Environmental activist groups such as Greenpeace have consistently opposed similar technologies, such as carbon capture and sequestration, because they do not address what they see as the root of the problem.
On May 5, for example, the activist groups Students Promoting Environmental Action and Save Our Cumberland Mountains demonstrated in Knoxville, Tennessee against carbon sequestration. Repeatedly citing a Greenpeace position paper, they argued eliminating the use of coal, not reducing atmospheric CO2, should be society’s primary goal.
“Our position is we need to start phasing out coal as soon as possible,” said Cathie Bird of Save Our Cumberland Mountains.
“Carbon capture and storage does not make coal clean,” read a banner hoisted by protesters.
Reveals Activists’ Real Motives
Leading energy analysts agreed with the scientists, rather than the protesters.
“If CO2 emission reduction is a goal, then investigating and investing in strategies for capitalizing on our existing infrastructure efficiently and effectively makes more sense than throwing away reasonable options simply because they don’t align with a political philosophy about our energy economy,” said Amy Kaleita, an environmental policy fellow at the Pacific Research Institute.
“This is just one more piece of evidence that environmentalists aren’t concerned about solving a problem,” said Sterling Burnett, a senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis. “Every problem, as they see it, is one way to restrict people’s lifestyles, and if you come up with a technological fix that can solve a problem but doesn’t require sacrifice and lets us go about our business the way we were before, they’re not happy about it, even if it solves the problem.
“Now, I don’t know about whether this technology will solve global warming,” said Burnett, “but let’s say it is cost-effective, and let’s assume for the sake of argument that global warming is a real, serious problem that needs to be solved. Then I would argue that this technology may be a good thing.”
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