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30 September 2009

Nuts in Copenhagen

"Nuts !" to Copenhagen:

Professor John Schellnhuber of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, an adviser to the German government, thinks Copenhagen may also be a failure, largely because the U.S. refuses to line up behind the rest of the climate lemmings and follow them over an economic cliff.

[He] blamed the U.S. for a decade of inaction caused by President George W. Bush. Ironically, it was a decade where the sun grew quiet and the Earth cooled as result. Yet [...] he says it's we American cowboys who are "climate illiterates" for actually looking at the Earth's thermometer and daring to notice the snow in Malibu.

[Schellnhuber] mourns our failure to embrace economic ruin and pass cap-and-trade legislation such as Waxman-Markey, warning: "If the U.S. doesn't move then nothing will happen." Gee, we hope so.

Spain has been held up as a green-jobs success story, the example of what a green economy should look like. Then a study led by Gabriel Calzada of King Juan Carlos University showed that each new "green job" came at the expense of two others in the private sector. After Spain's decade-long effort, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard of the U.K. Telegraph notes: "Spain is sliding into a full-blown economic depression with unemployment approaching levels not seen since the Second Republic of the 1930s." Unemployment, including thousands of "green" workers, hit 18.5% in July.

Spain's failure with renewable energy should give everyone pause. Even after $43 billion in subsidies, solar energy still accounts for less than 1% of Spain's total electric output. Spain has also embraced wind power, but clearly the wind is not at its back.

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