News & Analysis
Why Green Is Blue
Things aren't going too well for the Prime Minister's boast of leading "the greenest government ever", giving us, as he said last year, "a real opportunity to drive the green economy, green jobs, green growth". In 2007, Mr Cameron made a big play of opening a factory in Coventry to build electric-powered vans. Last week, after making only 400 vehicles in four years, the firm, Modec, sacked half its workforce and went into administration with debts of £40 million. – UK Telegraph
Dominant Social Theme: Give it time. The Green revolution is coming ... some day.
Free-Market Analysis: The 2000s are like the 1970s in so many ways. Then, too, Green businesses were touted as up-and-coming – throughout and the West and the UK, and especially in America, which tends to take the lead in such things. Many "can't miss" businesses sprung up; it was a heady time. We're not sure how many enterprises were subsidized in the UK, but in the US, the Carter administration funded a good many of them. But then the long recession came in and Ronald Reagan was elected president and gradually public funding diminished, not just in the US but in Europe as well. Little was heard about "alternative energy" and "Green power" for the next 20 years. The solar panel business gradually melted away; wind power was becalmed; even nuclear power fell out of fashion.
Today, in the 21st century, the memes are back in fashion. The Western mainstream press is filled with virtuous paeans about the world's Green future and what that means for a "cleaner" earth. The ramifications are obvious and have to do with further centralization of power and authority within the ambit of the "global" solutions the power elite is so fond of proposing. In fact, Green energy is nothing more than a dominant social theme, a fear-based promotion around which the powers-that-be hope to organize increased internationalism.
But there are various discordant notes being played within the larger symphony – as cynics have long predicted. (See article excerpt above.) They begin with the difficultly of disposing of "carbon" and the various debates now ongoing about where to sequester it. For those apt to believe that carbon dioxide – an essential building block of life – is not an especially dangerous substance, reading about "solutions" to this fiercesome problem provides a kind of out-of-body experience. Swap "oxygen" for carbon dioxide to gain an appreciation for the essential craziness of the conversation.
Today, various mavens of global warming are debating where to "store" the carbon dioxide being "captured." One solution is to bury carbon dioxide deep in the earth. Now substitute "oxygen" and consider the same scenario. Imagine capturing "oxygen" and burying it deep in the earth to make sure it doesn't damage the environment. Only Kafka could do justice to this idea. This is a meme degenerating into a farce.
There are other inconvenient facts rising to the surface regarding Green themes. In Australia, recently (as the article above mentions later on) Jill Duggan, a senior British official with the European Commission, went on radio to explain the good news about the EU's efforts to combat the scourge of oxygen – er, carbon dioxide.
Duggan spoke of the EU's intentions to slice CO2 emissions by 20 percent within the next decade. While Duggan apparently believed this was an uncontroversial message, she was confronted on air by two Green critics who pressed her about the expense. According to the Telegraph article, "she admitted she had no idea how many hundreds of billions of euros this would cost, or how much it could hope to achieve by way of reducing global temperatures."
Duggan ended up by defending the program as part of a larger Green effort to combat climate change that was responsible for over a million new jobs in Europe hundreds of thousands in the UK. Her interviewers cited a new study that had found for every new Green job, nearly four are lost. "Interviewers suggested that, with an unemployment rate of 10 per cent, there didn't seem to be much Europe could teach Australia."
A recent Wall Street Journal article mentioned some creeping doubts regarding the Chevy Volt, which we have written about in the past. The car is over-priced, underpowered and of limited range. This hasn't stopped a surge in popularity because of recently rising gas prices, but even here we wonder how much will be saved in the long-term, certainly from the standpoint of the consumer's pocketbook. Energy still has to be paid for and it is in fact more inefficient to gain access to energy via electrical recharging than by directly unlocking the energy contained in oil and gas. Here is an excerpt from the Journal article, entitled Chevrolet Volt: Does It Have A Future? ...
The Chevrolet Volt electric car is a marvel in many ways, but so were automatic seat belts, the Ford Edsel and yes, the Sony Betamax. None of those lasted long, and now people are beginning to wonder about the Volt's long-term prospects and those of current electric cars in general. A few recent driving impressions, including one in the well-read magazine Consumer Reports, have pointed to the limited range, high cost and potentially annoying traits that are likely to make the Volt and its main competitor, the Nissan Leaf, unappealing to the majority of drivers. After months of buildup and often gushing reviews, it seems now as if the automotive consumer sector is exhaling and rediscovering skepticism.
The Volt, like the Leaf, has not sold many cars to date, though the Journal article indicates that the high price of fuel may be making both cars more attractive to consumers. But one wonders where the power will come from to run these cars in the future. It is increasingly difficult to build coal-fired plants and over the weekend, as a result of the Japanese earthquake, nuclear power has become subject to considerable questioning once again. As a result of Japan's terrible earthquake, several of Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant units have experienced some sort of meltdown and subsequent explosions.
Conclusion: There are plenty of alternatives to oil, including hydro-electric power, coal and natural gas. But the debate over energy really isn't about planning for energy needs; it is about how quickly the power elite can implement additional plans to ration and control energy using fear-based dominant social themes. The idea is to create a society where energy is centralized, measured and rationed so as to provide evermore elite control over people's lives and lifestyles. Once one understands this is the real goal, everything else falls into place. That doesn't make Green industry more profitable; it merely explains why it exists at all.
Posted by Hahaha on 03/15/11 05:50 PM
Yup, still have it wrong
The Volt has a battery bank for electric driving, AND IT HAS a gasoline motor that it switches over to automatically with a gas tank giving around a 300 mile driving range, that can be refilled as normal for an infinite range.
I did not say I liked it, just trying to get your facts straight.
Reply from The Daily Bell
We wrote that the batter powered car has a range of 40 miles. This is true. It is not false. It is not incorrect. It is not an inaccurate conclusion. Good that the Volt has a regular gas tank and a regular gas motor. It obviously needs them.
Posted by Zenbillionaire on 03/15/11 02:28 AM
Oops. Should have read "we know nothing other than we know nothing". I toyed with the idea of claiming it was a play on words but decided against it.
You really ought to consider that this whole thing is being manipulated heavily 10hawks. Regular old power reactors are actually pretty safe. The hyperbole surrounding the incident in Japans is, to put it bluntly, absurd.
Do a little research on your own. Someone is pulling your chain, and they're pulling it pretty hard.
Just to give you a personal example, I built a plain old house that survived the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake with only minor damage. It was less than three miles from the epicenter and that was a 7.2 according to the USGS. Common sense might suggest that if I can build a house that'll take that kind of punishment for a lousy $300 grand, a band of heavily regulated nuclear engineers can probably build something a whole lot tougher for 2 or 3 billion. I'm not making any promises mind you, just sayin.
Posted by Zenbillionaire on 03/15/11 01:46 AM
"Global media outlets are propagating disinformation"
I'm pretty sure I agree with you on that one, but what makes you think the situation is being downplayed rather than played up? First reports were that the damping rods where placed automatically, which would mean we could expect five or so days of high heat but nothing nearly as serious as a meltdown.
Then we get reports of mysterious hydrogen explosions going off one after another with no explanation. Now it's definitely a meltdown. Evacuations are occurring, and a bit late in the day by my lights.
Here's the thing; if the control rods made it into the cores this shouldn't be happening. If they didn't, the area should have been evacuated 3 days ago. So there's no doubt that somewhere along the line the truth of the situation has left the building, and it's only been able to use one door.
In short, we no nothing other than that we know nothing.
Reply from The Daily Bell
See today's article.
Posted by Wrusssr on 03/15/11 01:24 AM
A would-be humorous per gallon comparison with gasoline below is always trotted out by someone behind the Internet curtain and circulated every time there's a new gas gouge. Prior to that it was always: ". . .well looky there at what the Europeans are paying. . .Be grateful you ain't paying that."
Evian water 9 oz $1.49 . . . $21.19 p/g; Brake Fluid 12 oz $3.15. . . $33.60 p/g; Vick's Nyquil 6 oz $8.35 . . .$178.13 p/g; Pepto Bismol 4 oz $3.85 . . .$123.20 p/g; Printer's Ink. . . $5,200 p/g (the computer industry's gas pump); etc., etc.
