Will climate change hysteria die in the face of a recession?

Marin County, land of holier than thou liberals, embraced the whole notion of climate change with the typical fervor rich, pampered people can apply to their pet projects.  The local schools inundate the kids with “Green” messages (inducing fear along the way), and people slap various earth friendly bumperstickers on the BWMs, SUVs, and other Marin-approved cars.  Those who are willing to put their money where their mouths are drive hybrids and have solar panels on their roofs.  It’s all very nice.

Except that it’s also all very expensive.  The local newspaper reports that three towns in Marin County are refusing to join the environmentalist-approved, PG&E sponsored Marin County Energy authority:

CORTE MADERA’s decision to not join the Marin Clean Energy authority is hardly a surprise given the recession and uncertainties surrounding local revenue.Even with the county putting up $330,000 to cover startup costs, Corte Madera council members decided the venture is too risky.

Novato and Larkspur also have decided to stay out of the local initiative that’s being touted as a major local way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

What’s even more bizarre than this explosion of common sense is that the Marin Independent Journal, which is the notoriously liberal local paper, approves of the towns’ caution:

If a city decides to be part of Marin Clean Energy, homes and businesses there automatically will receive their electricity from the new public power authority, which hopes to secure green electricity. PG&E will continue to deliver the power through its grid and take care of billing.

Customers can opt out and stay with PG&E. We have advocated an “opt-in” system, but supporters of Marin Clean Energy say that the business model won’t work unless power customers are automatically switched. Research has shown that too few people will switch from PG&E if given a true choice. So the plan is to have government make the choice for you.

Marin Clean Energy leaders say customers will have ample opportunity to opt out. Still, the essentially unilateral conversion of local customers to a new, municipal source of electrical power seems an overbearing use of political authority. We are in favor of developing more clean energy, but we believe voters should be asked whether they want their local government to get into the power business. This issue affects every resident and business in Marin and should not be decided by a few dozen elected officials who are being relentlessly lobbied by supporters of Marin Clean Energy.

In other words, green energy is expensive, and we don’t have the money right now.

As for me, I’m all in favor of cutting the economic ties that bind the Western world to such lovely places as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Venezuela and Russia.  I also like being able to breath the air around me.  I believe we achieve both those goals by (a) producing our own energy and (b) continuing to use our scientific genius to create cleaner and more efficient ways to burn fossil fuels (since those fuels are still the most effective energy providers around).

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  • Zhombre

    I’m gonna start the Big Ass Carbon Footprint Club (BACFC) advocating coal, nukes, oil, oil shale, natural gas, the internal combustion engine, and burning Al Gore in effigy — made of used tires.

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com David Foster

    “cutting the economic ties that bind the Western world to such lovely places as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Venezuela and Russia”…one thing a lot of people don’t understand is that *very little oil* is used in electricity production in the U.S. The fuels of choice are coal and (US-supplied) natural gas, followed by nuclear and hydro. So, switching your source of electricity to wind or solar has almost no *direct* effect on oil imports.

    There is an *indirect* effect of reducing nat gas consumption for power, in that if you use less nat gas for this purpose, gas prices will fall and it will become more desirable for home heating and certain industrial processes, reducing oil imports for these purposes. But in real life, what the “green” hysterial will probably lead to is a vast increase in nat gas share of the power generation market (at the expense of coal), driving nat gas prices as well as electricity prices substantially higher.

    Indeed, the higher electricity prices will make plug-in hybrids less attractive relative to imported-oil-derived gasoline.

  • suek

    Here’s a long graduation speech that directly addresses the issue. Not likely to be reported in the MSM…

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/05/14/now-thats-a-commencement-speech/

  • expat

    suek,

    Thanks for that link. There is a lot of good info packaged in a brief logical speech. I am skeptical about climate change, which is not the same as being a denier. However, I am dogmatic about environmental activists. Most simply don’t know what they are talking about, especially on a broader scale where they have to make tough choices. They always have a pet project that they can sell to schoolkids, but they don’t really educate individuals about how to get the most bang for their buck with regard to energy savings.

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com David Foster

    For many of these people, what’s important is not saving energy, but rather being *seen* to save energy. The trade association of the home-geothermal industry (pipes sunk deep into the earth, allowing your heating & A/C to operate more efficiently) has observed that a major sales obstacle is the fact that their product is *too unobtrusive*…unlike solar cells, people don’t drive by and say, “Oh, look, the Smithsons have a new geothermal system–they must be SO environmentally conscious!”

    Related: see <a href=”http://photoncourier.blogspot.com/2009_05_01_photoncourier_archive.html#7008704907486838753″<this very scary item about an “environmentalist” video now being shown at schools all over the country.

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com David Foster

    Sorry for the screwed-up link..try this

  • SGT Dave

    All,
    You want energy independence? Give me nuclear. The environmental impact (proven!) is smaller than nat. gas, coal, or fuel oil. Even the “disaster” at 3-mile was a non-starter for someone who is not a hysteric (no radiation-sickness caused deaths, the environment has returned to background levels, no long-term damage). Bottom line – we’ve had energy independence in our hands since the 60’s; get them off the high horse and follow along the “enlightened” pathways we showed and the Euros took (but we didn’t lead). If you add enough nuclear plants, then the electric grid can support electric cars without brownouts/overage. Next on my gripe list are the coastal hypocrites. Know the best place for wind harvest? Along the coast and in the shallows, where there is wind almost all day and evening because of the water/land heat exchange interface. Where is it currently illegal to build wind harvest plants? You got it; in all those places where the wind is beautiful and plentiful and they’d ruin the view from the multi-million dollar homes.
    I think I’ll go home and burn some charcoal and wood to sear a nice steak, drink a good beer (import, of course, from as far as I can get it shipped), and turn on all the lights in the back yard while toasting marshmallows with the kids.
    I need a bigger carbon footprint – it goes with the bigger boot to put up someone’s third point of contact when they irritate me about my energy usage.

    SSG Dave
    “The Army isn’t about making things; it IS about making things dead or destroyed with the proper amount of noise and pomp that it is unnecessary to have to do it twice.”

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    I need a bigger carbon footprint – it goes with the bigger boot to put up someone’s third point of contact when they irritate me about my energy usage.

    More people need to be nuclearized. It’ll be their just reward for promoting Iranian nuke agendas.