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The Green New Deal: A War Against Energy (Part 2)

This article was originally published in the 2011 book Why Businessmen Need Philosophy. Part 1(available here) examined the life-and-death importance of energy to human life, the facts about the world’s energy  consumption (as of 2011), and the delusional character of previous plans for a “green energy revolution” similar to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal.

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Green opposition to . . . green energy!

Hiding behind the peppy slogans and cheerleading for the “green energy revolution” are real and formidable obstacles, and an utter lack of anything remotely resembling a realistic plan to overcome them.

Perhaps the most surprising obstacle to “green energy,” however, is opposition from environmentalists.

Just as environmentalists reject nuclear and hydro power despite the emissions-free character of these sources, numerous environmentalists are fighting vehemently against all manner of “green energy” projects intended to displace fossil energy production.

Consider, for instance, the Cape Wind project in Nantucket Sound—a project to build an offshore wind farm consisting of 130 turbines.1

Cape Wind is viewed as an important test case for offshore wind in America, and yet the opposition to the project from environmentalists and others has been so strong that it’s been tied up in the approval process for more than eight years.

And who is one of the most vocal and prominent opponents of the wind farm? Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who is a lawyer for the Natural Resources Defense Council and a leading figure in the green movement.

Kennedy and others opposed to the project allege that the turbines will threaten wildlife, will damage the “pristine marine ecosystem” of Nantucket Sound, and will create “noise pollution” and even “light pollution” from the windmills’ airplane warning lights. (!)

Warning other environmentalists not to be “enticed by Cape Wind,” Kennedy writes:

Cape Wind’s proposal involves construction of 130 giant turbines whose windmill arms will reach 417 feet above the water and be visible for up to 26 miles. These turbines are less than six miles from shore and would be seen from Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Hundreds of flashing lights to warn airplanes away from the turbines will steal the stars and nighttime views. The noise of the turbines will be audible onshore. A transformer substation rising 100 feet above the sound would house giant helicopter pads and 40,000 gallons of potentially hazardous oil.

According to the Massachusetts Historical Commission, the project will damage the views from 16 historic sites and lighthouses on the cape and nearby islands. The Humane Society estimates the whirling turbines could every year kill thousands of migrating songbirds and sea ducks.2

Raising the specter of “energy companies that are trying to privatize the commons,” Kennedy tries to frame the Cape Wind debate as a typical grassroots green battle against industrial “intrusion” upon nature. “Some places,” he writes, “should be off limits to any sort of industrial development. I wouldn’t build a wind farm in Yosemite National Park. Nor would I build one on Nantucket Sound.”3

Perhaps the most surprising obstacle to “green energy” is opposition from environmentalists.
Some additional irony here is that part of the motivation for siting windmills offshore is to try to avoid some of the claimed environmental impacts of onshore wind farms. Environmentalists have complained about threats to bird populations ever since the first generation of wind turbines was built at Altamont Pass near Oakland, California.

From Altamont in the early 1980s to a recent case in West Virginia where a wind developer faced a “lawsuit by environmental groups worried about potential harm to the endangered Indiana bat”—environmental groups have fought against wind projects in every region of the country, from California to Texas to the Allegheny Mountains in the Northeast.4

Green opposition to hydro

Or consider the trend toward “small hydro”—hydroelectric power plants built on a smaller scale.

The reason environmentalists have traditionally fought so vehemently against hydroelectricity is because of the way large-scale hydro dams radically alter waterways, flooding vast areas behind the dam while significantly reducing downstream flows.

“Small hydro” is often held up as an alternative to massive dams on major rivers: smaller, less obtrusive dams on streams and tributaries. These facilities typically have a tiny generating capacity: less than 30 megawatts (MW)—enough to supply power to roughly 15,000 to 30,000 households—as compared to, say, the Hoover Dam, which has an installed generating capacity of 2,000 MW, and supplies electricity to 1.3 million people.5, 6

To come even close to the generating capacity of nuclear or hydrocarbon-fueled plants, one would have to build on a large-scale. But building on a large scale is precisely why environmentalists object to Big Hydro in the first place.
Power companies have tried to promote small hydro as a win-win alternative to other forms of energy: a source of power with no greenhouse gas emissions, but with a lower impact on local wilderness areas.

But to produce a significant amount of power this way requires large numbers of these “minimal impact” installations.

