Time for a Canadian Round of Green Energy Nonsense


   Do not think about, write about or deal with  human behavior without determining the effects of incentives. It’s not their money, of course they’ll waste it.

     Wherein we see the enormous costs of chasing illusions. Illusions which have been repeatedly refuted.

Green energy blues
The only way Trudeau and the premiers will reduce Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions is by making us poorer

By Lorrie Goldstein, Toronto Sun

According to their own political logic, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Rachel Notley should be happy about reduced investment in Alberta’s oil sands.

After all, since both of them believe humanity faces an imminent, existential threat from man-made climate change, they logically would consider it good news that the global crash in oil prices has dramatically slowed oil sands development.


    This is the same “imminent” threat Al “The Goracle” Gore made 10 years ago when he said we had 10 years to to “save” the planet.

That will reduce Alberta’s and Canada’s carbon footprint going forward as economic recessions are the only thing to date that has ever effectively slowed rising global greenhouse gas (GJH) emissions linked to climate change.

In Canada, after annual emissions peaked in 2007 at 761 Mt (megatonnes), the global recession which started with the subprime mortgage derivative scandal in the U.S. caused our emissions to drop dramatically to 741 Mt in 2008 and 699 Mt in 2009, or by 8.1% in two years, which is a huge decrease.

But as the economy slowly recovered, Canada’s emissions started to rise again, to 707 Mt in 2010, 709 Mt in 2011, 715 Mt in 2012 and 726 Mt in 2013, the last year available.

Of course, Trudeau and Notley will argue that falling oil prices are the perfect time to begin shifting the country, and Alberta, to a new, prosperous green energy economy.


     The only green jobs ever created were the heavily-subsidized ones completely dependent on taxpayer money.

In other words, exactly what didn’t happen in Ontario when the Liberal government there doubled down on expensive, unreliable and inefficient wind and solar power, ostensibly to replace coal-fired electricity, first under former premier Dalton McGuinty and now under Kathleen Wynne.

That helped to send electricity rates soaring, which in turn contributed to the loss of hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs, while sending more and more Ontario families into fuel poverty, where they spend more than 10% of their income just to power their homes.

While the Ontario economy is doing a little better now, that’s mainly because of the low Canadian dollar, which helps exporters, and, ironically, lower oil prices.

However, claims by the Ontario Liberals that their Green Energy Act passed in 2009 would create 50,000 jobs proved to be illusory.

In 2011, the Auditor General of Ontario reported that “about 30,000 … of these jobs were expected to be construction jobs lasting only from one to three years” and that based on the experience of other jurisdictions, “about two to four jobs are often lost in other sectors of the economy because of higher electricity prices.”


     Even in the irrational world of politics, things don’t go well.

Canadians would do well to keep this in mind when Trudeau meets with the premiers in the near future to develop a national carbon pricing strategy, which will inevitably raise our cost of living.

Based on real-world experience to date, the economic benefits of a green energy economy have been as illusory as the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Politicians keep telling us there’s a brave new world of prosperity fuelled by hundreds of thousands of new green jobs, while failing to mention that many of these jobs will have to be heavily subsidized by taxpayers’ dollars.

Recessions (and carbon pricing) lower emissions for the simple reason that people then have less money to buy the goods and services produced and transported using fossil fuel energy, meaning almost all goods and services.

Indeed the infamous and now defunct Kyoto accord that former Liberal prime minister Jean Chretien foolishly signed in 1998 and ratified in 2002, was literally built around the massive recession following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

By choosing the base year for reducing emissions as 1990, European countries which absorbed parts of the old Soviet empire (for example, Germany) were able to claim massive emission cuts not because of any measures they had taken, but because the demise of the Soviet economy meant fossil fuel emissions dramatically fell in countries like East Germany.

This is also how, under Kyoto’s absurd logic, Russia, an environmental train wreck, magically became a leader in reducing GHG emissions, simply because its economy collapsed when the Soviet Union fell, not because of anything it had done.

Similarly, since neither the federal government nor any province save British Columbia has pledged to make their carbon pricing schemes revenue neutral, what will really be going on at the upcoming federal-provincial summit to set a national carbon price will be an agreement by Ottawa and the provinces to make all of us poorer.

That will lower emissions, but only as a tangential consequence of the real agenda, which is to increase government revenues.


    I don’t even know how politicians can continue to pretend they know what they’re doing.

Government Job or Respect–Which’ll It Be?
Cheerio and ttfn,
Grant Coulson, Ph.D.
Author, “Power Teaching: How to Find Someone to Teach Your Child when the Education System has Failed.
Cui Bono–Cherchez les Contingencies


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