UN appoints proud wealth redistributor to lead ‘green jobs’ effort

Christopher Horner Senior Fellow, Competitive Enterprise Institute
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We’ve got a new entrant in the push to tie down the U.S. economy once and for all in the name of saving the environment, and skeptics of the green boondoggle could not have chosen a better advocate to make their case, however inadvertently.

More on this new entrant in a moment. First, a refresher of what it is they’re pushing. With the legislative death of cap-and-trade energy rationing, President Obama telegraphed his re-branding effort in that delightful “shellacking” press conference last November by saying “there are other ways to skin that cat.”

That cat is the long-held left-liberal goal of riding the global warming issue to a place that free people will never go if given an honest sales pitch. It is now to be skinned by something that also has a few names, just in case one becomes the punch-line that “global warming” has become.

As per a poll taken by Democrat pollster Stanley Greenberg, these labels are a “clean energy economy” and, with economic times being what they are, “green jobs.”

On Capitol Hill, this is called a clean energy standard or CES (read: windmill mandate). The latest proponent of this Plan B is our old friend, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). And, with the Senate actually pondering a CES push before summer, this comes just in time.

That is, it comes just in time for those of us arguing for more individual liberty, less state control over our lives and the economy. Short of Al Gore making a movie about green jobs that, too, got all of its money claims tossed by the UK’s high court as unsupportable, a helpful assist from the IPCC is all a skeptic could hope for.

The IPCC is often touted as 2,500 of the world’s leading climate scientists (whose “chief scientist” is in fact a railway engineer, and whose ranks include anthropology T/As, transport policy teachers and instructors in group-huggy things like “the human dimension of climate change”). It was in defense of the IPCC’s “smoking gun” from its 2001 Third Assessment Report, the thoroughly debunked “Hockey Stick,” that scientists affiliated with the IPCC enterprise engaged in all of their perversion of science and transparency laws later exposed by an apparent whistleblower in ClimateGate.

In short, they’re the best friend anyone opposing this cat-skinning ruse could ask for. But it gets better.

Today the IPCC released a “Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation.” Actually, it only released its summary because, as is always the case with these IPCC products, the “Summary for Policymakers” is produced before the actual work it purportedly summarizes. Here’s our answer, now let’s set about propping it up!

Right up front are the paper’s four “coordinating lead authors.” Representative of the world of global warming schemes, these include two Germans, an African, and a Cuban, as no economic plan is complete without an expert from Cuba.

First among them, however, just happens to be IPCC official Ottmar Edenhofer. You may remember him for his recent gem — also from last November, come to think of it — of admitting that “one has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy.” Instead, climate change policy is about how “we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth…” I couldn’t have said it better myself (though I have tried).

As Daily Caller readers already know, these efforts are to culminate with a “green jobs” treaty that the U.S. will have sprung on it next spring, three weeks before the confab of global leaders, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, takes place in Rio de Janeiro. There will be a great flood of media puffery about the supposed wonders of the state “creating jobs” (particularly with the encouragement of supranational entities, no doubt) by mandating economic inefficiencies.

In fact, Obama’s chief science advisor, John Holdren, has long been on record warning of the perils of abundant energy, arguing that the less efficient we are, why, the more people it will require to do things! Ah, yes, drudgery and 19th-century lifestyles.

Of course, no program doesn’t create jobs. So that’s not an argument for something, but an acknowledgement that you have no arguments. And whenever you rob Peter to pay Paul, Paul will hire someone to do the gig. The issue is what sort of jobs will be created and at what cost.

Each assessment and experiment with the “green economy” has proved it to be (wait for it) unsustainable. The jobs that green programs create are largely installation jobs. The contraptions that the workers install are usually manufactured in developing countries. And those installation jobs are all temporary, disappearing the minute the programs run out of other people’s money. Mandates can cure that, of course, except that they are economically harmful in an even more direct and transparent way than mere wealth transfers.

So, here’s a note of thanks in the looming battle to cram down that fundamental transformation of America into the dream of so many Europeans, academic theorists and UN-types. The more they speak, the closer we get to “consensus” about what’s really going on.

Chris Horner is a senior fellow at The Competitive Enterprise Institute.