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You are here: > News > Aug. 9, 2010

Why liberal environmentalists don't flock to free energy

With its quest for clean, renewable, affordable power, you would think that liberal environmentalists would be key participants in the hunt for viable free energy technologies.  Why do they keep their distance?

by Sterling D. Allan
Pure Energy Systems News
Copyright © 2010

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of the New Energy Congress colleagues and advisors.

"Free Energy" has too much "Freedom" in it for Liberals to like it.


One of the things that has stumped me over the years as I've been covering exotic free energy news from around the world is why the liberal environmentalists don't get excited about and support the quest.  For the most part, free energy enthusiasts tend to be conservative in their political ideology -- in favor of limited government and in favor of individual responsibility and freedom.

You would think that liberal environmentalists would be happy to see technologies come along that cleanly harvest inexhaustible energy that could change the outlook of the planet from one of scarcity and all the conflicts that arise over scarcity, to abundance, making energy and the benefits that come with it available to every man, enabling the impoverished to be elevated.  To me, that seems like a non-political common ground that should appeal to people of any political ideology.  Who could be against clean energy?  Who would be against replacing scarcity with abundance?  Who would be against enabling the impoverished to be elevated?

So why do places like TreeHugger or Inhabitat seem to steer completely clear of exotic free energy technology?  Is it just that they are timid to cover things that haven't yet been proven to a significant extent?

Then this morning I received a draft copy of an article by Joel Carlinsky which helped shed light on this question for me.

Free Energy As A Political Ideology

by Joel Carlinsky

There is an extensive subculture of people who think it is possible to build a device that produces more energy than it needs to run itself. These people do not stop at the mere prospect of building such a device, which would be a fantastic accomplishment revolutionizing modern physics, but have also woven a vision about it in which it saves the world from pollution by replacing all other forms of power generation. This vision motivates them to continue the search for the elusive goal. 

But the sad reality is that even if they ever succeeded in actually making such a machine, the impact on environmental problems would be negligible. 

Contrary to what the free-energy enthusiasts think, most environmental problems are not related to how energy is obtained.

Deforestation, over-fishing, habitat loss, damming of rivers, plowing ground, building huge urban sprawls, military use of radioactivity and chemical poisons to poison enemy territory, floating plastic in the oceans, diversion of water for irrigation, destruction of the ozone layer by the chemicals used in military aircraft, and many, many other threats to the environment would not be solved by changing the sources of energy in common use. 

The free-energy buffs are chasing a chimera. They like the idea of free energy as the solution to environmental problems, but virtually ignore all the other causes of environmental degradation that have nothing to do with energy sources. Seldom are they to be found among the ranks of environmental activists working on other causes. 

In fact, the reverse is true. Most free-energy fans are in favor of new technologies, while most environmentalists are suspicious of any untested technology and usually urge caution, not rapid acceptance of technical innovations. 

Another frequent gulf between the free-energy culture and the environmentalists is on population control. Most environmentalists are convinced there are too many people on this planet and they would like to see the number of humans reduced as quickly as possible, as long as the methods used are consistent with humanistic values. But many free energy enthusiasts agree with the teachings of right-wing economists that the earth could support many more people than there are at present if only some new technologies were adopted to yield free energy and increase food production. This short-sighted view concentrates on availability of food and fuel and ignores all the negative impacts a larger population would have on the natural life-support systems of the planet. 

Environmentalists frequently blame large corporations or the capitalist economic system for the destruction of the environment, though most would agree instantly if you told them the huge numbers of people and the level of technology now existing are responsible for most of the damage. But the free energy buffs focus mainly, if not exclusively, on the pollution caused by conventional energy sources and place the main burden of blame on oil companies and a few rich and powerful conspirators who are thought to be keeping free energy off the market. Instead of advocating less technology, they advocate more. 

And most of them have no objection to capitalism. They dislike the few large companies that they blame for retarding technological progress, but seldom advocate the overthrow of capitalism in favor of any alternative form of economic distribution system. If you suggest to them that the best way to bring in use of free energy devices would be to abolish capitalism and become a socialistic society, they would fail to see the connection. Many of them, in fact, are staunch advocates of the free-enterprise system.

So free energy can be regarded as a right-wing solution to environmental issues, while most environmentalists are on the left of the political spectrum. The differences between them are more important than the things they have in common. The free energy buffs frequently reject a call for a socialist economy, population reduction, and limits on technology just as rigidly as the environmental movement rejects the idea of a technological "fix" for environmental problems. 

The two viewpoints are not compatible and cannot be reconciled. Ultimately, they are not about facts, but about values, and represent differing ideas of what kind of a world we want to live in. 

Let me now address some of the issues that Joel raised in the above piece.

I'm all for a responsible stewardship on the planet, taking care of our natural resources, and not raping the earth.  I adhere to a "seventh generation" principle that says our activities today should be sustainable to seven generations.

