brush, but we moderns have had more trouble getting our minds around the problem. Did you know it costs something over $43,000 to dismantle a single wind turbine?


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