The environmentalists need to stop crying wolf

Alvarez and his researchers also found that each ‘green’ megawatt installed destroys 5.28 jobs on average elsewhere in the economy.”

by George Jonas, National Post

A study released this week concludes that government “green-job” programs aren’t the yellow-brick road to happiness in Europe. “Green programs in Spain destroyed 2.2 jobs for every job created,” write Kenneth P. Green and Ben Eisen in their paper for the Winnipeg-based think-tank, Frontier Centre, “while the capital needed for one green job in Italy could create five new jobs in the general economy.”

Pity the Greens, here and around the globe. Things haven’t been going their way in the last couple of years, ever since those pesky e-mails surfaced in Britain — the ones showing that Green-tinged scientists at the climatic-research unit of the University of East Anglia got carried away with the nobility of their global-warming mantras. All in a good cause, of course, but still, “it’s no use pretending this isn’t a major blow,” as George Monbiot wrote in Britain’s The Guardian in the fall of 2009.

Actually, 2009 may have been the first year of serious reversal for the Green movement that has gone from triumph to triumph for the past 50 years. The astrologers and alchemists of ecology have been merrily reading tea leaves and crying wolf for almost half a century.

Like many millennial movements, the Greens started out as a mixed bag. They included concerned citizens, calculating statists and hysterical sentimentalists. Some were sober and practical enough, trying to identify genuine problems; others had a variety of issues and agendas, espousing or pretending to espouse the Earth’s cause with religious fervour. Masquerading as scientists, spouting scientific jargon and aping scientific methods, they caught the fancy of the zeitgeist, gradually advancing from the partisans of the Earth to its administrators and police.

In Europe, Greens became a direct political force, while in North America they piggybacked their politics, policies and rhetoric on the traditional political parties. Their influence extended across the spectrum. All parties mouthed their shibboleths, with the parties on the left — in Canada, the NDP — making the loudest noises.

The Frontier Centre’s paper quotes U.S. President Barack Obama still singing the praises of the greening of Spain in 2009 — “particularly around key issues like renewable energy and transportation, where Spain has been a worldwide leader” — just before a group of researchers headed by Gabriel Calzada Alvarez at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos released their findings about the actual cost of each “green job” created by Obama’s “worldwide leader.” It was a staggering three-quarters of a million dollars ($791,597, to be precise), indicating that the Middle East isn’t the only region where America’s Commander-in-Chief is sorely in need of a reality check.

Alvarez and his researchers also found that each “green” megawatt installed “destroys 5.28 jobs on average elsewhere in the economy.” This week Green-Eisen conclude that “far from generating a new source of economic growth, job creation and government revenue, Spain has found its foray into renewable energy to be unsustainable.”

Italy and Germany, if anything, fare worse. “As with Spain, corruption runs rampant through the renewable-energy sector,” write Green-Eisen. “In Italy, however, rather than having numerous individuals defrauding the government, the Mafia is involved.” As for Germany, utilities are required by law to purchase solar energy at 59 cents per kWh. Conventional electricity costs range from a high of 10 cents to a low of three. Federal subsidies for electricity have risen 300%, and household costs on average by 7.5%. That’s in a country where the Greens are political heavyweights. In the United Kingdom, “for every job created in renewable energy, 3.7 jobs are lost.”

What price “green” energy? That price, and worse, assuming Green and other researchers are right, as I suspect they are. And what are we paying this price for? We’re not boiling the globe like a lobster, as they led us believe we were, so what are we paying it for? What are we paying it for if we’re not running out of fossil fuels, and our nuclear reactors aren’t melting us down all the way to China as we were told they might in the 1970s?

Are we paying for the paranoia, self-righteousness and dictatorial ambitions of a quasi-religious, pseudo-Luddite, bio-worshipping ideology? It seems like that and maybe it is — but I wonder. The Earth can sustain more than Al Gore, the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, the Alberta Federation of Labor and their little green friends claim it can, but it can’t sustain everything. It may, for instance, not be able to sustain American levels of energy consumption by seven billion people.

