‘Green jobs’ threaten to put us into the red
By EZRA LEVANT, QMI Agency
Published in TORONTO SUN
September 14, 2010
In the great public debate about the future of energy, the oilsands aren’t just compared against other oil producers; they’re compared against potential future energy sources too (even if they’re still in their infancy and largely untested on the scale required to displace oil).
This is why when environmentalists promote their vision for a new economy based on renewable fuels, like wind and solar, they put tremendous emphasis on their promise that building more turbines and solar cells will only increase our prosperity, creating millions of “green jobs” in those industries, while improving the environment, with no additional costs to any of us.
“Millions of new jobs are among the many silver-, if not indeed gold-plated, linings on the cloud of climate change,” Achim Steiner, head of the UN’s environmental program, announced at a world climate-change conference in 2007.
“These jobs are not for just the middle classes — the so-called ‘green collar’ jobs — but also for workers in construction, sustainable forestry and agriculture, engineering and transportation.”
Spain and Germany, where governments have led the rush into subsidizing wind and solar power, he said, have “already created several hundred thousand jobs.”
Jim Harris, past leader of Canada’s Green Party and a bestselling business author, is warning Canadian politicians that they are missing the boat on a great job-creating opportunity in failing to keep up with European levels of renewable energy subsidies.
“Spain has just committed to creating a million green energy jobs over the next decade,” he wrote in an October 2009 article called Green Jobs Will Pay for Themselves.
As luck would have it, Spain is a pretty instructive country for Canadians to look to as a comparison to our own situation, since it has a population that’s similar in size (Canada population is 33 million; Spain’s is 40 million) and in 2008 had a roughly similar-sized economy (Canada’s GDP is $1.3 trillion; Spain’s is $1.4 trillion).
But, although you wouldn’t know it from the cheerleading of environmentalists in Canada, the United States, and the UN, the reality is that back in Spain, the country supposedly leading the way on renewable energy, the truth was that that entire experiment has turned out to be an unmitigated disaster.