Pain of Recession Foretells Agony of Green Economy
January 12, 2009
Washington, D.C.--For the first time in 25 years, global demand for oil is expected to decline two years in a row. The decline is an effect of the global economic recession, which has dramatically reduced production and trade worldwide.
“This recession, with all its grim news of job loss and economic hardship, should be seen as a cautionary tale against coercive energy and climate policies,” said Keith Lockitch, fellow of the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights.
“Energy is the motive power that fuels production and trade. When economic activity slows, so does energy demand. But it goes the other way too. Imposing restrictions on the use of energy--as would occur under a system of carbon regulation--would choke off the economy’s fuel and shut down productive activity. The economic pain we’re all feeling in this recession is nothing compared to the pain we would feel if we adopt green policies that cut off fossil fuel consumption.
“For one thing, a recession is a temporary downturn; we can expect that once the economy picks up again, producers will increase their demand for energy toward renewed growth and prosperity. Also, nobody sets out to cause a recession. But if we voluntarily adopt green policies that force cutbacks in energy, the result would be a self-inflicted depression that would cause economic pain for as long as the policies are in place.
“Those who claim that we could avoid economic hardship by running a green economy on windmills and solar cells are seriously out of touch with reality. None of the so-called alternative energies that are supposedly going to power the ‘green energy revolution’ have proven themselves to be practical sources of energy. And this despite decades of research and billions of dollars in subsidies.
“Whatever you think about global warming--and there is ample evidence to reject the hysterical claim that we are facing any sort of planetary emergency--the reality is that a drastic reduction in carbon emissions means a reduction in the use of energy far greater than anything we are seeing right now, and the corresponding economic decline would make this recession seem like a party.”
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