A practical way to help the environment
President Biden's American Jobs Plan includes spending $15 billion to build a national network of 500,000 charging stations for electric cars in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
What if someone from the left were to make a convincing case that electric cars would not help the environment? What if he showed that solar and wind power would not help either and that spending enormous amounts of money on these alternative forms of energy could bring about hyperinflation? Would the environmentalists stop pushing for these alternative energy sources? Of course not. Michael Moore, who is as left-wing as left can be, made an excellent movie showing this to be the case. The left turned against him.
Ironically, there is a way to both protect the environment and help the economy.
Michael Moore's movie has a section in which General Motors introduces the Chevy Volt. Everything about the car sounds wonderful until the narrator asks Kristin Zimmerman where the power is going to come from to power the Chevy Volt. She answers, "The electric company." When asked where the electric company is getting its power, she says coal. When asked how soon it would be 'til alternative forms of energy can power those cars, she admits, not for a very long time. In addition, Moore's movie demonstrates that making batteries for those cars involves strip-mining, toxic chemical leaching, and massive water consumption.
As for solar power, solar panels are hard to recycle, which is why they wind up in landfills, where lead and carcinogenic cadmium leach out of them when it rains. They require coal to manufacture. Solar mirror farms kill birds and require gas to start up.
Wind turbines also kill birds and occupy vast expanses of land that should be left to nature. The magnets in wind turbine generators are made from neodymium and dysprosium, rare earth minerals mined almost exclusively in China, which controls 95 percent of the world's supply of rare earth minerals. The processing of these minerals has covered whole tracts of China with fields of toxic waste and giant toxic lakes. Rare earth minerals for batteries are also mined in the United States. One byproduct is radioactive waste.
Environmentalists are excited about biomass. The idea is that the carbon dioxide released into the air will be reabsorbed when the biomass grows again. Moore's movie shows that biomass energy-producing facilities are rapidly burning ever more trees that will take many years to regrow. In addition, wood-burning produces a lot of smoke and pollution.
Besides poisoning the environment, these technologies are very expensive. Environmentalists are in denial because they can't think of a better plan, but the solution is staring us all in the face. It should have become clear to everyone during the pandemic when people stopped commuting and worked from home. The result was drastically lower consumption of energy.
We are very fortunate to live in the internet age when the majority of us can work from home. An enormous amount of energy would be saved if the majority of commuters no longer had to drive to and from work. More energy could be saved if our cities' office buildings did not have to be heated and cooled because people worked from home. Even more energy would be saved if fewer cars and trains and buses would have to be manufactured to transport millions of people to work every day. A study has shown that people are more productive when they work remotely.
A basic rule of thumb when it comes to economics is, the less money is wasted, the stronger the economy. The Biden administration pushes the misconception that wasting trillions on green energy and car charging stations will create jobs and be good for the economy. His administration can create jobs by spending money, but it can't prevent the loss of jobs when the money inflates or is taxed away from companies that otherwise would have hired people to do useful work. Millions of people working from home would substantially reduce wasteful spending on unnecessary commuting costs.
In addition to helping the environment and the economy, working from home would improve the quality of life of millions of people. People could stay home with their children and have precious family time before their children grow up. People would not have to spend that precious time stuck in tiring and frustrating traffic jams on the way to work.
Many people have come to realize this during the pandemic. Many would consider quitting their jobs if their jobs won't allow them to work remotely, and some are. The Biden administration should not waste trillions of dollars on a quixotic drive for toxic wind turbines and solar panels to combat overblown global warming alarmism. Instead, his administration should encourage remote work, a practical approach that will really help the environment, enrich our economy and enrich our lives.
Image via Peakpx.
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