An assessment of the potential for hydroelectricity in Washington state identified 500 feasible sites, but also found that “developing all the state’s potential hydro sites, including small ones, would add only 762 megawatts”—i.e., only as much as a single large coal-fired power plant.7

To come even close to the generating capacity of nuclear or hydrocarbon-fueled plants, one would have to build on a large-scale. But building on a large scale is precisely why environmentalists object to Big Hydro in the first place. As the Wall Street Journal reports, “the small-hydro trend is beginning to raise eyebrows in environmental and recreation circles.”

“One plant here, one there, maybe we would support that,” says Thomas O’Keefe, Northwest regional coordinator of American Whitewater, a rafters’ group. “But with so many on the drawing board this really gets to be an issue of cumulative impacts.”8

And this objection to “cumulative impacts” is having an impact.

On the basis of resistance from environmentalists, one company with plans to build nine small-hydro facilities along a thirty-four-mile stretch of the McKenzie River in Oregon was denied preliminary permits by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.9

And, as we’ve already seen, in addition to blocking the construction of new dams, the commission has overseen the destruction of hundreds of existing dams in just the last decade alone.10

Green opposition to solar

Or consider the battles over solar energy in California’s Mojave Desert.

Being remote and reliably sunny, this region is one of the most plausible places in the world to try to produce solar power. Solar developers also have a captive customer base because of California’s regulatory mandate forcing utilities to produce 33% of the state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2020.11

(The original mandate, adopted in 2002, also set a goal of 20% by 2010, but when it became clear that California utilities would not be able to meet it, Governor Schwarzenegger just kicked the can a decade down the road.12)

The state mandate sparked a boom as companies rushed in to sign contracts with utilities and plan solar power developments, filing hundreds of permit applications with the federal Bureau of Land Management.

But the plans sparked outrage and opposition from local environmental groups seeking to protect the pristine desert. “Deserts don’t need to be sacrificed so that people in L.A. can keep heating their swimming pools,” says Terry Frewin, a local Sierra Club representative.13

“It doesn’t make any sense,” said Terry Weiner, a spokeswoman for a group called the Desert Protective Council, “to slap up big industrial projects hundreds of miles from where the energy’s going to be used and put these hideous transmission lines and string those for hundreds of miles. . . . You are destroying habitat and creatures to save the planet?”14

Similar indignation was expressed by David Myers, executive director of a Southern California environmental group called the Wildlands Conservancy: “How can you say you’re going to blade off hundreds of thousands of acres of earth to preserve the Earth?”15

Lest one be tempted to write these organizations off as marginal groups whose views are politically insignificant and unrepresentative of the mainstream green perspective, consider that Myers has been a key figure influencing Senator Dianne Feinstein, who has introduced a bill before Congress that would turn a 1 million-acre swath of Mojave into a national monument, blocking all solar and wind projects there.16

And the mere threat of that legislation has been enough to shut down developers’ plans.

For instance, solar developer BrightSource Energy had proposed a 5,130-acre solar power plant in the Broadwell Dry Lake area of Mojave, which falls within Feinstein’s proposed monument. But just knowing of Feinstein’s opposition, BrightSource scrapped its proposal months before the bill was even introduced and began looking at other locations in the Mojave Desert.17

In a statement praising BrightSource for abandoning its Broadwell project, Feinstein said: “It’s clear that conservation and renewable energy development are not mutually exclusive goals—there is room enough in the California desert for both.”18

But in fact, that’s not clear at all. Kicked out of one solar hotspot, BrightSource indicated that it would try to move ahead with alternative plans for a solar facility in the Ivanpah Valley just south of Las Vegas. But according to the San Jose Mercury News:

BrightSource might have other hurdles to clear at its Ivanpah project, which also could impact tortoise habitats, according to some environmental groups.

