Wednesday’s Washington Post also had a story, “Report: Emission rules to boost Calif. economy,” noting that “business groups and some Republican lawmakers” doubt this. Clearly, the global-warming industry has sensed the difficulties that it will face forcing its agenda on a public sharpening the pitchforks over what would prove in hindsight to be relatively cheap energy. I also now see that a “green recovery” hearing of Rep. Ed Markey’s Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming is taking place this afternoon, so the coincidences make some sense
So let’s look a little closer at the aforementioned happy talk from Team Soros, hailing a “Green Recovery” attainable by spending $100 billion in taxpayer dollars over two years on “a swift initial investment in climate solutions that would direct funding toward six energy efficiency and renewable energy strategies.” They rather oddly call this a “new vision” despite the fact that they simply want us to adopt EU policies (some of which are miserable failures, the rest mostly just inefficiencies foisted on their economies and households).
Recall how the green jobs claim is and always has been based on the hope that you aren’t looking for a net figure resulting from their mandates, which do of course have repercussions (as the Washington Policy Center often points out).
Any claim to net job gain is limited to a source-for-source comparison, and that’s not really in their favor. Per WPC’s Todd Myers, “Nuclear, hydro, and other ‘non-green’ energy sources produce more power per worker than renewable alternatives. Moving from efficient to inefficient energy means more people are needed to do the same amount of work.”
The “green jobs” claims ignore the costs (and therefore, ultimately, job losses as well) resulting from the inefficiencies these mandates impose. In Myers’s description, “It is akin to banning tractors in order to increase farm jobs.”
It is also premised on phony baloney Enron accounting gimmicks like shifting “steel jobs” into the “green jobs” column because windmills require steel. Remember: European-based steel producers have exported their growth to the U.S., so far by expanding employment in Kentucky and building a large new facility in Alabama. In Belgium, steelworkers tagged the first cap-and-trade inspired strike. Vestas closed plants in mandate-happy Europe. When windmill and solar tax credits expire all projects routinely get shelved, as they simply are too uneconomical to go forward without pork.
Even though in a static assessment it is possible for the number of jobs to increase, they also aren’t as well-paying as the type of job that these inefficiencies chase away (per the WPC report).
If we pull some policy stunt to ensure that we domestically source the products or raw materials (as is regularly tried — and surely a key reason that the steelworkers union has teamed up with the greens on this, which otherwise really doesn’t make sense, given the European steel industry’s experience) – not only do you avoid easing the pain by finding the lowest-cost producer, but you are likely going to find yourself with serious trade problems.
Let’s kid ourselves and agree that the Soros bunch is calling for just $100 billion over two years, or $50 billion per year. This “green” initiative will under no scenario or set of assumptions have a climatic impact.
Anyone interested in this sort of spending should first compare it with Bjørn Lomborg’s take on how to best spend $50 billion, for serious, real results. He doesn’t need to fall back on a spurious claim of economic wonders in the face of offering no benefits to human health and the environment.
All of the real-world evidence militates against adopting the long-held lifestyle and ideological wish list that is being pushed on us, this time in the name of global warming but coupled with the brazenly false promise of helping the economy. Subsidies are as distorting as they’ve always been. Worse, these subsidies and pork are part and parcel of companion measures all increasing the cost of energy, which, like Franco still being dead, is still not on any honest list of ways to help the economy.