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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

“The facile solutions offered by McKibben and other environmentalists fail to reckon with many things, not least how profoundly the world has changed since Russia’s invasion. Europe’s heavy dependency on Russian oil and gas is just the tip of the iceberg. The world’s renewable energy economy is deeply entangled with geopolitically problematic supply chains. Huge parts of the world’s supplies of silicon, lithium, and rare-earth minerals rely on China, where solar panels are produced by Uyghur slave labor in concentration camps. The idea that the crisis might be resolved by choosing Western dependence on Chinese solar panels and batteries over Western dependence on Russian oil and gas reveals just how unserious the environmental movement’s pretensions to justice, human rights, and democracy really are.”

Ted Nordhaus.

14 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • NickM

    Absolutely. I’m a pro-geek. I’ve written this on an ASUS laptop. ’nuff said.

  • TomJ

    The silicon and rare earths point is overstated. We don’t depend on China for their supply, only for the supply at current price. There’s plenty of raw materials all over the place and if China were to cease supply, either due to them trying to play silly buggers or because of a collective outbreak of ethical sourcing, non-Chinese players would quickly step up plug the gap.

  • Stonyground

    The environmental movement’s pretensions to environmentalism aren’t that impressive either.

  • Deep Lurker

    Environmentalists are all tender toward the ecology of the biological environment, worrying about how an unthinking intervention can cause terrible, unexpected, far reaching effects. But they oddly have no worries at all when it comes to clear-cutting and paving over the ecology of the economic environment.

  • The Greens are cutting down one of Europe’s oldest intact forests so they can put up wind towers. This is not tender toward the ecology of the biological environment. I’m surprised a fierce civil war hasn’t broken out among their ranks over this. The movement is full of loonies, but they’re not all loony about the same thing.


  • Tim the Coder

    Isn’t it wonderful that the world is so awash with cheap food, that we can plan to repurpose farmland into ‘rewilding’ and solar harvesting.

    Time for a refresh of the old biofuel joke about how many miles per Biafran?

    The environ-mentalists aren’t just fighting supply chain issues, they are fighting basic arithmetic.
    Have they noticed that nights are dark, and much longer in winter. The days are short and cloudy.
    Have they any idea how large a battery they will need for Winter?
    And where will they source 100 million tons of cobalt?

    On the positive side, a load of EV hybrid buses burned out in Leighton Buzzard recently, and one in Paris went off like an incendiary bomb. Good thing it was empty at the time, there was only a few seconds to get out from the time it stopped driving.
    So one or two tunnel/ferry/bus disasters, and the EV story will be done.

  • Ferox

    Nuclear power (especially thorium reactors – thorium is everywhere) could solve all the renewable power issues and give us an abundance of cheap energy, but inexplicably the Greenies hate nuclear power.

    It’s almost like their Enviro-fascism is just an excuse to tell other people what to do.

  • NickM

    Not exactly… They just hate what they don’t understand. And that is a lot.

  • Mark


    And what they don’t understand is why the populace at large don’t throw themselves at the feet of those who are so manifestly in possession of the means of creating heaven on earth.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    “The silicon and rare earths point is overstated,” writes TomJ.

    Not really. I think it is about time the issue was stated, and bluntly. If we jump out of the “fire” of fossil fuels we could end up in an equally problematic “frying pan” on other substances to make our industrial civilisation tick, and this is going to drive a lot of geopolitics for the next few decades. Nordhaus is merely being honest in pointing this out.

    It is way beyond time for the green/social justice movement to have to contend with a harsh dose of reality. As the late Richard Feynman once remarked after the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster, nature cannot be fooled.

  • lucklucky

    We are not getting numbers of what/how much rare earths are needed. How much rare earths the West import?

  • Rudolph Hucker

    While agreeing with TomJ
    The silicon and rare earths point is overstated. We don’t depend on China for their supply, only for the supply at current price. There’s plenty of raw materials all over the place

    There’s plenty of known raw material e.g. in North America and Australia. But because “environment”, the trouble is the environmental NIMBYs, who don’t mind “sustainable” energy if the raw material extraction is out of sight in a far-away country, but they don’t want it near them.

  • Rudolph Hucker


    The Greens are cutting down one of Europe’s oldest intact forests so they can put up wind towers.

    And on WUWT …

    While the real, historically grown fairytale forest outside the city is being cut down, artificial substitutes are being created within the city.

    We know a song about that:

    They took all the trees
    Put ’em in a tree museum
    Then they charged the people
    A dollar and a half just to see ’em

    But Joni Mitchell these days is more concerned about other things.