“We have concerns about Ivanpah,” [the Sierra Club’s Barbara] Boyle said. “Ivanpah has some very important tortoise habitats as well as a number of plant species that are sensitive.”19

Is there really “room enough in the California desert” for the production of energy, as far as environmentalists are concerned? Following Feinstein’s introduction of her bill, numerous other companies also dropped their solar projects planned for that region.20

The phenomenon of significant green opposition to “green energy” has left Governor Schwarzenegger unsure of whether to laugh or cry:

Our Department of Fish and Game is slowing approval of a solar facility in Victorville. It’s because of an endangered squirrel, an endangered squirrel which has never been seen on that land where they’re supposed to build the solar plants. But if such a squirrel were around, this is the kind of area that it would like, they say. . . . So a squirrel that may not exist is holding up environmental progress on a larger and more pressing fight against global warming. What they have here is a case of environmental regulations holding up environmental progress. I don’t know whether this is ironic or absurd. But, I mean, if we cannot put solar power plants in the Mojave desert, I don’t know where the hell we can put it [sic].21

Schwarzenegger’s exasperation is understandable. How can you claim that the very survival of humanity requires an immediate transition away from fossil fuels and, at the same time, fight tooth and nail against the very projects allegedly capable of effecting that transition?

How can you claim that the very survival of humanity requires an immediate transition away from fossil fuels and, at the same time, fight tooth and nail against the very projects allegedly capable of effecting that transition? Click To TweetOn the premise that human well-being on this earth is sacrosanct, and given the indispensability of industry-scale energy to our lives and happiness, the environmentalists’ policies make no sense.

And yet, opposition to solar power plants in the Mojave desert is consistent with everything we have seen so far from the environmentalist movement.

What we’ve seen is that its proponents vehemently oppose every single major source that we currently use for energy—including the only two carbon-free sources, nuclear and hydro, that substantially contribute to present world energy; they wildly overstate the present potential of “green energy” sources, such as wind and solar, which are barely utilized today because of their practical limitations; and they blithely put forward, as realistic energy plans, proposals that can only be described as delusional fantasies.

So why should it be a surprise that there are even environmentalists who oppose the “green energy” sources required to implement the fantasies?

It is only on the premise that the environmentalist movement is truly driven by a concern for human well-being that its vehement attacks on carbon-based fuels (without which human life as we know it in the developed world would be impossible), its cavalier lack of any alternative plan, and its active opposition to proposed alternatives (whether real ones like nuclear or hydro, or fantasized ones like solar), make no sense.

If you are willing to question that premise, however, you can make sense of the movement’s policies.

What ideas are really driving the environmentalist movement?

As most people see it, there is no inherent conflict between human prosperity and the environmentalist goal of “protecting the environment.” Indeed, most people would argue that protecting the environment is a prerequisite of human prosperity.

With respect to energy and climate, for instance, environmentalists are, in most people’s view, simply trying to secure human well-being by preventing large-scale climate change; they are trying to prevent a planetary catastrophe by finding safer ways to power our civilization.

People don’t see the environmentalist movement as intending to just cut off mankind’s access to energy (which truly would be a catastrophe) but to replace our current fuels with better alternatives—to avoid “dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system” by finding new ways of meeting man’s energy needs.22

Yet, nothing we’ve seen from the environmentalist movement shows any real interest in actually meeting man’s energy needs. What’s really driving the movement is a basic idea that has animated environmentalism since its inception: the idea that nature is to be protected from human “intrusion.”

Environmentalism is a broad social and political movement, with roots stretching back decades and with a diverse array of leaders, groups, institutions, and perspectives. But despite its diversity, it is, in essence, an intellectual movement animated by a particular ideology—by a set of philosophic premises that shape its actions and guide its ultimate direction.

And the basic moral premise at the root of environmentalism is the premise that nature is something to be left alone—to be preserved untouched by human activity.

The basic moral premise at the root of environmentalism is the premise that nature is something to be left alone—to be preserved untouched by human activity. Click To TweetTo the opponents of small hydro projects, for instance, the possibility of “cumulative impacts” on salmon runs or the habitat of the Furbish lousewort renders irrelevant the numerous homes that could be supplied with electricity.

To Myers and his fellow desert activists, if a patch of scorched terrain is favored by the desert tortoise or the bighorn sheep, it should never be “bladed off” for the sake of any sort of industrial development—not even a solar power plant.

This moral animus against human “intrusion” upon nature creates a basic conflict between the goals of the environmentalist movement and the needs of human life. Environmentalists, as Peter Schwartz explains,

have abandoned even the pretext of holding human happiness as their ultimate purpose. In its place, as an open secret that the public is unable to take fully seriously, is the premise that nature must remain unchanged as an end in itself. It is the premise that nature must be protected, not for man, but from man.23

Observe that even when environmentalists find themselves on opposite sides of a dispute, they are nevertheless driven by this shared principle.

