September 27th, 2006


Environmentalist = Elitist

Happening now: Oh, No! Someone is going to ruin my view!

Unlike many coastal communities, we in Malibu, are very fortunate…look behind you…. what do you see? It’s magnificent in its simplicity; an unobstructed and unaltered view of a vast expanse of sea unmarred by oil rigs, nuclear power plants, or oil derricks. We are extraordinarily blessed.
But I am hear to tell you another “inconvenient truth,” that if we do not come together as one and join our fellow neighbors in Oxnard and beyond, what you see now will be forever altered.

That, and I'm not kidding, THAT is what these people think is "environmentalism". It has supporters, of course: others who are worried that this is a horrible thing for that delicate creature the "environment". It has in common the thought that what humans do is unnatural (meaning that elementary biology, in which human beings are described as animals, too, has passed these people by -- in other words, they forget that humans are PART of nature.) There are also the hysterical cries of those "protecting the children".

LNG is natural gas with the impurities removed: it is a very clean burning fuel that can be used to do a lot of what we now use COAL and OIL for -- two fairly dirty fuels. Cast a glance at the sources of fuel for such things as electricity, which powers all our "clean" industries (like moviemaking, Mr. Brosnan!) -- and note that 48% of the electricity is generated from COAL. Don't you think it would be a good idea to make it easy to change that? Changing over to natural gas would be a significant improvement in the human environment (see the fact sheet below for the truth about who is detrimentally affected by our overwhelmingly diesel technology). One of the odd figures they produce has to do with the California demand for natural gas: not noting that it is ecologically important to increase that demand at the expense of the other, dirtier fuels. So they don't talk about that. Instead they mumble about global warming (not noting, I suppose, that the use of cleaner burning fuels would have an effect on those sloppily designed models, too).

What is being objected to is an LNG terminal in the ocean. Really. Check out the notes on the website, and the slightly hysterical comments of those supporting them. My favorite? The complaint that the terminal will raise the temperature of local water. I've seen what happens when that occurs: you get a lot more wildlife furiously competing to be in the warmer zones. Shrimp grow bigger. What a tragedy. There are also a lot of other worries out there, stated in the most dramatic possible way, including the socioeconomic impact of people brought in to work on the construction of the terminal. No consideration is given to the fact that these people will also be spending money in the local economy of Oxnard, which could use the boost.

Then read the facts about LNG. Marvel at the contrast -- and this from an easily manipulated encyclopedia. Also check out the facts on pollution reduction in natural gas vehicles. Now realize that the campaign is not about science, not about improving the environment, not about protecting the children: it's about looking good. It's about feeling that you are doing something by preventing things from being done.

UPDATE: Added quotes.