Resource Wise New Brunswick
Blind opposition to hydraulic fracturing by renewables advocates is a substitution of ideological fervor for critical thinking, one born of irrational fear.
When did the age of critical thinking end? Today things are in absolutes, black or white, with no grey areas. You are either with us or against us. If you are against us, then we will use every means possible to intimidate and insult you, to blame all the world’s problems on you. Am I crazy to miss the days when skepticism was healthy? There’s nowhere this is more evident than when listening to the anti fossil fuels/climate change hysterics.
I don’t know about you, but I like to take a nice warm shower in the morning. I like to turn on my coffee machine and have hot coffee. I like to be able to turn on my lights, watch television and use the Internet. I’d hate to have to choose between food and electricity.
I don’t live in California. I live in Canada. More particularly I live along the foggy Fundy coast. Foggy means no sun and no wind. We usually have snow and ice from November to April. It’s dark from 5pm til 8am in December. Temperatures can hit -40C with the wind factored in, for days at a time. Living in this climate, I refuse to apologize for being skeptical about “100% renewables.”
I have, in fact, a confession to make: I’ve developed an irrational dislike for “renewables”.
It’s easy to develop a dislike for everything “renewable energy” and to want to strike out against its proponents. That’s what the black and white world of anti oil and gas activists has done; it’s either or, no in between and if you like oil and gas you are “evil” and that’s the end of the story. That’s been my experience anyway. I argue it’s time to get back to how you use one (natural gas) to help get to the other (renewables).
The most glaring example of this lack of logic and critical thinking is the ignoring by renewables advocates and others of just how we get from “here” to “there.” You can’t convince me, living in Canada, that I can put solar panels on the roof of my house and sit comfortably in my living room watching TV in the evening in January with the outside temperature of -30C. Yet, opponents of oil and gas who blame fossil fuels for everything from climate change to unemployment tell me they want Canada to be 100% free of them by 2050.
Aside from the fact I’ll be long gone by that year (unless I’m kept alive by some medical equipment made from petroleum) I find the suggestion we can run THIS country without fossil fuels ludicrous. Reasonable people look for a balance between renewables and fossils. The ideal fuel to use, of course, is natural gas, described by credible scientists as a “bridge fuel.”
Nonetheless, trying to talk logically to anti fossil fuel activists has become an exercise in futility and frustration. They exploit a combination of simple assertion with emotion, facts playing no role in their world and critical thinking being wholly absent. Their speeches may be summed up as:
“We know the risks of shale gas, they completely outweigh any benefits. We know we’ve got volumes of science on our side.”
Words like “likely” and “probably” are now the harbingers of truth to these activists and they wrap it all up in friendly folksy people who you’d let buy your baby an ice cream. Forget about the trap of trying to counter their points item by item.
It’s made me wonder how these anti oil and gas (and logic) people get the air play and attention they do. The only thing I can figure is that it’s much more exciting for MSM to hear “We are killing the planet!” If you repeat something enough, it will become true in the anti world (anti oil and gas anyway).
Reasonable people concede there are positives and negatives to everything. As with any industry, there can be accidents and human error. And yes, renewables are industrial also. Renewables are not without their dirty side.
People who love renewables, who go into spasms of delight extolling their virtues, ignore the obvious: mining and manufacturing are part of the process there as well. Maybe they think renewables grow on trees or in organic gardens; but they make claims without substance. They accuse supporters of fossil fuels of crimes against humanity and nature. They say things like this:
What about being morally and ethically bound to care about our fellow man? The pro-renewable crowd, which is rabidly against fossil fuels, may not have stopped long enough to understand the implications for people, the people for who it claims it’ll be saving the earth. Forget about the history of mankind, forget about the progress easy access to energy has afforded us. Forget that progress is never stagnant and as I write this people are inventing new technologies that will make even the “dirtiest” of fuels like coal, clean. Why does the green crowd want life to become so hard?
Most of us have knowledge of Maslow’s Hierarchy. I’m sure access to warmth is in the first tier, physiological, and most certainly in the second of safety. Why the renewables-or-bust crowd wants to plunge us into darkness is unfathomable. Either it is blind, dumb, or getting well paid to push back against common sense.
It’s time to get real and reasonable in transitioning to renewables. I don’t know anybody who enjoys life with the ease fossil fuels have allowed us who doesn’t support new technologies and independence from the “grid” when possible. I don’t understand why it has to be either/or for these anti-everything’s.
No one is going to call me immoral for enjoying life that easily accessible energy affords me.