Robert Kennedy Jr., for instance, has been criticized by fellow environmentalists for his opposition to the Cape Wind project. Shortly after he published a New York Times op-ed attacking Cape Wind, he was excoriated in the San Francisco Chronicle by a pair of angry greens accusing him of “confusion about ecological priorities.”24, 25

The authors of the Chronicle piece, Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, agree completely with the basic environmentalist injunction against human “intrusions” upon nature, yet they support industrial development in Nantucket Sound. Why? Because, in their view,  it is “vitally important to the battle against global warming,” which they see as “arguably the greatest of all human intrusions upon nature.”26

And besides, they assert, “Nantucket Sound is not a pristine wilderness. It is among the busiest shipping channels on the East Coast and is surrounded by heavily populated communities. Cape Wind, at worst, constitutes a relatively minor intrusion upon this already developed landscape.”27

To which Kennedy argues: “The worst trap that environmentalists can fall into is the conviction that the only wilderness worth preserving is in the Rocky Mountains or Alaska. To the contrary, our most important wildernesses are those that are closest to our densest population centers, like Nantucket Sound.”28

Observe that the standard setting the terms of their dispute is human “interference” with nature. The vital importance of energy to human life is, at best, a secondary consideration. What’s really important, on their terms, is determining what constitutes the greater human “intrusion”—the greater threat to “pristine wilderness.”

Indeed, the very claims about climate change themselves have more to do with the environmentalist injunction against “interfering” with nature than with any concerns about human well-being.

Are we becoming more vulnerable to climate-related disasters?

Environmentalists have long been telling us that our use of carbon-based energy is causing a “planetary emergency”—and that to avoid climate catastrophe we must immediately reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.

But what is the nature of the threat we supposedly face from climate change?

In essence, it is that we are becoming increasingly vulnerable to climate-related disasters—that we are causing large-scale changes to the Earth’s climate that are dramatically increasing the risks that we face from severe climate events: hurricanes, floods, heat waves, drought, etc.

But if the concern is that people are becoming more vulnerable to the climate, then why is there no acknowledgment of the unprecedented degree to which industrial development under capitalism has reduced the risk that people face from being harmed by climate extremes?

If the goal is to secure human prosperity and well-being in the face of possible large-scale climate change, what people should be clamoring for is continued economic growth and industrial development—especially the continued production of industrial-scale energy.
Vulnerability to the climate has been a feature of human existence for all of human history, and it is only in the last two centuries that people have achieved any sort of resilience or protection against it.

Compared to undeveloped countries with little political freedom, industrialized nations with relatively free and adaptable markets have little difficulty coping with severe climate events.

Compare the horrific death toll from a category 3 cyclone in 1970s Bangladesh, which killed upwards of three hundred thousand people, to that of Hurricane Katrina, which also made landfall as a category 3 storm, but left a still-tragic but much lower toll of around two thousand people dead or missing.

Or compare the devastating effects of a severe 1972 drought in the African Sahel, which killed hundreds of thousands of people, to the relatively insignificant effects of a concurrent drought in the United States, which killed no one despite conditions severe enough to rate comparison with the 1930s Dust Bowl.29

If the goal is to secure human prosperity and well-being in the face of possible large-scale climate change, what people should be clamoring for is continued economic growth and industrial development—especially the continued production of industrial-scale energy.

The notion that we should be cutting off our use of energy in order to reduce carbon emissions in the hope that this might have a salutary effect on the climate is absurd.

It is the bizarre notion that people should go without energy—without electricity, without modern hospitals, without fresh water and industrial-scale agriculture—all because there might be a slight increase in the intensity of hurricanes.

The clamor for reduced energy production only makes sense if the real goal is something other than human well-being. Eliminating man-made emissions into the atmosphere only gets to the heart of the matter if the real issue is to prevent any form of human “interference” with nature.

The real concern that environmentalists have is not man’s vulnerability to the climate but man’s possible impact on the climate. What they really object to is not that man-made emissions might be causing changes that are dangerous to people, but that these emissions exist at all.

Measurements taken regularly since the late 1950s show that atmospheric CO2 levels have steadily risen in step with fossil fuel consumption.

Similarly, thermometer measurements show that globally averaged temperatures are about 0.5–0.8 degrees Celsius higher than they were when the records began about a century and a half ago.

But connection between these two facts is much less clear than environmentalists would have us believe.

The start of the thermometer record happens to coincide with the end of a relatively cold period in recent climate history—one characterized by a little ice age, so it’s hardly surprising that temperatures are warmer today.

