By Jim Bowman
As to Sen. Don Harmon's zeal for clean power, as noted yesterday and the day before, consider this by Bjorn Lomborg, director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center and author of How Much Have Global Problems Cost the World? A Scoreboard from 1900 to 2050 (Cambridge, 2013):
For 20 years the world has tried subsidizing green technology instead of focusing on making it more efficient. Today Spain [for instance] spends about 1% of GDP throwing money at green energy such as solar and wind power. The $11 billion a year is more than Spain spends on higher education.
At the end of the century, with current commitments, these Spanish efforts will have delayed the impact of global warming by roughly 61 hours, according to the estimates of Yale University's well-regarded Dynamic Integrated Climate-Economy model. Hundreds of billions of dollars for 61 additional hours? That's a bad deal.
Have Harmon et al. crunched their numbers so as to be sure theirs is a good deal for Illinois?
Lomborg, after demonstrating the fallacy of claiming that fossil fuels are more subsidized than green energy:
I'm in favor of ending global fossil-fuel subsidies—and green-energy subsidies. Subsidizing first-generation, inefficient green energy might make well-off people feel good about themselves, but it won't transform the energy market.
Green-energy initiatives must focus on innovations, making new generations of technology work better and cost less. This will eventually power the world in a cleaner and cheaper way than fossil fuels. That effort isn't aided by the perpetuation of myths.
Once again, for Harmon and other Springfield Democrats, as the 2014 election season looms, the motto, as they push for green subsidy payouts, same-sex marriage etc., is a resounding "Anything but pension reform!"