by Dr. Roy Cordato
Senior Economist, Emeritas
This weekly newsletter, focused on environmental issues, highlights relevant analysis done by the John Locke Foundation and other think tanks, as well as items in the news.
1. Demand Side Management: managing lifestyles in the name of the environment
Demand side management (DSM) is a tool of public policy invoked over the last decade quite diligently in the areas of energy and transportation. The idea is to use public policy and government force to control the purchases and consumption habits — i.e., the behavior and choices — of citizens.
The John Locke Foundation has recently published a Spotlight report that focuses on the threat that DSM poses to liberty. DSM is completely inconsistent with what government should be in a free society. The entire premise is to rearrange people’s lifestyle choices with respect to where they live, how they live, and how they travel, with the goal being to make them conform to the vision of "sustainability" put forward by environmental advocacy groups.
DSM has been the impetus behind NC’s renewable energy portfolio and energy efficiency standards (Senate Bill 3), which aspire to change people’s lifestyle choices with respect to energy use, and the state’s transportation policy, which aspires to encourage people to use public transportation and deter people from using their cars. To accomplish those goals, advocates use the coercive power of government to reorganize communities and force people away from low-density living arrangements to more congested, high-density developments.
Below are links to other JLF studies on issues related to DSM.
2. The Myth of Green Jobs
Part of President Obama’s failed plans to stimulate the economy and create jobs has been to throw present and future taxpayer money at so-called green industries. These range from the wind and solar energy industries to batteries for electric cars to the ethanol programs. The reason why subsidies are necessary in these industries is that, compared with the technologies they would replace, they are very expensive, raise the cost of doing business for those who would use them, and therefore reduce overall economic efficiency. That is thrust of a new paper published by the International Policy Network called "Seven Myths About Green Jobs."
Authored by a high-powered group of four law professors and economists, the paper explains why the whole idea of the government "creating" net new jobs by transferring money from more efficient uses to less efficient uses is absurd. That can only lead to an overall reduction in economic growth and a net loss of employment opportunities.
3. Weekly Ozone Report
For the week of October 24-30, the NC DAQ reports no high ozone readings registered on North Carolina monitors. From April 1 through October 30, a total of 31 weeks, North Carolina has had 106 high ozone readings (0.076 ppm or above over an eight-hour period). Those readings were scattered around the state over 33 out of 39 different monitors and over 26 different days. Most of the high ozone days to date have occurred in the Charlotte area and in the Triad.
Note that the 2010 ozone season ended on October 31. Next week’s report will therefore be the last for the season and will only include one day. It is very likely, then, that the state has experienced all of the high ozone days that it will experience this year. [Note: When an ozone alert is made through the media, this is only a prediction. Very often an ozone alert is issued but a high ozone day does not materialize. This is why we are reporting here that during certain weeks there were no actual high ozone days even though ozone alerts may have been issued and reported in the media.]
Links to recent JLF reports on ozone: