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Category — Civil war (eviro)

Greens Going Gas (emissions data, economics speak for themselves)

The safety and importance of hydraulic fracturing are not just industry talking points. They are conclusions embraced by virtually everyone, outside of a narrow subset of political activists who refuse to let science and facts get in the way of their extreme agenda.

Background

For many years, environmental activists have pushed for bans, moratoria, or other restrictions on hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), alleging the process is a threat to public health and the environment. But in recent months, increasing numbers of environmentalists have distanced themselves from the “ban fracking” agenda.

Many have even embraced shale gas on environmental grounds, revealing how extreme and marginalized the campaign to restrict hydraulic fracturing has become.

“Environmentalists who oppose the development of shale gas and fracking are making a tragic mistake,” wrote Richard Muller last year. Muller, a physicist and climate expert at the University of California-Berkeley, was viciously attacked by activist groups like Greenpeace, but Muller’s position may actually be more in line with a growing public understanding of the environmental benefits of shale gas.

Going for Gas

In April, the Environmental Protection Agency released data showing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions had fallen 10 percent since 2005, attributable in large part to increased use of natural gas. Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have unlocked a 100-year supply of natural gas, making the fuel more affordable for power generation and household energy use. [Read more →]

May 16, 2014   No Comments

Are ‘Fractivists’ Promoting Global Warming? (unintended consequences of a futile crusade

“Privately, scientists and analysts within national environmental organizations are appalled that celebrity fractivism could get in the way of the coal-to-gas shift. They say the fractivists undermine green credibility, and are disturbed by the failure of their movement’s leadership.”

Mainstream environmental groups used to support natural gas, which offers significant public health and climate benefits over coal and is a “bridge fuel” to a clean energy future. But celebrity activists like Mark Ruffalo, who has a house in the Catskills, and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. have led the movement astray with NIMBY opposition to fracing in areas such as upstate New York.

Over the last year, celebrities such as Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon, Robert Redford, Mark Ruffalo, Mario Batali, Scarlett Johansson, Alec Baldwin, and Matt Damon have spoken out against the expansion of natural gas drilling. “Fracing kills,” says Ono, who has a country home in New York. “It threatens the air we breathe,” says Redford.

In fact, “gas provides a very substantial health benefit in reducing air pollution,” according to Daniel Schrag, director of Harvard University’s Center for the Environment. There have been “tremendous health gains” from the coal-to-gas switch, MIT economist Michael Greenstone told The Associated Press. Indeed, air pollution in Pennsylvania has plummeted in recent years thanks to the coal-to-gas switch. “Honestly,” added Greenstone, “the environmentalists need to hear it.” [Read more →]

March 7, 2013   7 Comments

Windpower: Environmentalists vs. Environmentalists (NIMBYism, precautionary principle vs. industrial wind)

“The Municipality of Central Huron requests that the Province of Ontario declare a moratorium on all current and future projects for on-shore and off-shore development of wind-energy facilities until it has commissioned properly-designed independent third-party scientific research into the long-term effects, released the findings for public comment, and has incorporated those comments to enact science-based maximums for wind-facility emissions, and for electrical emission from all related electrical facilities, and can therefore guarantee to Council’s satisfaction that the health and well-being of the Municipality’s human and animal populations are protected from the direct and indirect negative effects of being in proximity to those IWT facilities.”

- Central Huron Council Resolution, adopted June 6, 2011

Two days ago, the Central Huron Council passed a resolution against wind-turbine business-as-usual, a victory for local advocacy groups such as Toronto Wind Action, Great Lakes Wind Truth (see their Facebook page), and Central Huron Against Wind Turbines.

As indicated by yesterday’s blog at MasterResource by Jen Gilbert, “Dear Sierra Club (Canada): I Resign Over Your Anti-Environmental Wind Support,” there is a growing civil war between the anti-fossil-fuel pro-windpower groups (including big business) and grassroot environmentalists who see a pound of environmental ill for an ounce of energy cure. Will the Sierra Club on both sides of the international border take note and get tough on industrial wind–and help taxpayers and federal fiscal order at the same time?

Central Huron Industrial Windpower Resolution

A RESOLUTION REQUESTING THAT THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO DECLARE A MORATORIUM ON THE CONSTRUCTION OF INDUSTRIAL WIND TURBINES (IWT’s) UNTIL SCIENCE-BASED AND PEER REVIEWED REGULATIONS THAT ENSURE PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELL-BEING HAVE BEEN IMPLEMENTED AND THAT THE PROVINCE RESTORE LOCAL PLANNING POWERS TO THE MUNICIPALITY REGARDING RENEWABLE ENERGY PROJECTS [Read more →]

June 8, 2011   6 Comments