River clean-up campaign removes 280,000 pounds of trash… thanks to diesel machinery

Which way Western greenie? Campaigns of environmental restoration and conservation that require heavy machinery to get the job done, or the “green” agenda propelling the destruction of the petroleum industry for the sake of saving face against those obnoxious “told ya so” conservatives? (Given what I know about their “character” and “intellect” I suspect the latter.)

A non-profit organization based in the Netherlands and known as The Ocean Cleanup (TOC) is on a mission to “rid the oceans of plastic” and naturally, that means cleanup campaigns also target bodies of water that flow into the oceans; a few weeks ago, TOC shared a pretty incredible time-lapse video of their efforts on X, which you can watch below:

280,000 pounds of trash and plastic debris removed from the planet’s waterways… largely thanks to the power of diesel machinery. From an excavator and into the back of a big truck, diesel fuel powered this massive and successful cleanup. Now without being able to offer really any intelligent analysis on heavy machinery and what it takes to run these things, I am capable of conducting a simple internet search to look up “excavator fuel consumption”—I found that it only takes between 4 and 5 gallons of diesel to run a machine like this each hour.

Now, take a look at this figure, from the Manhattan Institute:

[A] single electric car battery weighing 1,000 pounds requires extracting and processing some 500,000 pounds of materials.

Obviously the “materials” is earth, which is moved by heavy equipment during the mining process for the minerals needed in the battery—and remember, the excavator “extracting” and “processing” the plastic trash only moved 280,000 pounds. Ergo, we can assume that diesel-powered machinery is roughly in use for almost double the time to procure the materials needed for a single E.V. battery, than it is to run a huge river cleanup project. Considering the magnitude of the impact of a drastically cleaner tributary, it seems like a more worthwhile use of diesel fuel than moving 250 tons of dirt just to make one E.V. car battery, and if the greenies want to cut back on “emissions” it seems like eliminating the juice-isn’t-worth-the-squeeze mining process for rechargeable car batteries is the best place to start.

I can already anticipate some greenie saying to me (if they were actually clever enough to make the connection), “well, if it weren’t for the petroleum industry, there wouldn’t be plastic pollution!” Yes that’s true, but plastic already exists and people use it, and if the greenies really want to see a change to a less toxic environment (like I do), I’d appeal to them to stop shoring up crony capitalism and government intervention in the free market with their votes and their apathy, since that is the root of all kinds of plastic evil.

What’s funny though, is the inconvenient realities don’t stop with the necessity of diesel fuel to run real projects of environmental restoration. I also see a floating barricade, a technology which required ingenuity, and a dedicated team of workers—someone had to take the initiative and get up and go to work to run that excavator and drive that truck. These are values born out of a Judeo-Christian culture as it encourages resilience, tenacity, individual responsibility, entrepreneurialism, good stewardship, etc. 

The “greenies” have a dilemma: environmentalism with an observed and positive impact which is what they claim to want, or keep on promoting leftist “climate alarmism” for the sake of saving face and some pseudo-virtue points?

Image from X.

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