Don Harmon’s energy distracts from our fiscal crisis

Oak Park Republicans

As to Sen. Don Harmon’s zeal for clean power, as noted yesterday and the day before, consider this by Bjorn Lomborg, director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center and author of How Much Have Global Problems Cost the World? A Scoreboard from 1900 to 2050 (Cambridge, 2013):

For 20 years the world has tried subsidizing green technology instead of focusing on making it more efficient. Today Spain [for instance] spends about 1% of GDP throwing money at green energy such as solar and wind power. The $11 billion a year is more than Spain spends on higher education.

At the end of the century, with current commitments, these Spanish efforts will have delayed the impact of global warming by roughly 61 hours, according to the estimates of Yale University’s well-regarded Dynamic Integrated Climate-Economy model. Hundreds of billions of dollars for 61 additional hours? That’s a bad deal.

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