‘Green’ initiatives skewed toward wealthy

Posted on December 13, 2010 in Inclusion Debates


TheStar.com – Opinion/letters
Published On Mon  .   Peter Weygang

Only the rich can be green. They can afford to re-insulate their houses, upgrade their windows, buy point-of-use water heaters, install heat exchangers, heat pumps, and ground source heat engines. They can afford to drive hybrid, and electric, automobiles.

Most importantly, they can afford to install rooftop solar panels. Over the 20-year contract, they can make a profit of about $150,000, paid by our taxes, and the owner keeps the hardware.

This ultra expensive green energy is not even sufficient to power the house it is on. The net result is that the poor suffer the impact of rising green energy costs, and have to reduce, even further, their expenditures on food, clothing, shelter, and the other essentials of life.

At the same time the rich become richer, and feel virtuous about their contribution to a greener planet which is, in the final analysis, not their contribution at all.

The trickle down effect on the production costs of our industries will make us less competitive in international markets. Jobs will be lost, and others sent “offshore.” This again has a direct impact on the poor. Whole segments of our economy could collapse entirely, with unimaginable consequences.

Other nations, notably China and India, are going nuclear green — which is economically more rational. I suspect that Ontario’s mindless, uneconomic, pursuit of a green future may reveal no future at all. We are just tilting at windmills, and getting sunstroke.

Peter Weygang, Bobcaygeon

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