Keystone XL and Eco-Hypocrisy
Jonah Goldberg at National Review makes a sharp point about the Keystone XL pipeline today: we're constantly lectured that Canadians are model citizens of the world, but their enthusiastic approval of the Keystone pipeline cuts absolutely no ice with the American Left. This is, presumably, the one thing U.S. liberals think Canada is completely and totally wrong about.
And from a practical standpoint, the radical American greens and their pet President cannot "stop" the extraction of oil from the Canadian tar sands. They can't really "stop the pipeline." They can only prevent it from running through America, and bringing American jobs with it. If anything, the alternative methods for shipping this oil to its standby customer, China, are considerably riskier for the environment. The opponents of Keystone XL are engineering a net minus to the Earth, in the name of their own political ideology.
But that's really nothing new for the environmentalist set. They tend to oppose ideologically unclean technologies - nuclear power as the grand-daddy example, joined now by clean coal and fracking - that would be cleaner for the planet. They promote the poverty and command economics that are, truly, the greatest and most constant threat to responsible stewardship of the planet - clean technologies are a luxury the poor cannot afford, and authoritarian governments have little interest in paying for. The enormous success of the more responsible environmentalists and conservationists of yesteryear is ignored, to create an atmosphere of perpetual crisis whose true function has more to do with fund-raising and the accumulation of political power.
This has become so obvious that it's a wonder anyone takes them seriously... but they are still taken very seriously indeed, as President Obama's delusional call for a $2 billion "green energy fund" demonstrates. So much for "austerity," eh?