The New American - June 14, 2004 - Vol. 20, No. 12
by Arthur B. Robinson & Jane M. Orient
Environmental extremism kills. Millions die annually because of restrictions on DDT, and imposing the "Kyoto" regulations would kill many more.
Dr. Arthur B. Robinson, a professor of chemistry, is the founder of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, and editor of the newsletter Access to Energy. Dr. Jane Orient, a specialist in internal medicine, has a private practice and is the executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.
Easily usable energy is the currency of human progress. Without it, stagnation, regression and untold human deaths will result.
The lamentations of the popular press notwithstanding, there is no shortage of energy. Scientists define everything that man can perceive in the natural world as forms of "energy," including all physical objects. These forms of energy differ, however, in how easily mankind can make use of them by means of current technology.
Nuclear power plants convert mass into electrical energy. This converted "nuclear energy" is, by far, the safest, cleanest and least expensive energy source available with current technology. Its use improves the standard of living, increases the quality and length of human life, and maximizes technological progress.
The United States was once the world leader in the production of useful energy. Had that American leadership continued, our country and our world would be very different. Technological miracles that are only dreams today would have already taken place. Moreover, very large portions of the world's poor and underdeveloped people would have been able to lift themselves from poverty — provided they had a laboratory of liberty in which to do so — and to escape the horrible conditions in which they lead lives of desperation, constantly at the edge of death.
Many people strongly desire to help humanity. They spend their lives in efforts to increase the quantity and quality of human life. Most other people, even though they do not work actively toward these goals, share the same values. They passively support things that improve human life.
Those who understand energy production and its link to technological progress and who have positive humanitarian values support nuclear power. They are also in favor of hydrocarbon power derived from coal, oil and natural gas, and of hydroelectric power. Their interest in solar power, biofuel power, wind power and other alternatives is less because those methods cannot yet generate large quantities of inexpensive useful energy.
During the past several decades, mankind should have been making a transition from hydrocarbon power to breeder-reactor-fueled nuclear power. Hydrocarbon power would still be extensively utilized in many applications, but nuclear power would be developing into our primary energy source. Hydroelectric power would continue but would reach a maximum as suitable hydroelectric sites were completely utilized. This transition, however, has been blocked.
Progress stalled because of another force at work in our body politic. This force is led by influential people who understand very well the benefits of abundant usable energy and seek to keep mankind from realizing those benefits — not because they want to save the planet, but because they seek global control. Through the major media and the environmental lobby, the latter heavily funded by huge tax-exempt foundations, they have beguiled millions into believing that too many people and too much technology will cause environmental devastation. Thirty years ago, they demonized nuclear power with false claims about its safety. As a result, nuclear power development in the United States stopped. At that time, America was the world technological leader and therefore the largest user of energy. At present, American leadership is being challenged by Asian nations, which are building nuclear power plants at a rapidly increasing rate.
Although technological progress continued to some extent without progress in energy production, the crippling of nuclear power meant continued heavy dependence on hydrocarbon fuels — including a dangerous dependence on foreign oil, exacerbated by "environmental" regulations impeding drilling in our own country. This ongoing tragedy is also reflected in the decline of American technological superiority and the decline of American living standards. Today, for example, both parents must work to support smaller families in poorer circumstances, with the consequent unraveling of the family as a social institution.
Enemies of Humanity
The enemies of humanity are, however, not content. They want to move technology another step downward and energy production another step backward by diminishing even the use of hydrocarbon energy. To accomplish this, they have contrived three lies. These are the lies of hydrocarbon shortages, human-caused global cooling, and human-caused global warming. Their allies in the press, government, foundations and business have heavily promoted these lies over the past several decades.