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The False Promise of Green Energy Hardcover – February 16, 2011
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There was hardly much in here that I think can be debated on a factual basis. Of course, agreement on facts never prevented disagreement on policy. Since its from the CATO Institute, obviously I know to expect the "free market is better than anything else we have" viewpoint. But the authors never really attack the argument that negative externalities requires government involvement to internalize costs. This, of course, is the intellectual defense to all the sham research they have criticized. They come close to it, by asking (quite pejoratively) "if green activists think people are too dumb to realize energy savings". I would say that behavioral economics has shown that many people act as if they are "satisficing" not optimizing. Maybe that's just a semantic argument, but I think its a legitimate argument nonetheless. Secondly, that pejorative dismissal misses the point having external costs. That is, its not that people are "too dumb", its that they are causing damage to other elements of the economy. We are both a network and a bunch of atoms.
The book attacks any practical policy implementations that try to address externalities (or just collect rents) and justly so in my opinion.Read more ›
This book tackles a different question: Assuming that global warming due to carbon emissions might be a problem, is the green energy agenda well designed to achieve the environmental and economic benefits that have been attributed to it?
The authors are four academics (three being economists and/or attorneys) who describe themselves as "professional skeptics." And they do a workmanlike job of questioning the logic and integrity of green energy from various angles.
Having followed the debate about this subject, I was familiar with many of the points. The technical feasibility of a rapid transition to solar and wind power has been vastly exaggerated, while the cost estimates are correspondingly understated. Some environmentalists view nuclear power as "green" because it has the potential of reducing carbon emissions, while others will oppose it to their dying breath. There are numerous environmental objections to the government-supported ethanol program. There is no common definition of the green jobs that are promised, and forecasts are typically expressed on a gross basis (without subtracting jobs that would be eliminated, e.g., in the fossil fuel industries and in industrial operations that would leave the country as the result of higher US energy costs.) Some analysts would count jobs in regulatory compliance areas as a benefit, when they actually represent an economic cost. Claims that green jobs will necessarily provide highly paid, agreeable employment are not credible.Read more ›
Cato is very disingenuous at times. They complain that the Green lobby uses best case examples to push their ideas while at the same time Cato uses very carefully contrived worst case examples to shoot them down. Examples of this are in the chapter on public transport where only one traffic flow is considered rater than all the traffic flows that the system would carry. On the same chapter they complain that feeder busses don't work because they don't match the passenger load, ignoring that you can in practice change the size of the bus to match the traffic flow. In their examples it seems all cars carry 4 people and all are going to the same destination from the same departure point.
Its like this throughout the whole book, the answer is the motor car now what is your question?
They could have done much better, still if you can get it cheap or from a library its worth a read just don't take things to much to heart.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
it is an excellent book, must read for everyone that is involved in politics as well as climate change and energy issues. Read morePublished on March 19, 2013 by Panos S.
This 2011 book is published by the Cato Institute (a libertarian think tank in Washington D.C.). The authors state in the first chapter, "This book is an effort to help you decide... Read morePublished on November 1, 2012 by Steven H Propp
Tedious read on a current subject, we need this information but not a light read, much stat, and detail, not just a story.Published on July 25, 2012 by Books2 read