Regarding population control, evidence shows that as a culture gets more education, which comes naturally with greater wealth, they tend to take more responsibility in their child birth choices.  So along with elevating the impoverished would also come a concurrent stemming of the super high birth rates found among them.

Regarding pollution, there are some amazing technologies being developed now that can turn waste into energy or building materials.  Not only will we be able to stem  the pollution of the planet, but we'll be able to go in and harvest the past pollution, such as the massive ocean heaps of plastic trash, into energy or building materials.

I do think that we need to get away from a consumerism mentality that equates a person's value with how much stuff they have.  I see the enlightened world that will be emerging moving away from the "planned obsolescence" manufacturing practice, and back to one of planning to get the most out of what is used, then recycling it when it's life span is over.  Technology's evolution will be a key part of this advancement of our society as a whole.

Free enterprise is not the problem.  The problem has been fascist corruption of huge companies in bed with government getting away with all kinds of abuses, causing government to look the other way when they should be enforcing the law on these corrupt practitioners.

Socialism absolutely is not the answer to what ails our planet.  Yes, a socialist world government could force people to take care of the environment (while some of them get filthy rich as they manipulate the loopholes and leverage opportunities).  But I am on the side of freedom, not force.  I am convinced that there is an innate goodness in people (conscience), which though the 'natural man' tends to ignore, the enlightened person adheres to, having had a change of heart by turning to God.  And events such as the Gulf Oil disaster have an effect on the population as a whole, giving them a collective change of heart to a realization of our need to take care of the earth. 

Do you want to be told by your government what you can and can't do, touching every little decision you make, forcing you into a career path they think is best, giving you no freedom of speech, no right of dissent, no ability to change your mind or change your path; no right of religious belief; treating you with the grossest violence if you fall in violation of the state (consider the inhumane history of the tyrannies of the past)?  I certainly don't.  That is the world of socialism.  That is what the New World Order would be all about.

I am for freedom.  And free energy empowers freedom, removing reliance on a central authority, giving people the ability for individual expression and freedom.  That is why big oil, big money, and big government that is in bed together in a massive conspiracy are against free energy as a nemesis to their plans for a New World Order.  Free energy empowers the individual, helping to enable them to rise to the highest that is within them.  That's no good to a tyrant.

Yes, there should be environmental laws in a free government, as freedom requires restrain, just as a kite requires a string.  And yes, the Western World could do more in its laws regarding protecting the environment in a responsible way.

I am convinced that a free, enlightened planet is our destiny; which will be realized soon once the New World Order beast comes to an end, both through self-inflicted demise as well as divine intervention; which could include intervention from extraterrestrial observers allowed to help in our time of crisis.  I'm hopeful that the end of 2012 will mark a milestone of transition away from the central control and toward freedom and enlightenment.  And I'm hopeful that as the socialist New World Order beast comes down, concurrently will arise a wide array of exotic free energy technologies to empower the new world of a changed people.  They're already starting to crown, to use a childbirth analogy, following a very long, difficult labor.

I'm hoping that my saying all this doesn't further distance the liberals, but that it might help them see that our goals for humanity are similar.  The thing that might drive a wedge is if liberty is not fundamental to you as it is to me and most others who are proponents of free energy.

# # #

Carlinsky Reply: Socialists Can Love Freedom Too

On August 09, 2010 8:28 AM mountain, Joel Carlinsky wrote:

Re, your op-ed commentary on my essay on free energy as a political ideology:

I am not a socialist. But there is no reason a socialist cannot be in favor of freedom. There are authoritarians on both sides of the political spectrum. Authoritarianism is not a characteristic of the right or the left. It is a character trait of some human beings, who then use whatever political ideology they happen to prefer to justify authoritarian measures.

There are also anti-authoritarians on both the left and the right. Neither left nor right has any monopoly on wanting freedom. People on both right and left have often fought and died for freedom. And there have been dictatorships on both left and right. 

As one friend of mine once said, "The left wants to take away your right to defend yourself and the right wants to tell you who you can sleep with."

Considering that it is the right that wants to do away with the right to have an abortion, require a permit from the state to sleep with someone, draft people into their armies, and throw people in jail for smoking pot, it is hard to see why the right-wingers always claim it is the left that is in favor of limiting freedom. 

Let us get beyond stereotypes, please. 

* * * *

Left and Right Need to See What They Have In Common

On August 09, 2010 1:25 AM mountain, Jeane Manning wrote:

IMO that essay steers toward even more polarization at a time when “left” and “right” need to see what they have in common and unite to create a better world, rather than falsely be told that they have irreconcilable differences. The extremes of each “side” may have, but most of us are NOT taking extreme positions.

* * * *

See also

Page composed by Sterling D. Allan July 1, 2010
Last updated August 17, 2010


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