“We didn’t have the green thing back in my day.”

In the line at
the store, the young cashier told the older woman that she should
bring her own
reusable grocery bags because
plastic bags weren’t good for

The woman
apologized and explained,
“We didn’t have the green thing back
in my day.”
The clerk responded,
“That’s what’s caused our problems today.
Your generation wasn’t green and
did not care enough to save our environment.”

He was right, that
generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.

, they  returned their milk
bottles, soda bottles and beer
bottles to the store.

The store sent them back to
the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled,
so it could use the
same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.

But they didn’t have the green thing
back in that customer’s day.
In her day, they walked up stairs, because they
didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building.
They walked to the grocery
store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower
machine every time they had to go two blocks.

But she was right. They didn’t have the green thing in
her day.

Back then, they washed the baby’s diapers because
they didn’t have the throw-away kind.

They dried clothes on a line, not in an
energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts – wind and solar power really did dry the

Kids got hand-me-down
clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new

But that old lady is right,
they didn’t have
the green thing back in her day.

Back then, they had one TV, or radio, in the  house – not a TV
in every room.

And the TV had a small screen the size of a
handkerchief, not a screen the size of the state of Montana .

In the
, blended
and stirred by hand because they didn’t have electric machines to do everything for

When they packaged a
fragile item to send in the mail, they used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion
not Styrofoam or
plastic bubble wrap.
, they didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline
just to cut the
lawn. They used a push mower that ran on human power.

They exercised by working so they
didn’t need to go to a health club
to run on treadmills that operate on

But she’s right, they
didn’t have the green thing back then.
They drank from a fountain when they were thirsty
instead of using a cup or a plastic
bottle every time they had a drink of water.


their writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and they replaced the
razor blades in a razor
instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got
“But they didn’t have the
green thing back then.”
Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and
kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a
24-hour taxi service.

They had one electrical outlet in a
room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances.
And they didn’t need a computerized gadget
to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out  in space in order to
find the nearest pizza joint.

But isn’t it sad that the current
generation laments how wasteful the old folks were just because they didn’t have the green thing
back then?

Sometimes, being green just isn’t healthy

Sometimes, being green just isn’t healthy

Ethel C. Fenig

After governments have been phasing out incandescent light bulbs as energy hogs causing climate change in favor of expensive, mercury loaded, twisty bulbs which give off a harsh, flickering light which supposedly use less energy, some scientists have not so surprisingly discovered “they can release potentially harmful amounts of mercury if broken.”


Levels of toxic vapour around smashed eco-bulbs were up to 20 times higher than the safe guideline limit for an indoor area, the study said.

It added that broken bulbs posed a potential health risk to pregnant women, babies and small children.

Also, the energy saving bulbs’ subtly flickering harsh light can be dangerous:

Medical charities say they can trigger epileptic fits, migraines and skin rashes and have called for an ‘opt out’ for vulnerable people.

Other than these dire health hazards, the bulbs are just fine according to environmentalists, who just don’t seem to care–or know–that mercury is not good for the environment.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/12/sometimes_being_green_just_isn.html at December 23, 2010 – 10:54:39 AM CST

Al Gore’s Green Blasphemy


Al Gore’s Green Blasphemy

By Rich Trzupek On November 23, 2010 @ 12:45 am In FrontPage | 10

Back in 1994,
vice-president of the United States Al Gore cast the tie-breaking vote that
started us on the long road of taking American farms out of food production and
converting them to fuel production. While conservatives and libertarians argued
at the time that subsidizing ethanol production made no economic or
environmental sense, Gore and his green allies were certain that bio-fuels
would solve all the nation’s woes. Sixteen years later, Mr. Gore has apparently
seen the light, admitting that America’s rush to embrace corn
ethanol has been something of a mistake.

Here is what
Vice President Al Gore had to say [1] about his role in subsidizing
ethanol, while speaking at the Farm Journal conference back in 1998:

I was also
proud to stand up for the ethanol tax exemption when it was under attack in the
Congress — at one point, supplying a tie-breaking vote in the Senate to save
it. The more we can make this home-grown fuel a successful, widely-used
product, the better-off our farmers and our environment will be.

Contrast that
with what the vice-president is quoted as saying in this report from Fox [2], statements he made while
he was attending a recent green energy conference held in Athens, Greece:

It is not a good policy to have these massive subsidies for first-generation
ethanol. First-generation ethanol I think was a mistake. The energy conversion
ratios are at best very small. One of the reasons I made that mistake is that I
paid particular attention to the farmers in my home state of Tennessee,
and I had a certain fondness for the farmers in the state of Iowa
because I was about to run for president. The size, the percentage of corn
particularly, which is now being (used for) first-generation ethanol definitely
has an impact on food prices. The competition with food prices is real.

