Filed under: Capitalism, Energy, Environment, Junk Science | Tags: Green-Collar Jobs, Renewable Energy, Renewable jobs?
A recent article in the Washington Post featured a former surveyor who has been unemployed since 2008. His job vanished with the collapse of Florida’s once hot housing market. Unable to find a new job, he signed up for green jobs training earlier this year at his local community college. Yet his new skills have not resulted in a single job offer, and officials at the jobs training program say the same is true for three-quarters of their first 100 graduates.
With the unemployment rate continuing to hover just under 10%, policymakers are desperate to stoke job creation, and have bet heavily on green energy. The Obama administration has directed more than $90 billion from stimulus funds into clean energy technology, confident that the investment would be the economy’s next big thing. But the huge federal investment has encountered the very stubborn reality that there is not yet much market for renewable energy or workers in renewable energy.
Administration officials and green energy executives say that the business needs not just government incentives, “but also rules and regulations that force people and business to turn to expensive renewable energy:”
Without government mandates dictating how much renewable energy utilities must use to generate electricity, or placing a price on the polluting carbon emitted by fossil fuels, they say , green energy cannot begin to reach its job creation potential. (emphasis added)
Everybody seems to love “green jobs” but it’s a vague, poorly thought out love. Everyone wants to genuflect to the supposed need to decarbonize America’s economy, though they’re not sure what decarbonizing is, nor why it is necessary. It isn’t. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is only a trace gas in the atmosphere, and is not a pollutant. How can what you breathe out with every breath possibly be a pollutant? The panic over 1° of warming over a century, which is probably still just natural warming from the Little Ice Age is delusional. There may be no warming whatsoever. Temperature records are contaminated or poorly calculated, and the idea of an “average global temperature” may be a faulty concept. And if it takes more jobs to produce “green energy,” that is a net cost to the economy, not a benefit.
One report by the RAND Corporation and the University of Tennessee found that if 25% of all American energy were produced from renewable sources by 2025. we would generate at least 5 million new green jobs. (too many ifs)
So “green jobs” are being redefined to include practically anything, from driving a bus to accounting. Much of the components for wind and solar energy are creating lots of jobs, but in China. And as with renewable fuels, things supposed to be ever-so-green turn out to pollute even more than ordinary gasoline. The jobs, in renewable energy as elsewhere, can depend only so long on government handouts. At some point they have to engage with the free market, have something to sell that someone wants to buy, and turn a profit. That is not happening. And the reasons for that have nothing to do with the environment at all.
1 Comment so far
Leave a comment