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The grass is always greener -- Saving the planet and creating jobs may be incompatible
The Economist ^ | April 2, 2009

Posted on 04/13/2009 9:24:12 AM PDT by reaganaut1

“THINK of what’s happening in countries like Spain, Germany and Japan where they’re making real investments in renewable energy,” Barack Obama instructed Americans earlier this year. “They’re surging ahead of us, poised to take the lead in these new industries. This isn’t because they’re smarter than us, or work harder than us, or are more innovative than we are. It’s because their governments have harnessed their people’s hard work and ingenuity with bold investments—investments that are paying off in good, high-wage jobs.”

Mr Obama is right that many governments, not least his own, are spending heavily in a bid to create green jobs. Countries as diverse as Canada, China, France and Indonesia have vowed to cultivate greenery in an effort to fertilise their wilting economies. Religious leaders, trade unionists and the secretary-general of the United Nations, among others, have hailed green stimulus as a cure for the world economy’s ills. After all, it holds out the hope of a triple benefit: a return to economic growth, deliverance from global warming and an escape from dependence on imported fuels, all wrapped up in an appealingly high-tech package.


[I]t is hard to know how impressive the employment figures are without considering how many jobs would be created by spending the money in other ways. A recent paper from the Peterson Institute of International Economics and the World Resources Institute, two think-tanks, tries to do just that for America’s stimulus package. It finds that $1 billion in green-tinted spending creates 30,100 “job-years”. That compares well with 25,200 job-years for road construction and only 7,000 for temporary tax cuts (permanent ones do better).

The green stimulus schemes the authors looked at perform so well because they catalyse private investment in things like windmills and fuel-efficient cars. But that also flatters the employment numbers, in so far as the authors assume that the stimulus induces private spending that would not otherwise occur. They note that if it simply redirects capital from one use to another, then the number of jobs created might not be so great.

What is more, public investment in green technology brings costs as well as benefits. Taxpayers, for example, will ultimately have to pay for government debt, while prodigious government borrowing makes it harder for businesses to raise money. Spending on renewable electricity, meanwhile, tends to raise the price of power, since wind- and solar-power plants cost more to build and run than coal-fired ones, say. These effects can cost jobs.

In 2006, in a study prepared for a pro-coal lobbying group, Adam Rose and Dan Wei of Pennsylvania State University looked at how increasing the share of renewables in electricity generation at the expense of coal might affect employment. Displacing a third of generation from coal by 2015 would put 1.2m people out of work, they concluded, and displacing two-thirds would raise the figure to 2.7m. The job losses came chiefly as a result of higher energy prices.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: energy; greenjobs; jobs; renewable; renewableenergy

1 posted on 04/13/2009 9:24:13 AM PDT by reaganaut1
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To: reaganaut1

When they find out how to burn water,
And the gasoline car is gone.
When an airplane flies without any fuel,
And the satellite heats our home.
One of these days when the air clears up,
And the sun comes shinin’ through.
We’ll all be drinkin’ free bubble-ubb,
An’ eatin’ that rainbow stew.

Eatin’ rainbow stew in a silver spoon,
Underneath that sky of blue.
All be drinkin’ free bubble-ubb,
An’ eatin’ that rainbow stew.

(with apologies to Merle Haggard)

2 posted on 04/13/2009 9:28:33 AM PDT by Nervous Tick (Party? I don't have one anymore.)
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To: reaganaut1
Green Jobs are a flim flam hoax.

We won't get very many of them, if any at all.

3 posted on 04/13/2009 9:28:59 AM PDT by Kansas58
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To: reaganaut1

Ever green job costs more real jobs.

For every unit of cost energy goes up (electricity, natural gas, oil, diesel, gasoline) for every CO2 cap set, higher expenses because of high cost light bulbs, trash disposal, added costs in paper etc. more jobs are lost than created. Liberal economic voodoo math.

This is asinine. It's like saying the recession is creating jobs. Think about all those extra police officers, prison guards, social service workers, we'll need as unemployment goes up?

4 posted on 04/13/2009 9:29:57 AM PDT by Red6
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To: reaganaut1

what if all the green jobs Obama was talking about were hiring Acorn people to rat out those in the neighborhood that don’t recycle, or have a big screen, don’t use Compact flurescent bulbs, drive a hummer, the possibilities are endless...

5 posted on 04/13/2009 9:30:56 AM PDT by edzo4 (NoBama 2012)
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To: Kansas58
Green jobs are make belief jobs.

Jobs that are based on ideology, are not self sustaining economically......

Green jobs are created by law and paid for with subsidies and taxes or transfer payments that artificially keep these running. They are paid for by others that are economically viable. Pull away the government cheese, and near all of these “green jobs” would vaporize.

6 posted on 04/13/2009 9:34:42 AM PDT by Red6
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To: Red6

Jimmy Carter got lots of people to put those ugly “solar water heaters” on their roofs.

The tax credit went away, the dollar savings were very small, on utility bills, the repair bills were too high.

All of those ugly contraptions came down.

7 posted on 04/13/2009 9:37:03 AM PDT by Kansas58
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To: Kansas58; All

“a hoax”...Thou speakith truth! Every time I see a posting of Obama bowing before the King of foreign oil and reportedly kissing his ring, I suggest he did it with a wink to the to his chief campaign supporter. Its time we question Obama’s motives which are making US dependent upon foreign energy sources .Is what he’s doing which by policy and edict payback for supporting his candidacy which will be hard to prove impeachable ? Its time we raise that question.

8 posted on 04/13/2009 9:43:34 AM PDT by mosesdapoet (2010 One year to a new census and congressional redistricting, we need a strong hand in the House)
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