Raymond Richman - Jesse Richman - Howard Richman
Richmans' Trade and Taxes Blog
"Green" Energy Is an Economic Disaster in the Making
Increasingly, questions are being raised about the “science” of anthropogenic global warming. For all practical purposes, there is no dissent at American universities. What little there is has been and continues to be stifled. Billions of dollars of research is being funded by the U.S. government but none of it goes to any scientist who challenges the notion that man’s consumption of fossil fuels is responsible for global warming. Some physicists have protested and a Senate committee has listed the names of a couple of hundred academicians who believe the theory to be baseless. There is a growing awareness among what is a small band of scientists that we have a lot to learn about the causes of climate change.
A novel experiment known as CLOUD, is being conducted at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland under the direction of Prof. Jasper Kirkby (firstname.lastname@example.org). The CLOUD project is an attempt to ascertain whether and how cosmic rays from outer space may be affecting the earth’s climate. It includes among its collaborators, besides CERN, such institutions as Caltech, U Frankfurt, FMI Helsinki, U Helsinki, U Innsbruck, UEF Kuopio, U Leeds, Ift Leipzig, U Lisbon, LPI Moscow, PSI, RAL, U Reading, INRNE Sofia, U Tampere, and U Vienna. The experiment is taking place at the CERN Proton Synchrotron and aims to study, under controlled conditions, the effects of cosmic rays on aerosol nucleation and growth, cloud droplets and ice particles. In earlier studies, Prof. Kirkby made some palaeoclimatic reconstructions which showed that the climate has frequently varied during the last 10,000 years by amounts comparable to the past century’s warming. Since man was not burning fossil fuels until the last two centuries, his studies have cast doubt on the current theory that anthropogenic greenhouse gases are responsible for global warming.
While the world awaits the results of the CLOUD experiment, many political leaders around the world have become aware of the enormous government subsidies required to induce production of “green energy”, its few benefits, and its negative economic effects. It requires enormous government subsidies that will have to be paid by taxpayers and/or most governments force electricity producers to pay a price far above the cost of electricity produced from fossil fuels, uranium, or hydro. It raises the price of electricity to households and business. It thus amounts to a highly regressive tax on households, makes domestic production of manufactured goods more costly and encourages outsourcing of the production of manufactured goods.
Although his conclusions have been challenged, Dr. Gabriel Calzada, an economics professor at Juan Carlos University in Madrid, estimates that Spain has lost 2.2 jobs on average for every job green created in its solar and wind powered electricity generating plants. A report from Scotland, reported by Jack Markowitz, former business editor of the Pittsburgh Trib-Review 4-28-2011 (Europe learns costly lessons of going green), says renewable energy causes the loss of 3.7 traditional jobs for every “green” job created.
What makes these reports believable are the costs associated with two plants, one wind and the other solar, partly financed and guaranteed by the U.S. government, each costing over $200 million and both selling electricity at prices much higher than it costs the power companies to produce electricity from fossil fuels. To make the economics worse, these plants will have only about 40 permanent employees each when finished, indicating a cost per job created of $5 million, will import a substantial percentage of parts and materials estimated at 30 percent, and impose a great burden on consumers equivalent to a highly regressive sales tax, and put factories at a competitive disadvantage. Moreover, these plants will require the expansion of new electricity networks to link them to existing networks which will have to be paid for by the users of electricity or by taxpayers.
The Netherlands recently cut subsidies to wind power by 60 percent. And Spain earlier cut its subsidies to wind and solar plants. It brought the Spanish government to the brink of bankruptcy.
Regardless of what the science of climate change eventually concludes, these so-called green plants should not have been constructed until they could be built without government subsidies.
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