Monday, April 14, 2008

Apocalypse How?

Sore loserism from the alarmists over the death of their cherished Global Warming Solutions Act was predictable. However, you would have thought they would have figured out by now that just because they say that their policy prescriptions won't destroy jobs doesn't make it so.

Paul Foer apparently missed the memo: The 2007 IPCC Fourth Assessment Report cut in half its estimates of sea level rise from its 2001 report. The estimate is 17 inches as compared to the 20-30 feet in Al Gore's agitprop. So no, the Sparrows Point steel mill won't be underwater.

Isaac Smith's fellow bureaucrat school mate, James Goodwin in a letter to the Baltimore Sun wrote:

Maryland businesses could have used this head start to examine their operations and find ways of achieving energy efficiency and other means of cost-effective, relatively pain-free emissions reductions.

This learning opportunity would give Maryland businesses a significant competitive advantage over businesses in other states, many of which would not begin reducing their greenhouse gas emissions until a federal policy was enacted.

The defeat of Maryland's carbon emissions bill is just another rendition of the tired old tale of pitting economic progress against environmental protection. Contrary to the rhetoric of industry and labor lobbyists, however, these two objectives need not be mutually exclusive.

And the fact is that as the environment's capacity to withstand further economic development is being pushed to a breaking point, it will be necessary to find ways to pursue economic progress and environmental protection in mutually reinforcing ways.

Despite their claims, the "tired old tale" of jobs and the economy versus environmental concerns is in fact the reality of the situation. Economic activity and growth require energy, which in turn requires the emission of carbon dioxide, especially when it comes to manufacturing of steel.
In order to obfuscate--"mutually reinforcing ways"-- that very salient point, alarmists love to talk about the formation of "green jobs" and a "green collar economy." However, when you get into the specifics, it is merely an empty talking point.

Reaching the the lofty green emission reduction goals embodied in the federal global warming bill (Liberman-Warner) would require draconian mandates to severely restrict economic growth. Read economist Anne Smith's Senate testimony on the bill.

Naturally, with reductions in GDP come reductions in real wages and job losses. We have estimated 1.2 million to 2.3 million net job losses by 2015 over our set of scenarios. By 2020, our scenarios project between 1.5 million and 3.4 million net job losses. There is a substantial implied increase in jobs associated with “green” businesses (e.g., to produce renewable generation technologies), but even accounting for these there is a projected net loss in jobs due to the generalized macroeconomic impacts of the Bill.

You read that right, even accounting for any "green" jobs we would still see millions in net job losses. Furthermore you just can't take a steelworker and turn him into a windmill technician overnight. Also, would the wind and solar barons, who need government subsidies and mandates to make their businesses profitable, accept the added costs of union pay and benefits from transferring workers?

Isaac and his pals can employ sophistry and create all the verbal constructs they want however, they cannot have it both ways. Their policy prescriptions will strangle the economy and destroy jobs, there is just no getting around that "tired" fact, and they know it.

Paraphrasing Ronald Reagan, its not that alarmists are ignorant, they just know so much that isn't so.

Also, isn't it ironic that folks like Isaac accuse people like me of being in the bag for Exxon-Mobil when in fact, should his draconian policy dreams come true there will be a plethora of job openings for a self-described "budding energy policy wonk" in the resulting bureaucracy.

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