Green technology is one of those loaded phrases that for many has positive associations.
Think butterflies, buttercups and sunshine.
People like Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio are big proponents. In fact, DiCaprio recently said he was looking forward to flying all over the world and promoting green technology… no doubt in a private jet.
In other words, he wants everyone else to use less carbon-based energy sources, but when it comes to his own life he believes the rules shouldn't apply to him. So, it goes in the world of the green.
Take the arguments for the electric car. It's supposed to be better for the environment, right?
Electric batteries are better than gas for the environment.
Perhaps they contribute less to global warming? Perhaps not. Consider this from Bjorn Lomborg, and the Copenhagen Consensus Center.
By the time an electric car rolls off the production line, it has already contributed 30,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. That's because just making the darn thing, especially the battery, requires a lot of energy.
Manufacturing a conventional car creates only 14,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. So, before you even get on the road, the so-called green energy friendly alternative has already produced twice the negative environmental impact of regular cars.
It turns out the zero emissions promise from electric car makers is not that much of a promise.
When you factor in the huge emissions created in the electric cars' manufacturing, the "green" option is still creating more carbon dioxide than a conventional car even after driving 50,000 miles.
If the owner of the car uses a coal-fired electric plant to fire his car, he is producing 15 ounces more per mile of carbon dioxide than a gas-powered car. Don't forget we are subsidizing these purchases. There is a $7,500 tax break for buyers of the cars, and more than $5.5 billion in federal grants and loans that go directly to manufacturers like Tesla Motors and Fisker Automotive.
To me, that's a tragedy because right now the electric car is doing virtually nothing to attack global warming. Maybe, years from now it will, or as Robert Bryce likes to say, the electric car is the next great automotive idea and always will be.
So, is green the only way to go? That’s just hypocritical and duplicitous. Green technologies, especially the electric car, are far from proving themselves.
Look, if you were to peel back the left's support for green energy and its desire to reduce carbon emissions, what you find is a group of people who have fundamental problems with this country's energy consumption.
They don't like the fact we consume 24% of the world's energy and they say it's a tragedy that the average American consumes twice the energy of a person in Japan, or six times the average Mexican. They also think the U.S. should pare back its size, its influence and its capabilities.
Here's what I say: America has the world's biggest economy with just 5% of the population. That's not something to apologize for, that's something to be proud of!
You don't get to be the world's biggest economy on a snickers bar and a shoe string. It takes energy and lots of it.
We are the most productive people on the face of the planet and that is a good thing!
The Willis Report with Gerri Willis investigates the top business stories, outs corporate scams and polices D.C. policy.