Support Earth Day? You Should Also Support Fracking, & Nuclear Power

earth day

Just opening this up, I’m going to state the following points to set the mood.

Earth Day is a wonderful thing. Climate change is 100% real, very much man-made, and is not overstated. It has had, and will continue to have, real damages we have to acknowledge. There is clear evidence that, from basic pollution such as trash on the side of the road to disposal of mass waste, there’s things that must be worked on. The EPA, while having some negatives when examining pollution standards from fuel and poor waste handling of products, can be called a good thing. Al Gore, Christine Todd Whitman, Bill Nye, and Neil deGrasse Tyson are not elitist globalists in the mass climate conspiracy run by the illuminati.

With that said, I am your standard laissez-faire capitalist libertarian who worships large companies, favors legalization of hard drugs, wants to cut the defense budget 70%, and sees a world where taxes don’t affect 90% of people, with those left taxed paying very small rates. However, I’m also a full-on ecology nut at heart. In the spring, summer, and fall, I actually go around biking through roads across the Catskills where I grew up and pick up trash off of roads. Last year I achieved close to a hundred garbage bags of trash picked up off the roads by myself.

I also bike when I can to avoid using a car, because when not absolutely necessary I believe it is wasteful to drive, and I prefer to walk or bike to places over taking a cab, an Uber, or my own car. I’ve donated to charities devoted to helping save the planet which help the rainforest and other causes in North America, like preserving land on Native American reservations.

I care about animals, want a world free from the use of carbon products, want plastic to no longer be used, and am doing this all as a hardcore libertarian. Here’s why!

The first thing is very simple, and it comes from an economist I’ve interviewed, debated, hosted lectures for, and highly respect: Walter Block. When I was about 15, I was your typical cringed-out libertarian with the wrongly-set narrative that environmentalists were pinko commies who couldn’t help the world and were willing to crash the economy in the names of whales. However, I bought a book from economist Walter Block titled “Free Market Environmentalism: A Reconciliation” and after that, I never felt the need to feel that being a capitalist and loving the planet were separate again.

The book’s major point was about going past Adam Smith, and instead focusing on negative externalities of actions. With Adam Smith, we all know he believed in the invisible hand, which leads bakers to making chocolate cake instead of raisin cake, the plumbers coming early instead of late, the strippers wearing thongs instead of grandma underwear, and so on and so forth. However, in capitalism these things called externalities exist which are effects on third parties via the trades of the two major ones. In this scenario, there are a set of judges and groups in place in that intervene if things such as pollution exist that damage the third parties. It’s the green thumb of the invisible hand.

And that’s just the basics of the book in which Dr. Block named a number of valid points:

  • Government owned land used for landfills has allowed poor management which encourages use of items such as plastic over paper.
  • Animals such as the buffalo not being allowed to be privately farmed and put down as hunted animals on public lands caused them to become endangered.
  • Use of carbon products could be seen as a violation of others rights and should be attacked.

I would ask everyone reading to look up Dr. Block’s book and give it a purchase. If strapped for cash, he’s also done several YouTube videos explaining the concept that are worth watching. This book shows how the free market, the proper handling of cases via legal battles over regulatory approaches, privatization, and even deregulation can be a far better way to see a cleaner earth than what is around today.

But enough of the dear economist, let’s talk about fracking and nuclear energy!

I want to say something about the boat these two things find themselves on. Both are things that the people who love the planet hate, are becoming more and more regulated, are vastly cheaper energy sources, and are vastly better for the environment.

Fracking is not a new science. In fact, it has been around since the 1920’s and is just a simple process of breaking rocks to obtain oil or natural gas. The recent innovation, however, was learning to frack sideways. Horizontal fracking is a method of extraction made in the late 2000’s at the peak of high gas prices. Using this method, we can not only extract in areas previously too difficult to extract from, but also convert old wells into new wells. Meaning that wells which are decades old that produce only a few barrels a day, and are basically dead, can be renovated via horizontal fracking in order to be able to produce hundreds of barrels a day. However, in most cases, what’s being obtained isn’t just oil, but also partially natural gas.

Natural gas is something which produces about 30% fewer CO2 emissions and maybe half the carbon monoxide. Why is it good for the environment?

  1. Instead of drilling new wells, we reuse older ones – minimizing damage by not needing to drill in new places.
  2. We are now using natural gas, which is cleaner than other products.
  3. We are using a very old method that, until it became a competitor with big oil, wasn’t ever considered bad.
  4. We are doing it in America where we have higher safety standards compared to other countries which drill and don’t care as much about the risk of damage.

Despite what people say, there’s very little evidence that fracking actually causes earthquakes or water damage. Instead, the increase in those findings can be associated with scientists actually beginning to monitor issues in water supplies or earthquakes that they never previously bothered to study.

In summation: thank you, fracking!

Next up, why environmentalists should love nuclear power!

When we think of nuclear energy, we always have this image of Charles Montgomery Burns using his nuclear funds to pay the bills of his kiss-ass sexually-questionable assistant as he steals candy from children, makes mutants, and blocks out the sun when thinking about nuclear power. We don’t think of France, which since having embraced nuclear energy has reduced pollution and the need for oil massively. We don’t realize that nuclear power from new generators is extremely easy and quick to turn off, meaning meltdowns have virtually a nonexistent chance of happening. We don’t recognize the United States has tons of open land it could produce power in where there would be no risk. We just ignore that when new plants are set up they can actually reuse nuclear waste, meaning nuclear power results in exactly zero emissions. We also just flat out ignore how it’s so cheap that if we were to have a thousand nuclear power plants around the United States, we could cut energy costs by 90%, create the greatest economy in existence, and have a higher standard of living compared to any point in history. This would also mean transportation, clean water, large buildings, and more are easier to access.

Nuclear energy, like fracking, is hated without warrant. Big oil is at risk of losing business, so they’ve used scare tactics to make people against nuclear energy, and these tactics have been quite successful. This could realistically make energy so cheap that the 2015 of Back to the Future is a not a fantasy — we are stuck with our smart phones and oil drums, as new nuclear generators in the states haven’t been approved since the 80’s, and innovation just isn’t what it could be. This being caused by mass lobbying by everybody from environmental groups to big oil companies – all of whom have fought nuclear at every turn over arguments which flat out aren’t true, using myths to actually hurt the environment when we could have a world without fossil fuels.

To close things up, it being Earth Day, I wanted to write an article about how the environment is a good thing that people should cherish. It is where we all live and things such as trees, the climate, animals, and more need our protection. However, looking at our dependence on fossil fuels, extinction of animals on public lands, use of plastics and more, I’m going to encourage all ecology nuts to look past the hate on capitalism and call for a review to public lands, regulations and legal policies which could very well be damaging the planet as much or worse as those so called evil corporations.

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  1. Numbers help. “Big oil” is better understood as “Big oil and gas”, and it is a heavy subsidizer of government. When a dollar’s worth of fracked gas is replaced by three-point-five cents’ worth of uranium, two very significant reductions occur.

    (1) Government loses the royalty or severance tax income it would have had on that dollar.

    (2) The radon that is one of the natural gases in natural gas stays underground with it. As a result, a small but — in principle — injurious public radiation dose is prevented.

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