Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.
Every now and then someone pipes up to point out that if environmentalists really want to lower carbon, they’re going to have nuclear. And they’re promptly buried in a tsunami of outrage (“Nuclear? Do you want us all to die?”) and spin (look at this blog post sponsored by a solar panel company about how well solar panels work). The obvious answer is that environmentalists, like all lefties, don’t actually care about the things that they claim to care about.
Eric Levitz at New York Mag has the latest such entry showing exactly how enviros have zero interest in “saving the planet”:
In 2019, when the city put its ambitious climate goals into law, the Indian Point nuclear power plant provided the bulk of its carbon-free electricity and 25 percent of its overall power. The plant was profitable and met the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s exacting safety standards. Nevertheless, environmental groups had been fighting to close it for decades, arguing that its proximity to both New York City and the Stamford-Peekskill fault line created an unacceptably high risk of a nuclear disaster.
The catastrophe at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in 2011 bolstered their cause. In 2021, New York closed down Indian Point. At the time, the conservationist organization Riverkeeper argued that Indian Point’s electricity could be fully replaced by renewables.
Alas, wind and solar power are neither sufficiently abundant in New York nor sufficiently reliable to replace the emissions-free energy that Indian Point once produced. In May 2021, the first full month after the plant’s closure, carbon emissions from electricity generation in New York State shot up by 37 percent. In New York City, fossil-fuel producers’ share of the electric grid rose to 90 percent.
Fortunately, the state has a plan to reverse this baleful trend. Last fall, Governor Kathy Hochul announced plans for constructing a pair of new transmission lines, one bringing wind- and solar-generated electricity from upstate into NYC, the other transporting hydroelectric power from Quebec. Together, the two transmission lines are projected to yield a 51 percent reduction in downstate fossil-fuel generation by 2030.
But a motley coalition, comprised of natural-gas producers and environmental organizations like Riverkeeper and the Sierra Club, has a good chance of killing that plan.
Environmentalists don’t want to provide more energy or “cleaner energy.”
What they want is a dependency on energy sources that they don’t like, constantly push to phase them out with green subsidies that don’t work, and with the goal of having that fail so that the public is faced with skyrocketing energy prices and unreliable energy prices.
Or they simply hate us and want us to freeze, starve, and die.
At best, they want to have outrage fuel and a basis for their movement. What they don’t want is to fix any of the problems they invented in any kind of even nominally workable way. The moment that any workable fix arises, they shut it down.
The old enviro-conspiracy theory is that car companies had a car that ran on water, but then hid it to protect the oil industry. The reality is that if a car ran on water, environmentalists would be the first to shut it down because it would lead to exactly what they don’t want, people enjoying their lives guilt-free.