Does the left really want to help the environment?

This wouldn't be the first time clean energy proposals were opposed for seemingly petty reasons; wind energy was met with strong opposition by the environmental groups, as windmills may interrupt the migratory pattern of certain birds; birds that apparently fail to see a giant, monolithic structure in front of them. You know, the kind we want to survive and reproduce.

Before his death, Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) strongly opposed measures to put a wind farm in Nantucket Sound, primarily because it would interrupt the scenic view from the adjacent Kennedy compound.

It seems that the Democrats like to talk the talk, but when it comes to walking the walk, their environmental record isn't much to brag about. Especially considering that Democrats largely oppose common-sense strategies for alternative energy like nuclear power.

Let me clarify — Democrats, including power players like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, are largely opposed to nuclear waste, yet remain supportive of expanding our country's reliance on nuclear power. It's this sort of doublespeak that allows them to maintain support of their base — the kind that oppose nuclear energy because of "Three Mile Island, man!" — and still appear to be rational. Being opposed to all propositions for nuclear waste storage basically rules out any expansion of nuclear power market share; currently, nuclear waste is stored on-site. How long on-site storage is viable, no one can say for sure.

Leftists argue that nuclear power isn't a good solution because of the risk of radiation and the environmental devastation that would almost certainly ensue if a meltdown occurred. You know, because it happened once in the 1970s at Three Mile Island (even though it wasn't really that bad. There were no deaths, no injuries, and the facility is still in use today). Oh, and in the Soviet Union at Chernobyl. Because as we all are well aware, safety and construction standards in the USSR were always 100% sound.

So, no nuclear power, because something could go wrong. And no solar energy, either, because solar panels are ugly and would ruin our view of the desert. Oh, and wind power is a definite "no," because birds might be dumb enough to fly into them. Forget Darwinism, think of our poor feathered friends! And if you want to talk about things like ethanol or biofuel, you can forget it!

It seems that liberals don't know what they want. They demand things like "green jobs, now!" but stamp their feet at any proposed solutions. They scare us to death with doom-and-gloom scenarios about global warming, straight out of Roland Emmerich's The Day After Tomorrow or 2012, then refuse to acknowledge that there is no end-all solution, and that there will always be consequences of some sort. Then the Hollywood elite jet-set around the globe to attend conferences in Copenhagen, but when it comes to actually making sacrifices, they're not so welcome to change.

And even if we caved and placated them by passing cap & trade, and signed on to the Kyoto Protocol, and somehow forced every other country to follow the Kyoto guidelines to the letter, it would still be irrelevant — because all these measures would not do anything to stop global warming. That's right — all these measures are useless. But I guess when it comes to the political left, feeling like they're making a difference is much more important than actually making one.

Tom Bortnyk is a columnist for the political blog Informed-Dissent.

On Sunday, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) is actively opposing a measure to build 13 solar and wind power projects in the Mojave Desert. Of the proposed 1 million acres of desert land, about a quarter of it was donated to the federal government by a private source for land conservation, a fact that Feinstein apparently is using as justification for her decision.

Her opposition to the plan is a major setback for the "green" movement, yet many California environmental groups are thrilled with this decision. Wait... what? That's right — the extreme left is opposed to solar energy in the middle of the desert. But why?

Probably because, like all alternative energy proposals, there are negative consequences. The scenic and diverse landscape of the Mojave Desert, for example, is far too precious as a natural treasure to be developed, even if the development is a step toward clean energy, or if the development isn't all that intrusive, anyway. Like solar panels, for instance.

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