Big Picture News, Informed Analysis

Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Former National Post & Toronto Star columnist, past vice president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.

Green Incompetence Isn’t Sustainable

Governments fund solar capacity in countries that receive little sun and install wind turbines in nations that get little wind. $100 billion has been squandered while green activists applauded.


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In a blog post titled Europe’s $100 Billion Green Energy Mistake, Walter Russell Mead draws our attention to a newly-released report about the future of electricity.

The report says that, in their eagerness to embrace renewable energy, European governments have funded solar capacity in countries that get little sun, and installed wind turbines in nations that get little wind.

To quote page 14 of the electricity report, this “suboptimal deployment of resources” has cost the European Union “approximately $100 billion” more than if those governments had taken into account facts that seem “obvious to most European citizens.”


click for this report’s web page

Mead’s commentary is scathing. Green activists tend to be ignorant of basic economics, he says, and therefore don’t belong anywhere near government decision-making:

People who screw up this badly on a relatively simple assignment simply cannot be trusted with the complex policy interventions and long term planning that any serious effort to create a sustainable economy will require.

Green activists are highly effective lobbyists. They apply non-stop pressure to politicians, demanding that public funds be used to advance green projects.

But these activists and politicians seem more interested in boasting about the expansion of renewable power sources than in making the world a better, smarter place.

The electricity report singles out German solar efforts as a foolish use of resources, given the meager amount of sun that country receives compared to nations such as Spain. Yet a Greenpeace blog post from last June lavishly praised Germany’s solar efforts, as did Greenpeace International’s Facebook page.


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In a recent issue of the WWF’s World Wildlife Magazine, an official with that green advocacy group rejected any suggestion that Germany’s embrace of solar power is a dumb idea. In the universe inhabited by the WWF, the German experience discredits “the myth that solar power only works in hot, sunny places.”

Similarly, a June 2014 media briefing by the UK-based Friends of the Earth portrayed Germany as a shining example that deserves to be emulated:

The UK is lagging well behind many other countries when it comes to solar power. Germany has over 35GW of solar installed, more than 10 times as much as the UK.

$100 billion is a lot of money. That money could have been used to build schools, hospitals, and more public transit.

Instead, it has been squandered – to the applause of green activists.


read Walter Russell Mead’s full blog post here



“Green incompetence is one of the greatest threats to the future of our planet…” Walter Russell Mead, Europe’s $100 Billion Green Energy Mistake



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