December 12 2012
From her digs in the Dakota, one of the world’s grandest apartment buildings, Yoko Ono has launched a crusade against something that could better the lives of people who are not as filthy rich as she is: natural gas fracking.
The Washington Free Beacon reports that Ono and her son Sean Lennon took out a full-page ad in the New York Times to protest hydraulic fracking in New York:
“Governor Cuomo: Imagine there’s no fracking …” the ad states and urges New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to “give clean energy a chance.”
Cuomo is considering lifting a ban on fracking that has been in place since 2008. The Beatle widow and her son are part of “Artists against Fracking,” a group that includes such intellectual heavy weights as transcendental meditator Deepak Chopra and actress Daryl Hannah.
It is possible to appreciate a beautiful landscape just as much as Yoko Ono and at the same time recognize that other people need to make a living. Moreover, we have the technology to do fracking in a way that does not do vast and permanent harm to the environment. People such as Ms. Ono often rely on overstated claims about environmental impact.
When the president killed the Keystone XL pipeline as a sop to the rich environmentalist constituency, I noted such people are often removed from such tacky concerns as getting a job. William Tucker‘s American Spectator essay “Environmentalism and the Leisure Class” is worth quoting again:
In turning down Keystone, however, the President has uncovered an ugly little secret that has always lurked beneath the surface of environmentalism. Its basic appeal is to the affluent.
Despite all the professions of being "liberal" and "against big business," environmentalism's main appeal is that it promises to slow the progress of industrial progress.
People who are already comfortable with the present state of affairs -- who are established in the environment, so to speak -- are happy to go along with this.
Fracking could take us steps closer to the goal of energy independence. It can be done with minimal (and mostly repairable) environmental harm. It can create jobs. It can boost our stalled economy. But Ms. Ono is above such mundane concerns.
As a pro-fracking spokesman puts it:
“Was breaking up the Beatles not enough?” asked Steve Everley, spokesman for EnergyInDepth.org, a pro-fracking group. “Unemployed men and women across New York would like to imagine a future where they have jobs and can better support their own families.”