Large groups of people recently celebrated Earth Day at many locations across the country.  Santa Barbara County has long been the undisputed leader of the environmental movement; however, have the hundreds of activists in and out of government really helped the environment or are they hypocrites?

Just look at what at what various groups brought to Alameda Park for the celebration at the end of April; plastic chairs, printed one-time-use signs, disposable food/drink containers, plastic handouts to promote various causes, and all the grass they trampled as they listened to the speakers and bands.

Many would say all this stuff contributed to climate change; contributed to filling the landfills; or was harmful to the environment if it were anything other than an Earth Day event.

Environmental groups have long waged war on the fossil fuel industry, and have all but eliminated it from our country. The loss of general fund-tax revenue has been substantial, and many of their complaints raised more questions than provided helpful answers. 

Recently, an organized campaign prevented one of the few remaining oil companies from installing safety valves on a pipeline that leaked several years ago. This is an example of their lack of concern for responsible solutions.

This action seems counter-productive in that the company was trying to mitigate a potential problem, which you would think would satisfy anyone concerned about the environment.  But, as Noozhawk reported:

“The project proposed installing 16 safety valves on the pipeline that runs from the Gaviota Coast to San Luis Obispo and Kern counties in order to comply with Assembly Bill 864 requiring operators near coastal zone to use the ‘best available technology … to reduce the amount of oil spilled in an oil spill to protect state waters and wildlife.’

“The groups appealing the project approval, and members of the public commenting during the meeting, were concerned that approving the project would lead to the pipeline operators eventually restarting oil production and use of the pipelines.”

An anti-anything oil planning commission denied the project.

These same complainers often say they are tired of getting tar balls on their feet when trying to walk on South Coast beaches.

If they had any understanding of how the tar got there, they might change their minds. Because it isn’t oil production, instead it is naturally occurring oil seeps from oil deposits deep under the sea that cause the tar on their feet. These seeps will go on for several hundred more years even if not one more oil production facility is started up.

Another point of those who wish to save the earth and stop global warming is to rely on solar and wind power. They can’t seem to comprehend that when the wind is slack, or the sun isn’t shining there is no power generation.

Their demands to convert to all-electric vehicles fail to consider the adverse impacts associated with acquiring the raw materials to make batteries, the eventual discarding of these batteries when they are no longer useful, or where all the additional power is going to come from to charge them.

California has taken the lead in converting to all-electric vehicles without considering the construction, farming, and freight industries. These industries rely on reliably powered equipment to produce and deliver the goods and services we all consume every day. 

Other environmentalists on the federal level want to convert all military vehicles to electrical power; once again shortsighted political appointees can’t comprehend that the military often operates where there is no power grid to recharge their equipment and that they may require uninterrupted operation long after the battery charge is depleted, and military members will be killed on the battlefield all in the name of “saving the earth.”

All these earth saving projects require massive taxpayer support in the form of direct grants, favorable tax exemptions and other subsidies. Every one of us pays for these poorly thought out endeavors and like wind farms and solar arrays that wind up going broke without those subsidies.

Now, have all the billions of dollars poured into “saving the environment” really worked? Well, the sun still shines, it still rains, there are still periodic droughts, the snow still falls, the glaciers haven’t all melted away, tar balls are on the shore, and the oceans haven’t swallowed Santa Barbara or Malibu yet.

And Earth Day celebrations still contribute to polluting the environment.