Saturday, September 09, 2006
The environment belongs to the wealthy, so keep off!
Remember when the environment belonged to dirty hippies and third world nations? Ah, those were the good old days. Since then, apparently, it occurred to the Haves that the environment occurs, to a great extent, on land, and that they are the land-owning class, dammit, not a bunch of door-to-door college kids on break! So all the college kids and dirty hippies are forced to join PETA and the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition now, and the environment belongs to the people who had fences put up around it. How can I tell? Well, I'm so glad (I'm pretending) you asked.
Let's look at a couple of stands the Radical Environmentalist Left have taken recently. One, not all that recent I admit, but still a thorn in my side after nearly 10 years, was a stand against a rail trail for use by cyclists, roller-bladers etc, that was to go through several towns in Eastern Massachusetts. The lovely people of the town of Weston, bless their environmentally conscious hearts, sacrificed their recreation out of concern that there would be too much environmental impact on this delicate ecosystem of disused railway. Now, the cynics say that the Tony Town of Weston just couldn't handle the idea of people from the neighboring town of Waltham being near their lovely homes. I mean, come on, Waltham is full of immigrants and the handicapped and working people and other undesirables. It's one thing to hire them to cut your lawn, but to have them engaging in recreation? Ew. Next they'll be engaging in procreation, and what will happen to property values then? Now, the people of Weston clog the streets of Waltham with their smogging SUV's on their commutes to and from Boston/Cambridge on a daily basis, and the argument could be made that they owe their neighbors a little fresh air, and I'm sure they would love to oblige, but not at the expense of the environment! Think of the chipmunks, people!
Ok, you think I'm exaggerating, but look up the "Wayside Rail Trail." How about another? There was a time that idiots like me thought that wind energy was a clean, renewable resource that would help reduce pollution and benefit the environment. Ha! Silly me. It has been clearly proven, both in Maine and off the coast of Massachusetts, that putting up windmills for generating electricity is possibly the single biggest threat to the environment short of strip mining. In Maine, someone tried to put some turbines up on some mountains in an area full of roads and ski slopes. In Massachusetts, someone tried to put some turbines in an area that can be seen from Nantucket, where there were fish 100 years ago, and there are too many jellyfish now (they love polluted water). In both cases, the unselfish people of those unspoiled wildernesses demanded justice for the delicate environment. They are striking a blow for the continued use of clean, renewable petroleum instead. It has nothing to do with those unsightly white propellers. Thank god for the people of Elizabeth, NJ, Buffalo, NY and countless other oil-refining areas of this great nation who continue to support the (cough, sputter, spew) environment on behalf of the people who own nicer land and bigger cars than you.
Not that I'm bitter.
Your humblest and most devoted servant,
Thanks for a wonderful, perceptive, perfectly aimed, laugh-out-loud post.
Now pardon me while I leverage it for a hopefully worthy purpose.
Altogether, U.S. wind resources are enough to provide several times our current electricity use, although other sources (or storage) would still be needed because of the variability of the wind.
The key ingredient for wind's continued expansion? Continuing the federal wind energy production tax credit (PTC), which reduces a wind farm owner's tax payments by 1.9 cents for each kilowatt-hour of electricity the wind farm generates during the first 10 years of its operation. The PTC is currently scheduled to expire at the end of 2007. If the credit is extended for several years, we will see much greater use of this clean energy resource. For smaller turbines, the key incentive is a Small Turbine Investment Credit, something that doesn't yet exist. Readers can help support these and other pro-wind laws here.
Thomas O. Gray
American Wind Energy Association
Weston bicyclists are the worst. They friggin swarm all over the place. Don't these people have jobs? Those millions don't earn themselves.