I suppose all this could be smirky, at least until one stopped to fill up one's pickup today"$82 and change @ 3.40 p/g.
Did I mention there's no oil shortage? Never has been. No such thing as "peak oil." Even when we all sat in lines at gas stations at four a.m. in the eighties after those mean ole A-rabs "embargoed U.S. oil" and we "found out" how serious it was; that the U.S. was "running out of oil."
All lies. Economic propaganda. All designed as part of The Great Shakedown; which includes the gas pump. We (and the world) have oil fields that have never been pumped. Gull Island and other untapped (known) fields off the North Slope
Click to view link . . .The huge fields in Montana and the Dakotas
Click to view link . . .Green River Basin in Colorado
Click to view link . . . the current boom in the South and Central Texas Eagle Ford Shale Click to view link . . . ANWAR. Oil companies"who control Arab oil"know exactly where these and other fields are around the world, and the estimated oil in them.
Anyone notice how quickly the First Gulf War ended when the Middle East's oil 'arrangements' were threatened? What, four days?
A good friend who works in personnel at a Houston medical lab (corporation) told me they had employees coming into their HR offices during the last gas gouging ($4 p/g), telling them they had to quit because they could no longer afford the drive to work.
See, outside of New York and the Northeast/Chicago there's no mass transit in Houston"and cities like Houston"to speak of. No matter. It takes a couple hours to get from one side of the city to the other whether you're driving a car or riding a bus. Or partway through during rush hour. Forget a cab. And don't even think about a bicycle. Or motorcycle unless you love living on the edge. Houston drivers are an unforgiving lot. Calloused, really.
My advice to visitors if they break down on a Houston Freeway " don't step out of your car. If it's summertime it's okay to roll down your window and wave a white hankie, though. This will prevent you from having heat stroke and provide comic relief for stressed drivers as they pass by. I digress.
Those who quit should have car-pooled? Saved their money for a rainy gas day? Moved closer to work? Got them an electric car? Hard to do on a $8-$15 p/h lab technician's pay. . .feed a family. . .pick up kids. . .buy gas.
Can't be done in fly-over America any more.
Gas pump gangsters, Wall Street thieves, and elected criminals have made it so.
Did I mention the U.S. has an unlimited supply of coal beneath its dirt? That the electric generation industry can't produce energy any cheaper with any type of fuel"including wind or solar"than they can with coal? That they've developed scrubbers for their plants that will check coal's emissions? No melt-downs with coal fired plants, either. Best we get rid of these dinosaurs, though.
If you like the idea of clean energy, you'll love The Great Texas Wind Hoax.
Click to view link
Posted by Dave on 03/14/11 08:36 PM
I am with Ingo Bischoff, that the PE are diverse with varying agendas. But the energy question is drawing them together as a unified front. We are going to pay no mater which way, until we become independant. How can we declare our independance, if we are not independant?
Posted by Dave on 03/14/11 07:42 PM
As much as I feel pounded by the PE, I will state, they are ahead of the curve where it matters. Energy definitely matters. Life is energy based, and the harnessing of fossil fuel has propeled human life. The problem is the surface area of the earth is finite, and the "low hanging fruit", the light sweet crude, is about consumed. No peak oil, think about peak profit. Green energy is a non-starter. I have much to debate if this is a subject at DB.
Posted by Pete 8 on 03/14/11 07:26 PM
Colours, such wonderful distractions from the truth about POWER.
In Wanganui they passed a law banning 'colours' which now looks set to get repealed.
There are some monsters out there, but most wear a collar & tie, or other weirdo occult stuff.
Posted by Ol' Grey Ghost on 03/14/11 06:40 PM
Posted by 10hawks on 03/14/11 06:13 PM
Several reactors in Japan have begun to melt down, at different plant locations. A significant radiation event has already occurred at one plant, contaminating a wide area and poisoning thousands.
Unfortunately the Japanese government is vastly understating the dimensions of this ongoing nuclear disaster, for which they were sadly unprepared.
Global media outlets are propagating disinformation, downplaying the present danger of total meltdown, which in fact would release multiples of the radiation levels produced by the Chernobyl event.
