Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Rex Murphy Thinks Enviros are Jumping For Joy at the Recession
by Lloyd Alter, Toronto
Canadian broadcaster and columnist Rex Murphy thinks Al Gore, David Suzuki and most environmentalists are secretly gleeful over the economic crisis because it reduces output and pollution. He writes in the Globe and Mail:
"Curiously, however, we hear very little from them of this "upside" to the current crisis. Maybe because it's "an inconvenient truth," and the telling of it would make explicit what has always been the real equation of the global warming scare. Which is, that if people believe the planet is on the path to apocalyptic ruin because of the world's dependence on petroleum - and that, without exaggeration, is the message of the global warming advocates - then the world's economies must radically shrink. We must do and have less of everything. We must make less, travel less, buy less - and endure the deeper hardship of more people out of work."
That is the inescapable message of a serious belief in global warming. No amount of chatter about a "green economy" or Twittering about all the "green jobs" about to materialize as soon as we "wean ourselves from our carbon dependency" - all rhetorical sugar-coating - will change it.
Do you really wish to know what this "green economy" will look like? Look out the recession's window. We're in it.
Now Rex is from Newfoundland, where they are as unhappy as most environmentalists are about the fact that oil costs fifty bucks a barrel. He is also wrong about so many things; he doesn't hear about this "upside" because he made it up, environmentalists have 401Ks and houses too. It is no surprise, either; it happened after the fall of the Soviet Union and happens in every recession. (The Wall Street Journal confirms it.)
He is also wrong about the green economy; today's Chicago Tribune tracks the growth of energy efficiency jobs, some 87,000 people doing audits, construction workers insulating and upgrading buildings. Jim Tankersley writes:
In the private sector, firms nationwide say they're doubling or tripling workforces to upgrade millions of homes, businesses and government buildings. The reason? The stimulus spending and an accompanying batch of new tax breaks for efficiency.
Chief executives and analysts expect the demand to last, in part because of some strings attached to the stimulus money that push states to adopt ongoing efficiency incentives.
Oh, and Rex, what is making money for Bombardier this quarter? Trains. Green jobs are about the only thing keeping them going right now.
Solving our environmental problems takes money and commitment, two things that we have more of in a good economy than a bad one. And while we have often said that we do think we have to get small, we also say we have to get better.
Don't dare to assume that you know what environmentalists think, nobody is cheering on this recession.