Environmentalists Against Solar Energy?

Posted in the Grand Rapids Forum

Since: Jun 09

GR

#1 Jan 22, 2011
http://cleantechbiz.blogspot.com/2009/03/envi...

[What they have here is a case of environmental regulations holding up environmental progress. I don't know whether this is ironic or absurd. But, I mean, if we cannot put solar power plants in the Mojave desert, I don't know where the hell we can put it.(Applause)]

Seems environmentalists are less interested in developing alternative forms of renewable energy than they are in crushing wealth-developing capitalism. What else can explain the enviro-protests of what seems to be a logical step in giving solar energy a chance to succeed?

We can't "Drill Baby Drill".
We can't install wind turbines.
We can't build nuclear plants.
We can't mine for coal.
And now we can't place solar energy panels in the Mojave desert.

Time to start using the heads of the enviro-weinies as drill bits!

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Bob

Reed City, MI

#2 Jan 22, 2011
Other than the fact that this is old news, it also isn't the first time that various groups within the environmental community have found conflicts in their missions. None of these groups are against seeing this country become more independent from having to burn fossil fuels to generate electricity. It's just that many of these alternative forms of creating it have other consequences that could cause harm to the environmental resources our country has.

In this case, a group called the Wildlands Conservancy raises the issue of the impact that these solar farms would have on any number of scarce or endangered desert animals and plant life. There is also a concern about the amount of water, which is already scarce there, that is needed for such a project. The group wasn't completely opposed to the idea of such solar farms, just in their location. They even suggested other areas of this vast desert where this operation wouldn't have the same negative impact.

Here in Michigan, the idea of a large wind farm placed off shore in Lake Michigan caused more ruckus with water front property owners than with environmental groups. The same groups that don't really care to see these large homes built on this area's sand dunes. There is also several groups that want to see the removal of all hydro-electric dams on our rivers. The loudest group that is protesting this very clean source of electricity are fishermen who complain that trout and salmon can't swim up the entire length of our rivers. King Salmon are no more native to these rivers than the dams, so to me this argument rings hollow as it is more about the fisherman than the health of the environment.

I don't think of local governments as being part of the environmental movement either. How many communities that already have prohibitions against a satellite dish on your roof or an outside wood stove in your back yard are going to be willing to see those same roofs or yards covered with solar panels or a residential wind generator?

Regardless of what source we get our electricity from, the biggest change we can make is by reducing the need for all of the power we consume. A month ago, we were all given the chance to witness the annual spinning of the electric meters with homes brightly lit up for the holidays. The news has already reported that 2010 was the 4th warmest on record for this area, and I'm sure that more than a fair share of homes had air conditioners running a lot more than normal. The cost of installing new E-Glass windows in my home a two years ago was not only relatively inexpensive, but saved me quite a bit in cooling costs. How many homes though are still slogging along with old windows that do nothing but magnify the sun's power?

I don't see any use in getting into the other side of the coin, other than to ask that if it wasn't for these environmental groups, what would our country look like if the wealth developing capitalists had continued the practices of the good old days?

Since: Jun 09

GR

#3 Jan 22, 2011
Bob wrote:
I don't see any use in getting into the other side of the coin, other than to ask that if it wasn't for these environmental groups, what would our country look like if the wealth developing capitalists had continued the practices of the good old days?
One will never know, Bob. Let's try to stay within the realm of reality here and leave "what ifs" for predicting the outcome of basketball games. Just because this didn't happen five minutes ago doesn't make it a worthless point to bring up now. Anyone still whining about W's presidency should understand that concept!:)
Of course these so-called environmentalists have alternative suggestions. That seems to be the modus operandi of the modern-day environmentalist. Do whatever it takes to slow down the process of America's energy independence. Be it stopping construction for years by demanding environmental studies be performed, submitting lawsuits that are sure to be tied up in litigation for decades, or citing the potential danger to wildlife and resources. All succeed in stopping the process of developing alternative energy sources in this country.

Case in point, The Northern Spotted Owl debacle:
http://www.canadafreepress.com/2007/deweese06...

