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"Green" Energy is Dirty

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JL4fluj004o

This video is about the pollution problems of rare earth mineral mining. Watch it first.

Neodymium is used for strong magnets which are used in wind turbines and hybrid cars.

All large-scale energy production is dirty by "green" standards. That means there's something wrong with their standards.

Pollution is sometimes and overblown problem, but sometimes a legitimate problem. The damage in China is important.

But whatever one's standards for what sort of pollution he wants to put up with, keep in mind:

1) Your standards better be compatible with human propserity. If you reject all industrial-scale energy that's going to kill billions and do way more harm than you were trying to prevent.

2) Freedom. Just because you think something should be different doesn't make authoritarianism OK.

Environmentalists look the other way for the problems with some types of energy (wind, hybrid cars), and exaggerate the problems for other types of energy (nuclear, fossil fuels).

Why did they pick that way? If it had to do with CO2 they would like nuclear a lot more. If it had to do with toxic materials, mining and processing, they'd like wind less.

They call wind "renewable". But why? The wind may blow for a billion years, but harnessing it depends on the supply of neodynium. To keep harnessing it beyond that would require new technology. But if you assume new technology will be invented as necessary to make stuff work, then any sort of energy production could work indefinitely.

If you're an environmentalist who none of these criticisms applies to, then I have a different question for you. Where are you statements distancing yourself from the bad environmentalists? Have you criticized and rejected them, and made clear the differences?

Elliot Temple on June 3, 2013

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