Beware the Pied Piper

By Jeff Gardner Published on April 18, 2023

A long time ago, the people of Hamelin, Germany, had a rat problem. While rats were not new to the city, they tended to appear in greater numbers when civic leaders neglected their duties and the garbage piled up.

The town council fretted about the rats and the garbage, but avoided having the tough discussions needed to deal with both.

A Flashy, Smooth-Talking Piper Robs a City of Its Future

Then one day, a finely dressed (pied) and smooth-talking man addressed the leaders of Hamelin. “Rats,” he said, “this is serious.” “You are lucky I’m here,” he continued, “I will play my magic pipe and rid you of the rats.”

None of the town leaders had heard of such a thing before; playing music to deal with rats? How did it work? Would the rats stay gone? And what about all the garbage? The clever piper brushed off their questions. He reassured the leaders of the town that only he could get rid of the rats and get the leaders of Hamelin off the hook for not doing their jobs in the first place.

And as if by magic, it seemed to work. The charming young man played his pipe and the rats followed him out of town.

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Returning to Hamelin, the piper demanded an enormous price for his services. When the leaders balked, the piper again struck up his tune and led all of Hamelin’s children away.

In one version of the story, the piper turned the children into gypsies, making them unrecognizable to the citizens of Hamelin. In another version, the piper locked the children in a mountain, putting them beyond the reach of their grief-stricken parents. In either case, the outcome was the same: the flashy and smooth-talking piper robbed Hamelin of its future.

Under the Spell of “Green” Pipers

We are under the spell of similar pipers today. Radical environmentalists (nearly all environmentalists, really) are constantly piping on about how the byproducts of life doom us all. The temperature is rising, and time is running out, they cry, and only they can save us with their wondrous plans. Wind power, solar power, and electric vehicles, they tell us, are the only way to reach a “carbon neutral future” and save the world.

But, like the pied piper of Hamelin, don’t ask the environmentalists too many questions about how so-called “green and clean” energy will save us.

For example, how much will it cost to produce the wind and solar farms needed to power the future? The answer is much more than drilling for oil (over 10 times more), but don’t ask. Does wind and solar power really reduce waste? The hard, cold, physical facts are that wind turbines and solar panels last less than half as long as gas-powered turbines and produce significantly less energy while in operation. Their components end up in waste dumps faster than current energy technologies, and oh, they only work when the wind is blowing or the sun is shining. But again, don’t ask. And under no circumstance should any of us ask about the billions and billions in government subsidies given to “clean energy” companies and their piping proponents.

Current green energies are not sustainable, and you do not need to know anything about energy-to-production ratios or waste materials to understand this. One of the best measures of a viable energy source is to ask if it produces enough energy to produce itself. Ever seen a windmill-powered windmill factory? Or a solar-panel-powered solar panel factory? No? That’s because these technologies do not produce enough energy to produce themselves. In the non-magical world of physics, this means that on their own, wind and solar cannot power our future.

Environmentalists Are Coming for Your Children — and Our Future

There are a handful of environmentalists who acknowledge that wind and solar energies will not, on their own, save the planet from us. Their proposed (final?) solution is sinister: dear mother earth simply must have fewer people in years to come.

This “some billions of those people will need to go” approach to environmentalism is not limited to population control advocates like Bill Gates. There are groups, like the World Bank, that continue to oppose widespread energy development across Africa, all the while knowing that because 90% of Africans lack access to electricity, more Africans die yearly of smoke inhalation from standing over cooking fires than die from malaria.

Educate Yourself and Know Their Shtick

So what is to be done? How do we tackle the tough choices that come with producing enough energy for ourselves, the world’s poor, and our future generations? How do we tell these environmentalist pied pipers to move along and take their song and dance somewhere else?

First, be realistic about the environment and our need for energy. When the earth’s climate changes, which it has since the day the planet was spun into existence, there will always be winners and losers. That’s not a crisis, that’s normal. The best way to respond to changes in climate is with more, not less, energy.

Energy sources like ethanol, windmills, solar panels, and fully electric cars all require substantially more energy to produce than gasoline and the ever-improving internal combustion engine. Since we can’t get something for nothing, we should focus on energy sources, like oil and natural gas, that give us the greatest return on the energy needed to produce them.

And by way of keeping it real, remind those who call for the elimination of “fossil fuels” that anything that uses plastic, including all the stuff that makes our hospitals sterile, our airplanes fly, and their smartphone work is derived from petroleum. If we could clap our hands and make all fossil fuels disappear, our world would collapse into an abyss of poverty not seen since the Dark Ages.

Next, get behind renewable energies that provide the best return on energy expenditures, like nuclear power. While pushing for better renewables, conserve energy as a way to help those in need. Will driving less or turning out the lights when you leave a room save the planet? No, they will not. But using less energy will save you money with which you can help the world’s poor, those who don’t have access to energy and resources that we take for granted.

Lastly, educate yourself about how energy and the climate actually work. This is more than a “things you should know about the world” exercise. Environmentalists are coming for your children and our collective future. The more you know about their shtick, the less susceptible you will be to their hypnotic tunes.

God’s Stewards Are the Solution, Not the Cause

And, yes, of course, teach your children to take care of the planet we are blessed with. The best way to do that is simply to take them outside. Never forget that as God’s appointed stewards of the earth, we are the solution to, and not the cause of, environmental issues.


Dr. Jeff Gardner holds an MA in history and a Ph.D. in Communication and Media Studies. For over a decade, he has worked in media, writing and taking photographs for various publications and organizations across North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. His work has been featured in numerous national and international publications and broadcasts. He teaches courses in media, culture and government at Regent University. You can reach him at

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