[As a result of the hysteria to save the "endangered" owls, U.S. timber sales were reduced by 80-90%, forcing saw mills to close, loggers to go broke and whole towns which depended on the industry to literally disappear.]
Funny thing is, the little owls turned up thriving in Target Signs, The Golden Arches and under bridge overpasses!
But this is old news too, Bob, so we should just forget about it.
Bob

Reed City, MI

#4 Jan 22, 2011
_Dingo wrote:
<quoted text>
One will never know, Bob. Let's try to stay within the realm of reality here and leave "what ifs" for predicting the outcome of basketball games. Just because this didn't happen five minutes ago doesn't make it a worthless point to bring up now. Anyone still whining about W's presidency should understand that concept!:)
Of course these so-called environmentalists have alternative suggestions. That seems to be the modus operandi of the modern-day environmentalist. Do whatever it takes to slow down the process of America's energy independence. Be it stopping construction for years by demanding environmental studies be performed, submitting lawsuits that are sure to be tied up in litigation for decades, or citing the potential danger to wildlife and resources. All succeed in stopping the process of developing alternative energy sources in this country.
Case in point, The Northern Spotted Owl debacle:
http://www.canadafreepress.com/2007/deweese06...
[As a result of the hysteria to save the "endangered" owls, U.S. timber sales were reduced by 80-90%, forcing saw mills to close, loggers to go broke and whole towns which depended on the industry to literally disappear.]
Funny thing is, the little owls turned up thriving in Target Signs, The Golden Arches and under bridge overpasses!
But this is old news too, Bob, so we should just forget about it.
If all your irrefutable facts are going to come from blog pages and opinion pieces, we might as well forget about it.

U.S. timber sales dropped 80-90%?

Do you really want to stick with those numbers? Would you like to stop and think about this?

Do you really think that anyone is going to believe that 80-90% of all the timber sales in this country comes from just one 200 million acre national park?

For someone who constantly wants only the real facts given in an argument, this quote that you fell for is beyond lame. Are you just having a bad day, and didn't want to think about what you posted?

It starts to make me think that this first source of yours doesn't quite cut the mustard either. Maybe that holds true for almost any argument you've made here before.

Since: Jun 09

GR

#5 Jan 22, 2011
Bob wrote:
<quoted text>
If all your irrefutable facts are going to come from blog pages and opinion pieces, we might as well forget about it.
U.S. timber sales dropped 80-90%?
Do you really want to stick with those numbers? Would you like to stop and think about this?
Do you really think that anyone is going to believe that 80-90% of all the timber sales in this country comes from just one 200 million acre national park?
For someone who constantly wants only the real facts given in an argument, this quote that you fell for is beyond lame. Are you just having a bad day, and didn't want to think about what you posted?
It starts to make me think that this first source of yours doesn't quite cut the mustard either. Maybe that holds true for almost any argument you've made here before.
When you can supply actual facts to the contrary as opposed to your "feelings" then we might be able to have a reasonable debate. Seems however, in absence of said facts, you've chosen your typical approach of slander the source, insult the author of the thread and interject your usual opinion-based "reality" of how you deem things to be.

On the contrary to your questioning the arguments I've made in the past, the predictable attack the messenger responses we continue to see from liberals when debating these kinds of subjects only serves to strengthen the arguments I've made in the past.

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Bob

Reed City, MI

#6 Jan 22, 2011
_Dingo wrote:
<quoted text>
When you can supply actual facts to the contrary as opposed to your "feelings" then we might be able to have a reasonable debate. Seems however, in absence of said facts, you've chosen your typical approach of slander the source, insult the author of the thread and interject your usual opinion-based "reality" of how you deem things to be.
On the contrary to your questioning the arguments I've made in the past, the predictable attack the messenger responses we continue to see from liberals when debating these kinds of subjects only serves to strengthen the arguments I've made in the past.
This is only a small portion of one of the reports I used. Maybe you could use sources like this for your source for facts.

"Until recently, the West had been the largest lumber producing region in the United States. In 1966 for example, more than half (55%) of all lumber produced in the United States came from the West. Much of this production came from old-growth timber on Federally owned lands in the Pacific Coast (Washington, Oregon, and California). During the next 25 years, the proportion of lumber coming from the West slowly fell to just under half, due to declining levels of timber from public lands, and increasing levels of production in the South. Then in the late 1980s and early 1990s, large areas of Federally owned land in the West were removed from harvest. This removal further exacerbated the situation. In 1990, the South became the Nation's largest lumber producing region, accounting for 35% of all softwood lumber and 80% of all hardwoods. Since 1990, softwood lumber production in the South has increased and that in the West has decreased. Currently, both regions produce nearly equal amounts of softwood lumber."

http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplrp/fplrp...

If you notice, the Pacific NW only accounted for 55% of all lumber production in the best of times. Any ridiculous claim that US production dropped by the percentages your source is giving are just plain false.
Bob

Reed City, MI

#7 Jan 22, 2011
Here's an excerpt from a great report that the associated press put out on the matter:

Federal lawsuits won by environmentalists in the early 1990s and President Clinton's 1994 forest plan reduced federal logging in the region by about 80 percent. Industry officials and politicians predicted the region would lose up to 150,000 jobs.

That never materialized, according to the report, which was funded by the Sierra Club of British Columbia and the Earthlife Canada Foundation.

