Higher energy prices won’t kill the economy

My Clean Break column on Monday tackled the question of whether higher electricity prices automatically spell doom and gloom for the Canadian economy. I compare Canada to Denmark, where prices are about four times higher, renewables represents a significant portion of power production, and combined heat and power is distributed throughout the country — and guess what, the economy has remained strong and vibrant. Now, Denmark didn’t do this overnight, so we have to cut Canada some slack, but any suggestion that trying to dramatically reduce our greenhouse gas emissions will cause some kind of recession is fearmongering, particularly when the more likely scenario is that it will spur economic opportunity, enhance Canadian productivity and make the country much more competitive on the world stage.

3 thoughts on “Higher energy prices won’t kill the economy”

  1. the skyrocketing of energy prices is difficult to combat. after looking through a bunch of energy sites i came across a few companies that offer home audits to save energy, one of which you can check out at http://idtenergy.com/

  2. Not only will higher energy prices not kill the economy, but there’s also the very pressing ethical need and practical market response to see prices reflect the real costs. For example, the CTA’s 1998 study calculated the real price of gasoline (incl. social costs) to be around around $15.14 per gallon.

    The crux of the problem is the market’s inability to account for the real cost. As the world’s offshore fisheries are being destroyed one after another, did market prices suddenly rise up to prevent the destruction as supplies dwindled? Nope, the destruction took place or is taking place, while we just moved towards farmed fish. Similar situation with energy IMHO. Why isn’t gas $5 /litre or how is that 2×4 stick of lumber at Home Depot so cheap?

    That’s the genius and the core of the “free market” game – namely, the freedom to externalize everything you can so real market forces can be avoided!

  3. On target.

    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Corporation

    As long as we as participants in this system, so effective through externalization, don’t wake up and start acting to our best insights, we will effectively follow Easter Island.

    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collapse:_How_Societies_Choose_to_Fail_or_Succeed

    A better world is achievable when we start acting to our best insights.

    Empty words just add CO2.

    Lets start by diverting the $ 20 trillion needed for upcoming refurbishing and upgrading of power plants to Concentrating Solar Power. This is not rocket science; regime actors will tell you so, but when I see what humans can do, this is merely a matter of vision, leadership and bold action.

    And that‘s there’s where we’re stuck. Not in $$, logistics, materials, technology or whatever we as a society boil up to not do what is expedient now.

    Pace e Bene,

    Emil M

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