Back in the late 1970s before I fully realized that I was a conservative I was not yet a ‘green energy’ critic. I even designed a solar collector. And this collector would have pumped warm air into a house when the sun was high in the winter.
I never did anything with the design; it was just a drawing. But today I realize that it never would have worked. Back then, however, I sure did think that it could save the world. And the reason that I thought that way is because people of a certain persuasion – i.e., liberals, like I still was, sorta, at the time – think that everything is a “problem” that needs a “solution”.
To illustrate, consider the “problem” that I was perceiving – that houses were being heated inefficiently and needed a boost from the sun. This is why modern-day environmentalism is fake; because it perceives everything as a “problem”. And then guess who has the “solution”?
Yup… the same people who imagine the “problem” in the first place like me with my solar collector.
And who is going to make money off of the “solution”? You guessed it; the same people who create that “solution”. For a brief period I fantasized about becoming a solar millionaire.
Except that the “solution” that I proposed would have been very expensive – probably thousands of dollars for the collector – for the tiny amount of heat that it would have produced, and only in the middle of a totally sunny day in winter. And the “problem” to begin with was bogus. In fact heating oil and central oil burners and modern housing construction methods and modern insulation methods have created huge efficiency in home heating compared to the drafty old houses and woodburning stoves and fireplaces of yesteryear.
An older home can greatly increase its energy efficiency in much more effective and cheaper ways than a solar collector, for instance by caulking the windows or adding insulation or installing a new efficient oil burner or gas burner. The solar collector would easily be the least efficient and most expensive way to add heat, and then it would only be a negligible amount of heat.
But the idealist never sees it that way. The idealist is focused on his utopian idea like the solar collector, not on the big picture of what it takes to heat a home and keep it warm. So this example really indicates the basic different between conservatism and liberalism.
We conservatives are realistic. We know what man is capable of doing and we do it. We learned how to make efficient houses through newer and better building materials and technology; how to produce heating oil through increasingly sophisticated petroleum location, extraction and refinement processes; and how to manufacture an efficient oil burner. And if there are inefficiencies in a drafty old house we can fix that inexpensively with upgrades.
But liberals are idealistic. And idealists are always offering the next “solution” for us all, and then the next and the next, at higher and higher cost, without realizing that the much simpler “solution” is right under our noses in the first place.
Think about the old house. The realistic person says that we have a perfectly good house and that we can improve it. The idealist rejects this solution because it does not come from the idealist’s own mind. Because the idealist must by nature contravene the realist. Because the liberal must by nature contravene the conservative. So the idealist must take a separate path like proposing an expensive solar collector instead of a cheap caulking of the drafty windows or more insulation or a new oil burner, which are much less glamorous solutions. After all solar energy is SO stylish!
My solar collector was an offshoot of another fake ‘green’ idea that was fashionable in the late 1970s. During that time thousands of American homeowners installed solar greenhouses (with huge taxpayer subsidies, of course) on the south side of their homes. These greenhouses were not used to grow plants but were simply glass rooms that trapped warm air on sunny days in winter and pumped it into the house. Except that they were extremely expensive – probably $25,000 or more today – and produced miniscule amounts of heat compared to the positive energy-saving effects of much cheaper caulking and insulation. Then in the Spring, Summer and Fall these greenhouses got blazing hot precisely when the heat is not needed. Most solar greenhouses have been covered over or dismantled. They never worked. Why? Because they were dreamed up by idealists.
Here is another ever more disturbing example of how these idealists think:
The ecologists are claiming that ‘global warming’ is heating up the planet in unprecedented fashion. But first of all we know that the earth was much, much hotter than today during the Medieval Warm Period of roughly 900 AD to 1300 AD or for a full 400 years. And that was long before the wholesale burning of coal and oil which the loons are claiming causes ‘global warming’.
At the same time we have more and more proof every day that not only is the planet not heating up but that it is actually cooling down. Here are just three major examples out of hundreds – historically low temperatures in Antarctica, growing Arctic ice, and a massive snowstorm in Jerusalem, Israel, the first such storm in many decades.
OK, so we know that the alarmists are totally ignoring reality and pushing for more and more extreme, absurd and expensive “solutions” to a problem that does not even exist like this one: They are demanding that coal-fired power plants add something called “CO2 sequestration” technology. Because they claim that CO2 (carbon dioxide) in the atmosphere, which is released by these power plants in large quantities when coal is burned, is acting like a “blanket” and trapping heat, making the earth warmer.
Except that the earth in fact is cooling down. Temperature records show that a brief ‘warming’ trend ended in 1998.
This “CO2 sequestration” is the perhaps the most harebrained proposal in the history of mankind. It means taking CO2 emissions from power plants – and remember that CO2 is a natural compound that has been in the atmosphere since the beginning of time – and piping it underground into empty oil reservoirs or coal mines or salt mines and then sealing them off so that the CO2 never leaks out.
This is a classic idealist solution – they identify a problem that they themselves have fabricated and then propose a massively expensive and utopian plan to “solve” it.
Friends, for those who studied science in school before the ‘warming’ alarmists took over the curriculum we learned that CO2 is an odorless, colorless gas that humans and animals breathe out after breathing in oxygen (which is O2). CO2 also is produced by the natural decay of plant matter and trees when they die. It also comes from burning carbon fuels like coal and oil.
CO2 is the gas in the atmosphere that is the “food” that living plants, crops and trees then “inhale” or “fix” to make their carbon-based matter like the stems, seeds and leaves of plants, the corn and its cob and stems and leaves of crops, or the wood, bark and leaves of trees. That carbon comes right out of the air, atom by atom.
So if we have all of this extra CO2 in the atmosphere that the environmentalists are so terrified about then that is more “food” for plants, crops and trees and they will grow bigger, right? Just like people will get fatter if you offer them a full buffet table every day.
Right… And if you remember the “transpiration cycle” from third grade you know that the living plants, crops and trees “consume” the CO2, use it to build wood and leaves and stems and other plant matter and then they emit oxygen, which is conveniently what man and animals need to breathe in. That is why it is called the “transpiration CYCLE”.
So if the crops and plants and trees grow bigger and more robust from more CO2 in the air then they will consume even more CO2 and produce more oxygen, won’t they? Won’t the system balance itself out?
Of course. But don’t tell those inconvenient truths to the ‘junk scientists’ who are earning tens of billions in salaries and payoffs every year to demonize CO2 and to promote ‘global warming’ that does not exist.
We realists know that this “CO2 sequestration” is ridiculous. But since it is part of modern-day environmentalism it is considered perfectly feasible. And if it is implemented we all will be forced to pay extra billions for power every year in higher bills to pay for this fake “technology”.
So guess who is going to get rich on CO2 sequestration if it is implemented?
You guessed it… eco-businesses and eco-consultants and eco-engineers and eco-lawyers and others involved in promoting this technology and designing and installing the systems and the pipelines to pump this CO2 underground. Very convenient.
And who is going to make laws to require that these sequestration systems get installed?
You guessed it… The environmentalists’ Democrat friends in the government who will get more and more political power by passing these programs, while many will eventually get some kind of direct or indirect payoff or kickback for their work including fawning media coverage or good jobs like a local newspaper reporter in my town who now is the well-paid head of an enviro group.
These idealists are totally corrupt. Everything in environmentalism is about getting money and political power for themselves, and expanding the government. Period. End of story.
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