Unless you’re an academic specializing in French history, you’ve probably never heard of Jean Baptiste Colbert, a politician who served as the Minister of Finances of France from 1665 to 1683. But you may have heard his most famous public utterance, or at least some version of it.
It goes like this: “The art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to obtain the largest amount of feathers with the least possible amount of hissing.”
But it applies to more than taxation. It’s what the entire field of public relations and marketing is built upon, and it’s what scams of one sort or another are all about.
Latest example is the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, which has received precious little public attention, and about which a public meeting in Victorville was held a couple of weeks back. Some 350 people showed up to listen to Chris Beale, the DRECP acting executive director, make a case for the plan’s current draft.
Quiet the hissing
What Mr. Beale was up to, of course, was to figure out how to open up 22.6 million acres of California land to renewable energy projects while causing the least amount of hissing from the people who live in the desert.
We’re on the side of the hissers, primarily because the whole idea of more renewable energy projects in the High Desert – or anywhere else in the 22.6 million acres of California land being considered, including 12 million acres in San Bernardino County – is unnecessary.
Such projects have been viewed as a panacea for America’s energy needs. But consider that the whole idea of establishing DRECP began in 2008, long before fracking technology revealed that America’s natural gas supply, the cheapest and least polluting of carbon-based energy sources, is virtually limitless. Latest proven reserves (from 2012) are 323 trillion cubic feet. In 2013, the country used 23 million cubic feet. Divide 23 million into 323 trillion and you get … a virtually limitless supply. And the price is falling as reserves mount.
Consider also that the plan was conceived just when Barack Obama, the most ardent global warming believer ever to occupy the Oval Office, took power.
The DRECP gang wants to make way for renewable energy projects, not because they’re needed, but because environmental activists have sold the notion that without them the Earth is going to burn to a cinder before its time due to rising carbon dioxide levels IF WE DON’T DO SOMETHING TO STOP IT!
It’s nonsense, of course, but if we don’t stop the effort to stop the nonsense, we’ll be devoting billions and billions and billions of tax dollars to subsidizing an industry that’s not needed. There’s another “public hearing” by fomenters of the DRECP today, in Joshua Tree. We expect that to also attract plenty of desert residents (other DRECP draft plan hearings prior to Victorville’s, held in down-the-hill communities whose residents don’t feel threatened by DRECP plans, were attended by almost nobody).
Now if, say, the government was proposing that 100 wind turbine generators be erected along the Southern California coast a couple miles offshore from Santa Monica, and a public hearing were held in the area to consider a “draft plan,” how many people (OK, protesters) do you suppose would attend? It would be standing room only at The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
The Mojave Desert doesn’t need this latest effort to turn it into a dumping ground for taxpayer subsidized wind turbines and solar generating projects covering thousands of acres of land with solar mirrors and 500-foot towers with spinning blades, all out of sight and mind of the Left Coast’s environmental nut cases, but all too visible and intrusive to the people who love the desert and want to keep it as pristine as possible.
We think it’s time to turn up the volume on hissing.
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