November 16 2016
Holman Jenkins points out in the Wall Street Journal that the green movement has become hysterical in the wake of Donald Trump's election to the presidency. Indeed, California hedge funder turned greenie funder Tom Steyer says, “The planet is in danger."
Uh huh. In fact, the climate will be the last indicator to notice any transition from Barack Obama to Donald Trump. That’s because—as climate warriors were only too happy to point out until a week ago—Mr. Obama’s own commitments weren’t going to make any noticeable dent in a putative CO2 problem.
But there will be changes:
At most, Mr. Trump’s election will mean solar and wind have to compete more on their merits. So what?
[Trump] wants to lift the Obama war on coal—but he won’t stop the epochal replacement of coal by cheap natural gas, with half the greenhouse emissions per BTU.
He probably won’t even try to repeal an egregious taxpayer-funded rebate for wind and solar projects, because red states like this gimme too. But Republican state governments will continue to wind back subsidies that ordinary ratepayers pay through their electric bills so upscale homeowners can indulge themselves with solar.
Even so, the price of solar technology will continue to drop; the lithium-ion revolution will continue to drive efficiency gains in batteries.
Mr. Trump wants to spend on infrastructure, and the federal research establishment, a hotbed of battery enthusiasts, likely will benefit.
The green movement is almost more of a religion than an environmental movement. Jenkins notes that it has never bothered to answer important questions such as, "How much are human activities actually affecting the climate?" The green movement is dependent on government regulations and projects financed by government.
Because of dependence on this patronage, greenies do have one very good reason to be upset:
What a Trump election will do is mostly dismantle a green gravy train powered by moral vanity that contributes nothing to the public welfare.
While the greenies may be upset, this is great for the taxpayers, who saw the Obama administration pour more than half a billion dollars into an ill-conceived solar energy venture named Solyndra before the company went belly up.