Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

From An Angry Reader:

You either drank the cool aid or got a handsome check in the mail. Nonetheless, your argument doesn’t hold water. Not when I talk to people in southwest Virginia whose wells were contaminated by fracking. And throw in the illegal discharge of the brine water back into local streams. A resident showed me the pipe he says the company (look it up) uses in the wee hours of the morning.

The push back to the eventual end to fossil fuels is to be expected, but the end will come. That is something to bank on.

Mike Harton
Midlothian, VA

Victor Davis Hanson’s Reply:

Dear Mike Harton,

It is never wise to begin a refutation with an ad hominem attack, a de facto admission of a weak argument.

Fracking is not a zero sum game of evil versus good, as I wrote.

You simply do not appreciate the role of cheaply produced U.S. energy in relation to geostrategic, military, and economic challenges, as natural gas and affordable petroleum can bridge the fossil fuels gap until competitive so-called “green” energy is available.

For each of your anecdotes, I could add and trump you one: the Mexican-American poor in my environs who cannot afford $4 a gallon gas to get 40 miles to work, but now save $1,000 a year due to crashing gas prices, or the enlisted military who feel relieved that the Middle East  and its assorted quagmires are not vital any longer for U.S. energy needs, or the business people who believe cheaper natural-gas generated electricity will lure back high-paying jobs from Asia and Europe in  energy-intensive industries.

We live in a tragic world of 51% advantage always being preferable to 49%. Only the adolescent mind argues that a choice must be perfect to be good. The alternatives to fossil fuel production for now are more Solyndra-like subsidized boondoggles, or the green mandates that spike kilowatt rates and force California’s Central Valley poor to sit in Target and Wal-Mart to cool off, given their inability to afford to run air conditioners in 110 degree heat.

Fossil fuels may well disappear in a few decades; in the meantime, if we can produce our own fuel it will immeasurably aid our middle and poor classes, while giving us latitudes in foreign policy not seen since the 1940s.

By the way, I have never  taken payment from anyone to massage a particular point of view nor have used mind-altering drugs. To suggest those who disagree with you do that is what the psycho-babble industry calls ‘projection’.

Finally, as I write, some members of Congress are investigating various green anti-fracking groups for allegedly receiving “a handsome check” from Putin’s oil interests (that have been nearly wrecked by US frackers) to stop fracking and thereby restore billions of lost foreign exchange to the now anemic Russian economy. Should I accuse you—without evidence—of predicating your anti-fracking stance on Russian money? To do so would be as absurd as what you suggest.

Victor Hanson
Selma, CA

 

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About Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services. He is also the Wayne & Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History, Hillsdale College, where he teaches each fall semester courses in military history and classical culture.

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