For all their hysterical pretensions, the crazed environmentalists do not love our world: if they did, they would not so officiously and rudely refer to it as the planet. These people are no friends of the earth. They are attention-seeking narcissists who are not dying from anything in their apocalyptic catalogue of environmental poisons. They are terminally-ill nonetheless: dying of sentimentality.

When it comes to sweet reasonableness, they are conspicuously lacking and many of the substances and processes they so disdain are in fact beneficial; likewise, many of their preferred alternatives are actually very injurious. Their loudly-trumpeted alternative sources of energy – the so-called renewables – are unreliable, uneconomical and very unfriendly to the environment they are alleged to protect. These intermittent power generators require back-up from the despised conventional sources. For instance, earlier this year in South Australia and Victoria, heat-waves caused widespread blackouts. The enormous, and enormously costly, back-up battery sold by Elon Musk to the gullible Labor government failed after only a few hours and so expensive diesel generators had to be fired up in order to keep the lights on.

Wind farms are the great favourite of the environmentalist flat-earthers, but these have been shown to have serious human health concerns. In 2013, a Canadian newspaper reported: “People who live or work near wind turbines suffer decreased quality of life, annoyance, stress, sleep-disturbance, headache, anxiety, depression and cognitive dysfunction.”  And they also have annihilating effect on bird life. The Heartland Institute estimates that around 328,000 birds are killed every year in the USA by wind farms. But far worse, at least four million bats have been slaughtered by wind turbines since 2012. This is a catastrophe, because bats are our first line of defence in keeping the mosquito and other crop-damaging insects in check.

And then the mining of the rare earths used in the manufacture of these turbines has caused huge pollution problems for many countries, but especially in China. The Daily Mail Online recently reported: “Hidden out of sight behind smoke-shrouded factory complexes in the city of Baotou, and patrolled by platoons of security guards, lies a five-miles wide tailing lake. It has killed farm animals for miles around, made many thousands of people extremely ill and put one of China’s key waterways in jeopardy. This vast, hissing cauldron of chemicals is the dumping ground for seven million tons every year of mined rare earth after it has been doused in acid and chemicals and processed through red-hot furnaces to extract its components.”

Time Magazine’s renowned “Green Hero” Michael Shellenberger, for a long time an influential advocate of wind and solar energy, now teaches the virtues of nuclear power as a cheaper and more reliable alternative: “It turns out that scientists have studied the health and safety of different energy sources since the 1960s. Every major study, including the recent one by the British medical journal The Lancet, finds the same thing: nuclear power is the safest way to make reliable electricity.”

Our great panic of the moment is of course the fires in the Amazon rainforest. Many of the comments in the newspapers and on TV have announced, “Apocalypse soon!” In fact, as Matt Ridley, reported in The Spectator: “The Amazon rainforest is not on fire. The fires are actually on farmland or already cleared areas. And the claim that the Amazon forest produces 20% of the world’s oxygen is either nonsensical or wrong.”

Besides, the number of fires this year is less than it was in most years of the 21st century. NASA has recently produced statistics to show that both wild fires and deforestation are on the decline, saying, “The net loss of forest continues to slow.” While last year’s study in Nature by scientists from the University of Maryland concluded: “Contrary to the prevailing view that forest area has declined globally, tree cover has in fact increased by 2.24 million square kilometres – up 7.1% from 1982.” Costa Rica, for example, has doubled its tree cover over the last forty years.

Of course, persuading people to use fossil fuels spares trees. Matt Ridley, in commenting on some of the destructive superstitions and follies of the worldwide Green lobby, writes: “700,000 hectares of forest was felled in South-east Asia to grow palm oil and so the world is currently feeding 5% of its grain crop to motor cars rather than to people.”

So we are left asking who put the “mental” in “environmental?” […]

Author: Peter Mullen

First published in The Salisbury Review: https://www.salisburyreview.com/blog/who-put-the-mental-in-environmental/

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