Posted by Gnome on 03/14/11 05:53 PM
FWIW, amateur fushioneer Richard Hull weighs in on the latest fusion promotion.
"Again, hot, lukewarm or cold fusion doesn't and can't exist in a useful form until open and useful demonstrations of electrical energy or heating energy is shown to exceed the input energy and I don't mean for a microsecond or 10 minutes or one hour. I don't care if magnificent claims come from CERN, JET, ITER, MIT The Journal of Really Cool Fusion or the Journal of Zero Point Energy. It's pretty much bunk until the copius energy flows from a device over a significant and immediately useful period of time. ...
The real fusion is being done by the Neutron club members here as well as by many labs all over the world, yet, no one is doing it well or making any useful energy. We must live with this as a given."
Click to view link
Posted by Bluebird on 03/14/11 03:01 PM
If "green" had started out with real concern instead of a means to enslave us, I may have considered buying green products. But since it is a method to destroy and lead to OWG, I refuse ALL green products. If it says green, recycled, energy saving, I pass it by. And if it gets to the point where that is the only thing available, I will do without whatever I can possibly refuse. I sincerely hope that anyone invested in green goes belly up. Am I an extremist? Perhaps. But I don't like cheats and thieves!
Posted by Hahaha on 03/14/11 02:44 PM
As in every article where you mention the Volt, you again have it wrong.
The Volt has around a 40 mile electric battery capability (the average commute), but then has a backup gasoline motor with a gas tank giving around a 300 mile driving range, that can be refilled as normal for an infinite range.
Reply from The Daily Bell
What exactly do we have "wrong?" From your perspective it is apparently a wonderful invention: An electric car that can travel 40 miles before you have to recharge it overnight. So go buy one and rejoice.
Posted by Arthur on 03/14/11 01:54 PM
I am waitng for the true green movement coming soon(hopefully)(google cold fusion rossi): the irony of this discovery in the wake of japan's nuke explosions.Is there a japanese word for MURPHY?
Posted by Gnome on 03/14/11 01:22 PM
Fiat's a farce. London Lizards and their American toadies certainly know how to print Greenbacks. For the world to fully experience the farce the powers-that-be (PTB) ought to simply deploy Greenback printers at the World Meteorological Organization and other worthy locations.
Wait. ... It gets better. ... The PTB needn't print anything. With a valid password, one can create virtual greenbacks by simply diddling a few bits here and there. Just give the password to worthy organizations. Then a certified hacker such as Assange can leak the password to the world.
Posted by Chet on 03/14/11 01:13 PM
Promoting green energy can actually move it away from central control to control by the individual. It's quite easy today to use solar, and or wind and or water to become totally "self powering." The investment required comes down every year.
I read that the carbon footprint to build a new electric car is greater than the one created by driving an efficient, used, gas powered car for 20 years. Makes sense considering that the coal will be the number one source of power to make all the components and assemble them and diesel to transport parts and the finished product. But carbon of course isn't the problem anyway. If we all stopped breathing for one year we could reduce the carbon dioxide levels by leaps and bounds but the plants would suffer.
It has been getting cooler again for the last 9 years. If you check the temperatures since man has been keeping track they run in about 30 year cycles of cooler then warmer with the peak warm being in the late 1940's. Towards the end of 30 years of cooling in the late 1970's Time Magazine had a cover story on an impending Ice Age with icebergs coming to Hudson Bay. Also not a conspiracy just ignorance and hyperbole to sell "news." I am pro green energy and pro carbon dioxide. I like a greener forest.
Posted by Revelationtoo/Corporacracy on 03/14/11 01:09 PM
So, if green energy is "in fact" a dominant social theme, is it a bad social theme? Is it wrong for the people of Japan to maybe reach out for some alternate solutions after their horrendous experience from a natural phenomena? Would it not be prudent for all of us to consider what effect carbon and the burning of fossil fuels have on this planet and our lives? Each one of us is entitled to his or her opinion, but the best of us retain an open mind.
Posted by Sslosch0505 on 03/14/11 12:59 PM
We do have a great opportunity right now in the Green Revolution arena. But we must first get past the common misunderstanding that Green should cost more money, and that Green typically means , Solar, Wind and Geothermal power as well as Electric or Hydrogen Fuel cell vehicles.
