Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Why we have no power

You'll surely be aware by now that New Zealand is short of electrical power -- and if a winter in which businesses had to shut down for lack of power doesn't convince you, then nothing will. And you'll surely have noticed that for years now, environmentalists have opposed all new power stations, and insisted that "we" should instead be using "renewable" energy, and you'll have observed that now the government has effectively banned the construction of new thermal power stations, the environmentalists have succeeded in forcing us to rely upon their favourite means of power production. Yet something's clearly going on here that needs explaining, since every time new "renewable" projects to produce real power are proposed, those same environmentalists have opposed them.

The latest example is on a tributary of the Buller River on the West Coast, the Mokihinui, where environmentalists are now gearing up to fight a hydro scheme proposed by Meridian - gearing up to oppose it with the same ferocity they opposed Meridian's 'Project Aqua' hydro scheme for the Waitaki. Hydro, say local environmentalists, "is an outmoded concept."

So hydro is now out too, it seems, which means no hydro and no thermal -- which between them presently account for over ninety percent of New Zealand's increasingly enfeebled energy generation.

So what's left? By what means then does one produce the power that is an indispensable component of everything we do in our lives? Geothermal is too feeble (and even with new projects proposed would represent barely five percent of our current power demand), and meanwhile wind farms like Project Hayes have also been deemed unacceptable to environmentalists (too damaging to the landscape, they say); tidal power stations, like Crest Energy's proposed tidal power station in the Kaipara, are about to be deemed unacceptable (too damaging to the dolphins and to the mauri of the harbour); hydro dams like the Mokihinui are now "outmoded" (too damaging to the eels); and, it should be noted, even in places where solar energy is viable, like California's Mojave Desert, environmentalists are opposing that too.

The point to take here is that environmentalists will be gearing up for a fight whatever the means by which a power station is to be powered, whether it's thermal or 'renewable' or whatever -- their opposition is all too obviously to human power as such. As Project Hayes protestor Brian Turner put it,"Our economy should be required to serve the natural environment, not the other way round. Everything we do should be in accord with that rule... We've long been too big for our boots [continues Turner]. Which is what Eugenio Montale, the Nobel prize-winning poet, meant when he wrote:

Twilight began when man thought
himself of greater dignity than moles or crickets."

Take a moment to note the sentiment -- this is an environmentalism that puts "moles or crickets" ahead of human beings -- and another moment to reflect that this environmentalism is now mainstream.

We're now seeing some of the results of that "we're too big for our boots" environmentalism.

The protest in the Mojave Desert over solar power finally got even the Governator exasperated."If we cannot put solar power plants in the Mojave desert," said California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, "I don't know where the hell we can put it."

But, says Keith Lockitch at the Ayn Rand Institute, that's the whole point. "This just shows the true objective of green activism. Environmentalists don't actually want us to find alternative ways of producing energy; they want us to stop using energy altogether.

The basic premise of environmentalism is to leave nature alone. Capturing and utilizing any source of energy--even ones that are supposedly green and renewable--will necessarily have some impact on nature, and will therefore inevitably be subject to environmentalist attacks and condemnation.
Since the use of energy is an indispensable component of everything we do in our lives, the greens' opposition to even such ridiculous, impractical sources of energy as solar and wind reveals their basic animus against human life.
On green philosophy, there is literally no place on earth for mankind.

Readers should draw the necessary lesson here. You must realise that human modification of the environment is the means by which human beings survive and flourish. The only means. And you must understand that when environmentalists say they're opposed to human modification of the environment they mean it.

What's needed, as I've said several times before, is a stake through the heart of the Resource Management Act [pdf] (which gives anti-human environmentalism so much house-room and so much legal power by which to obstruct development), and above all a new environmentalism that puts humans first, above moles and crickets and snails -- one that recognises we should be exactly as big for our boots as we need to be.


  1. Great post.

    The belief that humans are no more important than insects is a great evil. By it you can justify policies that cause many human lives to be lost (such as DDT bans) because they saved the lives of animals. This is a modern version of Hindu and similar philosophies. Even if people do not think themselves religious they can be taken in by such philosophies, as according to the currently dominant theory of origins (evolution) we are no more important than fish, as we evolved from them after all.

    On the other hand, Christianity affirms that people are more important than all other life. At the same time it affirms that it is man's role to care for the earth. This is completely contrary to the philosophy driving much of the green movement, but is a sensible balance between caring for humans and nature.

    Eventually this dispute comes back to being a religious one, because it is through religion that people derive their values.

    Most New Zealanders, even if they are not Christian, have values that correspond approximately to the Christian position on the environment, because Christianity has been the dominant philosophy in the West for centuries. But increasing numbers are being distracted by Eastern philosophies, getting ideas about Gaia and all that, and this results in the anti-human position taken by environmentalists as outlined in your post.

    If we allow children to grow up being taught only atheism, and without giving them the opportunity to study Christianity (whether or not they choose to believe it), this problem can only get worse in future years, as more people will be susceptible to these damaging Eastern philosophies if they seek a knowledge of the spiritual, and they will not have the knowledge to counter this.

  2. S J Dennis

    Christianity does not affirm that an individual's life is his own. Rather it promotes the sacrifice of individuals to a collective or even to a spirit-monster super-natural creature of good and evil components. Not really all that much different from the environmentalists then...

    Some people derive their values from religion. Happily most do not. At base, religion is amoral and evil. Best to avoid such barbaric nonsense- Eastern, Western, wherever.


  3. lgm:
    I am sorry to hear you have such a poor understanding of Christianity.


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