by Jonah Goldberg
It was a massive flatbed truck, flanked by smaller vehicles brandishing "oversized load" banners, carrying a huge white thing.
I think the first one I saw was in Ohio. But I know that by the time I passed Grand Island, Neb., I'd lost count.
What was it? At first, it looked like it could be a replacement for the Swords of Qadisiyah -- that giant crossed blades sculpture in central Baghdad.
And then, the aha: It was a propeller blade for a wind turbine, a really big one.
I've seen plenty of wind farms, but I'd never seen the blades being transported for construction. Last week I saw a lot of them.
Why? Because they were on the road, and so was I. My 8-year-old daughter and I were on a summer adventure. We drove more than 2,000 miles from Washington, D.C., to, eventually, Steamboat Springs, Colo. (Don't worry, I did most of the highway driving.)
Something about seeing all those turbine propellers made me think of wartime mobilization, like FDR's ramp-up during the Lend-Lease period or Josef Stalin's decision to send Soviet heavy industry east of the Urals.
The comparison isn't completely daft, either. The notion that we should move to a war footing on energy has been a reigning cliche of U.S. politics ever since Jimmy Carter's Oval Office energy crisis address in 1977. "This difficult effort will be the 'moral equivalent of war' -- except that we will be uniting our efforts to build and not to destroy."
Ever since, we've been hearing that green must become the new red, white and blue.
It's difficult to catalog all of the problems with this nonsense. For starters, the mission keeps changing. Is the green energy revolution about energy independence? Or is it about fighting global warming? Or is it about jobs?
For most of the last few years the
As for the windfall in green jobs, that has always been a con job.
For instance, Barack Obama came into office insisting that Spain was beating the U.S. in the rush for green jobs. Never mind that in Spain -- where unemployment is now at 21 percent -- the green jobs boom has been a bust. One major 2009 study by researchers at
The record in America has been no better, Obama's campaign stump speeches notwithstanding. The
Perhaps the most pathetic part of the war to green America is how unwarlike it really is. The
Green jobs, like shovel-ready jobs, proved a myth in no small part because President Obama is eager to talk as if this green stuff was the moral equivalent of war, but he's not willing or able to do things a real war requires.
What we're left with is not the moral equivalent of war but the moral equivalent of a quagmire. A very expensive quagmire.
America's 'Green' Quagmire | Politics
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