This is old technology that does have some benefit to a single user who buys it for its value for themselves and their home for example. But on a commercial level none of these technologies are viable without government incentives. we all know what happens when an industry and investments rely on this... think Corn base dethanol or the real estate bubble... only bad things happen when a proforma is profitable only due to the government.
Green technologies by their very definition should use less resources in their construction or operation, there for it should cost a consumer less to purchase or it should save them money directly during operation. this includes the supply chain and full life of the product.
If we can shift our focus to these REAL green technologies, which do exist, then we can actually create millions of jobs and provide real economic stimulus. the problem is, the companies that have the capabilities to produce these commercial scale systems are the same ones that make billions from traditional power or transportation products. Why shoot themselves in the foot?
the only way thy would consider the later, is if the financial benefit was so compelling they would be stupid not to do it, as well, if the public demanded such products. but right now we are so uneducated in the area of Energy and Technology that we are easily led down paths that make no freaking sense. similar to how uneducated the public is with Money, Credit and Finance, and there too we are led down insane paths.
It is possible with todays technology an knowledge to clean our air that we have almost destroyed, to provide at minimum 8% of a homes power needs using their own waste, to reduce vehicles emissions by up to 90% still running Gasoline or Diesel and many other things that the public sees as crazy or unrealistic, when in fact they are very easily achievable if we were to grant patents that are sitting at the patent office for decades (for one example).
In SUmmary, the real Benefit to Green tech is not just the environmental aspect, but the economic aspect as well. If we can focus on the economic aspect then beneficial products may be produced. I always suggest to investors that they do not invest in green technologies unless they fulfill four criteria:
1. They have an economic benefit to the user, not just the producer selling it for high margins.
2. The company does not rely on Government hand outs, tax credits etc... Again, Think about what happened to the ethanol industry.
3. The technology focuses on some aspect of Decentralizing power sources or provides the user with free choices for their fuel etc... This trend is a social one that is not going away and applies to all business investments in my opinion.
4. And finally, that is does have significant environmental attributes as well, but throughout the entire supply chain and after is useful life. not just during its useful life (Think Prius Hybrid and an example of a product that does not fulfill this category)
I am sharing this information from experience. I have spent the last five years starting and growing a green technology innovation firm with several scientists and a large portfolio of unique but simple patents.
This is all coming first hand from experiences I have had in this industry and things I have learned after meeting many very powerful and influential people at large private firms and government entities. Our firm has three simple principles: 1. All products and components will be manufactured in the US. 2. No aspect of the business will rely on Government money or assistance. 3. The Business will never have debt, aka it will never leverage in order to expand or grow a product (We use only private or internal capital).
Thanks for all your hard work at the Bell... keep the great information coming. You guys have a large influence on our philosophies as a company along with several other sources such as Richard Maybury and Bert Dohmen.
So thank you again
Reply from The Daily Bell
Posted by Gnome on 03/14/11 12:52 PM
"a meme degenerating into a farce"
America arguably ranks as the "Greenest government ever" with a "Green future" guaranteed by the "Green power" of a quadrillion Greenbacks.
Posted by Earl on 03/14/11 12:41 PM
Good Article! The so-called green movement is based upon fear and coercion rather than actual facts. Now what is never mentioned by the proponents of 'green jobs' is that they destroy more jobs than they create. More profoundly however is the fact they produce more environmental problems than they solve. Take for example the CFL, which contains highly toxic mercury now the impact on life and the environment are ignored because of the fixation on carbon dioxide. If we eliminated all of the carbon dioxide produced by humanity that would lower the carbon by approximately 20 ppm. However it would succeed in creating extreme economic turmoil, which is apparently the goal!
Posted by Phil C. on 03/14/11 10:52 AM
If anyone is curious,
Click to view link
...is a premier anti-global warming hysteria site filled with incredibly smart people. Anthony Watts just won best Science Blog for his site, and his posts usually garner comments in the hundreds. Also commentators have been covering the nuclear "meltdown" in Japan since the beginning.
These guys really helped me clean out all that global warming crap my university fed me while I was receiving my scrap of paper called a degree.