The market trumps climate change
The days of Solyndra and other government-subsidized green boondoggles are over. A new dawn without hysteria and based on the realities of free markets and consumer choice is beginning.
I have been called a denialist because I question whether the emperor really has clothes. The empire is ruled by regulatory Malthusian limits to growth and the ironclad law of the precautionary principle. As EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said after the president’s announcement, the choice between jobs and the environment is a false choice. You can have both economic growth and a clean environment.
Capitalism is all about doing more with less. Capitalism is all about efficiencies. It is natural that free markets become cleaner because efficiency brings cleanliness. Capitalist production is the only means of production that has raised the global standard of living while at the same time cleaning the environment. The poor are not really poor, they are only getting rich more slowly.
If anything, government is inefficient, often arbitrary and short-sighted, and loaded with the wrong incentives that result in poor environmental outcomes.
Trump’s pullout from Paris caused such hysteria among the elites because he challenged the religion of environmentalism, and the movement for world government at the same time. Human civilization itself is the original sin, we are all energy sinners, and the apocalypse is approaching. Only world government, protested as merely “voluntary” now, but over time sure to be mandatory, can save mankind. We must sacrifice our obscene wealth and independence and eat the organic food communion to be saved.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, sword of the Holy Roman Empire’s Archangel Michael against Satanic Russia, is a related mythos Trump is clearly demolishing.
Elon Musk stormed out of Trump’s Economic Policy Council after Trump’s announcement. So far, Tesla has been a good example of a state-subsidized green manufacturer. But much of what Musk and the entire environmental movement dream of depends on his ability to engineer a major breakthrough in battery technology. It has not happened. Aquion Energies, another government subsidized green energy storage battery company, filed Chapter 11 in March. Musk is an extraordinary visionary, but his visions have to produce viable battery solutions soon, because renewables like wind and solar will not work on a large scale without massive energy storage to produce reliable energy without the wind and sun.
Angela Merkel’s Germany has pushed the green agenda of wind and solar with feed in tariffs and other subsidies. Germany though is unique because it is surrounded by developed countries which can provide energy when its renewables’ grid slows down. Ironically, Germany is now replacing the nuclear plants it shuttered after Fukushima with coal fired power plants, keeping American coal minors working. An industrial green energy grid will not work in America because Canada and Mexico cannot supply us with enough energy when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing like Germany’s neighbors can. Trump is saying America doesn’t need to be in the same club with losers like Germany.
Nuclear energy is completely carbon-free, but regulatory barriers and outsized fears have crippled nuclear power in recent years. New nuclear plants will be smaller, cheaper and even safer. They won’t require massive water use or generate much waste. Trump’s pullout from the Paris Accords may bring nuclear back into the competitive mix.
In the meantime, petroleum—especially natural gas—and coal are still king. They are the engines of economic growth that Americans asked for when they elected Trump president. He has now given it to them.