American Elephants

Jose Maria Aznar, former Prime Minister of Spain by The Elephant's Child

José Maria Aznar, was the former Prime Minister of Spain from 1996–2004, and quite a good one. His two terms were subject to all the battles of the rest of Europe. The Euro was introduced, Spain joined the single currency, the Aznar government maintained the previous government’s commitment to join and took political risks to meet the requirements for membership. He introduced a strict budget which the opposition claimed would  hurt the disadvantaged, help the rich, and announced a decision to freeze the wages of civil servants which brought protest marches by thousands of civil servants. The Euro was introduced in 1999, and Spanish voters reelected him in 2000 with an outright majority.

Spain became one of the fastest growing economies in the EU in 2001, university reforms, student protests, strikes, demonstrations. Global economic downturn in 2002. At the end of his term, three days before the general election 10 bombs killed 191 people in the March 11, 2004  Madrid train bombings. He founded, in 2010 a Friends of Israel Initiative, to counter the attempts to delegitimize the State of Israel.

Kind of a quickie introduction to one of the world’s most interesting men, who tells us what at least one European believes.


“Going Green” Is Not About The Environment, It’s About Power and Control. by The Elephant's Child
November 29, 2010, 8:24 am
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Energy, Junk Science | Tags: , ,

President Obama modeled his “renewable energy” policies on Spain’s vast investments in wind and solar energy.  So as they careen towards complete collapse they have finally settled on what they it hope will be the way out of the green subsidies and mandates that Obama admired so much.  They have pulled the plug on solar subsidies.  Alternative energy has  been a disaster for Spain.

While Spain’s Socialist government tried to figure out how to pull the plug on all the green investments, the banks mentioned that they were on the hook for having underwritten the whole scheme, and could go under right along with the renewable bubble.

Dr. Gabriel Calzada, professor of economics, first exposed the truth about the bubble Spain was creating after President Obama told our country to look at Spain’s policies to see what a wonderful experience we had ahead.  Professor Calzada ‘s research demonstrated that Spain’s energy policies were unsustainable without government subsidy; caused electricity rates to go up, not down; and cost more than two jobs in the regular economy for each “green” job.  Calzada was badly treated by the Obama administration, the usual suspects in Congress, all the “green organizations’,” and trade unions in Spain: as well as Spanish ministers who sought to have Calzada fired from his university.  Dr. Calzada was right, and unfortunately, Obama was wrong, and remains wrong.  As Christopher Horner explains in his book Power Grab: How Obama’s Green Policies Will Steal Your Freedom and Bankrupt America:

At the end of his campaign for president, Barack Obama boasted, “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” He wasn’t blowing political smoke for the benefit of his supporters.  He was telling us all who he is and his plans for us, as he affirmed even before his inauguration.

Barack Obama’s radicalism runs deep.  When he crowed in San Francisco, “under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity prices would necessarily skyrocket,” he meant it.  And it’s not just electricity prices that he wanted to skyrocket, but the costs of politically disfavored “fossil fuels.”  As everything has the cost of energy embedded in it, costs will rise across the board.  The result of these policies will be to crowd millions more toward energy poverty and dependence upon the state.  That, too, is by design.

As the left sees it, if you do not coerce people out of their wretched levels of energy use, they will not change their lifestyles.  In the Left’s view, these lifestyles must be changed because they are “unsustainable.”

“America has the greatest energy reserves in the entire world, and it is these resources that ensure our liberty,” Horner reminds us.  From the first days of his administration, Obama began putting our own resources off-limits.  Oil in the Gulf of Mexico has supposedly emerged from the moratorium, but somehow new drilling isn’t allowed, and one thing and another seems to prevent existing rigs to get back to work.

The coasts, East, West, and the coast of Alaska have all been put off-limits, citing “environmental” concerns.  And as I noted below, the “threatened” nature of polar bears (probably soon to be raised to “endangered” ) puts offshore Alaskan waters off-limits.  And the administration is working with Congress to put the massive new natural gas discoveries off-limits.

