American Elephants

The Ugly Side of the Environmental Movement, And it’s Deplorable Actions by The Elephant's Child

Aubrey McClendon, former CEO of Chesapeake Energy, “died March 2 in a car wreck the day after being indicted for conspiracy to rig bids on oil and natural gas leases. He will likely be remembered for two things: being a pioneer of the shale gas boom and a possible criminal who, in death, may have eluded a prison sentence. But McClendon may have had one other lasting legacy: he helped hasten the collapse of the coal industry in the United States.”

Between 2007 and 2012, McClendon and his associates contributed around $26 million to the Sierra Club to oppose the building of new coal-fired power plants. McClendon’s motivations were hardly pure; he knew that preventing new coal plants meant more demand for his company’s product, natural gas. And the contributions led to a scandal for the environmental group, whose well-funded “Beyond Coal” campaign has been instrumental in not only preventing new plants, but also shutting down aging ones.

Executive director Michael Brune had a simple explanation for accepting money from a big gas company that was drilling hundreds of wells using hydraulic fracturing: the enemy of our enemy is our friend. “The Sierra Club board of directors … determined that natural gas, while far from ideal as a fuel source, might play a necessary role in helping us reach the clean energy future our children deserve,” Brune wrote in <aref=””>a 2012 blog post. “The idea was that we shared at least one common purpose [with Chesapeake]—to move our country away from dirty coal.”

The Sierra Club turned down further contributions from McClendon and his Chesapeake colleagues as it began to worry about the boom in natural gas fracking. That didn’t affect the outcome: McClendon’s philanthropy helped make it very unlikely that any new coal plants will be built in the U.S.—and helped push coal, the backbone of America’s power sector for more than a century, into a sudden and dramatic twilight.

Here’s another excellent example of the rot in the Green movement. If you can get rid of coal as a resource for power generation by claiming that it is the cause of anthropogenic global warming, what’s the big deal if you cause thousands of coal miners to lose their jobs, if you can force the country to depend on your natural gas for their electric power, and make your company and yourself rich by so doing?

The Sierra Club was once a nice organization with the goal of protecting the Sierra Mountains. They sponsored catered pack trips through the Sierras, and publicized Ansel Adams beautiful photography of the Sierras and Yosemite National Park. But at some point they became a leftist political agency under the cover of being a nice environmental club.

But then the coal industry once supplied nearly half of America’s power needs, and kept the cost of power low for American homes and businesses, enabling the prosperous industrial country we live in.  Mr. McClendon is hardly the only person who has been trying to enrich himself and his business by using the fear of a crisis of global warming that has been pushed by so many environmental organizations.

The cheap and affordable energy that coal-fired plants produce cannot be replaced by renewables, no matter how much investors hope it to become fact instead of wishful thinking. Wind is highly intermittent — we had a minor wind storm today that deposited bushels of fir cones and branches on the roof and on the streets (and on the driveway I laboriously swept yesterday) yet there were long periods with no wind at all, and even some blue sky.

Wind energy proponents talk about optimum performance — what a wind farm could produce if all the turbines were turning at the speed that would be produced by a perfect flow of wind. But Mother Nature doesn’t work that way.Wind is intermittent at best, and even shuts down for long periods. When it isn’t blowing at the perfect speed, then the power has to come from somewhere else. Hopes for battery walls ignore the availability and expense of the rare earths required which largely come from China, who has cornered the market and can raise prices as they choose.

President Obama’s Clean Power Plan will prevent 0.03 degrees of warming by 2100.

Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, admitted that the goal of environmental activists is not to save the world from ecological calamity — but to destroy capitalism.

“This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution,” she said.

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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