The root of the problem is that everyone is paying more for energy, due to green energy subsidies. The magnitude of those subsidies?
- In 2012, governments subsidized solar and wind power with $60B. The total benefit to the climate was $1.4B. That's $58.6B wasted.
- Another $19 subsidized biofuels. Zero benefit to the climate.
Just last year alone, that's a total of $77.6B wasted.
But, "It's a beginning," say those who worship at the altar of environmentalism. Beginning in 2020 and until 2100, the European Union plans to spend $280B/year to implement its climate policy.
That's to say nothing about how the 1% are the winners in this "Go for the Green Lotto," leaving the other 99% holding the bag.
Consider the United Kingdom:
- Thanks to the green energy policies, electricity consumption since 2005 has dropped by almost 10% on the average. The poor have reduced their consumption by much more than that 10% because the rich have not reduced their consumption at all.
- Renewable energy sources--consider the government subsidies they receive to prop themselves up--have caused energy prices to rise by 50%.Today, it costs 63% more to heat a home than 5 years ago. Concurrently, wages have declined due to global economic decline.
- The wealthy receive generous government subsidies if they install solar panels on their homes. Yes, the poor can receive the same subsidies. But, they are forced to pay the higher electricity costs. That is, if the poor can afford to install solar panels, assuming the poor can afford to own a home.
In developing nations:
- 3.5M people die each year from indoor air pollution caused by renewable energy: burning twigs and dung inside homes to keep warm. Electricity from coal-fired power plants would solve this problem, but Western countries--like the United States--have opposed funding coal power projects. With 50% of Africa's power coming from renewables, the poor are frozen out of the market.
But, in China:
- Coal power has fueled economic expansion since 1971 to lift 680M people out of poverty. In 1971, 40% of China's energy came from renewables. But, in 2013, China generated only 0.23% of its energy from renewable sources, namely, wind and solar power.
In sum, it takes $500 in renewable energy subsidies to raise 1 person from poverty. But, gas-generated electricity can lift 4+ people from poverty.
Those are the facts from the Director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center. The implication is clear: Renewable energy hurts the poor.
Since when have the facts ever mattered to those who worship at the altar of environmentalism? They aren't much interested in achieving consensus.
Let the discussion begin...
To read Bjørn Lomborg's study, click on the following link:
"The Poverty of Renewables."