Now the U.S. House and Senate are debating a European style "Climate Change" bill, complete with handouts to the worst carbon-emitters, coal companies, and this weekend the Copenhagen Climate Council is hosting the World Business Summit on Climate Change hoping, as Bjorn Lomborg writes in today's Wall Street Journal "to push political leaders into more drastic promises when they negotiate the Kyoto Protocol's replacement in December."
Naturally, many CEOs are genuinely concerned about global warming. But many of the most vocal stand to profit from carbon regulations. The term used by economists for their behavior is "rent-seeking."So really, these businesses stand to gain significantly from radical (and radically expensive) climate change legislation being pushed on countries rich and stupid enough to sign their citizens up.
The world's largest wind-turbine manufacturer, Copenhagen Climate Council member Vestas, urges governments to invest heavily in the wind market. It sponsors CNN's "Climate in Peril" segment, increasing support for policies that would increase Vestas's earnings. A fellow council member, Mr. Gore's green investment firm Generation Investment Management, warns of a significant risk to the U.S. economy unless a price is quickly placed on carbon.
And don't believe for a second that these "green jobs" being "created" by the clean energy companies are free:
Spain has been proclaimed a global example in providing financial aid to renewable energy companies to create green jobs. But research shows that each new job cost Spain 571,138 euros, with subsidies of more than one million euros required to create each new job in the uncompetitive wind industry. Moreover, the programs resulted in the destruction of nearly 110,000 jobs elsewhere in the economy, or 2.2 jobs for every job created. [My emphasis added.]So with the global economy in the state that it is in (not so good), do we really need to be costing tax payers billions of dollars in additional taxes while at the same time ensuring that many more will join me in the ranks of the unemployed? That doesn't sound like good policy to me, it sounds like pandering to some self-serving interest groups.
President Dwight D Eisenhower famously worried about the Cold-War era Military-Industrial Complex that "there is a recurring temptation to feel that some spectacular and costly action could become the miraculous solution to all current difficulties." The same can now be said about the unholy alliance of self-interested businesses, grandstanding politicians and alarmist campaigners making up the new Climate-Industrial Complex.
Also, I highly recommend Mr Lomborg's 2007 book, "Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming." Among other things, it is an eye opening look at how much good we could be doing with all the money we are throwing at global warming -- like eradicating malaria, providing everyone in the world with clean drinking water, or controlling AIDS.