Will you choose the “dark side” or the “light?”
That’s what CFACT asked attendees and college students at CPAC 2018, where CFACT used Star Wars analogies to stage a light saber duel between the evil Dark Side, “Green Energy” Darth Vader and the good Light Side, “Reliable Energy” Jedi.
“We thought this would get the point across to the crowd pretty easily: That so-called “green” energy that needs subsidies is the bad guy and reliable energy that comes from fossil fuels and nuclear are the good guys,” said Adam Houser, CFACT National Director of Collegians.
For 45 years, the Conservative Political Action Conference, more commonly referred to as CPAC, has drawn thousands of conservatives from around the country to the Washington, D.C. area. Top collegian activists and influential conservatives gather annually to hear from the nation’s leading free market and limited government speakers. CFACT was there in force to ensure that the conversation focused on sound climate science and the importance of reliable energy for America’s energy dominance.
CFACT’s light saber duel was meant to strike a deeper discussion of what type of energy is right for America going forward. As dozens of students crowded around the duel, and The Opposition, a late-night political satire show on Comedy Central, filmed the fake altercation, it was clear the stunt achieved its intended goal. Students then flocked to CFACT’s booth, where they could take the Energy Challenge to charge their phone and learn more about energy. Vanity Fair, NowThis, and Teen Vogue all stopped at CFACT’s booth to ask questions about energy and take pictures.
“We gave students the option to charge their phone from a typical outlet, which is powered by fossil fuels, or they could try to go the ‘renewable’ route by blowing on the mini wind turbine or turning the hand crank,” explained Graham Beduze, CFACT’s Associate Director of Collegians. “The vast majority chose conventional energy, although it was hilarious to see some students furiously turning the crank or getting winded trying to generate enough force to charge their phones by blowing on the turbine.”
“It was awesome talking with fellow students about how capitalism isn’t killing the planet and can provide solutions to environmental problems,” explained Eyasu Yirdaw, a CFACT volunteer and student at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. “Everyone seemed to understand that we need reliable, conventional energy to power America. I had a ton of fun just having the opportunity to interact with a lot of millenials and discuss these important issues with them.”
What is “reliable” energy? Reliable is fossil fuels and nuclear power. Oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear can provide steady and affordable power to anywhere in the world . So-called “green” energy, however, is solar and wind and biofuels.
Unlike fossil fuels, which can be easily transported to places without available sources of energy, or nuclear, which has an incredible return on investment in terms of energy provided, wind and solar only provide power when the sun shines or the wind blows. There may be a day when the technology advances to a point where the energy created by wind and solar can be stored long term in a battery, but truly free market energy, where sources can compete with each other for efficiency and affordability, is the key to American energy dominance.
“Renewables” kill thousands of birds, bats, and insects when they fly into turbine blades or are fried by solar panel reflections. Finally, both wind and solar need rare Earth minerals, which when mined create massive sludge runoff lakes in places like rural China. The idea that these sources of energy have zero environmental impact is patently false.
Even President Trump, in his keynote address, hit home runs on the issues of climate and energy. “We’ve ended the war on American energy. We were in war. And we’ve ended the war on beautiful, clean coal…And remember this: Virtually, as soon as I got into office, we approved the Keystone XL pipeline and the Dakota Access pipeline, which would never have been approved. And we announced our withdrawal from the totally disastrous, job-killing, wealth-knocking-out…Paris Climate Accord. Would have been a disaster. Would have been a disaster for our country.”
All of the President’s remarks were met with thunderous applause from the young crowd. When he mentioned the withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord, the auditorium erupted into a loud “U-S-A, U-S-A” chant from the audience.
The crowd’s reaction to President Trump’s comments proves what CFACT has been saying for years: there is hope that the upcoming generation is not buying into climate alarmism, and recognizes the importance of reliable energy. Watch for these leaders to do great things on campuses in the coming months, and to do great things in this country in the coming years.