Skip to content

Ever notice how the places that are in the deepest financial trouble — Europe, California in the U.S., Ontario in Canada — are the ones that fell hardest for the myth of green energy?

While it would be inaccurate to attribute their mad rush into “renewables” as the sole cause of their fiscal woes — many reckless decisions led to that — it was certainly a contributing factor.

For one thing, wind turbines and solar panels, which only produce energy if massively subsidized by the state, drive up electricity prices, which kills off manufacturing jobs.

That’s why NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair’s “solution” to the “Dutch Disease” he says is caused by the development of the oilsands without carbon pricing, which is to impose cap-and-trade, is absurd.

All that will do is raise energy prices even more, costing more jobs, which only helps the environment if you believe deliberately causing a recession, which lowers pollution and greenhouse gas emissions because of economic collapse, is a good idea. It isn’t.

One of the reasons environmentalists are denouncing the failure of the ongoing Rio 20 UN conference on sustainable development in Rio de Janeiro is that Europe, the main driver of all things green for the past 25 years, including the useless Kyoto accord, has bigger things on its mind these days, such as impending financial collapse.

This underscores a basic reality.

Only countries with healthy economies have the capacity to improve their environments. Those going broke, don’t.

For example, California Gov. Jerry Brown now wants at least half of an estimated $1-billion bonanza for his financially beleaguered state to be raised from California’s new cap-and-trade program to go to general government revenues, rather than into programs to improve the environment, which was the original pitch.

You can bet that’s what will happen here if the NDP or Liberals get elected, both of whom favour cap-and-trade.

We’ll get the old “bait-and-switch.”

The “bait” will be that money extracted from us through higher energy prices will go towards improving the environment and to help “the poor” cope with higher energy costs.

The “switch” will be that most, if not all, of the new revenue will go down the black hole of general revenues to pay for anything the government wants.

Governments that suck up to the green movement in order to extract more money from our hides by pricing carbon dioxide emissions, inevitably discover their erstwhile allies are Luddites, who oppose every realistic action to lower pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, from non-emitting nuclear power to low-emitting natural gas.

At the Rio summit Monday, Kandeh Yumkella, co-head of a major UN sustainable energy program, praised the growing technology of shale gas extraction as a way to sustain global energy supplies, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save forests and improve living standards for the world’s poorest people.

“You can’t save the forest if you don’t have gas,” Yumkella told Reuters. “It’s one of the solutions we need to reduce deforestation and to reduce the two million people who die every year because of indoor air pollution, because they use firewood.”

Problem is, greens are against nuclear power, shale extraction and the expansion of gas use. That’s because they’re not interested in practical solutions to environmental challenges.

They’re interested in driving us back into the Stone Age.

Toronto Sun, 20 June 2012