The earth’s climate is an extremely complex system characterized by significant sources of variability, both internal and external. What has never been established—despite the insistent assertions to the contrary—is the all-important claim that man-made greenhouse gases are the dominant agent driving the changes in temperature.30

The lurid projections of climate apocalypse that we’re bombarded with on a daily basis are not the result of a sober assessment of scientific fact. Ultimately, what they rest on is the assumption that any human impact on nature has “just got to be bad.”

It is a mistake to assume that environmentalists oppose human “intrusion” upon nature because they are concerned about its possible harmful consequences. In fact it is the other way around: It is their moral animus against the alleged sin of “tampering” with nature that leads to their hysterical projections of catastrophic doom.

This has been the pattern of the environmentalist movement throughout its history. And it explains why the movement has such a notorious track record of spurious doomsday predictions.

Environmentalism’s pattern of false doomsday predictions

Consider the dire warnings of catastrophic over-population that were issued more than forty years ago.

The “unchecked consumption” of our growing populace was, we were told, placing too great a “burden” on the earth and would wipe humanity out in a massive population crash.

Paul Ehrlich’s 1968 bestseller, The Population Bomb, forecast hundreds of millions of deaths per year throughout the 1970s, to be averted, he insisted, only by mass population control “by compulsion if voluntary methods fail.”31

But instead of global-scale famine and death, the 1970s witnessed an agricultural revolution. Despite a near-doubling of world population, food production continues to grow as technological innovation creates more and more food on each acre of farmland.32

The United States, which has seen its population grow from 200 to 300 million, is more concerned about rampant obesity than a shortage of food.

Or consider the campaign against the insecticide DDT, beginning with Rachel Carson’s 1962 book Silent Spring.33

The world had been on the brink of eradicating malaria using DDT—but for Carson and her followers, controlling disease-carrying mosquitoes was an arrogant act of “tampering” with nature.

Carson pronounced ominously that nature was “capable of striking back in unexpected ways” unless people showed more “humility before [its] vast forces.”34 She asserted, baselessly, that continued DDT use would unleash a cancer epidemic, generating a panicked fear of the pesticide that endures as public opinion to this day.

But the scientific case against DDT was, and still is, nonexistent. Almost sixty years have passed since the malaria-spraying campaigns began—with hundreds of millions of people exposed to large concentrations of DDT—yet, according to international health scholar Amir Attaran, the scientific literature “has not even one peer reviewed, independently replicated study linking exposure to DDT with any adverse health outcome.”35 Indeed, in a 1956 study, human volunteers ate DDT every day for over two years with no ill effects then or since.36

Carson’s book led to such a public outcry that, despite its life-saving benefits and mountains of scientific evidence supporting its continued use, DDT was banned in the United States in 1972.

Thanks to environmentalist opposition, DDT was almost completely phased out worldwide. And while there is still zero evidence of a DDT cancer risk, the deaths of over a million people a year from malaria’s resurgence are all too real.

Environmentalist doomsday projections repeatedly turn out to be wild exaggerations because they are not rooted in objective scientific facts, but on the cowering fear that “tampering” with nature will unleash metaphysical punishment.

Environmentalist doomsday projections repeatedly turn out to be wild exaggerations because they are not rooted in objective scientific facts, but on the cowering fear that “tampering” with nature will unleash metaphysical punishment. Click To TweetJust as the Christian faith expects apocalyptic judgment for man’s sins against God, environmentalism has its own eschatology predicting Armageddon caused by man’s sins against nature. “In their cosmology,” Ayn Rand explains,

man is infinitely malleable, controllable and dispensable, nature is sacrosanct. It is only man—and his work, his achievement, his mind—that can be violated with impunity, while nature is not to be defiled by a single bridge or skyscraper. . . .

In confrontation with nature, their plea is: “Leave well enough alone.” Do not upset the balance of nature—do not disturb the birds, the forests, the swamps, the oceans—do not rock the boat (or even build one)—do not experiment—do not venture out—what was good enough for our anthropoid ancestors is good enough for us—adjust to the winds, the rains, the man-eating tigers, the malarial mosquitoes, the tsetse flies—do not rebel—do not anger the unknowable demons who rule it all.37

Conclusion: The environmentalist campaign against energy

In the end, what we find is that the environmentalist climate campaign is, in fact, a campaign against energy as such—not a crusade to replace carbon-based fuels with something else, but a crusade to methodically eliminate any practical means of producing energy on an industrial scale.

