The Death of US...
In my last blog on energy, some of our readers brought up a couple of interesting points about the economic effects of a switch to greener energy sources. Indeed, there are legitimate concerns about the economic costs of greening our economy, and as such, I believe it is a worthy endeavor to discuss these issues. However, before getting to far into the proverbial weeds of the efficiency, cost, environmental impact, interdependency and reliability of green energy sources relative to traditional carbon sources, let’s start with a little Genesis.
In Genesis 2:15 we read, “The human being was placed in the Garden of Eden to till it and to tend it.” Our role as custodians of the environment is the reason we were placed in paradise and, therefore, was our initial reason for being. One would be hard-pressed to find a moral justification to ignore the plight of our planet; however, my equal obligation to offer aid and comfort to those in need requires I temper my zeal to protect the environment when the human cost of extreme environmentalism is too great.
One reader expressed concern about the American competitiveness in the global economy if we hamper our economy by instituting environmental regulations or expending resources on green energies, which could raise costs to businesses and subsequently cause a stall in hiring and job growth.
Investing in green jobs is, in fact, a net gain to the economy. Even the most conservative estimates of job growth in green sectors have pointed to a steady increase in job and employment opportunities in green energy even at the height of the recession. The United States actually trails China in the percentage of electrical power coming from renewable sources by a significant percentage. Furthermore, for nearly two years China was spending twice as much on building up a renewable energy infrastructure as the United States. The reality is simple: regardless of how many exploitable carbon-based energy resources there are domestically or even globally, and setting aside the real economic costs of climate change on the economy, fossil fuels are a finite energy source and will need to be replaced at some point.
The long-term health of our economy requires we invest in renewable energy technologies now and devote our national resources and attention to their research, development and deployment. If we fail to invest in the future, we will pay a higher long-term cost as we purchase the technologies from another country that we could pioneer today. If we fail to invest in the future, we risk further committing to a future of economic uncertainty when we can no longer power our economy on the consumption of carbon energy sources.
Image Courtesy of Mother Nature Network.