When Environmentalism Is a Luxury

In tough economic times, the flimsiness of the environmental movement comes to the fore.

Environmentalism is the luxury of those without more pressing concerns -- like survival. In places like China, where their government worries about feeding 1.3 billion people, environmental concerns take a back seat to human concerns like food, water, and jobs.

It was with interest that I followed Robert Scoble's tweets from China. He reported choking smog and horrendous pollution that was the side effect of making the cheap consumer electronics we Americans used to enjoy buying before the current economic downturn. Scoble also reported that the Chinese are making strides to make environmentally friendly factories.

Environmentally friendly factories are all to the good and not exclusive of human concerns. Without money flowing to buy products, there will be no factories. Environmentally friendly ones will be as out of business as polluting ones.

This begs the question: Does anyone not want to care for the environment? I put the environmental grandstanding in the same category as torture. Who the heck is for torture? No one. And who is for destroying the environment? No one. The question gets murkier when survival is at stake. If a person must choose, and sometimes leaders must choose, between survival and the ideal, sometimes an ethically challenging decision must be made because the higher value is the value of life. More on that in a bit.

The environmental movement depends not only on excessive moralizing and the same sort of mother guilt that keeps therapists everywhere in steady employment, but also suspect data. Just this week, data from NASA which came from Russia turned out to be false. John Hindraker says, "As the scientific evidence continues to accumulate, it becomes increasingly clear that 'global warming' hysteria is based on a combination of bad science and fraud." It turns out that the climate is getting colder.

The Telegraph reports:

The error was so glaring that when it was reported on the two blogs -- run by the U.S. meteorologist Anthony Watts and Steve McIntyre, the Canadian computer analyst who won fame for his expert debunking of the notorious "hockey stick" graph -- GISS began hastily revising its figures. This only made the confusion worse because, to compensate for the lowered temperatures in Russia, GISS claimed to have discovered a new "hotspot" in the Arctic -- in a month when satellite images were showing Arctic sea ice recovering so fast from its summer melt that three weeks ago it was 30 percent more extensive than at the same time last year.

In addition to suspect data, the consumer has been manipulated other ways. For years, the environmentalists have cast driving big vehicles as immoral. In a fit of irony, Democrats work overtime to create a bailout for the very companies they've vilified and regulated (to death) for years. Twisted into pretzels trying to keep two key constituents happy -- the car industry and the environmentalists -- the taxpayer loses. As J. Gillman of MichiganTaxes points out, he's done his part for the car companies by buying a nice big SUV.

Over the last few months, with record-high gas prices coinciding with an economic downturn, all the talk of windmills and fuel cells sounded good, but what sounded better was cheap fuel. Now. Drill everywhere. Just drill. And save the pie-in-the-sky nonsense for down the road.