Commentary

The “costs” of renewable energy

Having read “Political Climate Change” (MetroLutheran, November 2012, page 13), one can summarize the feature article in a single sentence: Humanity’s moral irresponsibility demands government’s virtuous rescue to save the planet. The Lutheran Coalition for Public Policy in Minnesota (LCPPM) and the nonprofit organization Fresh Energy are now teamed up as the alternative Minnesota “Twins,” ready to play the popular game of guilt promotion.

Tim Utter

However, we are not charged with a great commission to evangelize for a faith-based, pseudo-religious movement, cleverly disguised as a scientific theory.

While vigorously advocating for government-sponsored renewable clean energy, our “Twins” conspicuously neglect to mention the enormous financial cost for citizens in the form of increased taxes to subsidize the development of alternative energy; ensuing higher consumer energy prices; and the continual wasting of tax dollars prompted by failed green enterprises like Solyndra. Just as troubling will be an ever-intrusive government policy of coercing behavioral regulation of citizens’ lives, dictated by these Don Quixotes in their noble quest of tilting windmills.

Fresh Energy spokesperson, J. Drake Hamilton, takes pride that “Minnesota is fourth in the nation in the successful use of wind power.” Perhaps she should talk to her colleague, Will Steger, who is “concerned for the wildlife.” According to the American Bird Conservancy, “wind farms kill birds — including eagles, songbirds, and endangered species. By 2030 there will likely be more than 100,000 wind turbines in the U.S. and these are expected to kill at least one million birds each year” (2010 report).

Moreover, as an arctic explorer, Mr. Steger is no doubt well aware that the “immoral” Alaska Oil Pipeline provides windbreak and warmth for endangered caribou, resulting in herd number increases from an estimated 6,000 to over 27,000 in the 30 years that the pipeline has been in existence (Media Research Center, 2006).

Alarmed about alarmists

Like all alarmists of man-made “climate change” (formerly known as “global warming;” formerly known as “global freezing”), our “Twins” deceptively equate their highly-controversial theory with the universally-accepted fact of environmentalism. In other words, “if you don’t accept man-made causation of catastrophic changes in nature,” so goes their argument, “then, you obviously don’t believe in promoting a clean environment.” It is a rationale equivalent to “If you don’t accept astrology, you must not believe in astronomy.”

LCPPM is correct that we “are charged [by Scripture] with the care of [God’s] creation.” However, we are not charged with a great commission to evangelize for a faith-based, pseudo-religious movement, cleverly disguised as a scientific theory. For the sake of scientific integrity, let us open up this politically-charged subject to honest scrutiny and objective academic debate.

Tim Utter is an admissions counselor at Concordia University, St. Paul.

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