Friday, February 22, 2013

False Choices

In a column in the Huffington Post, Evangeline Lilly muses about CO2 emissions. She gets off to a bad start by admitting that she flew 16 hours each way to attend a climate rally in Washington DC. From there she starts fretting over why her jet wasn't powered by bio-fuels and why oil workers have to have dirty jobs.

If oil workers could choose, would they choose to work in toxic environments with damaging chemicals, or would they choose to work surrounded by clean air?

If Americans could choose, would they choose to work on the infrastructure for cancer-causing oil power or would they choose to work on the infrastructure for health reviving wind power?
If Canadians could choose, would they choose to dig up their forests, leaving behind barren and filthy wastelands, or would they choose to harvest the sun's rays and leave behind a legacy for their children?

If people had a choice, what would that choice be?

My reflections on climate choice were abruptly interrupted by the ever more sobering understanding that, right now, so many citizens of our free, democratic nations have no choice. They go to work in the dirty energy sector for lack of a better alternative.

Lilly is apparently unaware of the toxic environment involved in making solar cells and batteries. She also seems to think that the raw materials for these materialize out of thin air, possible created by combining wind and sun beams, instead of being mined in some of the world's dirtiest mines. Most of our raw materials come from third world countries because activists like her do not want them in her country.

I'm sure that most people would prefer feeding unicorns to drilling oil wells but that isn't a real choice and nether are the alternatives she presents.

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