Sunday, July 02, 2006

Maybe all the farming scams can be devoted to solar power

It's not Pollyannaish to be hopeful about new energy tech, but don't be surprised if the environmentalists don't turn out to be all that enthusiastic. Their real goal isn't sustainable energy, or clean energy, so much as no fewer people. They'll object to using surface to generate solar power as much as they do to urban sprawl. The more clean energy, the more cars and the more people.

And don't forget, their business is fundraising, which tends to fall off once the perceived problem gets solved. Fear and panic drive fundraising far more than achievement of goals. As pollution continues to decline, expect demands for more wilderness and ever shriller claims that we're destroying the earth. The truth is that they just don't want to share it with people they don't like.

Technology will continue to advance, giving people more leisure and wealth, which translates into more ATVs, PWCs, boats, snowmobiles, motorcycles, and recreation gear, and more pressure on public lands. The best and most scenic of these are increasingly being closed to mechanical conveyances, the better to protect the "wilderness experience" of the environmentally pure. Of course, one of the lesser understood parts of the wilderness experience is solitude, which has never been adequately defined. The problem with most environmental standards is that they are either subjective or arbitrary.

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