The Green Revolution And It’s False Boom

Posted by Jason | Posted in Global Warming, Government | Posted on 15-12-2009

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I keep hearing politicians and pundits saying the US has to be at the forefront of the green revolution. This is the new internet revolution they say, and it will create tons of jobs in the future. That got me thinking about whether this is the case.

To start, what is economic growth, and why does it benefit society? Real economic growth is increased production of society as a whole (unfortunately our GDP focuses on spending). Increased production means that there are more goods and services for the society to consume and to trade with other nations. That is increased wealth.

Now, the internet revolution and the technology revolution drove up productivity, which means you can produce more with less. That is a pretty simple idea, and it’s easy to see how it increased wealth for us as a nation. Also, being the leader in these revolutions helped us get a head start. With these revolutions, even if  you weren’t the leader, you still benefited immensely from them.

So, the question is how is the Green Revolution like the technology/internet revolution? Does it increase productivity? It is hard to see how. Having energy produced by the sun instead of coal doesn’t increase productivity. If it was cheaper, maybe you could say the savings would be reinvested, and that would eventually lead to increased productivity. Unfortunately, it isn’t cheaper, which is why it hasn’t taken place freely, and it requires government force and subsidies.

Think about it like this. Let’s say as a nation, you have $100 in wealth. You need electricity for luxury and commerce.  Now, say it costs $10/kwh when power is produced by coal (I know nothing about electricity, so please don’t laugh). You would be able to get 10kwhs for you $100. Now, let’s say with green energy it costs $20/kwh. I don’t know the ratio, but I know it’s more expensive. With green energy, you can only get 5kwhs for society’s $100. Now, how does that make your society richer? Why are we all racing to be the leaders of the revolution that makes you less wealthy?

If green technology makes you less wealthy, how do you benefit as a society from the “Green Revolution”? The only way I can think of is you are the leader, and you steal the wealth of other nations in a zero sum game. Other countries buy the technology from your country, which would give you that income from that export. Meanwhile, that nation pays out the money for the technology, and then pays out for the increased cost of the power. This sounds like a huge wealth transfer.

As you can see, there is nothing revolutionary with the “Green Revolution”. It is no where close to the internet revolution and the technology revolutions. Those revolutions didn’t need government force to come into existence. They came to be because they drove up productivity, drove down costs, and increased our standard of living. They actually increased our wealth. The green revolution is the exact opposite. It requires government force, increases cost, and decreases our standard of living. Keep this in mind the next time you hear our politicians talking about the US needing to be at the forefront of this revolution. No worth while revolution requires government forcing it upon you.

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Comments (3)

“Now, say it costs $10/kwh when power is produced by coal (I know nothing about electricity, so please don’t laugh). You would be able to get 10kwhs for you $100. Now, let’s say with green energy it costs $20/kwh. I don’t know the ratio, but I know it’s more expensive.”

I’d do some digging, find the facts on what the cost ratio of green energy/conventional energy is, and start the article with those facts. Then make the point. Other than that a good article, but it collapses around that weakness.

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Dave, unfortunately, I don’t have time to research everything I want to quickly write on. I do know alternative energies are more expensive, or the government would not be looking to pass cap n trade to drive up the cost of conventional energy and to make alternatives more competitive. The exact numbers don’t matter. It was just an illustration of how it does not create wealth. I did do a quick google and found this article. My numbers were wrong, but the ratios weren’t too far off. http://kn.theiet.org/magazine/issues/0913/costs-of-going-green-0913.cfm

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Dave, I can see your point on this subject, But I think you are not seeing the real picture on what is truely going on here. There is a silent war going on among nations. The nation who controls and manages there resources and create new ones wins. We all know that the world resources is starting to get use up and new energy.

They develop the next power source. Our generation I afraid have become too arrogant and selfish, to get to the next level of evolution. We are a failure in that regards when looking back through history and see what our past has achieved.

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