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Thursday, June 9, 2011

When is Green Bad ? When It Croaks a State's Economy, Like, Say, California's

That's basically the point Joel Kotkin's making in his Forbes article, California’s Green Jihad, excerpted below.

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Californians are learning what ideological extremism can do to an economy. In the Islamic Republic, crazy theology leads to misallocating resources to support repression at home and terrorism abroad. In California, green zealots compel companies to shift their operations to states that are still interested in growing their economy — like Texas. The green regime is one reason why CEO Magazine has ranked California the worst business climate in the nation.

Some of these green policies often offer dubious benefits for the environment. For one thing, forcing California businesses to move to less energy-efficient states, or to developing countries like China, could have a negative impact overall since shifting production to Texas or China might lead to higher greenhouse gas production given California’s generally milder climate.   A depressed economy also threatens many worthy environmental programs, delaying necessary purchases of open space and forcing the closure of parks. These programs enhance life for the middle and working classes without damaging the overall econmy.

But people involved in the tangible, directly carbon-consuming parts of the economy — manufacturing, warehousing, energy and, most important, agriculture — are those who bear   the brunt of the green jihad [ ] . Farming has long been a field dominated by California, yet environmentalist pressures for cutbacks in agricultural water supplies have turned a quarter million acres of prime Central Valley farmland fallow, creating mass unemployment in many communities.

“California cannot have it both ways, a desire for economic growth yet still overregulating in the areas of labor, water, environment,” notes Dennis Donahue, a Democrat and mayor of Salinas, a large agricultural community south of San Jose. Himself a grower, Donahue sees agricultural in California being undermined by ever-tightening regulations, which have led some to expand their operations to other sections of the country, Mexico and even further afield.

Other key blue collar industries are also threatened, from international trade to manufacturing. Since before the recession California manufacturing has been on a decline.  Los Angeles, still the nation’s largest industrial area, has lost a remarkable one-fifth of its manufacturing employment since 2005.

2 comments:

  1. It might be my eyesight, but the period appears to have disappeared in one sentence, creating a humorous quip: "...terrorism at home and abroad In California..."
    Sometimes it does feel a bit like another country, although it should be neighboring MA!

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  2. Thanks for noting the error. I've corrected it.

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