The EU green hell – by Benny Peiser (National Post – May 14, 2013)

The National Post is Canada’s second largest national paper.

“Instead of the blooming green economy promised by political leaders and activists, Europe
is facing a competitiveness crisis and an economic nightmare with almost 27 million people
out of work and many countries facing bankruptcy.”

“Instead of investing in the energy-expensive EU, they [Europe’s manufacturers] are pouring
hundreds of millions of dollars into the U.S. where energy prices have fallen to a third of
those in the EU…” (Benny Peiser)

Benny Peiser is the director of the London-based Global Warming Policy Foundation.

Limits to growth ideology a self-fulfilling prophecy

The European Union’s utopian scheme of transforming itself into a green energy powerhouse is faltering as its fantasy plan is colliding with reality. As the EU’s economic and financial crisis deepens and unemployment continues to rise, what used to be an almost all-embracing green consensus is beginning to disintegrate.

The spectre of green stagnation, the loss of competitiveness and economic decline has replaced 20 years of collective wishful thinking. The green folly was founded on two apocalyptic fears: firstly, that global warming was an urgent threat that needed to be prevented at all cost, and secondly, that the world was running out of fossil fuels, which meant that oil and gas would inexorably become ever more expensive. Both conjectures, however, turned out to be bogus.

The unpredicted arrest of the global warming trend since 1997 has made clear that the IPCC’s climate models had artificially inflated the immediacy of any climate risk, while the sudden arrival of enormous amounts of shale gas and oil terminated the peak oil hysteria.

In the meantime, however, the EU and its waning economies have become prisoners of their own green shackles. The once thriving continent finds itself enslaved in a self-inflicted trap of renewable energy mandates and unilateral climate targets that are prohibitively costly.

The green ideology of limits to growth has turned into a self-fulfilling prophecy. Ecological rejection of traditional industries, the obstruction of new technologies together with an almost all-embracing hostility to every form of conventional (let alone unconventional) energy generation is gradually shifting the centre of economic growth and innovation away from an ageing and depressed Europe.

Green prophecies of climate doom and salvationist central plans for the creation of millions of green jobs are no longer trusted. Instead of the blooming green economy promised by political leaders and activists, Europe is facing a competitiveness crisis and an economic nightmare with almost 27 million people out of work and many countries facing bankruptcy.

Europe’s manufacturers, who are rapidly losing ground to international competition, have announced plans to expand in the United States. Instead of investing in the energy-expensive EU, they are pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into the U.S. where energy prices have fallen to a third of those in the EU, largely due to the shale gas revolution.

For the rest of this article, click here: http://opinion.financialpost.com/2013/05/13/the-eu-green-hell/

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