What environmentalism opposes is any alteration of pristine nature that results from the production of useful quantities of energy, whatever the means used.

Industrial-scale energy has lifted mankind out of preindustrial poverty and made possible all the life-giving benefits of our modern civilization.

Despite the life-and-death importance of energy to human well-being, the environmentalist movement is on a crusade to cut it off. It’s up to each one of us to grasp this inconvenient truth.
But the ugly truth is that environmentalists oppose it not in spite of the incredible benefits it brings us, but precisely because it brings us those benefits at the cost of “interfering” with nature.

The environmentalist movement continues to grow in prominence partly because people are unable or unwilling to recognize its corrupt intellectual core. They mistakenly assume that it values human flourishing and well-being.

They assume that if some genius like the mysterious inventor in Atlas Shrugged were to come along and discover a means of exploiting a cheap, clean, unlimited supply of energy—which would be the greatest, most life-enhancing discovery in all of human history—environmentalists would rejoice in that discovery along with everyone else.

But the grisly truth is that environmentalists would condemn it as an environmental catastrophe. “Giving society cheap, abundant energy at this point,” says Paul Ehrlich, “would be the moral equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun.”38

Or as alternative energy guru Amory Lovins has said: “If you ask me, it’d be little short of disastrous for us to discover a source of clean, cheap, abundant energy because of what we would do with it. We ought to be looking for energy sources that are adequate for our needs, but that won’t give us the excesses of concentrated energy with which we could do mischief to the earth . . . .”39

Despite the life-and-death importance of energy to human well-being, the environmentalist movement is on a crusade to cut it off. It’s up to each one of us to grasp this inconvenient truth.

For if the movement succeeds in its climate and energy policy goals, the result will not be a booming “green economy” powered by abundant, cheap, “green” energy—but the universal devastation and misery of forced energy privation.

Acknowledgements: I am grateful to Onkar Ghate for his invaluable editorial guidance. I would also like to thank Jeff Scialabba and Donna Montrezza for their assistance with fact-checking and references.

