NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

January 25, 2014

Learning economic, environmental lessons the hard way

“The largest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity is no longer socialism. It is, instead, the ambitious, arrogant, unscrupulous ideology of environmentalism.” Czech president Vaclav Klaus, quoted by Charles Krauthammer in a 2008 column included in his new book, “Things That Matter.”

Czechoslovakia learned its lesson about socialism the hard way. Since Dr. Krauthammer used this quote in his column, the United States has accelerated on the road to learning its lesson about socialism the hard way, too.

This doesn’t negate former President Klaus’ point about radical environmentalism. A huge subject, so I’ll keep it local for now.

I did buy a thick flannel shirt to keep me warm if the enviro-radicals delay or kill the proposed natural gas Salem Harbor power plant. I know I depend upon National Grid for my own heat, but ...

I once thought that having gas would ensure I had heat during an electric power outage, until I learned that I need electricity to turn on the furnace. Salem uses its plant to generate electricity, which I get from Marblehead Electric, which gets it from MMWEC, which gets it from the electric power grid, of which Salem is a part. So, technically, I might sometimes depend on Salem for the electricity needed to fire my gas furnace to keep warm.

Let me reassure the enviro-rads who are protesting the new Salem plan that even if it’s built, I’ll still wear my flannel shirt so I can keep my thermostat lower and help save Mother Earth. Of course, if everyone had my small carbon footprint, Mother Earth probably wouldn’t have the fever that Al Gore says it has. Or a cold. Or whatever it has now that the globe is no longer warming but instead just changing its climate.

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