The wolf isn’t at the door — but there is a wolf. There’s a whole pack of them out there. They’re hungry and they’ve big teeth.

The boy in the fable who cries wolf doesn’t do much damage when he sounds his false alarm. He’s just a nuisance — maybe a bloody nuisance, but that’s all. The damage comes when his alarm is real but nobody listens. I suspect this may yet become the story of the Green lobby.

10 thoughts on “The environmentalists need to stop crying wolf

  1. Sorry Canada – always a few years behind.
    And then, when trying to catch up, creating a confusing mess that invites the pigs to a feeding frenzy at the taxpayer’s trough.
    Canada, please use your resources wisely!
    Don’t just keep patching things up temporarily!
    Use your intelligence to create long term solutions!
    Stop the pigs (Canadian and foreign) from raping this country!
    Throw the useless politicians out!!!

  2. To proceed with this green energy/green jobs scheme in the face of such real world evidence would be beyond foolish. Ontario’s FIT program must be stopped immediately and the energy supply plan revisited with an eye to energy return on investment. Electricity must be reliable and affordable to maintain a decent standard of living.

  3. All people interested in the Ontario IWT situation must know the WHO,WHAT,WHEN,WHERE elements of the IWT scam.

    It’s not possible to resolve issues without knowledge of the issues!

  4. More history from 2006

    News Relaease: 21 March,2006
    “Expanding Opportunities For Renewable Energy In Ontario”

    “New Standard Price Will Add Up To 1,000 Megawatts Over the Next 10 Years”

    “Standard Offer contracts have been the fastest and most successful way of providing renewable energy throughout the world”, “said Premier MCGuinty”

    Also note the 4 photos in this article.

  5. Google Document can use Quick View

    PRESS RELEASE-PRENEAL CANADA-Clean Energy * Sustainable…, Oct.30,2007

    Press Release
    For immediate release-October 30,2007

    New Dawn Enterprises ,Ltd.,
    Nova Scotia Co-operative Council,
    Dalhousie Universit’s Marine & Environmental Law Institute,
    Preneal Canada &
    The David Suzuki Foundation


    Renewable Energy: Stepping it Up Featuring Renewable Energy Expert Paul Gipe

    Read the rest of the release with comment by Suzuki Foundation rep.


    “Greening the North American Energy Relationship: Building a Stronger U.S.-Canada Environmental Partnership.”

    Thursday, October 22,2009

    10:45 Panel 2- Growing Renewable Greentech Sectors

    Moderator: David Abel, Chair., Verde Xchange Institute
    Paul Gipe, Renewable Energy Analyst, Pembina Institute
    Jim MacDougall, Manager of Destributed Generation,Ontario Power Authority
    V.John White, Ex. Dir. Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies

    12:15 Keynote Luncheon Speaker: Mr.David Suzuki

  7. RESCo Energy INC.

    FIT Program to Launch As Early As Tuesday,Sept.8th

    “A large round of applause goes to the great work of Jim McDougal and his team and colleaugues at the Ontario Power Authority for launching the RESOP program and following it up with a fundamental shift in the procurement of green power.”

    Article also mentions others involved in the passage of the program.

  8. RESCo Energy founded 2006 is a subsidiary of Flynn Canada,Ltd.

    Fidel Reijerse is president of RESCO and also sits on the boards of TowerPower and TREC.

    Re: Fidel Reijerse see TREC Board of Directors
    “He sits on the Management Committee for the Green Energy Act Alliance”

  9. Green Energy Act Alliance

    Green Energy Act Alliance Management Committee:
    Dale Dolan, OSEA
    Brian Iler CPFund
    Brent Kopperson,CPFund
    Don McCabe, VP,OFA
    David Poch, Green Energy Coalition
    Fidel Reijerse, Pres. RESCo Energy Inc.
    Derek Satnik, OSEA

    OurPower, A TREC project is governed by the TREC Board of Directors and advised by a Steering Committee made up of vouunteers and professionals.

    Our Power Steering Committee includes:
    Mike Brigham, Chair of TREC Board of Directors and Feed-In Tariff Consultant to the Green Energy Act Alliance


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