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Footnotes

  1. Cape Wind, press conference video clip streaming from Park Plaza Hotel, Boston, Mass., April 28, 2010.
  2. Robert F. Kennedy Jr., “An Ill Wind off Cape Cod,” New York Times, December 16, 2005, http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/16/opinion/16kennedy.html.
  3. Kennedy, “Ill Wind.” http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/16/opinion/16kennedy.html
  4. Industrial Wind Action Group, “Md. Wind Farm Developer to Forgo 24 Turbines,” by Vicki Smith in ABC News, January 28, 2010, http://www.windaction.org/news/25324; also, Felicity Barringer, “Debate Over Wind Power Creates Environmental Rift,” New York Times, June 6, 2006, http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/06/us/06wind.html.
  5. Jim Carlton, “Deep in the Wilderness, Power Companies Wade In,” Wall Street Journal, August 21, 2009, U.S. edition.
  6. U.S. Department of the Interior, “Hydropower at Hoover Dam,” Reclamation (last reviewed February 2009), http://www.usbr.gov/lc/hooverdam/faqs/powerfaq.html.
  7. Carlton, “Deep in the Wilderness.”
  8. Carlton, “Deep in the Wilderness.”
  9. Carlton, “Deep in the Wilderness.”
  10. Editorial, “10 Years, 430 Dams,” New York Times, July 3, 2009. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/04/opinion/04sat3.html?_r=1.
  11. Office of the Governor of the State of California, Executive Order S-21-09, September 15, 2009.
  12. Celia Lamb, “Report: Power Giants Likely to Miss California Renewable Energy Goal,” San Francisco Business Times, August 5, 2008.
  13. Felicity Barringer, “Environmentalists in a Clash of Goals,” New York Times, March 23, 2009, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/24/science/earth/24ecowars.html?_r=1.
  14. Transcript, “Solar Plan Ignites Some Environmental Concerns,” NPR, September 28, 2009, http://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=112860913.
  15. Barringer, “Environmentalists in a Clash.” http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/24/science/earth/24ecowars.html?_r=1
  16. Todd Woody, “Desert Vistas vs. Solar Power,” New York Times, December 21, 2009, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/22/business/energy-environment/22solar.html?_r=1.
  17. Louis Sahagun, “Solar Energy Firm Drops Plan for Project in Mojave Desert,” Los Angeles Times, September 18, 2009, http://articles.latimes.com/2009/sep/18/business/fi-solar18.
  18. Sahagun, “Solar Energy.” http://articles.latimes.com/2009/sep/18/business/fi-solar18
  19. George Avalos, “Calif. Solar firm hits desert storm,” Physorg.com, September 29, 2009, http://www.physorg.com/news173461215.html.
  20. Woody, “Desert Vistas” http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/22/business/energy-environment/22solar.html?_r=1; see also Rebecca Smith, “Green Battle Rages in Desert,” Wall Street Journal, December 23, 2009, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB126144129302900923.html.
  21. Office of the Governor of the State of California, Governor Schwarzenegger’s keynote address at Yale Climate Change Conference, April 18, 2008.
  22. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, May 1992, http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/convkp/conveng.pdf.
  23. Peter Schwartz, “The Philosophy of Privation,” in Debi Ghate and Richard E. Ralston, eds., Why Businessmen Need Philosophy: The Capitalist’s Guide to the Ideas Behind Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” (New York: New American Library, 2011).
  24. Kennedy, “An Ill Wind,” http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/16/opinion/16kennedy.html.
  25. Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, “Arctic Battle Should Move to Hyannis Port,” SFGate.com, December 21, 2005, http://articles.sfgate.com/2005-12-21/opinion/17404260_1_cape-wind-cape-cod-wind-farm.
  26. Shellenberger and Nordhaus, “Arctic Battle.” http://articles.sfgate.com/2005-12-21/opinion/17404260_1_cape-wind-cape-cod-wind-farm.
  27. Shellenberger and Nordhaus, “Arctic Battle.” http://articles.sfgate.com/2005-12-21/opinion/17404260_1_cape-wind-cape-cod-wind-farm.
  28. Kennedy, “An Ill Wind,” http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/16/opinion/16kennedy.html.
  29. For further discussion of this point, see Keith Lockitch, “Climate Vulnerability and the Indispensible Value of Industrial Capitalism,” Energy and Environment 20, no. 5 (2009): pp. 733-745; available online at https://ari.aynrand.org/issues/science-and-industrialization/environmental-issues/Climate-Vulnerability-and-the-Indispensable-Value-of-Industrial-Capitaism
  30. Richard Lindzen, “The Climate Science Isn’t Settled,” Wall Street Journal, November 30, 2009, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703939404574567423917025400.html; also Richard Lindzen, “Global Warming – Sensibilities and Science,” (Paper presented at the Third International Conference on Climate Change, Washington, D.C., June 2, 2009), http://www.heartland.org/events/WashingtonDC09/PDFs/Lindzen.pdf
  31. Paul Ehrlich, prologue to The Population Bomb (New York: Ballantine Books, 1968), p. 11.
  32. Julian L. Simon, The Ultimate Resource 2 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996), chap. 6.
  33. Rachel Carson, Silent Spring (New York: Mariner Books, 2002).
  34. Carson, Silent Spring, p. 297.
  35. Amir Attaran and Rajendra Maharaj, “DDT for malaria control should not be banned,” British Medical Journal 321 (2000): p. 1403.
  36. W. J. Hayes, Jr., W. F. Durham, and C. Cuerto, Jr., “The effect of known repeated oral doses of chlorophenothane (DDT) in man,” J. Am. Med. Assoc. 162 (1956): pp. 890-897; and W.J. Hayes, Jr., W.E. Dale, and C.I. Pirkle, “Evidence of safety of long-term, high, oral doses of DDT for man,” Arch. Environ. Health 22 (1971): pp. 119-135.
  37. Ayn Rand, “The Anti-Industrial Revolution,” in Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution (New York: Meridian, 1999), p. 287.
  38. Paul R. Ehrlich, “An Ecologist’s Perspective on Nuclear Power,” Federation of American Scientists Public Interest Report 28, no. 5–6 (May–June, 1975): p. 5.
  39. Amory Lovins, Plowboy interview, Mother Earth News, November–December 1977.

Keith Lockitch

Keith Lockitch, Ph.D. in physics, is a senior fellow and vice president of content at the Ayn Rand Institute. He focuses primarily on the intersection of science with current events and policy issues. He is a senior editor of New Ideal.

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