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Want to Help the Environment? Ignore Environmentalists
If you want to reduce greenhouse gases, don't take policy advice from environmentalists. That's the message from a recent Washington Post article discussing Europe's increasing consumption of coal.

Greenhouse emissions are down in the US, in large part because of fracking, an environmentally sound technique for liberating natural gas that is opposed by groups that claim to be concerned about climate change, such as NRDC and Greenpeace.

Meanwhile, the Post article explains that "Demand for coal in Germany has been rising since a May 2011 move to phase out nuclear power by 2022." Moreover, "nuclear energy, which is low in greenhouse gas emissions, has been partially replaced by brown coal." As a member of the Bundestag noted, "The faster phaseout [of nuclear energy] has led to an increased fallback on lignite."

Thus, in the US which has often ignored the anti-fracking environmentalists, greenhouse gases have declined. In Europe, where environmentalists have more sway, greenhouse emissions are increasing.

The lesson to be learned from the European and American experiences is two-fold. The first lesson is that a responsible national energy policy has to embrace coal, fracking, nuclear, hydro and other abundant energy sources. The second lesson is that if you care about the environment, ignore environmentalists.

See, Europe consuming more coal

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