Category Archive 'Alternative Energy'

02 Jul 2008

Feeling Sick Yet?

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Harry Reid, despite originating from and representing Nevada in the Senate (a state whose history is based upon minerals and mining), has gone all moonbat, and won himself a place in YouTube’s list of “Most Watched” videos, bleating absurdities about coal and oil “making us sick” and “ruining the earth.”

0:35 video

Well, mining coal in deep mines and breathing in coal dust can make you sick. It killed my grandfather back in the 1930s. But claims that coal is making anybody other than deep miners sick is a claim based on what we call statistics. Statistics are produced by sophisters, calculators, and economists, and liberals always have statistics by the boxcar load ready and waiting to prove whatever they happen to want to prove. As the old saying goes, there are lies, damned lies, and statistics.

Coal has been used in domestic heating and in industrial production since Elizabethan times. Burning coal undoubtedly produced cleaner air in places like London than the wood fires used previously.

They discovered anthracite coal in Pennsylvania early in the 19th century, and Benjamin Franklin’s stove adapted with grates was found perfect for its use. By mid-century, railroads and canal boats were carrying coal to all major American cities. They found oil, also in Pennsylvania, in the mid-19th century, and we’ve been using that ever since, too.

Generations of Americans and Europeans have lived and died using coal and oil, and the Earth remains, far from ruined.

I don’t feel particularly sick. How about you?

The truth is that no economically practical alternatives exist, and politicians cannot magic new forms of energy into existence. What they can do is jump on to the bandwagons of fashionable do-gooder causes and disseminate misinformation and sow unnecessary fear as a means of bamboozling the gullible public into surrendering more powers and more tax monies to them.

It’s this kind of politics that ought to make you sick.

23 Dec 2007

Randians Oppose Carbon Credits and Subsidized Energy Alternatives

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The Alternative Energy Retailer quotes a source offering some trenchant criticism of the entire Alternative Energy movement.

Government incentive programs for adopting alternative energy are totally corrupt,” warns Alex Epstein, business analyst with the Ayn Rand Institute, based in Irvine, Calif. “They consist of expropriating the wealth of Americans, including energy companies that actually produce ample, affordable power, and using it to finance sources of energy that do not produce ample, affordable power – even, in some cases, after decades of subsidies. It makes no more sense than giving Americans liberal incentives to use horses and buggies instead of cars.”

For Epstein, the federal and state governments should play no role in advocating the American usage of alternative energy. He adds that using concerns over global warning to promote alternative energy is inappropriate.

“The purpose of government is the protection of the individual rights of all to their lives, liberty and property,” he says. “For government action to be justified in response to claims of global warming – the cause of today’s alternative energy infatuation – it must be scientifically demonstrable, in a court of law, that individuals’ burning of carbon fuels will do demonstrable harm to specific individuals through some sort of catastrophic change in weather. The state of evidence regarding global warming today is not even close to that. Even the highly politicized, highly speculative United Nations projections of a gradual, 8-degree-average warming over the next 100 years would be easily dealt with by industrialized people, who have sturdy houses, air conditioners, and sunscreen to cope with heat or bad weather, and ample time to migrate if necessary.”

Under the Objectivist viewpoint, alternative energy companies should sink or swim without any assistance from public funding. “If someone has a great idea for a new method of producing of energy, great – let them prove it in the free market,” continues Epstein. “If someone wants to make himself feel good by pretending that he is averting an apocalypse by using unattractive light bulbs, throwing away his clothes dryer, driving an overpriced car, buying carbon offsets from Al Gore, or spending a fortune on solar panels in a free country, he has a right to do so. But he has no right to demand that the government compel others to sacrifice for his unproven claims of doom.”

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