‘Green­topia’ is hu­man-free

The Washington Times Weekly - - Letters To The Editor - VIV FORBES Queens­land, Australia

The “Greens” dream of a ze­roe­mis­sions world with­out coal, oil or nat­u­ral gas. They need to think about they’re wish­ing for.

First, there would be no mass pro­duc­tion of steel with­out coke from cok­ing coal to re­move oxy­gen from iron ore. Peo­ple could cut trees in forests for char­coal to pro­duce pig iron and crude steels, but forests would soon be ex­hausted. Coal saved the forests from this fate.

We could pro­duce gold and silver with­out us­ing min­eral hy­dro­car­bons, and with in­ge­nu­ity we could prob­a­bly pro­duce un­re­fined cop­per, lead and tin and al­loys like brass and bronze. But mak­ing large quan­ti­ties of nu­clear fu­els, ce­ment, alu­minium, re­fined met­als, plas­tics, ny­lons, syn­thet­ics, petro-chem­i­cals and poly pipes would be im­pos­si­ble.

Mak­ing wind tur­bines and so­lar pan­els would also be im­pos­si­ble with­out fos­sil fu­els. A wind tur­bine needs lots of steel plus con­crete, car­bon fi­bre and glass poly­mers as well as many other re­fined met­als — cop­per, alu­minium, rare earths, zinc and molyb­de­num. So­lar pan­els and bat­ter­ies need high­pu­rity in­gre­di­ents — sil­i­con, lead, lithium, nickel, cad­mium, zinc, silver, man­ganese and graphite — all of which are hard to make in back­yard, char­coal­fired fur­naces. Trans­port­ing, erect­ing and main­tain­ing wind and so­lar farms plus their roads and trans­mis­sion lines need many pieces of diesel-pow­ered ma­chin­ery.

Ev­ery ma­chine on Earth needs hy­dro-car­bons for en­gine oil, gear oil, trans­mis­sion oil, brake fluid, hy­draulic oil and grease. We could, of course, use oils from seals and whales and beeswax for lu­bri­ca­tion, but imag­ine how the “greens” would scream and shout about that.

Mod­ern life can­not not be sup­ported by a pre-coal/oil econ­omy. With­out re­li­able elec­tric­ity and dieselpow­ered farm ma­chin­ery and trans­port trucks, cities are un­sus­tain­able. In “Green­topia,” 90 per­cent of us peo­ple will need to go.

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