The climate “crisis.” 

The “existential threat” to the planet. 

With all the dire rhetoric, the shouting from activists, world-wide conferences and celebrity tweeting, it’s understandable that many of us are concerned about the environment but are unaware of “inconvenient truths” that activists ignore.

The truth is that air quality has never been better in modern times — and continues to improve. That fossil fuels are an essential part of “green energy.” That even “green energy” causes its own pollution and waste. That American power grids are already over-stressed, nowhere near ready to sustain a mandated shift for cars, trucks, buses, trains, trucks — or kitchen ranges. 

READ MORE — Guy Ciarrocchi: Charter schools work

The truth is that the quality of life in the world’s developing economies — and the decrease in catastrophic loss of life due to storms — has been vastly improved due to the use of fossil fuels to create infrastructures necessary for living.

The EPA reports that the emission of pollutants has fallen twenty percent in the last ten years and 73 percent since 1980. This happened while America’s population grew 46 percent, and driving increased over 111 percent. The average American car gets 31.7 miles/gallon; in 1980, it was 13.7.

Last year, 2022, was the second-weakest hurricane season since 1980. Worldwide, climate-related disaster deaths fell 97.6 percent over the last century. This decline in deaths is due in part to advancements in infrastructure, water and sewer systems, pipelines, refrigeration — developments that came about with the use of fossil fuels.

Why don’t self-described “environmentalists” ever celebrate the progress that’s been made? It makes one wonder if environmental improvement is their true objective.

They are forcing a false choice: “green” or “dirty.” Technological improvements have allowed us to use less energy per action and cause far less pollution, all while doing more things to improve our quality of life. The real challenge is continuing to make those smart advancements.

The demands by “green energy” advocates condemning the use, development, and funding of fossil fuels and pipelines have caused obvious harm. Coal mines have closed, drilling for oil and gas is suspended, and pipeline projects are canceled. This puts people out of work and weakens our economy. Longer-term, this harms Americans by inflating the prices of gasoline, home heating oil, plus our groceries, medicine and clothing — and puts our national security in danger forcing us to be dependent on our enemies for oil and minerals.

Shouldn’t we expect our elected officials to consider and balance all important factors?

Some in the “green energy” crowd seem indifferent to the nearly two billion people living in nations lacking the infrastructure necessary to advance their quality of life.

Why do the loudest greens ignore so many realities?

To build windmills, we need trucks, airplanes and trains to transport the materials to construct, transport and install windmills. Thousands of gallons of oil are needed to keep a windmill’s motor operational. And plastics are needed to construct the actual windmill. All of this requires oil and natural gas.

To build solar panels, all of the same transportation and construction requirements apply — and the materials used to make the panels require natural gas.

Why don’t self-described “environmentalists” ever celebrate the progress that’s been made? It makes one wonder if environmental improvement is their true objective.

To manufacture batteries, all of the same plus having to fly or ship the minerals or batteries from Africa, China or Russia — and, the mining needed to make a battery actually requires an incomprehensible amount of water and creates polluted water.

Moreover, much of the world’s minerals come from Africa — mines often owned by China using African child labor being paid pennies, working in incomprehensible conditions. America has many of the minerals needed, but environmentalists won’t allow mining. Apparently, they don’t trust folks in Minnesota, Nevada or Alaska to mine safely. Why force minerals shipped from halfway around the world, rather than within the USA?  Why allow China to be in charge of our batteries?

Batteries bring additional challenges. EV batteries wear out and need replacement in as few as eight years: how and where are we going to transport and safely store the thousands of batteries? Plus, car batteries can weigh up to 1,000 pounds — making EVs heavier than conventional cars, causing faster wear and tear on tires and roads. 

Electricity is not 100 percent green either. Putting aside the need for fossil fuels to construct, transport and install power lines, substations, and the infrastructure needed to transport electricity to homes, businesses or charging stations — most electric power plants are powered by natural gas or coal.

We all want clean air, clean water and an improving quality of life for Americans, and people around the world. We need to have an honest discussion. America has enough oil, natural gas, minerals and technology to be largely energy independent to protect jobs, our national security and our quality of life, too. We deserve a calm, non-partisan debate — and reality-based solutions.

Guy Ciarrocchi is based in Paoli, where he writes and counsels elected officials and public-policy advocates — and coaches softball in his 24th season. Contact him at

One thought on “Guy Ciarrocchi: “Green” versus “dirty” economies is a false choice”

  1. Mr. Ciarrochi distorts the issues (just like when he was a paid mouthpiece for the Archdiocese of Phila. You apparently forgot that average temperatures are rising; the last decade had the hottest years on record. Sea levels are rising; forest fires are out of control, and you talk about burning coal. You must own stock in ExxonMobil (who are ripping off American consumers).

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