Freedom Leads to Hope

Freedom Leads to Hope
February 8, 2012

Jay Lehr, Ph.D.

Jay Lehr, Ph.D. (jlehr@heartland.org) is science director at The Heartland Institute, an... (read full bio)

Review of The Audacity of Freedom, by Dennis Hedke (Tate Publishing, 2011), 268 pages, ISBN- 978-1613464083

Dennis Hedke is a skillful geophysicist with considerable knowledge of energy resources and a fiery desire to take back our country from our current leaders. He is currently serving in the Kansas State Legislature. His new book, The Audacity of Freedom, provides a powerful counterweight to a similarly named book written by our sitting President.

Uncontainable Enthusiasm
Hedke does not mince words in describing the crisis that threatens our country. His recitation of compelling facts, candid faith, and patriotism are infectious. Throughout the book he exhorts his readers to play an actve role in reclaiming the nation bequeathed to us by our Founding Fathers.

He does so in a scholarly fashion, crediting the work of dozens of major thinkers such as Thomas Sowell, Roy Spencer, Robert Bryce, Christopher Horner, Dick Armey, Stephen Moore, and Jonah Goldberg. He also refreshingly admits to being biased, political, and controversial. But he got me on board early when he had the guts to claim the need to do away with every reference to Blank-American status—African, Irish, Native-American, etc.—saying let’s get back to just being Americans.

This is a fun book to read because Hedke’s passion explodes on every page. He is an unabashed strong Christian, but his faith does not get in the way of his ability to motivate us to action. High on his list of concerns is this president’s disdain for Israel and an apparent coddling of all things Muslim. Hedke is convinced many of our problems stem from the voices beside the president, which include such radicals as George Soros, Cass Sunstein, Van Jones, Lisa Jackson, John Holdren, and Valarie Jarrett, to name but a few.

Courageous Fossil Fuels Defense
Hedke is quite the Mideast scholar and offers the reader an excellent tutorial on the history of Israel, its neighbors, and their importance to us. But the book’s primary focus is on energy. He provides compelling commentary on our energy abundance and the successful efforts of anti-energy zealots to lock up this potential source of national wealth.

In particular, Hedke does a fantastic job of disassembling the myth that renewable energy is environmentally friendly. His refutation of ethanol, for example, is powerful and courageous for a representative of the people in the midst of the nation’s breadbasket.

Alternative Power Failure
Hedke revealingly ranks all fuel sources in terms of energy density, displayed as watts, that can be harvested on a square meter of land.

The evidence reveals the fuel sources most opposed by environmental activists are the most valuable. For example, energy densities include nuclear at 56; oil, 53.5; natural gas 53; solar, 6.7; wind, 1.2; and ethanol,.05.

He completely dismembers any idea that wind and solar have significant value to the nation, and he really takes a hatchet to T. Boone Pickens’ gigantic wind farm promotion aimed at making the country poor but himself richer. Along the way, Hedke puts an end to all thoughts that wind, solar, and ethanol are actually green in their overall effect.

He presents irrefutable scientific and economic evidence that cellulosic ethanol and electric cars cannot compete with conventional energy technologies. He says we need to permit and build as many modern, coal-fired power plants and nuclear power plants as possible in the next two decades, open the oceans to offshore drilling, open the Rocky Mountains to gas and oil exploration, stop subsidizing renewable energy (and for that matter any source of energy), and end the absurd concept of trying to manipulate greenhouse gases as though man were more powerful than nature.

Exposing Global Warming Myths
Although most of readers of Environment & Climate News have already witnessed the unraveling of the global warming delusion, Hedke provides an excellent summary of the tale to date. He also takes apart in great detail the myth that carbon dioxide emissions are bringing about an ocean acidification crisis.

State-Centered Environmental Protection
For the average reader, no section of this book will be of greater interest and value than the one containing an up-to-date picture of today’s out-of-control U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Its budget now stands at $10.4 billion. Its manpower is now 18,000, with14 offices including Administration and Resources, Air and Radiation, Enforcement and Compliance, Environmental Information, Environmental Justice, Finance, General Counsel, Inspector General, International Affairs, Pesticide and Toxic Substance Prevention, Research and Development, Solid Waste and Emergency Response, Water, Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. In addition, EPA has 10 regional offices.

The internal overlap and redundancy should be obvious just from reading this list, but in addition there is essentially full and complete overlap of what EPA does and what the 50 state environmental protection agencies do.

Hedke argues EPA should be replaced by a committee of the whole of the 50 state agencies. This could be achieved while cutting EPA financial outlays by 80 percent and sacrificing zero environmental protection.

Because of Hedke’s easy writing style and unbridled enthusiasm, you could mistake this book as emanating from an enthusiastic and untrained layman. It is in fact anything but. It is a scholarly work by a well-trained scientist who simply cannot contain his enthusiasm for freedom and freedom-based solutions to societal problems.

Jay Lehr, Ph.D. (lehr@heartland.org) is science director of The Heartland Institute.

Jay Lehr, Ph.D.

Jay Lehr, Ph.D. (jlehr@heartland.org) is science director at The Heartland Institute, an... (read full bio)