Solar panels and wind turbines aren’t made out of nothing. They are made out of metals, plastics, and chemicals. These products have been mined out of the ground, transported, processed, manufactured. Each stage leaves behind a trail of devastation: habitat destruction, water contamination, colonization, toxic waste, slave labor, greenhouse gas emissions, wars, and corporate profits. (DGR, below)
Today’s post shares the DGR’s views on renewables, which this group correctly sees as invasive to the natural world. One wishes that mainstream, Washington, DC-centric environmentalists would wake up to the fact that wind power and solar panels are very invasive to the natural world relative to dense, mineral energies.
Here is the DGR’s views verbatim.
No. Wind turbines, solar PV panels, and the grid itself are all manufactured using cheap energy from fossil fuels. When fossil fuel costs begin to rise such highly manufactured items will simply cease to be feasible.
Solar panels and wind turbines aren’t made out of nothing. They are made out of metals, plastics, and chemicals. These products have been mined out of the ground, transported, processed, manufactured. Each stage leaves behind a trail of devastation: habitat destruction, water contamination, colonization, toxic waste, slave labor, greenhouse gas emissions, wars, and corporate profits.
The basic ingredients for renewables are the same materials that are ubiquitous in industrial products, like cement and aluminum. No one is going to make cement in any quantity without using the energy of fossil fuels. And aluminum? The mining itself is a destructive and toxic nightmare from which riparian communities will not awaken in anything but geologic time.
From beginning to end, so called “renewable energy” and other “green technologies” lead to the destruction of the planet. These technologies are rooted in the same industrial extraction and production processes that have rampaged across the world for the last 150 years.
We are not concerned with slightly reducing the harm caused by industrial civilization; we are interested in stopping that harm completely. Doing so will require dismantling the global industrial economy, which will render impossible the creation of these technologies.
Aren’t renewable energies like solar, wind, and geothermal good for the environment?
No. The majority of electricity that is generated by renewables is used in manufacturing, mining, and other industries that are destroying the planet. Even if the generation of electricity were harmless, the consumption certainly isn’t. Every electrical device, in the process of production, leaves behind the same trail of devastation. Living communities — forests, rivers, oceans — become dead commodities.
The emissions reductions that renewables intend to achieve could be easily accomplished by improving the efficiency of existing coal plants, businesses, and homes, at a much lower cost. Within the context of industrial civilization, this approach makes more sense both economically and environmentally.
That this approach is not being taken shows that the whole renewables industry is nothing but profiteering. It benefits no one other than the investors.
OK, renewable technologies have some impacts, but they’re still better than fossil fuels, right?
Renewable energy technologies are better than fossil fuels in the same sense that a single bullet wound is “better” than two bullet wounds. Both are grievous injuries.
Do you want to shoot the planet once or twice?
The only way out of a double bind is to smash it: to refuse both choices and craft a completely different path. We support neither fossil fuels or renewable tech.
Even this bullet analogy isn’t completely accurate, since renewable technologies, in some cases, have a worse environmental impact than fossil fuels.
More renewables doesn’t mean less fossil fuel power, or less carbon emissions. The amount of energy generated by renewables has been increasing, but so has the amount generated by fossil fuels. No coal or gas plants have been taken offline as a result of renewables.
Only about 25% of global energy use is in the form of electricity that flows through wires or batteries. The rest is oil, gas, and other fossil fuel derivatives. Even if all the world’s electricity could be produced without carbon emissions, it would only reduce total emissions by about 25%. And even that would have little meaning, as the amount of energy being used is increasing rapidly.
It’s debatable whether some “renewables” even produce net energy. The amount of energy used in the mining, manufacturing, research and development, transport, installation, maintenance, grid connection, and disposal of wind turbines and solar panels may be more than they ever produce; claims to the contrary often do not take all the energy inputs into account. Renewables have been described as a laundering scheme: dirty energy goes in, clean energy comes out.
Biofuels, another example of “green tech”, have been shown to be a net energy loss in almost every case. Those biofuels that do produce net energy produce an exceedingly small amount. These fuels are often created by clearing natural ecosystems such as tropical rain forests or prairies for agricultural production, a process which releases even more greenhouse gases, reduces biodiversity, and reduces local food availability. Biofuel production is considered a major factor in rising food prices around the world in recent years. These rising food prices have led to widespread starvation, unrest, and violence.
Some people like to promote hydroelectric energy as a source of “green power”. This is false. Dams have enormous environmental impacts on rivers, beaches, and estuaries. Beyond these impacts, many dams are a large source of methane gas due to decomposing organic matter at the bottom of the reservoir. Methane from hydroelectric dams may be responsible for 4% or more of global warming.
Washington-DC environmentalists pretend that their favored renewables are clear ecological winners compared to natural gas, coal, and oil. Wind and solar power are not, for reasons given by the Deep Green Resistance. Still, the DGR is a fringe, violent, deep-ecology outfit that must be watched closely. They are not so much anti-energy as anti-human life.