Where is the green worker?

Perhaps the most pernicious and pervasive gimmick of recent years is that of “green growth.”  “We need not renounce our worldly goods,” we are told, “green is also good for business and millions of jobs will be created by putting technology at the service of a better environment.”

Tremendous news: but where are the jobs and how much do they cost ?

At a conference organized recently by the Heartland Institute, our colleagues at the young Juan de Mariana Institute of Spain produced a devastating presentation of the green “bubble” economy, showing not only the true cost of renewable energy subsidies, but also how this hugely destructive policy is putting existing forms of energy at unsustainable risks.

As Gabriel Calzada put it, “where is the green worker?”  At the outset, workers are of course busily installing wind farms, solar panels and so on. In fact, some 60 per cent of jobs are dealing with the installation of such equipment.  The Spanish government boasted the creation of some 50,000 new jobs in 2008.  Yes, but each of them cost more than 500,000 euros (to be renewed ?).

The study produced by Juan de Mariana Institute showed that subsidies awarded to “green” technologies represented twice the electricity bill in 2008. In terms of unitary costs, these were more than three times as expensive as other energy sources.

Also, it turned out that Spanish solar panels were so efficient that they generated current even during the night. Claro que si ! Kudos to Gabriel and his colleagues for revealing these and other scams. Porqué pagar más ?

Photos: Freedigitalphotos

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About the Author: Jacob Arfwedson

Jacob Arfwedson first worked on environmental issues with the ICREI (Paris) in the early 1990s (www.icrei.org). He has published extensively on various free market issues, working with some 20 think tanks in Europe and the US for the past 20 years. He received his MA from the Catholic University of Paris before studying at the Catholic University of America (Timbro Capitol Fellowship). His articles have been published by the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, le Figaro and AGEFI Switzerland.