By Alan Caruba
There is always a point in time when reality steps up to remind everyone that bad ideas come with a price to pay. The long history of environmental bad ideas are now beginning to cause food riots around the world with its campaign for biofuels and against the energy that powers great economies and feeds the world.
On May 14, Earthworks, one of the many environmental organizations zealously trying to leave America and the rest of the world cold and hungry released the text of a letter its attorney, Bruce Baizel, wrote to Red Cavaney, the president of the American Petroleum Institute.
It called upon API to “stop its multi-million dollar, multi-year self-promotion campaign aimed at polishing its image during a time of record high energy prices.” Earthworks told API it should take the money devoted to its PR campaign and invest it in “clean energy alternatives.”
The alternatives are solar and wind energy, industries that exist primarily because of the subsidies granted to it in the form of a hidden tax paid by everyone who is dependent on coal, natural gas, and oil. Take away the subsidies and these alternative forms of energy would fade away, as much for their inability to significantly contribute to the nation’s energy needs, as for the way they requires vast tracks of land to exist. Together, they represent barely one percent of our current energy needs.
Earthworks is about to initiate its own “No Dirty Energy” campaign “to alert the public to the climate, ecosystem and community risks associated with mining and burning the world’s dirtiest fuel sources…”
Labeling coal and oil “dirty” is pure PR and ignores the fact that coal, a cheap and abundant energy sources, provides just over fifty percent of America’s electricity, an energy without which the entire nation would cease to function. It ignores the way the Green’s campaign against oil has for four decades thwarted the right of American’s to access and use its national oil and natural gas reserves yet to be found and extracted from 85% of our coastlines or the well-known fact that billions of barrels of oil remain untapped in ANWR.
Take away these energy sources and you cripple that nation’s agricultural community that requires power to till the land, fertilizers to insure greater crop yield, the ability to feed the livestock to feed a nation, and the means to deliver food from the field to the table.
Even the global warming-obsessed New York Times has recently editorialized in favor of ending subsidies to the ethanol industry, but the real answer is to end the massive biofuel—ethanol—industry that is entirely the creation of a Congress that is just beginning to realize that its massive mandates for this fuel additive is partially to blame for the imbalance in the worldwide agricultural marketplace, affecting grains other than corn.
The American Petroleum Institute is engaged in a costly campaign to educate the public to the role that oil plays in the maintenance of the nation’s economy. The vast majority of the oil in the world is controlled by nations, many of whom would love to see America fail so that they could expand their control over captive populations in Africa, Asia, Russia, and elsewhere.
Only the United States and a few Western, industrialized nations stand against the expansion of communism and militant Islam. Europe is almost entirely dependent on the importation of oil and natural gas. The United States has restricted access to its own reserves of these energy sources. We spend billions of dollars to insure that the sea lanes that deliver these resources to ourselves and the rest of the world remain open. We have invested blood and treasure to liberate Iraq, a nation that sits atop one of the world’s great reserves of oil. We protect Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states from the hegemonic ambitions of Iran.
But Earthworks wants API to be silent about these harsh realities while nations like Venezuela and Russia literally steal the assets and abrogate agreements with the handful of investor-owned oil companies that are capable of exploring and discovering these vital sources of energy.
The Greens who want to reduce the Earth’s population and its consumption of food and energy are silent about the anticipated increase in worldwide population to an estimated eight billion, up from today’s 6.4 billion, by 2050. We will need twice as much food and feed to avoid massive famines that will make today’s food riots seem tame by then. Instead, they insist on turning corn, soy, and other food crops into ethanol. They insist on “clean” energy sources that are totally inadequate to meet our present and future needs.
If we permit Earthworks and the other environmental organizations to succeed, we will be—as we already are—their victims, guaranteed to suffer famines and the loss of the energy we need to be the beacon of freedom to the world.