While it’s
nice to hear that the hero of the environmental movement has embraced reality,
Gore’s conversion has come far too late. When Gore cast his critical vote in
1994, the bio-fuels industry produced about 1.4 billion gallons of ethanol each
year from less than fifty plants. Sixteen years
[3], as a direct result of government subsidies and tax
breaks, over a hundred new corn ethanol plants have been built and the amount
of ethanol produced in the United States has increased by almost an order of
magnitude, topping
10.5 billion gallons
[3] in 2009. Private investors have
invested tens of billions of dollars to build today’s massive corn ethanol
infrastructure and the government has invested tens of billions more to ensure
that it remains in place. Had Gore faced facts in 1994, the public and private
sectors could have used those funds more wisely and more profitably elsewhere.
But now? Having made this huge investment, the pain of admitting defeat,
suffering our losses and walking away from corn ethanol may be too much to

Congress has
to decide whether or not to renew the current $7.7 billion corn-ethanol subsidy
by the end of the year. On the one hand, it seems madness to prolong a fuel
industry that – at best – can only generate a bit more energy than it consumes
(and more often less), that takes cropland out of food and feed production and,
as result, raises the prices and lowers the availability of food. A 2007 Department of Agriculture report [4] clearly
outlined the effects of subsidizing corn ethanol: a steady decrease in food
production, concurrent decreases in agricultural exports and rising costs of
food products.

As distasteful
as it may be to bite the bullet and end corn-ethanol subsidies, the alternative
may be even more unpalatable to Congress. Demanding that the corn-ethanol
industry stand on its own two feet would result in the closure of dozens of
plants, the loss of thousands of jobs, writing off billions of dollars of
losses and finding new sources of petroleum to replace the billions of gallons
of ethanol that Americans put in their gas tanks each year. Both options are
painful, and while a free market advocate like me would advocate cutting our
losses, learning a painful lesson and moving beyond ethanol, Congress may not
be so inclined. The benefits of ending the ethanol subsidy are long-term and
market-driven. Few politicians are motivated to action by that big a picture,
particularly when the short-term damage can be so devastating to their careers.
How can even the most staunchly conservative farm-belt congressman face his
constituents after voting to end ethanol subsidies? If and when subsidies end,
farm income will drop, the property value of farms will plummet and thousands
of workers employed in the ethanol industry will find themselves on the
streets, looking for work in the worst economic climate since the Great

The fact that
Al Gore has finally come to grips with corn-ethanol reality is a remarkable
development, but his conversion has probably come far too late to be of any
real value. The policies that he promoted throughout much of his political
career have come home to roost and the economic damage that those policies have
done is undeniable. Gore – more than anyone else – helped to create the
renewable energy monster that saps our nation’s resources and undermines our
prosperity today. Having profited handsomely from those efforts, the ex-vice
president’s belated mea culpa has fallen incredibly flat.

Obama’s Green Energy Myth

Obama’s Green Energy Myth

Posted By Rich Trzupek On June 28, 2010 @ 12:26 am In FrontPage | 20 Comments

President Obama’s attempt to turn the Deepwater Horizon disaster into an advertisement for alternative “green” energies and “cap and trade” legislation was so offensive that even Senator Diane Feinstein was forced to observe [1] that “the climate bill isn’t going to stop the oil leak.”

In a June 15 column [2] published by the New York Times, Peter Baker took that analysis a bit further:

“The connection to the spill, of course, goes only so far. While (Obama) called for more wind turbines and solar panels, for instance, neither fills gasoline tanks in cars and trucks, and so their expansion would not particularly reduce the need for the sort of deepwater drilling that resulted in the spill.”

This entirely reasonable and technically accurate statement enflamed the president’s cheerleaders over at Media Matters, where Fae Jencks [3] took Baker to task:

“While wind and solar energy may not fill cars’ tanks, it will power their batteries. What Baker fails to acknowledge is that by ensuring that ‘more of our electricity comes from wind and solar power,’ Obama would ensure that those vehicles are powered with clean energy rather than with electricity produced by fossil fuel plants.”

