Is the goal of the climate activists to reduce the human carbon footprint on the planet or is their goal to control our energy usage, tax us, and reduce our standard of living? The current debate in Europe is illuminating.
The European Union has pledged to be “carbon-neutral” by 2050 — in a mere 28 years. A short time, but long enough that the current politicians will not be in power to take the heat when there is no heat available.
France and Germany do not agree on how to be “carbon-neutral”. Today, 70 percent of electricity in France is powered by nuclear plants, and they are building more. The French realize that in Northern Europe, the sun does not shine very often, but atomic power can be always available. The added bonus is that atomic power is “clean” energy with no carbon footprint.
But, Germany has abandoned nuclear energy due to pressure from their anti-nukes movement. The German Greens make their own rules on what is “carbon-neutral” — and atomic energy is verboten. All of their six nuclear plants will be closed by next year. The leaders have promised that 80 percent of Germany’s energy will be from “renewables” in a mere eight years. The problem is that 30 percent of Germany’s energy currently comes from coal and natural gas. There might be some very cold nights in Germany’s future.
One more monkey wrench in Europe’s climate plan is their reliance on gas from Russia — Gazprom. Russia supplies 35 percent of Europe’s gas. The Russians love having this control over Europe; just last weekend in the dead of winter cold, Russia cut the gas supplies. Russia has the power over the energy in Europe and they use it for geopolitical ends (ask the Ukrainians about the totality of Russian power to enforce their rules).
The French are correct in making plans to be energy self-sufficient with a reliable and renewable source of energy that generates both night and day. The Germans are fools to think that the limited amount of sun that shines in Germany is a sufficient and reliable source of energy to replace the gas line controlled by Russia.
The climate activists are caught in a bind. Nuclear energy is green and clean and renewable. But if the green-niks accept nuclear energy, then they lose their leftist supporters who oppose all nukes all the time. Who is “anti-science” here? If the climate goal is “clean” energy, then all countries should be encouraged to produce their own energy and never have to rely on Russia for winter fuel.
Anne Schlafly Cori is the daughter of Phyllis Schlafly and Chairman of Eagle Forum.