by Christopher C. Horner
Last week was pretty rough for the global warming industry. First, California Sen. Diane Feinstein joined with the Luddite Greens to oppose placing a large solar power plant in the Mojave Desert. It seems a particular tortoise might experience anxiety if intermittent, expensive feel-good measures are located near its home. To which erstwhile green hero Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger replied, “If we cannot put solar power plants in the Mojave desert, I don't know where the hell we can put it.”
Like windmills -- which we know can’t go up anywhere birds or bats fly or Kennedys live -- you don’t put them anywhere, Arnold, you just wistfully pine for their deployment. Near other people.
Possibly, the Governator was snippy because of the news which contemporaneously came out -- that his electric car, a Tesla roadster, isn’t working out because … he’s not able to climb in and out of it. Which, if you think about it, is not that dissimilar to the “green energy” NIMBY problem. Ann Coulter’s comment about not dating liberals because she won’t drive in their little cars never rang so damn funny.
Then Pravda, of all newspapers, piped up about the “Carbon Communism” of the U.S. elites like the Governator. Carbon communism results, according to Pravda (which is the Russian word for “truth”), in the situation where “Barack Obama keeps the temperature at 78 degrees Fahrenheit in the Oval Office while telling the rest of us to turn our thermostats down. …Al Gore has invested heavily in the ‘carbon trading’ brokerage business. All of these men jet around the world, live in oversized houses, and ride in limousines. If the common people are to be required by law to reduce our ‘carbon footprint,’ we need to demand that our leaders and the wealthy elite be restricted to exactly the same carbon allowance as everyone else.”
Ouch. But then things got really serious. On Friday, from Spain, the land of President Oprompter’s model for the new American “green jobs” economy where we all become millionaires from selling windmills to each other, an academic dared speak up to note that this particular emperor is stark, raving naked.
Economics professor Dr. Gabriel Calzada of Madrid’s King Juan Carlos University published an analysis of the economic miracle that Oprompter seeks to import here and for which he’s already grabbed billions of your, your children’s and your grandchildren’s money.
For full disclosure, I consider Dr. Calzada a friend and colleague, but also a very courageous advocate for sound public policy. What he found is already causing some discomfort among Enron’s successors pushing for these “green jobs” schemes, prowling the halls of Congress seeking hundreds of billions in rents -- requiring increased taxes and causing increased energy costs -- for their uneconomic pets.
I have the study. Highlights include:
* Based upon the Spanish experience that President Oprompter expressly cited as a model, if he succeeded in his (oddly floating) promise to further intervene in the economy to create 3 million (or is it 5 million?) "green jobs," the U.S. should expect to directly kill by the same programs at least 6.6 million (or as many as 11 million) jobs elsewhere in the economy.
* That is because green jobs schemes in Spain killed 2.2 jobs per job created, or about nine existing jobs -- I'll call them "real" jobs -- lost for every four that are created. The latter, the study shows, then become wards of the state, dependent on the continuation of the mandates and subsidies, subject to the ritual boom and bust of artificially concocted jobs (read: ethanol).
* The existing jobs most harmed were manufacturing jobs, of basic iron and steel products, basic chemical products, plastics, manufacture and first transformation of precious metals, as well as producers of cement, lime and plaster.
* This does not include jobs lost due to redirection of resources, but are only the jobs directly killed by the scheme.
* The study calculates that since 2000, Spain spent more than $750,000 (at current exchange rates) to create each “green job,” including subsidies of more than $1.3 million per wind-industry job. They are that uneconomical.
Dr. Calzada informed me that, as the study was being finalized, the European Commission, left-wing media and communist trade groups had all gotten wind of it and let him know of their displeasure. It seems that such gravy trains of squandered billions, funneled to well-positioned interests, is the kind of thing that some people don’t want exposed.
I have spoken in Spain on related topics numerous times to policymakers, university and general public audiences, often at the invitation of by the facilitation of Dr. Calzada. With this experience as guide, my response to reading these findings was to ask him, “What’s Spanish for ‘food-taster’ and ‘car-starter’?”
Mr. Horner is author of "Red Hot Lies: How Global Warming Alarmists Use Threats, Fraud, and Deception to Keep You Misinformed."