Environmentalists often oppose the very solutions that they once proposed.
Solar power, wind mills, and electric cars will save the world, environmentalists tell us. But if that's actually true, then environmentalists need to stop blocking the construction of solar power, wind mills, and electric cars.
The latest flash point has occurred in Germany, where Elon Musk's electric car company Tesla was clearing forest outside of Berlin to build a new factory. Of course, environmentalists are unhappy when any trees are cut down (despite the fact they can be replaced), and they further claimed that Tesla would poison the drinking water. So, a court issued a temporary injunction.
As usual, none of this makes any sense, especially since the European Union continues to insist on further reductions in carbon emissions, which poses an existential threat to the German auto industry. According to the Financial Times, one report suggested that some 400,000 jobs could be lost by 2030. (Audi already plans to cut 9,500 jobs by 2025 in its switch to electric vehicle production.) Additionally, Germany faces billions of euros in fines if it doesn't produce a certain number of emission-free vehicles within 24 months.
It goes without saying that Germans can't drive electric cars (or have jobs) if environmentalists block electric car plants. But German greens aren't uniquely idiotic. This is a characteristic of environmentalists worldwide.
Environmentalists Oppose Solar Power and Wind Mills, Too
The other two pillars claimed by environmentalists as essential to their campaign to save the Earth are solar power and wind mills, but they routinely oppose both, as well.
In 2015, the Los Angeles Times reported that environmentalists (led by the Sierra Club, of course) opposed a solar power plant in the Mojave Desert because of its impact on tortoises and sheep. Last year, the Las Vegas Review-Journal penned a blistering editorial after environmentalists opposed a solar farm outside Las Vegas because it was ugly (and because of tortoises... which apparently are everywhere).
Wind power seems to be hated by even more people. They kill birds of prey and influence local ecology, so environmentalists don't like them anymore. They're ugly, so people who live near proposed wind farms often oppose them. And some people who do live near them claim, rather implausibly, that wind mills make them sick. (The real condition is probably the nocebo effect.)
May We All Sit in the Dark and Die
It should be clear that there is no "perfect" energy source. In 2011, I wrote for RealClearScience, "All sources of energy pose some sort of risk or cost. Risk-free, cost-free energy is a complete myth and simply does not, and will not, exist."
So, why don't environmentalists accept that reality? The aforementioned LVRJ editorial nailed it: "For many environmental groups... the attacks on fossil fuels are less about promoting a shift to cleaner energy alternatives and more about kneecapping economic growth and development." Other times, environmentalists oppose sensible conservation policies if those policies harm their political allies, such as labor unions.
That is why environmental activists propose then oppose solutions. They are trying to block human progress and seize political power, which is why they should be resisted at every turn.