Wood products employment fell by more than 27,000 jobs between 1979 and 1989, before the big logging cutbacks, and then dropped by another 21,000 jobs by 1996 as federal timber harvests declined.

But the report says only about 9,300 of those lost jobs were due to old growth forest protection; market conditions were to blame for the rest.

Meanwhile, the region has added tens of thousands of jobs every year. Since 1994, the annual increase in jobs in the Pacific Northwest has
exceeded the total number of timber industry jobs, according to the report.

"Cast your mind back. The prediction was that Oregon would descend into becoming timber Appalachia. That was fantastically wrong; it
wasn't even close," said David Bayles,conservation director for the Pacific Rivers Council in Eugene.

http://forests.org/archived_site/today/recent...
Bob

Reed City, MI

#8 Jan 22, 2011
_Dingo wrote:
<quoted text>
When you can supply actual facts to the contrary as opposed to your "feelings" then we might be able to have a reasonable debate. Seems however, in absence of said facts, you've chosen your typical approach of slander the source, insult the author of the thread and interject your usual opinion-based "reality" of how you deem things to be.
On the contrary to your questioning the arguments I've made in the past, the predictable attack the messenger responses we continue to see from liberals when debating these kinds of subjects only serves to strengthen the arguments I've made in the past.
Well there's your facts. And if you'll notice they are from credible sources and are not blogs or opinion pieces.

Also, if you really want to stamp out insults, maybe you should refer to your very first post about enviro-weenies. You must be awfully special to not have to live by the same standards you want to force on everyone else....... But what more could we expect.
Sassy

Wixom, MI

#9 Jan 22, 2011
See Bob, this is what the right does on these forums. They post blogs and misconceptions, yet should anyone on the left post a blog, well you know what happens. They want facts, you gave them facts to prove them wrong, yet what do they do? Nothing. Fear monger attacks again.
Bob wrote:
<quoted text>
Well there's your facts. And if you'll notice they are from credible sources and are not blogs or opinion pieces.
Also, if you really want to stamp out insults, maybe you should refer to your very first post about enviro-weenies. You must be awfully special to not have to live by the same standards you want to force on everyone else....... But what more could we expect.
Bob

Reed City, MI

#10 Jan 23, 2011
Sassy wrote:
See Bob, this is what the right does on these forums. They post blogs and misconceptions, yet should anyone on the left post a blog, well you know what happens. They want facts, you gave them facts to prove them wrong, yet what do they do? Nothing. Fear monger attacks again.
<quoted text>
I'm sure that researching real sources is something new to Dingo, so I am willing to wait for him to provide real proof that his 80-90% production drop is correct.

Of course I figure this thread will now be ignored or that the next comeback will revert to the tired old tactic of attack the messenger. The same thing I always get hammered with seems to be okay when it comes from their side of the fence.

Since: Jun 09

GR

#11 Jan 23, 2011
Bob wrote:
<quoted text>
Well there's your facts. And if you'll notice they are from credible sources and are not blogs or opinion pieces.
Also, if you really want to stamp out insults, maybe you should refer to your very first post about enviro-weenies. You must be awfully special to not have to live by the same standards you want to force on everyone else....... But what more could we expect.
The Sierra Club is hardly an impartial source:
http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/Articles/S...
and I'd submit the Associated Press isn't much better.

[The results of the Spotted Owl campaign: from 1988 to 1993 timber harvest in the Northwest fell by 80 percent. The Mexican spotted owl in New Mexico and Colorado came next, and President Bill Clinton quickly deemed 4.6 million acres of forest “critical habitat.” Thus, over three thousand timber-related jobs were lost](Wall Street Journal, October 2005).
In addition to that, the fauna and flora of these wilderness areas were devastated by forest fires that raged because of the lack of logging. There was also, of course, the millions and millions of dollars in human property loss because of these forest fires.

Do you consider the Wall Street Journal a reputable source? If you don't you'd be in the minority.

In the end, the Spotted Owl the enviro-weenies claimed would become extinct if the timber industry didn't halt production in that region were later found surviving and multiplying quite effectively under bridge overpasses and commercial signage. And that is the point of this thread, not quibbling over statistics.

Try focusing your research on the gist of the matter - environmentalists blocking the development of America's energy independence.
Bob

Reed City, MI

#12 Jan 23, 2011
To begin with, if you had bothered to read my post which was #7 here, you would see that I already showed that federal logging was reduced in the region by 80%. This is a far cry from your source's doom and gloom view, that US production fell by that amount. Of course you can argue that the statement was simply out of context or whatever, but that is one of the problems with claiming facts from sources that cannot express themselves correctly. Even your latest contention, that timber production dropped by 80% is misleading in that it was simply old growth forests that were on federal lands where this production dropped. Your report makes it sound like all timber production dropped which is wrong, in as much as it doesn't take into consideration lumbering on private lands or federal lands that were not part of the old growth forest.

