The uncleanness of greenness 164

The left has long since given up on the proletariat as its purported concern, to feel angelic about and to justify increasing state power.

The workers have been fired, the planet has been hired.

Collectivist tyranny is now extended in the name of preserving the earth.

“Green” technology, say the statists, is the way to go because it is clean.

It isn’t actually, but they’ll keep pushing for it as long as they can bluff themselves, and insist to the rest of us, that it is.

Amy Oliver and Michael Sandoval write at Townhall:

“Renewable” technology is neither renewable, nor clean, nor green because it relies upon rare earth elements. …

China accounts for ninety five percent of the world market in rare earth elements (REEs). …

The Chinese have labeled areas around rare earth mines …as “cancer villages.” … The toxic by-products literally kill everything – animals, vegetation, and people by contaminating the air, soil, and water. …

For each metric ton of REEs produced, an equal amount of radioactive waste is also produced. At approximately 2,204 lbs, that’s about the weight of an average sedan. As for those 75 cubic meters of acidic waste water, just think of a swimming pool measuring thirty feet long by fifteen feet wide by six feet deep. That’s approximately 20,000 gallons of acid water. …

To further the perspective, each 3 MW wind turbine requires two tons of REEs for the permanent magnet that converts wind into electricity. So much for “clean.” …

Thinking electric such as Chevy Volt? So far in 2011, auto manufacturers have sold 15,068 electric vehicles in the U.S., and each one requires 10 pounds of rare earth magnets.

That means that through the end of November, hybrids and electric vehicles sales consumed between 4,904,820 and 6,093,355 pounds of rare earths. That’s somewhere between 2,452 and 3,047 tons.

If processing one ton of rare earth elements produces approximately 75 cubic meters of acidic waste water and about one ton of radioactive waste residue, then hybrid and electric vehicles alone produce between 183,900 and 228,525 cubic meters of acidic waste water and between 2,452 and 3,047 tons of radioactive waste.

To add insult to ecological injury, these cars are expensive and don’t perform or handle very well. And owners still need fossil fuels either to run them (oil, gasoline) or for the electricity to charge them (coal).

So why on earth would anyone buy one?

Because, as always with lefties, the buyers want to feel good about themselves.

It’s a clear example of their moral vanity.

Apparently hybrid vehicles owners don’t really want to save the world, they just want to look like they do.

The New York Times reported in 2007 that the number one reason why people buy the Toyota Prius is “it makes a statement about me”. …

It isn’t just hybrid owners that are sanctimonious eco-evangelicals. A study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology explains that being green is a status symbol of both wealth and altruism. …

The age of “conspicuous conservation” will have to compete with more important things such as national security, as much of our high tech weaponry requires rare earth minerals. The demand for “green” will also compete with our love of gadgets such as iPods and computers, and with those civilization-required things like lighting, batteries, and basic electricity.

The new “high efficiency light bulbs” require rare earths while old fluorescents did not. …

While alternative vehicle owners, solar panel supporters, and wind turbine advocates may feel better about themselves, they’re actually polluting the planet with their “clean/green” technology.

The article is informative on rare earths and the pollutants produced by their mining. Read it all here.