Renewable energy is all the rage. California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law last week to encourage more of it. The law “encouraged” in the way government encourages everything: Do it or else.

Rather than produce a mere 20 percent of California’s energy from renewable sources such as wind and solar by the year 2020, state utilities now are ordered to generate a third of it that way. President Barack Obama trumpets similar lofty-sounding goals for the nation, although he’s not having as much success, considering Congress isn’t as rabidly left-leaning green as California’s Legislature.

When they use your tax money to underwrite their good intentions and to impose their will by force, isn’t it a good thing? Aren’t wind and solar energy low on pollutants and “renewable?” The sun always shines, and the wind always blows, don’t they? Well, not always. More on that later.

At this critical juncture, as global warming alarmism loses momentum after being exposed as hot air, in the political, not atmospheric, sense, and the green-renewable energy movement it spawned picks up speed, we bring you a not-quite comprehensive, but rather revealing look at what it all means. Call it, renewable energy by the numbers.

34, 44, 74 – These are the percentage increases consumers will pay for electricity from, respectively, Southern California Edison, PG&E and Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, after adding the previous additional costs to meet the old 20-percent renewable mandate.

$500 billion – This, according to the World Economic Forum, is the amount that must be spent per year to prevent the worst effects of global warming, requiring a doubling of annual investments in renewable energy. Considering that temperatures haven’t increased by a statistically significant amount since the late 1990s, we shudder to think how much higher this number would be if things really heated up.

$5.2 trillion – The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis says a federal renewable energy standard, such as Washington proposes, would reduce national income by $5.2 trillion from 2012-35. Californians: Get out your calculators to figure what percentage of that is your lost income so you can calculate how much you’ll have left to pay your extra 34 percent, 44 percent or 74 percent in electric bills.

What does all this portend? Maybe Shell Oil knows. In 2008 Shell pulled out of the consortium building the world’s biggest offshore wind farm, and the UK Guardian reported this month that “Shell has pulled out of renewables.”

It was the contrived emergency of impending global warming doom that gave the renewable energy movement its impetus. Where does it go now? A European Union plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions 60 percent requires, among other sacrifices, banning automobiles in cities.

Ready for a renewable-energy green future? Pull out your wallet, put away your car keys, and prepare to grope in the dark.

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