The Wall Street Journal could be considered a reliable source if not for the fact that it had a horse in this specific race. You may or may not realize that this whole spotted owl thing came about when a large venture capitalist company bought the rights to harvest this old growth timber. This company had dealings on Wall Street, so I can surmise that it's reports would give a gloomier picture of the economic impact of this issue than the three local economists that were quoted in my source's report. Yet my sources reported over three times the number of forestry jobs lost.

However you want to pronounce the name of the venerable spud, the bottom line in that the region has survived the economic impact that was feared by many. As a matter of fact it did so without nearly the negative impact some of your sources were trying to spread. Your argument that the spotted owls were doing fine outside of its native habitat rings hollow in my book. While they may have played a major role in the protection of these forests, there are many other things flourishing in those same forests that were saved as well.

Call them names if you would like, but the environmentalist's historical efforts have saved this country from turning into a large clear-cut cesspool that this nation's capitalist crowd was taking us towards.

So you want to discuss our need for energy independence? Then you should understand that without the environmentalists, this drive towards more and more power would come at the cost of a loss of untold natural resources. Imgaine Yellowstone Nat'l Park being turned into one vast geothermal power plant. A better source of renewable energy than solar power, that needs to remain untouched.

Since: Jun 09

GR

#13 Jan 23, 2011
Bob wrote:
To begin with, if you had bothered to read my post which was #7 here, you would see that I already showed that federal logging was reduced in the region by 80%. This is a far cry from your source's doom and gloom view, that US production fell by that amount. Of course you can argue that the statement was simply out of context or whatever, but that is one of the problems with claiming facts from sources that cannot express themselves correctly. Even your latest contention, that timber production dropped by 80% is misleading in that it was simply old growth forests that were on federal lands where this production dropped. Your report makes it sound like all timber production dropped which is wrong, in as much as it doesn't take into consideration lumbering on private lands or federal lands that were not part of the old growth forest.
The Wall Street Journal could be considered a reliable source if not for the fact that it had a horse in this specific race. You may or may not realize that this whole spotted owl thing came about when a large venture capitalist company bought the rights to harvest this old growth timber. This company had dealings on Wall Street, so I can surmise that it's reports would give a gloomier picture of the economic impact of this issue than the three local economists that were quoted in my source's report. Yet my sources reported over three times the number of forestry jobs lost.
However you want to pronounce the name of the venerable spud, the bottom line in that the region has survived the economic impact that was feared by many. As a matter of fact it did so without nearly the negative impact some of your sources were trying to spread. Your argument that the spotted owls were doing fine outside of its native habitat rings hollow in my book. While they may have played a major role in the protection of these forests, there are many other things flourishing in those same forests that were saved as well.
Call them names if you would like, but the environmentalist's historical efforts have saved this country from turning into a large clear-cut cesspool that this nation's capitalist crowd was taking us towards.
So you want to discuss our need for energy independence? Then you should understand that without the environmentalists, this drive towards more and more power would come at the cost of a loss of untold natural resources. Imgaine Yellowstone Nat'l Park being turned into one vast geothermal power plant. A better source of renewable energy than solar power, that needs to remain untouched.
I've been active in environmental and animal protection organizations for years, Bob. I hardly need lectured from you on the importance of environmental consciousness. Unfortunately, like many important issues, such as racial and gender equality, the enviro-cause has been hijacked to a degree by people with larger political agendas than that which they claim to care about. This is the point of the thread - the recent outcry from environmentalists regarding the construction of solar energy facilities in the remote desert is a prime example.

The common-sense question is this, if these oh-so concerned environmentalists really WERE trying to stifle America's development of energy independency sources, what would they be doing differently? After all, it seems no matter what we do to placate them the lawsuits and protests continue.

I submit to you, imagine America if environmentalists obstructed the building of our founding cities, our freeways, our industrial complexes that have forged the wealth that has allowed America to grow as a nation.

I fully support the efforts of environmentalists when their mission is truly to protect the environment in a responsible way. But when a decent cause is taken over by politically-motivated activists, in this case enviro-weenies, I feel obligated to call them on it.

“Don't touch my junk man!”

Since: Nov 07

Middle of the Mitten, Michigan

#14 Jan 24, 2011
Any sort of change is going to cause some amount of discomfort. So in this case, a change in the way we produce our energy is going to cause a pinch.

We need to prioritize and use common sense. Many times we allow our emotions to lead the way, forgetting any sort of logic.

We all know we need to look at ALL forms of alternative energy. At the same time though we need to be aware that there are consequences to any action. It's just a matter of whether or not the risk is worth the reward.

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