Pop goes the green weasel

When the green bubble pops, it’s going to cost a lot of people a lot of money – both taxpayers (in the form of subsidies and other forms of failed industrial policy) and venture capitalists who succumbed to the religious urge.  Last April I predicted:

After 40 years of energy panic we may have finally hit Stage 5 of the issue-attention cycle, this time green: Apocalypse Fatigue.

It’s a conspiracy of physics that will keep “green energy” a de minimis part of our energy consumption for the next generation or more, and a conspiracy of grant-seeking “scientists” that should keep us all skeptical of climate policies that  promise a utopia of no trade-offs.

Via Meadia argues briefly and convincingly that “climate change” will soon be the only argument for Solyndra-type efforts and that it will be politically insufficient.  In other words, “POP!

Because alternative energy generation is expensive and inefficient, it requires some combination of subsidies, high energy prices and forced purchases to make these investments pay off.

The political assumptions underlying the green investment boomlet turned out to be false.  There will be no global carbon regime for the foreseeable future; there will be no cap and trade and no aggressive federal programs to raise energy prices during the deepest recession since World War Two.

Perhaps even worse from the green point of view, a cascade of discoveries and technological advances has dramatically increased the supplies of oil and gas in the western hemisphere — including huge new domestic energy supplies in places like Pennsylvania, Ohio and upstate New York.  These discoveries are devastating to the politics of the environmental movement.

Increasingly, the climate change argument will be the only argument left to support subsidies for alternative energy generation.  That argument has not been enough to make far reaching legal changes in the past when national security and peak oil worries supported it; there is not much to suggest that the climate change forces can win the political battle standing alone.

The collapse of the green political structure (cap and trade plus global carbon treaty) and the transformation of the American fossil fuel supply have dramatically weakened the case for alternative energy.  Investors take heed.

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3 Responses to Pop goes the green weasel

  1. Paul Marks says:

    Canada is hardly a “reactonary” country, yet it allows private companies to develop oil (including shale oil), whereas the United States government puts endless obstacles in the way of this. That is why the United States has an (artificial) “energy crises” and Canada does not.

    As for “man made globel warming” there is an easy test to find out whether supporters of this theory are sincere. Ask them if they are favour of nuclear power stations – not in some vague way, but actual nuclear power station developments that are really happening.

    If they are in favour of these developments then they are sincere. If they are not then they are insincere. It really is as simple as that.

    By the way (as everyone should know), electric cars need electricity (and electricity has to be generated). And hyrdrogen cars need hydrogen – and hydrogen production needs electricity (to “split” the sea water).

    Too many “intellectuals” either do not know, or gloss over, these facts.

    • John says:

      I suppose they could be sincerely concerned with AGW and sincerely against nuclear power if they actual want less energy consumed and a lower standard of living for everyone. And many of them do.

      I like to tease fans of “electric” cars that there’s actually no such thing. They’re coal cars because (odds are) the electricity powering the engine was produced by a coal-burning power plant. Alternatively I’ll tease them that the electric car was, is, and forever will be The Car of the Future because it’ll never be viable today.

      Latest sales figures for the Chevy Volt. Pop!
      http://jalopnik.com/5846097/is-the-chevy-volt-a-sales-flop

  2. Paul Marks says:

    The Chevy Volt is a bust. And so is Government Motors.

    As for people who sincerely want BOTH less C02 production and no nuclear power……
    Well there are indeed the hard core Greens – who, for example, are so powerful in parts of Germany.

    Of course a return to the Middle Ages would mean that present population levels could not be maintained – not even close. The vast majority of people would have to go. But some poltical movements have thought of that before – for example a faction of British socialists (the William Morris back-to-the-Middle-Ages “News From Nowhere” crowd) and, in a more practical way, (it is never clearly explained in “News From Nowhere” exactly how the population was so radically reduced) the political movement that the German Greens developed out of.

    Yes those dear people the National Socialist German Workers Party – with their plans to wipe out whole ethnic groups of human beings.

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