Opinion — August snowballs, this time green

Published 12:35 pm Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Last week, I wrote about things that have gotten bigger and bigger and more bizarre as they moved through the public realm. This week, I will focus on climate change.

All want our environment to be as clean as possible. In the real world, most people understand that there must be tradeoffs. If we want to have air conditioned and heated homes, it will result in some pollution. If we want to have jobs to provide for our families, this too will result in some pollution. If we want to be able to get to work, visit friends and family, and attend our kids’ sporting events, yes, likewise. The United States leads the world in clean energy. With a strong economy, we can focus on innovations that will continue to improve our environment, but for some that is not enough.

Green activists believe that all climate changes are the result of human activity. They are convinced that they have all the answers as to where the world will be 100 years from now, with no consideration to the harm they are doing now or that they may be wrong. Former Vice President Gore declared “the world had until January 2016 to end its addiction to fossil fuels, or the world would come to an end”.

Meanwhile, Gore has made a fortune flying his jet around the world telling us we must adjust down our quality of life while he maintains his jet set lifestyle and owns multiple houses. Many entertainment stars do the same.

As I write this, the U.S. Congress is preparing to vote for another massive bill that will waste more of your dollars to bribe moderately wealthy citizens to buy electric vehicles.

Where Are We Today?

I believe green energy has a role in our power needs as do fossil fuel and nuclear power. However, all factors should be considered. Currently, the transformation from fossil fuels to green energy is increasing one or two percent annually as we divert billions of dollars to subsidize solar and wind projects. Money that is being diverted from job creation, public safety, healthcare, mental health services – all issues that are more pressing.

Nationally, fossil fuel and nuclear power provide over 80% of our electrical power. Activists are focused on solar panels. Doing so requires agriculture land lost and trees being cut. Trees, of course, are the best agent we have to reduce carbon dioxide; one of the gases that green activists want to eliminate. Therein lies a major problem. The snowball continues to grow.

Worldwide Issue

We are one world; we cannot ignore what is happening around the rest of the world. Pollution from one continent will affect the rest of the globe. The Paris Climate Accord, which was signed by President Obama, requires the United States and most European countries to immediately meet certain pollution standards, meantime it delayed requiring China and India from meeting any standards until 2035. At that point, they would be expected to freeze their pollution at whatever rate they are at that point. This allows them to claim to support the Accord while each is building new coal fired plants adding to the world’s woes. The damage that they do to the world’s climate is unknown, but the snowball effect of the damage that green activists are doing to our economy is more evident every day.

Where We Will End Up

No one knows where this will end. Without the high temperatures created of fossil fuels, all steel production will originate in China.

If we switch all vehicles to electric power, there will be but one source of power. Your incumbent power company will have a monopoly over all your needs. As they raise rates to satisfy demand, some users will be priced out of the market. Some politicians will propose shifting their obligations to you, as they did during Covid. Eventually, these same politicians and green activists can then be expected to push for the state to take control of such a monopoly – much as they have done with our healthcare system.

We don’t know if a better technology will appear as a reliable alternative fuel in the future. One possibility might be hydrogen. However, with government in the middle of decision making, you can be assured that innovation will be slower than the free enterprise system.

Frank Ruff Jr. serves as the 15th District senator in Virginia. He can be reached at Sen.Ruff@verizon.net, (434) 374-5129 or P.O. Box 332, Clarksville, VA 23927.