Friday, January 13, 2006

For the Love of Common Sense

I wrote this letter in response to an article entitled, Energy: A Potent Political Weapon, written (guess where?) on the Fox News website. You guessed right, didn't you? And you're saying right now, "Why did she bother writing to this man?" Well, my answer will be Ad Hominem: "You're stupid! Leave me alone." See? Now you know why, and you know I'm right.

Dear Mr. Steven Milloy:

Understand that I don't usually write to reporters; in fact, I believe this is my first time. I would like to point out a couple flaws in your article, that stood out to me.

1) In your article, "Energy, A Potent Political Weapon", you said, "Environmentalists are doing everything in their power to ensure that whatever energy is available will be more expensive."
As a very active environmentalist who speaks to other environmentalists on a day-to-day basis, I can assure you this isn't true.

That argument is called an Ad Hominem fallacy:
Person A makes claim X.
Person B makes an attack on person A.
Therefore A's claim is false.

Here is Person A's defense: The purpose of environmentalism is to protect the environment, and make sure that humans aren't negatively affected by the environment. We do not try to undermine attempts to boost our economy, especially when it comes to energy resources, since they are vital to the entire global economy. If we tried to undermine attempts to access energy and succeeded, the global economy would be in ruins.

This is exactly why, instead of undermining attempts to find energy resources, we offer scientifically-proven, very effective energy resources that would provide us with a lot of the energy we usually extract from fossil fuels. I'm sure you've heard of them; they're called alternative energy sources: wind power, solar power, and hydroelectric power are the most popular. As an environmentalist, I would like to show people that we have the opportunity to invest in some extremely reliable, economically, and environmentally sustainable energy sources. This would help us move from our dependency on petroleum, which is "unsustainable". This means that, regardless of when (certainly within the next century), we will hit a peak in oil extraction efficiency, and prices will rise exponentially from then on. Alternative energy sources don't have this problem. Therefore, if we were dependent on them, we would not have to worry about a sudden economic depression when oil extraction becomes next to impossible. This is not to say, "stop extracting oil now!" This is a gradual concept, to wean us off our dependency on an economically unsustainable resource. Therefore, we wouldn't have to pay higher prices for natural gas, as you said in your article, because there would be other energy sources available. (Yes, that was long-winded, I know.)

2) When you speak of the ANWR oil and gas drilling, you have to be willing to do a cost-benefit analysis. The economically recoverable oil in ANWR is about 152 days of supply. That's less than half a year's supply of oil. Drilling in that part of the Refuge would disrupt the balance of a very fragile ecosystem. Before you come to any conclusions, I suggest you learn exactly what an ecosystem is and how interconnected it is with each species it houses. Drilling will likely put the caribou species on the endangered species list. You may not share the same sentiments as I about deer. That's fine. How about people? The two large herds of caribou in ANWR are major food sources for the Gwich'in Indians in that area. They have lived off the caribou for the past 12,000 years, and are strongly opposed to drilling. To learn about more reasons that drilling in ANWR is a terrible idea, contact Senate Republicans, Lincoln Chafee (RI) and Mike DeWine (OH), and ask them why they voted against the drilling.

3) I will not go into the large amounts of evidence that global warming not only exists, but is exacerbated by humans. But I do suggest that, before you read more about how climate change is "junk science", you read this one pdf article, or you can go to the website and get it there.

Thank you very much for reading through this long email. I hope you at least found it interesting.


Sitakali (I actually used my real name here)

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