Reason Magazine offers the misleading video "Tilting at Wind Turbines: Should the Government Subsidize Renewable Energy?" attached below:
1. One of those chosen to represent the Voice of the People is an attractive blonde who says "I don't know much about green jobs, but I'm for it." This is a cheap technique designed to prejudice viewers against such jobs.
2. The video's expert is Robert Michaels, a professor of economics at California State University Fullerton. That's not exactly Harvard University, and more importantly the video fails to note that he's an adjunct scholar at the CATO Institute . The video also fails to note that CATO is part of the "Kochtopus", those groups funded by or otherwise linked to the Koch family which just so happens to be in the energy business. CATO is also funded by other oil and gas companies .
3. Reason itself is also part of the Kochtopus, and funding they receive from those who have a monetary stake in non-renewable energy isn't disclosed.
4. Reason and other libertarians have a habit of misleading about what constitutes a "free market" and misleading about the full and true costs of various proposals. For instance, the video states that wind energy "costs a lot more to produce than conventional sources of electricity than coal and natural gas". What Reason fails to note is that coal and natural gas have a greater cost to society in terms of pollution and related issues than wind energy. Coal and natural gas might cost less on an energy bill, but they're still subsidized: the pollution they produce has a societal cost (such as through increased health care costs) that aren't borne by their producers or directly by their consumers. In economics terms, Reason and their economics "expert" Michaels are ignoring the externalities. They're supporting "privatizing the profits and socializing the costs", they just aren't telling their viewers that.
Sun, 03/13/2011 - 15:06 · Importance: 4