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Name the Technology

“Producers of _______ often produce long-lived hazardous byproducts that are frequently disposed of improperly. Using “environmentally responsible” methods raises the cost of producing ____ ” … by up to a factor of 4.

Of course, we are talking about clean, renewable, solar photovoltaic (solar PV) cells. Never mind that even with subsidy the cost of solar far exceeds the cost of conventional fossil fuels. Never mind that the solar panels needed to produce utility scale solar fields end up being put in environmentally sensitive areas (we might lose a toad or two) and that they require large amounts of water in order to be kept clean of debris and dust. Never mind that solar makes up around 0.05 percent of our current electricity use and at best is expected to make up 0.13% by 2030. Just keep subsidizing it. Good things will happen. I promise.

The above item was from a United Nations Environment Programme Report on Green Jobs.

4 Responses to “Name the Technology”

  1. Greg says:

    What’s really unfortunate is that environmentalists (and progressives in general, and probably most non-economists) never learn the big picture lesson about subsidies. Instead, when one suppoedtly good subsidy turns out to be quite bad, they just replace it with another one — “we promise, this one will be good!”

    I thought humans were supposed to be good, perhaps too good, at identifying patterns.

  2. Stanton says:

    Greg: I guess this shows that most of the hype around environmentalism is just dogma, rather than based on fact (what is seen and what is not seen)–it’s kind of off-putting actually..

  3. Greg says:

    That’s probably true. Now that I think about it, I’m definitely one of those dogmatists.

    Anyway, Paul Krugman recently posted something on his blog that speaks to a similar issue: http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/07/19/the-answer-my-friend-3/

  4. Harry says:

    I went to Wintercow’s link from the UN, and momentarily it took my breath away, until I remembered this is what these clowns have been doing since 1946.

    The website is a good argument for moving the UN to Ghana, or one of the other parts of the world without a hit on Wintercow’s blog. Some place where they blow themselves up, or eat each other.

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