There are four basic questions we need to ask to evaluate any 'solution' proposed to address climate change:Yet, about 6 minutes into a news report on the Australian Senate inquiry into health effects of wind farms, a spokesman for Friends of the Earth joins his voice with that of the industrialists to dismiss health concerns in the name of jobs, investment, and industry.
A solution is viable only if we can answer 'yes' to all these questions.
- Does it result in a net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the timeframe required?
- Is it equitable on a global level? (We should all be concerned about schemes that say it's okay for people in the industrialised world to keep consuming as usual.)
- Does it avoid social or environmental risks for this or future generations?
Similarly many "environmentalists" in the U.S. join the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in decrying regulations that slow the march of wind development for such concerns as wildlife, the environment, and human health, again primarily citing investment and jobs.
It has been a while since major environmental groups actually put the interests of the environment ahead of those of industry, so this should not be a surprise. It stands instead as yet more proof of their hypocrisy.
Apparently, this place that has never had much use to the larger world beyond that of hosting a new prison or a solid-waste dump turns out to be an ideal location for an industrial "wind farm," ideal mostly because the people are too few and too poor to offer much in the way of resistance. So far only one of the towns affected has "volunteered" — in much the same way and for most of the same reasons as our children volunteer for service in Iraq — to be the site of what might be described as a vast environmentalist grotto of 400-foot-high spinning "crosses" before which the state's green progressives will be able to genuflect and receive absolution before zooming back to their prodigiously wired lives.
—Garret Keizer, Harper's Magazine, June 2007