The “climate” agenda, “going green,” is not about environmental protection, and quite certainly not about the climate.  It is about empowering a global bureaucracy.  The Left’s agenda requires us to accept its “global governance” — not to be confused with a global government.  It is about empowering a global bureaucracy, and curbing democracy, which must be sacrificed because climate change is so important.

Meeting the challenge of “global warming” became the emergency reason for pushing through the European “Constitution” in spite of citizen protests.  And now an unaccountable and unrepresentative bureaucracy governs Europe as they choose, paying themselves ever more generous salaries and benefits, and increasing their power.  And like all bureaucracies, their opinions of their own wisdom and infallibility greatly exceed reality.  Europe is showing signs of coming apart.

And largely to blame are Europe’s huge subsidies for “green energy”. Denmark has invested in enormous amounts of wind energy, and has the highest prices of electricity in Europe. Germany went in for encouraging everyone to add solar panels to their homes, but that isn’t working either. A kilowatt of electricity costs 3 times as much in Germany as it does in the U.S.   Britain has subsidized wind farms in places where there is no possibility of enough wind to make it cost-effective, and neglected clean nuclear energy to the extent that they are deeply worried about the death toll from the cold this winter.

The Left, always so dissatisfied with the freedom and prosperity of the United States, is sure that there is something better just around the corner when they are fully in charge.

But you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.  Things are coming apart.  Obama does not have the skill set to understand the problems he is faced with.  People don’t believe in the dangers of climate change any more.  Investing enormous amounts of money in wind farms that create most of their “green” jobs in China, and produce only tiny amounts of energy puts the lie to all the “sustainable” claptrap.

It’s bunk, and when Al Gore’s climate exchange goes bust, and he admits that the whole ethanol thing was a fraud, Americans just may get tired of being fooled.

Wind and Solar Fantasies Meet Financial Reality. It’s Not Pretty! by The Elephant's Child

President Obama has told us, at least eight times, to look at the wonders of Spain’s “green jobs” and green-energy economy.  But when Standard & Poor’s cut their credit rating on April 28,  Spain’s socialist government began to recognize that, just as Gabriel Calzada warned, their wind and solar programs were a big waste of money.  You can’t keep spending $750,000 per “green job” when you are going broke.

The media has been covering the government’s admission of the collapse and spectacular costs of Spain’s solar industry.  The country’s unemployment rate has already passed 20 percent, the public deficit will soon reach 12 percent, and the example of the financial meltdown of Greece is frightening everyone.  The current situation of the renewable sector is a big threat.  Last year the cost of aid to the renewable sector was higher than the total cost for all electricity for the country.

Reductions in subsidies for solar plants has caused big photovoltaic plant owners to shelve their Spanish stock offerings.  Investors are scared off.  The following quote tells you what you need to know about Spain’s “green’ energy:

Solar-plant owners including General Electric Co. earn about 12 times what’s paid for power from fossil fuels. Most of that is a subsidy charged to customers.  The rest is charged to taxpayers.

You would think that $750,000 per green job would make the red lights start flashing, but when you are swept up in an ideological fantasy, it apparently takes a louder wake-up call.  The debacle of Greece is shaking up the European Union.

Sounds Good, but “Green Jobs” Are Not The Answer. by The Elephant's Child
January 8, 2010, 2:27 am
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Freedom, Socialism | Tags: , ,

Spain has traditionally suffered from relatively high unemployment, double the 9.3 percent average for the European Union,  but for the 16 to 24 age group it has now reached 42.9 percent, the highest in Europe.

Spain was going to have a booming economy with promised green jobs.  Spain was on the forefront of a conversion to renewable energy, a sustainable life style free from an addiction to oil, by adopting wind and solar power.  California has often pointed to Spain as an example for California to follow, as has the Obama administration.

Every green job in Spain created by government subsidies has resulted in the loss of 2.5 jobs in the regular economy as employers are forced to cut back their work force in response to higher energy costs.

Spain attempted to make it easier to put young people to work, by employing them on temporary contracts, so when the economy sank, they were the easiest to let go.  How many jobs are being created here on temporary contracts funded by the new stimulus program?

If you take tax money out of the pocket of voters and use it to pay for a temporary job, is that called “creating or saving a job?”  Someone should explain private enterprise to the Obama people.

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