The number 13 is proving quite fortuitous for me, if not so much for the global warming industry.
Thirteen months after I published the subtle “Red Hot Lies: How Global Warming Alarmists Use Threats Fraud and Deception to Keep You Misinformed,” the ClimateGate e-mails leaked out of the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit, affirming the very same specifics of the alarmists’ whole sordid tale.
No longer could they deny what many had suspected about the shady “climate science,” and after ClimateGate the energy-rationing agenda offered in the name of “global warming” was thrown off track, helping to doom the ill-timed Copenhagen “Kyoto II” conference.
Last week, precisely 13 days after publishing “Power Grab: How Obama’s Green Policies Will Steal Your Freedom and Bankrupt America,” word leaked from Spain that the socialist government has finally acknowledged longstanding allegations which, again as luck would have it, I specifically laid out in the book.
In short, we learned of reports that the socialist Zapatero government has laid the groundwork for abandoning its vaunted “green jobs” schemes, admitting in an official if not yet released document the damning criticisms levied by an academic team. Their research had received great attention—and prompted vicious smear campaigns—both here and in Spain.
That is very bad news for the Obama administration whose leader on eight separate occasions instructed us to “think about what’s happening in countries like Spain” if we wanted to see his model and vision for a “green economy.” He would launch America into a new era of prosperity premised in “new technologies” like windmills—yes, he actually said that.
This line was promoted at the expense of other Obama claims, like his vow in San Francisco to use such schemes to cause “electricity prices [to] necessarily skyrocket.” Which, it turns out, Spain’s “green economy” also managed to do.
At least, it caused electricity prices to rise leading the Spanish government—in order to avoid paying the political price—to set the rates far below the actual costs of producing inefficient energy from intermittent sources requiring massive physical redundancy (the wind blows when it feels like it). So they ran up a massive “rate deficit.”
In testimony to the U.S. House the lead Spanish researcher, Madrid economics professor Dr. Gabriel Calzada, revealed how paying this debt down would require raising Spanish electricity rates another 31 percent. Here we see the beginnings of “skyrocketing” rates.
For having dared to take Obama up on the serial invitation to eyeball Spain’s wondrous scheme, Dr. Gabriel Calzada was not only treated with typically shabby behavior by the House Democrats that day, but his own countrymen accused him of being “unpatriotic.” Not for what he said, but for the fact that he said it.
Imagine what these same people will surely call the Spanish socialists for admitting to Calzada’s claims.
Among the caterwaulers were the communist party-affiliated trade union and the country’s “renewable” energy association “rent-seekers.” Both were furious because, as the head of the latter wrote, Spain needed the U.S. to fall for the scheme, too, and thus bail them out before their bubble burst.
Well, last week it did. Yet, to date, only David Freddoso of the Washington Examiner has picked up on the relevance of the story to Obama’s policies. The unfolding debacle is otherwise cast as a sidebar to Spain teetering on Greek-style collapse.
The Spanish media are openly flogging the scandal. Even this Spanish article slavishly enthusiastic about the necessary, and massive, subsidy schemes notes that Spain’s green energy and employment rhetoric is “collid[ing] with the harsh economic reality…Today this energy is only possible if you have production support, and finally all the money spent will end up impacting all consumers through a rise in electricity bill.”
It makes clear how Spain’s green rent-seeking businesses are in panic mode over the prospect of retroactive cuts to their subsidies, with the boondoggle now fully exposed. Tens of thousands of jobs are described as being directly at risk, telling us that these jobs were indeed “bubble” jobs created solely as a result of a governmental policy favor, and therefore not, ahem, “sustainable.” Industry Minister Miguel “Sebastian explained that they were in ‘dialogue with industry to find a solution to continue betting on renewable energy, which is our strategic bet (…), but without adversely affecting the competitiveness of the Spanish economy.’”
That is, they’ve need an exit strategy from the mess, but have created constituencies demanding they still be fed.
Soon, no doubt, the Obama administration and other cheerleaders for cramming down the “green” lifestyle agenda on you will insist that Spain isn’t really an appropriate analogy, at all. Why, Obama’s plans really are quite different and, anyway, we’ll just avoid Spain’s problems.
This is a guess but an educated one given what lawmakers began chanting after Europe’s “carbon cap-and-trade scheme was similarly revealed to be an economic debacle, chasing manufacturing jobs to exotic locations such as Carroll County, Ky. Ours is different.
It would also be of a part with Sen. John Kerry stating two weeks ago, in the face of crumbling public willingness to accept the monstrosity of cap-and-trade here, that cap-and-trade “isn’t an environment bill.” It’s really about jobs, and national security, and anything else that might appeal to you. It’s just, apparently, that they felt they had to go the route of a “global warming” scheme to make the agenda politically palatable but, now, well, they think you deserve the truth.
That truth really is that the issue isn’t the issue for our friends. And the claims of economic benefits to flow are as false as the notion that the cap-and-trade or “green jobs” schemes would change the temperature – something implied but which no one actually claims, for the obvious reason that the claim cannot be supported.
It’s time to call a halt to this, before Obama imposes yet another of Europe’s statist mistakes as part of his “fundamental transformation.” You must instead re-take the political class’s power, before they steal yours.
Christopher C. Horner is a New York Times bestselling author whose newly released book is “Power Grab: How Obama’s Green Policies Will Steal Your Freedom and Bankrupt America“ (Regnery).