Friday, December 16, 2005

Watermelons and ANWAR

George Will tackles two topics well in a recent essay. He first addresses the no-brainer that allowing drilling in ANWAR is.

The increase in oil independence is good for the nation. While ANWAR may not be the single answer to this problem, it is a step in the right direction.

Flowing at 1 million barrels a day -- equal to 20 percent of today's domestic oil production -- ANWR oil would almost equal America's daily imports from Saudi Arabia. And it would equal the supply loss that Katrina temporarily caused, and that caused so much histrionic distress among consumers.

There is, frankly, no single act that will solve energy problems in this country. We must do multiple, positive things, and ANWAR is part of equation. And the environmental cost is negligible.

Ice roads and helicopter pads, which will melt each spring, will minimize man's footprint, which will be on a 2,000-acre plot about one-fifth the size of Washington's Dulles Airport.

ANWAR is a desolate (except to man and caribou) wasteland.

Those who have and think it is ``pristine'' must have visited during the 56 days a year when it is without sunlight. They missed the roads, stores, houses, military installations, airstrip and school. They did not miss seeing the trees in area 1002. There are no trees.

It was set aside, originally, for oil exploration. To date, that is the one thing that has not been done.

On a related topic, Will points out the true goal of most "environmentalists." They are, in actuality, displaced Marxists who found a home after the fall of the communist bloc in the environmental movement.

For some people, environmentalism is collectivism in drag. Such people use environmental causes and rhetoric not to change the political climate for the purpose of environmental improvement. Rather, for them, changing the society's politics is the end, and environmental policies are mere means to that end.

This observation is full of clear examples. Environmentalists couple their often questionable environmental concerns with an argument for more government (the right kind of government) control over scarce resources. This supports their goal of increased government intervention in society, as that end supports more collectivism, more regulation and more"equality" in outcomes. These Watermelons (green on the outside, and red on the inside) argue against foreign dependence on oil. Then they argue against using ANWAR to reduce the problem. Then they argue that coal in too dangerous. Then they argue that nuclear power is too dangerous. When their oppositions are done, they offer no solutions except wind tunnels off the coast of the Kennedy compound, which is then stopped by the leading hypocritical Watermelons of all, the Kennedies.

Watermelons oppose modernization in every form. They realize that progress comes from freedom and capitalism, not socilaism. They fight against increased quality of life and support always a step backwards -- for everyone.

Will adds this observation:

Therefore, one of the collectivists' tactics is to produce scarcities, particularly of what makes modern society modern -- the energy requisite for social dynamism and individual autonomy. Hence collectivists use environmentalism to advance a collectivizing energy policy. Focusing on one energy source at a time, they stress the environmental hazards of finding, developing, transporting, manufacturing or using oil, natural gas, coal or nuclear power.

There is no satisfying a position that seeks not to limit but to destroy. Collectivism is the process of destroying. It destroys freedom, innovation, and the spirit of the human soul. It would also destroy the economic machine that makes this country's poor overfed and with a higher quality of life than the average European.

The environment needs to be protected within our system that honors freedom, private property and innovation. The environmental movement is not the place to find that philosophy.


At 5:12 PM, Blogger cakreiz said...

Nicely done, KJ. ANWR is one of my pet peeves because the upside so outweighs the downside. As a general proposition, Watermelons dig deep to find roadblocks to US energy self-sufficiency. I've seen the 'ANWR won't solve all our energy needs' argument. It's a not-so-distant cousin of the ever-famous 'why Saddam when there are so many OTHER dictators?' argument. Ironically, if one argues that a gov't poverty program is ineffective, the same folks claim "well, as long as it helps one person, it's worth it." Argh.

At 5:45 PM, Blogger cakreiz said...

It's also interesting that the French are remarkably progressive in the area of nuclear power, while the US has become a reactionary in this area. The same folks (Melons) have been instrumental in blocking nuclear power.

At 12:55 AM, Blogger James Aach said...

Actually, I don't think ANWR is worth the trouble. But then, I was raised by caribou.

Those keeping an eye on energy issues may wish to check out a new techno-thriller novel about the American nuclear power industry, written by a longtime nuclear engineer (me), and available at no cost on the web. This book provides an entertaining and accurate portrait of the nuclear industry today and how a nuclear accident would be handled. It is called “Rad Decision”, and is at

At 1:45 PM, Blogger tee bee said...

That's the craftiest spam-masquerading-as-a-post I have yet to see. Kudos, james.

Nukes would be good, particularly if we could get hydrogen fuel cells powering cars and generators - use the nukes to electrolyze the hydrogen needed (I think that's the correct term for the process). Scientific American has a current article, "Smarter Use of Nuclear Waste," and Scientific American Frontiers had a great program from Feb. 05, "Hydrogen Hopes."

HUD should not be allowed to build a thing that doesn't take into account alternative energies that pay for themselves, like the virtually indestructable solar panels created by the Ovshinskys, highlighted in the hydrogen program. Then again, HUD shouldn't be allowed to build a thing. But I digress.

The bottom line is that reliance on any one source is problematic because it creates complacency that ensures continued dependence as well as the problems of limited resources and massive dependence on a shared grid (think New York blackouts)

At 9:49 AM, Blogger cakreiz said...

Well, I'm not always right. Here's an ANWR-related post (Wed., 12/21) on a libertarian blog, that attempts to evaluate the pros and cons of ANWR drilling., entitled "ANWR's 2000 acre lie". It's worth reading and considering. It's caused some reevaluation on my end.


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