Wednesday, March 13, 2013
A very good John Stossel piece on fracking has just come out. The piece stands out both
for debunking the absurd claims environmentalists have begun making about fracking
and for making apparent the anti-industrial animus of the environmentalist
The real story on fracking, say scientists, is that the risks are small and the rewards immense. Fracking lowered the price of natural gas so much that Americans heat our homes for less, and manufacturing that once left America has returned. For those concerned about global warming, burning gas instead of oil or coal reduces CO2 emissions.Setting aside the validity of the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis, one would think, as Stossel indicates, that environmentalists would support fracking. They do not.
"Skeptical Environmentalist" author Bjorn Lomborg points out that "green" Europe promised to reduce emissions, but "only managed to cut half of what you guys accidentally happened to do when you stumbled on fracking."
The Stossel piece is a timely reminder that environmentalism is not fundamentally in favor of such things as clean air, but is instead against man's excercise of reason to improve his own environment. This is a point Keith Lockitch of the Ayn Rand Institute made a few years ago in a column titled, "It's not Easy Being Green." He noted then, "that whenever there is a conflict between the goals of 'preserving nature' and pursuing some actual human value, environmentalists always side with nature against man."
Since any actual human goal involves us interacting with nature, it clearly follows that no matter how "green" something might look, the greens will always be able to find or invent a problem with it. See also nuclear power.