Environmentalists fighting green energy

From decades of opposing many large-scale fossil fuel-powered electricity generating facilities, environmentalists developed the tactics, knowledge, perseverance and experience to amass a remarkable track record of success.  No doubt all those successful oppositions to fossil fuel-powered generating facilities helped pave the way for the growth of renewable energy.  All well and good.

But now, certain individuals and groups within the environmental movement are using those skills developed from decades of opposing the large-scale fossil fuel-powered facilities to force the delay, down-sizing or outright cancellation of some large-scale solar and wind energy projects.  The reason for the opposition is those proposed large-scale solar energy and wind energy projects in various desert and other remote areas might inconvenience some of the critters that could be inhabiting those areas and bother other critters that might have an inclination to stroll through those areas. 

That opposition puts them at odds with the vast majority of environmentalists who correctly understand the crucial importance of the large-scale solar and wind projects to the overall energy mix, and support those projects as an environmentally clean way to generate electricity.  Pretty much every environmentalist believes global warming is the one over-arching environmental problem that must be addressed over any other problem.

Those environmentalists opposing the large-scale renewable energy projects aren’t stupid, just seriously misguided and uninformed.  They believe all of America’s non-transportation energy needs can be met through roof-top solar panel installations and residential-scale and community-scale wind turbine installations.  But they are wrong.  It can’t happen.  Not even close.  Believe me, I REALLY wish it could.  And that’s not even considering how to power the increasing number of electric cars on the roads!

But even if everyone became as energy efficient as possible and installed some type of renewable energy system at their home, it would just reduce the number and size of commercial-scale electricity generating facilities (gas, coal, nuclear, hydro, wind and solar thermal) needed to meet demand.

By stopping the large-scale wind and solar projects, what options remain to meet our energy demands?  Realistically, it leaves coal and natural gas – both of which contribute to global warming.  Good luck getting a nuclear plant built in this country for least 8 to 10 years, and the total hydro-electric power being generated in this country is actually slightly decreasing.

So where does all that leave us?  Why should you care about a green vs. green fight?

It’s because those misguided and uninformed greens opposing the large-scale solar and wind energy projects are winning.  They’re succeeding in forcing the delay and/or downsizing of the large-scale wind and solar projects.  As has been emphasized on this website before, the American people can’t passively sit back and wait for the government or big business to fix our energy problem. 

The American people must do whatever they can to reduce their energy usage to protect themselves from the inevitable price hikes and help America avert an energy disaster.  It is up to each of us to do what we can.

About the Author

Mark H. Witte is a strong proponent for energy efficiency and renewable energy, and believes individuals should have more control over how the energy for their homes is produced.