June 21, 2003
The Greens—Ecological Conversion

(See this post for background on this series.)

Ecological Production: Set goals and timetables to phase out and ban the production and release of synthetic chemicals and to convert all production to materials that are bio-degradable, bio-inert, or confined to closed-loop industrial cycles. Use federal investments, purchasing, mandates, and incentives to:
·Phase out most chlorinated and other synthetic petrochemicals and phase in natural, biodegradable substitutes. ·Phase out synthetic fertilizers and pesticides and phase in organic agriculture. ·Shut down waste incinerators, phase out landfills, and phase in full recycling. ·Require manufacturers to be responsible for the whole life cycle of their products by taking back used packaging and products for re-manufacturing, reuse, or recycling. ·Legalize industrial hemp as an ecological source for wood pulp, paper, cloth, lubricants, fibers, and many other products.

Outside of the hemp suggestion, this is not possible without totally eliminating all vestiges of our current way of life. 100% recycling is something that has not been achieved anywhere, and is not likely to be achieved in the near future.

As to "organic farming", that is the topic of the next section.

Renewable Energy: Invest non-renewable energy sources in the creation of self-reproducing, renewable energy systems. Use federal investments, purchasing, mandates, and incentives to:
·Shut down nuclear power plants. ·Phase out fossil fuels and phase in clean renewable energy sources. ·Reduce auto-based transportation and expand pedestrian, bicycle, and rail transportation.

Let's see, renewable energy. Besides the obvious problem of reliance on outside factors (weather), solar, geothermal, and wind power have other problems. Location is one; locating a major power plant anywhere that is likely to have the resources necessary is also likely to trigger a lawsuit from an ecological group, on the grounds that it will disrupt the environment in some fashion. In addition, there are the concerns of bird kills by windmills, the toxic waste byproducts of solar panel production, and the air pollution issues of biomass energy production (such as wood-burning, for example).

Despite what the green party would have us believe, nuclear power is not dangerous and prohibitively expensive. France and Lithuania each rely on nuclear power for more than 75 percent of their total energy production, and Belgium and the Slovak Republic are more than 50% nuclear powered. Six countries produce more than 100 billion kilowatt-hours of nuclear power, led by the United States (800 Billion KW/H). 438 reactors worldwide are currently active, and despite the fact that nuclear power has been in use for over 40 years, there has been only one accident (Chernobyl) and one near-accident (Three Mile Island) during that time.

Biotechnology-No Patents on Life; No Transgenic Organisms:

·Ban patents on life forms in order to preserve genetic diversity and common access to our common inheritance of nature, including farmers' access to seeds and breeds.
·Ban the release into the environment and the use in food production of genetically modified organisms that result from splicing the genes of one species into another.

This will eliminate the biotech industry. There is no way the industry can survive without the patents that allow them to profit from their research.

Environmental Defense and Restoration:
·Full funding for anti-pollution enforcement and toxic sites clean-up ·Preserve ecosystems and biodiversity by strengthening the Endangered Species Act and expanding areas designated as wildlife refuges and wilderness areas. ·Ban old-growth logging, clear cutting, and strip mining. ·End all commercial exploitation of public lands by private timber, mining, and cattle grazing interests. ·Ban off-road vehicles on federal lands. Decommission National Forest logging roads. ·Restoration of public lands degraded by commercial interests. ·Manage federal lands primarily for ecosystem protection and restoration. ·Support large-scale ecological restoration based on conservation biology.

This is standard leftist claptrap, supported by the anti-business wing of the Democratic Party as well as the Greens. Banning off-road vehicles eliminates use of the federal lands for citizen recreation, which is supposed to be one of the reasons for the National Park System. There is a strong strain of "fly trapped in amber" stasis in these proposals, as if leaving the lands unsullied by human presence will somehow improve our lives.

The Endangered Species Act is too strong as it is; it needs to be reformed. I posted on the subject here. I am not an expert on the subject; a search engine can help find more information if you are interested.

Environmental Justice: Strengthen and enforce laws that prevent toxic industries, toxic dumps and air pollution from targeting ethnic minority communities.

Another nice sound bite that is based more on rumors than facts. Read this article and this article on the myths behind this trope.

A Just Transition: A Superfund for Workers to guarantee full income and benefits for all workers displaced by ecological conversion until they find new jobs with comparable income and benefits.

...And for which they are qualified, which is unlikely without retraining, and even then, they will lack the experience that they had in the job that was destroyed by the green movement.

posted on June 21, 2003 10:28 PM


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