Tuesday, August 10, 2010

California and the Greens

This article, outlining so much about what is wrong with California government, doesn't go easy on the green movement:

The second engine that could supposedly keep California humming was the so-called green economy. Michael Grunwald recently wrote in Time, for example, that venture capital, high tech, and, above all, “green” technology were already laying the foundation of a miraculous economic turnaround in California. Though there are certainly opportunities in new energy-saving technologies, this is an enthusiasm that requires some serious curbing. One recent study hailing the new industry found that California was creating some 10,000 green jobs annually before the recession. But that won’t heal a state that has lost 700,000 jobs since then.

At the same time, green promoters underestimate the impact of California’s draconian environmental rules on the economy as a whole. Take the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act, which will force any new development to meet standards for being “carbon-neutral.” It requires the state to reduce its carbon-emissions levels by 30 percent between 1990 and 2020, virtually assuring that California’s energy costs, already among the nation’s highest, will climb still higher. Aided by the nominally Republican governor, the legislation seems certain to slow any future recovery in the suffering housing, industrial, and warehousing sectors and to make California less competitive with other states. Costs of the act to small businesses alone, according to a report by California State University professors Sanjay Varshney and Dennis Tootelian, will likely cut gross state product by $182 billion over the next decade and cost some 1.1 million jobs.

It’s sad to consider the greens such an impediment to social and economic health. Historically, California did an enviable job in traditional approaches to conservation—protecting its coastline, preserving water and air resources, and turning large tracts of land into state parks. But much like the public-sector unions, California’s environmental movement has become so powerful that it feels free to push its agenda without regard for collateral damage done to the state’s economy and people. With productive industry in decline and the business community in disarray, even the harshest regulatory policies often meet little resistance in Sacramento.

In the Central Valley, for instance, regulations designed to save certain fish species have required 450,000 acres to go fallow. Unemployment is at 17 percent across the Valley; in some towns, like Mendota, it’s higher than 40 percent. Rick Wartzman, director of the Peter Drucker Institute, has described the vast agricultural region around Fresno as “California’s Detroit,” an area where workers and businesspeople “are fast becoming a more endangered species than Chinook salmon or delta smelt.” The fact that governments dominated by “progressives” are impoverishing whole regions isn’t merely an irony; it’s an abomination.

So much for the creative green economy.
I consider myself an environmentalist. I don't want to harm entire ecosystems or unnecessarily spoil land. But that's entirely different from being silly--the delta smelt example above being Exhibit A. I'll believe these greens are serious, as I am, when I see them support relatively clean, relatively inexpensive nuclear energy, and stop their opposition to the Yucca Mountain repository. Even Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace, now supports nuclear energy.


MikeAT said...


You’re not an environmentalist. Your head is on your shoulders and you use it for thinking as opposed to up your forth point of contact and used as an enema. Unlike idiots like the followers of ALGORE, Joe Kennedy Jr, etc, you are (IMHO) a conservationist. You don’t want to keep the world in the late 19th Century, use notional threats to the planet’s ecology to sabotage our country in general and our economy in particular. You want us to efficiently use the natural resources (e.g. oil, coal, uranium) that God provided to advance mankind.

Darren said...

Whatever the correct term is--well, that's what I am :)

MikeAT said...

And my mistake. It's the followers of the king hypocrite Robert Kennedy Jr, not Joe Junior...

allen (in Michigan) said...

Caught an article yesterday about a Spanish government plat to encourage the purchase of electric cars.

The plan was to sell 2,000 Norwegian TH!NK electrics in 2010.

So here we are in August and how have sales been going? Fifteen sold to date, sixteen if you include the single car sold in 2009.