It was said of the Bolshevik Revolution that Russia looked no different the day after. Yet she suffered a profound nightmare for seven decades and only managed to get out of it because an American President, Ronald Reagan, was able to orchestrate the peaceful economic collapse of the Soviet Union with his Russian counterpart, Mikhail Gorbachev. The Bolshevik promise of a worker’s paradise was simply a lie, among many lies, designed to keep the ruthless in power.
I was lucky enough to be in Moscow for the 70th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution, because that marked the end of the regime. Glasnost not only meant a growing openness and transparency, it also meant freedom for the Russian people.
Our descent into authoritarian rule has not involved a coup in the middle of the night in St. Petersburg but a slower process of increasing one party domination utilizing similarly extravagant promises of social justice and green utopia, intended to fool “useful idiots.” We have experienced a steady retreat from the openness and transparency of a democracy toward the thought-control of a dictatorship, combined with ruthless attacks on those who dare to disagree. Shades of Bolshevism, circa 1917, and George Orwell’s “1984.”
Those at the core of this slide are called “Greens” in much of the world, Democrats and Far Leftists here. As pretend protectors of forests and wildlife, they promise to save the planet from industrialists, yet are involved in vast greed, deception, and industrialization themselves. The ‘Climate Cartel,’ with all of its subsidiaries, brags about being a one trillion dollar per year industry today. Nature has suffered greatly where these fanatics have held sway around the world.
Here at home, both Oregon and Washington are facing the next major step in the green ascendancy: carbon taxes. We are supposed to believe that higher taxes for energy will save our climate, when they have had no measurable impact on climate anywhere, and with the policies flowing from them, have caused great harm to the environment. The lack of any impact on climate has been systematically suppressed by those who shout down the competent science which shows carbon dioxide is beneficial not diabolical. And the great harm has come from refusing to understand that we need to minimize our physical footprint on this planet to allow Mother Nature to dominate.
Greens fight accountability, because it shows them failing on all levels, not just with the science. For instance, British Columbia has had carbon taxes for a decade now. These taxes have made all energy and especially gasoline considerably more expensive than in adjoining states and provinces. This reduced BC’s carbon emissions by about 2%. But that is far less than the reduction in the United States (19%), due to technology not taxes, as we shifted from coal to fracked natural gas for electric power.
And if you look at reductions in gasoline sales in BC, you find a comparable rise in sales just across the border in the USA. In other words, Canadians are regularly filling up where they get a better deal, circumventing their carbon tax. Overall carbon emissions are again rising faster than their population. The Greens have failed to accomplish anything even remotely worthwhile.
The Oregon Democratic Party’s proposal to take $700 million dollars out of the Oregon economy with a new carbon tax will be even worse, because Democrats are not promising to reduce taxes anywhere. They want to spend our hard earned money on the political engineering that keeps them in power. For instance, if you own a business that will suffer from the new taxes, they may help you pay your higher energy bills provided you play along with their politics and agree not to move to another state. If you are a member of a minority group that typically supports them, they will find a way of rewarding you with a few crumbs. But most of the largess will go to the well-connected elites who always benefit from green crony capitalism. The rest of us know this process by a different name: corruption.
One of the biggest supporters of the corruption is Portland General Electric. They have long been a willing partner in fashionable energy schemes, because they pay attention to opinion polls that show people love “green energy,” and care little what it really costs or how much harm it really does to our environment. Until, of course, it is too late. PGE has been able to build and charge ratepayers for two power systems (one ‘renewable’ and one backup), when a single modern base load system would have minimized cost, environmental damage, and carbon footprint.
While the damage to our last open and wild lands is readily apparent with windmill industrialization now spreading like a cancer across vast stretches of once pristine Eastern Oregon and Washington landscapes, green energy is doing greatest damage where this planet once had the greatest biodiversity, namely in the tropical rain forests of Indonesia.
Because Europeans and Americans covet cheap palm oil, it is now found in about half of all supermarket products and in bio-diesel. The desperately poor in Indonesia illegally cut down pristine rain forests and replace them with palm oil plantations. Corruption and lack of law enforcement are rampant. Many plant and animal species are being sacrificed to ‘progress,’ not so much because of supermarkets but because of demand for bio-fuels. As Renate Kunast of the Green Party in Germany predicted “Farmers will be the oil barons of the future.” Let us hope not. Bio-fuels produce little net energy at great environmental cost.
The animals most obviously headed for extinction are the large ones. The Sumatran Rhinoceros, which is the smallest of the rhinos, although still weighing up to 4,000 pounds, is down to 100 individuals in the wild and losing ground fast. They are critically endangered. Attempts to save them in zoos have been mostly unsuccessful, because they do not breed well in captivity.
The other large mammal threatened with bio-diesel extinction is the Orangutan, a great ape that looks like a comical version of humans (or we a comical version of them). Both the Sumatran and Bornean species are critically endangered. Happily, they do well in zoos and rescue facilities. That means that our children will likely be able to enjoy a few in the future, even if green greed has driven the wild population extinct.
Indonesia is far from the only location suffering from environmentalism gone mad. The Greens in Germany with their “Energy Transition” have destroyed landscapes along with millions of birds and bats. In areas once dominated by small farms with plenty of habitat for wild creatures like song birds, raptors, and their sources of food like berries and rodents, Germany now has vast corn fields for ethanol production. The scale of the destruction of nature is being compared with the destruction wrought by the Second World War. It is staggering.
According to Michael Miersch, Director of the German Wildlife Foundation, “No hamsters, hares, butterflies or wild bees can survive in the barren ecological desert of a maize field. Field larks no longer sing, lapwings no longer call. Buntings, quail and wagtails all disappear. Partridges were once the typical inhabitants of the German agricultural landscape, a common sight on Sunday afternoon walks. Since the 1980s, their population has collapsed 94%. Other bird species typical of agricultural areas have seen declines of between 20 and 50% over the last 20 years.”
And of course, the giant windmills that deface landscapes from Germany to the Pacific Northwest are killing vast numbers of birds and bats. Large birds of prey, like Bald Eagles here and Red Kites in Germany, are routinely hacked up by the giant blades, while bats literally explode because of the sudden drop in air pressure behind the blades.
Any other energy industry would be severely punished for this level of carnage. But Green Democrats have engineered a pass for “natural electricity.” Double standards have always been a large part of their playbook.
Perhaps the former Prime Minister of Australia, Tony Abbott, said it most succinctly: “Climate Change policies are the threat, not climate change reality.” His government stopped the green nonsense in its tracks, abolished the Australian carbon tax, and saved the average family $500 per year. The new age Bolsheviks lost big time and many wild creatures won big time.
Gordon J. Fulks lives in Corbett and can be reached at email@example.com. He holds a doctorate in physics from the University of Chicago’s Laboratory for Astrophysics and Space Research.
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Northwest Connection.)