A Fool’s Perspective on the Environment

By Blaine Davis, Contributing Editor

AFTER COMPLETING my early morning ritual at the local coffee shop and choking down the inflationary price of a cup of Joe, I arrive at my desk to find an email with more disturbing news. An online purveyor of fine cigars has declared a shortage on the horizon for these “sticks.” Having experienced past shortages of everything from computer chips to beef and just today, baby formula, what could be next?

With each day’s news reports of war in eastern Europe the answers are becoming apparent. Ukraine, the size of Texas and a top five producer of the world’s supply of commodities from sunflowers to wheat, can only lead to food shortages as reports of their plantings will be reduced by 17 percent. Combined with this limited supply and Russia controlling access to the seaports on the Black Sea, commodity prices will rise. The aggressor, Russia, – a large supplier of petroleum with daily sales of $1 billion, much to Europe and even the United States, previously energy independent under the previous administration – is only making this worse. With the stroke of a pen in the form of a presidential executive order, this has become evident at our gas pumps. Even more alarming, this act threatens our national and allies’ security.

Compounded with this run-away inflation and shortages of the mere necessities, the green movement and their climate change narrative would have us believe that the end of the Earth is imminent. Having lived in the shadow of a 400-foot-tall smokestack at a nearby coal-fired power plant for more than 40 years, I have yet to grow a third arm or any other appendage, but I sure have enjoyed heating, cooling and power to perform many tasks in both my professional and personal lives. I am sure that there have even been a few enjoying this power to re-charge their Teslas, Volts and other hybrid means of transportation. Again, the “greenies” would have us further believe that the pollution or “fall-out” from this plant would wreck our eco-systems and food sources, if not our very lives. I contradict such with the yearly agricultural abundance of grains and livestock produced within the very same county. Without the energy capacity of such a plant, producing and processing of such harvests would be in peril, along with everything modern technology has given us, including some of the best healthcare in the world. The majority of these environmental activists would like to return to their misconceived, Edenistic days of horse and buggy and expunge petroleum and the internal-combustion engine. My retort to that,“Watch your step when you cross Main Street; that’s not mud!”

The green movement with their stance against petroleum ignores the fact that only 40 percent of a barrel of oil is used to produce gasoline. The rest produces things from medicine, cosmetics, plastics, cleaning products (which played a huge role in the recent pandemic) to asphalt for the roads they traverse in their hybrid cars, saving the Earth. Even renewable energy products from wind turbine parts and solar panels and even batteries, for their “earth-saving” hybrid cars rely on petroleum. Most ironic in all of this is a ballpoint pen made from petroleum was leveled against the very industry that provided such in that of a presidential signature.

Closer to home, specifically our farm, fertilizers derived from petroleum have risen more than 300 percent, along with the rising costs of other inputs from chemicals to irrigation gas means the profit margin is dire and consumer food prices will have the same fate. Several talking heads point to simply substituting animal manure for chemical-based fertilizer to combat input costs. But haven’t the green activists told us animal agriculture is bad for the environment?

These same activists have our children indoctrinated with false and foolish rhetoric such as 30 years ago, the elementary-age daughter of some friends came home from school with today’s lesson,“If it’s yellow, it can mellow and if it’s brown, it must go down.” I surmised this had to do with the “porcelain throne,” and left me wondering what happened to common sense and basic personal hygiene? Through the past decades, our educational system has adopted the consensus of 97 percent of climatologists, that global warming, now called climate change to fit their narratives is real.

A past interview that has re-surfaced with Weather Channel founder John Coleman has raised serious doubt in this climate-change narrative. Countering their often-used tenet, consensus of 97 percent of climatologists’ belief that climate change is here, he stated that science is that of facts and, by nature, consensus is just opinion. In fact, my Meriam-Webster Pocket Dictionary defines it as, agreement in opinion or belief. Second, he states that the left-leaning policies of the federal government allocate $2.5 billion annually for questionable climate research, since they have a predetermined agenda and distribute the funds to those returning the results they desire, thus the 97 percent consensus. Coleman went on to say, “ There are over 31,000 scientists worldwide that doubt this narrative.” Not only does our children’s education or rather indoctrination system disavow such, their left-leaning partners, the media, promotes the same.

With school indoctrination, our children are led to believe that renewable energy sources are the only answer to the future with no other viewpoint offered. Common to these students and probably most adults, the belief is the electric vehicle (EV) battery produces free and environmentally friendly power. Actually, a battery is nothing more than an energy storage system; they do not make electricity. The electricity it stores must come from a power source, whether it is a coal-fired, nuclear or natural gas- fired plant. Next they will argue that wind energy can provide this electricity, ignoring the fact that windmills are the ultimate in embedded costs and are environmentally destructive.

Each windmill weighs 1,688 tons, the equivalent of 23 houses, contains 1,300 tons of concrete, 295 tons of steel, 48 tons of iron and 24 tons of fiberglass, along with hard-to-extract rare earth metals neodymium, praseodymium and dysprosium. Each blade weighs 81,000 pounds with a life of 15 to 20 years. The embedded costs don’t stop with the manufacture, next there is transportation of the components. Recently, traversing the 6666 Ranch in Texas, we were stopped by a female flagger at the intersection of U.S Highways 83 and 82. Hidden by the overpass was one of these behemoth blades. I couldn’t resist asking her,“Where are you going?” Her response with a chuckle,“North Dakota.” My thought as I drove by the entourage, having more than 1,000 miles to go, “What sense does that make?”

With the realization that the cigar shortage was nothing more than an April Fool’s Day prank, I could only hope that such would apply to the green movement and all that has evolved through the foolishness it entails.