Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Green Jobs Myth in the UK; & the Solyndra Case Expands

I have earlier reported on the fatuous claims that new green jobs will somehow pour forth to invigorate the economy, replacing earlier dirty jobs like the ones that power our planet (see here and here).  My earlier posts deal with countries that have already tried these green projects and have found them sorely wanting.  Now James Delingpole, in his own style, gives the British take on the subject in the Daily Telegraph, reporting on the recent study by the Global Warming Policy Foundation entitled The Myth of Green Jobs by Gordon Hughes, Professor of Economics at Edinburgh University:
The UK Government has set a target which implies that by 2020 more than 30% of the country’s electricity will come from renewable sources of energy . . . . [T[he capital cost of building the [primarily wind] generation capacity required is 9-10 times the capital cost of meeting the same demand from modern gas-fired power plants.  In money terms the extra cost is roughly £105 billion at 2009 prices and will be equivalent to nearly 10% of total business investment up to 2020. . . .
Whatever one's view of the urgency of reducing emissions of CO2, it is clear that the public and its political representatives have never signed up to the proposition that the UK should sacrifice a minimum of 4-5% of GDP annually in order to meet climate change targets that will have a minimal effect on global warming, even if all other EU countries adopt the same targets.
Delingpole then covers some of the same ground as I did, but adds some telling new information from Bloomberg about the collapse of the Solyndra solar power company, after receiving some $535 million in government subsidies:
Shareholders and executives of Solyndra, a green energy company producing solar panels, fundraised for and donated to the Obama administration to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Tulsa billionaire George Kaiser, a key Obama backer who raised between $50,000 and $100,000 for the president’s election campaign, is one of Solyndra’s primary investors. Kaiser himself donated $53,500 to Obama’s 2008 election campaign, split between the DSCC and Obama For America. Kaiser also made several visits to the White House and appeared at some White House events next to Obama officials.
Campaign finance records show Kaiser and Solyndra executives and board members donated $87,050 total to Obama’s election campaign.
The evidence keeps adding up.  At what point do we give up on betting the farm on green jobs?  This would be a foolish pursuit if the economy were good, but potentially disastrous in this real one with which America is saddled.

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