Robert Tracinski on the global warming bubble.
Robert Tracinski writing at realclearmarkets.com, March 6:
We are in the middle of what you might call a global warming bubble. It is a failure of the global warming theory itself and of the credibility of its advocates, but also a failure of the various "green energy" schemes proposed as a substitute for fossil fuels.
Take the sleek Tesla electric roadster, brought to you with about half a billion dollars in government-backed loans, which turns into an immovable "brick" if you run down its battery too far, say, by taking a long drive and parking it for a while.
The failure of the solar panel maker Solyndra has been followed by the bankruptcies of a variety of other government-subsidized green energy firms, such as Beacon Energy, which makes an energy storage device needed to smooth out the energy production of erratic "renewable" sources, and battery maker Ener1.
But maybe we're just not subsidizing green power enough, because surely you've heard—probably from Tom Friedman—that China is beating us to the future with its support for green energy. But China's solar energy firms are also heading into a slump and laying off workers. Part of the reason for the solar slump in China is that they were counting on generous subsidies for their product from the West, particularly Europe. In effect, the Chinese were manufacturing solar panels in order to cash in on subsidies from Western taxpayers. But now the subsidies are drying up.
A version of this article appeared Mar. 9, 2012, on page A15 in some U.S. editions of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Notable & Quotable.