President Obama was caught flatfooted by the embarrassing truth about Spain’s “green economy” after he instructed us — on eight separate occasions — to “think about what’s happening in countries like Spain” as a model for a U.S. future. Spain, of course, is suffering an economic meltdown from enormous public debt incurred through programs like a mandated “green economy.”
But Obama also just implored Spain to drastically scale back or risk becoming Greece. A flip he immediately flopped, by pushing hard to enact the Kerry-Lieberman “path to insolvency” bill based on … Spain. (Cue Benny Hill theme.)
So, embarrassed — or perhaps shameless — Obama changed his pitch: “Think about what’s happening in countries like Denmark.”
Of course, the experience of Denmark — a country with a population half that of Manhattan’s, not exactly a useful energy model for our rather different economy and society — is no great shakes, either.
But it gets better.
In my new book — Power Grab: How Obama’s Green Policies Will Steal Your Freedom and Bankrupt America — I describe the absurdity of the “free ice cream” theories of the “green economy” our statist friends now embrace as their latest raison d’etre for a controlled society. My mother-in-law — visiting from Denmark — is reading my book with a particular interest in its exposé of what her heavily taxed labor pays for in that country.
The book also prompted her to relay an amazing new anecdote to the case study referred to by the Danes as “the fairy tale of the windmills.”
In the northern region of Jutland called Thy, Denmark is forcing people off of their land (“Kelo” is apparently Danish for “Kelo”) and — wait for it — preparing to clear-cut fifteen square kilometers of forest, and eventually thirty, in order to put up more of the bird- and job-killing monstrosities.
These giant windmills are not even intended to fill an energy gap for the Danish economy. No, they are to be onshore experimental versions of massive new off-shore turbines — with the facility to be rented out to wind mavens like Siemens.
The argument they are forwarding for doing this is not just the typically risible claim that this is necessary for the environment. After all, “[the] deforestation will create an increase of 400,000 tons of CO2 emissions, the equivalent of the CO2 emissions of 100,000 people per year.”
They are also forwarding the argument that this must occur in order to create Danish jobs.
Of course, “creating jobs,” to the extent such mandates can do this (as they are typically net job killers), appears much more necessary after the state first made it difficult for the private sector to do such things. Denmark enforced what methods, and what quantity of those methods, are acceptable for producing electricity. It always turns out that the acceptable ways are inefficient, intermittent, and expensive. Which sort of explains the need for mandates.