The Rule of Reason :: The Weblog of Edward Cline
I was very disappointed to see this quote on the Environmental Defense Fund website you linked. It is from Paul Volcker who, as head of the Federal Reserve Bank, from 1979 - 1987, singlehandedly brought the United States back from the brink of hyper-inflation. Remember when interest rates hit 21% in 1980? [my dates are from memory]Too bad his courage and independent thinking in saving us from severe inflation is not evident in his me-tooism of apocalyptic global warming predictions:"First of all, I don't think [taking action on climate change] is going to have that much of an impact on the economy overall. Second of all, if you don't do it, you can be sure that the economy will go down the drain in the next 30 years... What may happen to the dollar, and what may happen to growth in China or whatever pale into insignificance compared with the question of what happens to this planet over the next 30 or 40 years if no action is taken."- Paul Volker,Former Chairman of the Federal Reserve
This trend is getting scarier by the day. I was reading a piece written by a mutual fund manager at work the other day where he was talking about making more investments in solar energy. Then he goes on to say that without subsidies it would not be economical to build solar plants. So the bet for this international small-cap fund is that the governments have plans to keep forking over cash to make this all a reality. They're investing in them for growth, however, they do not see the long-term picture of what this will do for the economies of those nations. If anyone is interested in reading it email me at allen_prather(at)hotmail.com
All subsidies come to an end. Your friend is playing with fire. Remember the subsidies for coal liquification in the 1980s? I think only one demonstration plant actually got built before the subsidies ended. Lots of investors lost lots of money in that debacle.Solar technology is incredibly uneconomical. The U.S. leader in in solar is California. One year (I suspect it will be in the not too distant future), that state will be having budget problems and it will be all too convenient to reduce the subsidy given for installation of solar panels. The stocks of solar manufacturers will crater when that happens.The solar and other "green" energy companies are nothing more than circuitous rent-collection machines. The subsidies they depend on have finite lives. For anyone who invests in them, their essential calculation is political: how long will the subsidies last.It is a game that I won't play.
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