Those two sentences summarize the green nirvana that the president is trying to foist upon America. It’s a goal that’s entirely unachievable, because of a number of technical and economic realties that lie just below the surface of simplistic analysis.  It’s not surprising that a technically-illiterate blogger who posts at a site devoted to echoing this administration’s progressive agenda would make such an assertion, but it’s quite disturbing that the man who is supposed to be the leader of the free world would utter such foolishness.

Both wind power [4] and solar power [5] are more expensive – incredibly so in the case of solar – than either fossil power or nuclear power. Worse, you can’t count on either wind or solar as a reliable source of energy, since the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine. Accordingly, for each megawatt of wind and solar capacity we develop, another megawatt of back-up power, typically powered by fossil fuels, has to be in place. This redundancy adds to the already unacceptable cost of “green energy.”

Even if we ignore the economic aspects and accept the progressive proposition that the government has an infinite supply of money available to spend, the idea that the wind and sun can power our cars makes no sense. The reason that our vehicles use gasoline is that gas is a very efficient means to store energy. A gallon of gasoline, which weighs a little over six pounds, contains far more useful energy than the six pounds of the best batteries on the market. So, before you factor anything else in, gasoline’s weight to power ratio makes it the better choice in terms of energy efficiency. Will batteries improve over time? Sure they will, although modern, high-capacity batteries typically involve using materials that come with their own environmental hazards. Still, no battery that exists or that is being contemplated comes close to matching the energy storage capacity of gasoline.

Next, there are the unavoidable inefficiencies of the electric transmission system itself. America’s power grid is a wonder of modern technology and it’s obviously necessary to distribute the power we need to run our refrigerators and computers, light our homes and keep the pumps and motors that industry depends on turning. Yet, electric power distribution is hardly the model of efficiency. A significant portion of the energy generated by power plants is lost in distribution [6], due to voltage drops, resistant heating and other line losses. In many cases, moving energy around the nation via a network of thousands of miles of metal cables represents the best way to transmit power, but it’s hardly the most efficient way to do it.

Consider motor vehicles. By the time we work our way through all of the inherent, expensive and unavoidable inefficiencies of generating, transporting and storing so-called green power in the vain effort to fuel our transportation needs, we are left with the unavoidable conclusion that doing so would create more of a demand for power, not less. Or, to put the president’s proposition another way, if America somehow transformed itself into a nation in which the transportation sector was fueled entirely by electricity, we would be significantly less energy efficient than we are today. We can, and should, continue to develop hybrids, for that technology provides even more bang for our fossil fuel buck, without pretending that the ultimate source of power – crude oil – isn’t our best energy option.

Ultimately, if we can figure out a way to use as-of-yet undiscovered solar-powered catalysts to produce hydrogen inexpensively, we may free ourselves from the tyranny of fossil fuels altogether. Yet, as technology proceeds along those paths, we shouldn’t allow ourselves to be distracted by the promise of a green energy panacea.

Science Czar’ Admits the Big Green Lie

‘Science Czar’ Admits the Big Green Lie

Posted By Christopher C. Horner On April 14, 2010 @ 8:33 am In Environment, News, Politics | 89 Comments

The video vault has now provided us another glimpse [1] into the fever swamp occupied by President Obama’s moonbat science czar John Holdren. Holdren of course is the man brought in to put a scientific imprimatur on the Left’s latest excuse for much of its economic agenda, wrapped as it is in the cloak of averting environmental crisis.

First, the merely good news arising from Holdren’s odious openness: it floated to the surface just in time for my new book [2] coming out Monday (but available for pre-order now, before today’s ’s Ways and Means Committee “green jobs” hearing causes a run on them! Really.). In these pages Holdren, Carol Browner and a few others receive close inspection, particularly in Chapter 3 “Van Jones Was No Accident: Obama’s Radicals” (also relevant to this discussion is Chapter 6, “Green Eggs and Scam: The Wholesale Fraud of ‘Green Jobs’”).

More on all of that, including some pretty startling internal documents, in a few days.

Now for the even better news. As detailed in “Power Grab: How Obama’s Green Policies Will Steal Your Freedom and Bankrupt America [2]“, Holdren is a longtime global-cooling-then-warming alarmist who’s also on record advocating the constitutionality of sterilizing [3] the public through the drinking water supply to address the “population crisis” when it reaches the point that his kind believe is just  too much to bear.

As is also detailed, he and his ilk like to see (and shriek) crisis pretty much everywhere they look, and transparently as an excuse for their real obsession with massive government usurpations of individual liberties — or, ahem, Power Grabs [2]. So to them that point where statist seizures are urgently required is always right…about…nnnow.

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