‘Green’ jobs: Shrewd PR, bad economics

by Stephen Gordon, Globe and Mail

A common feature of many environmental programs is the idea of “green jobs”: the employment opportunities generated by a given set of proposals are presented as an additional benefit of the policy agenda. This is also a common mistake.  Read article here

5 thoughts on “‘Green’ jobs: Shrewd PR, bad economics

  1. NATIONAL REVIEW,June 27,2011/Planet Gore section.
    http://www.nationalreview.com/planet-gore,”Obama Mandates a Market for His Green Cars”
    Another example of creating artificial demands for green products like green cars and lithium batteries. This page also has moe articles on the green economy.

  2. I saw this recent exchange in the Judith Curry Blog… none other than our own JRW having an exchange with “mingy”…



    I am a professional financial analyst and I also own a farm in Ontario. When the FIT program was announced, based on the extremely high returns advertised (9%+) on the government website, I figured I’d look into it – after all, even if it didn’t make any economic sense for the province, I figured I might be able to get some of my huge tax bill back.

    It turns out the government’s calculation of return included ‘return of investment’ (the money spent on the system) as return on investment (profit). This borders on fraudulent: if you sold an investment on that basis you’d go to jail.

    So, thousands of farmers are going to be taken in by a fraudulent scheme cooked up by their own government.

    See the JC blog for the whole comment.

    Catch the exchanges above and below this one… fascinating…

  3. We’re soon going to have more “Green Jobs” making electric cars… If everyone jumps on this decrepit bandwagon… This is why we need all those wind turbines — to reliably charge our cars … Rigggghhhhttttt


    WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is telling American automakers that it would like cars and light trucks to average 56.2 miles per gallon (23.9 kilometres per litre) by 2025 — a boost to fuel economy that would save American consumers money at the gas pump and help with global warming but drive up the cost of automobiles.

    Administration officials floated the number at separate meetings last week with the Detroit Three — General Motors, Ford and Chrysler — according to people in government and industry familiar with the discussions. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to talk publicly about them.

    While it is just a starting point, the figure is the first hint of where the government may be headed as it works to set a 2017-2025 fuel economy standard. Last year, the Transportation Department and the Environmental Protection Agency said they would consider a federal standard somewhere between 47 mpg and 62 mpg (20 and 26 kilometres per litre). [ Four Liters/100KM ]

    The upper end of the range would mean a massive shift in what Americans drive. A government analysis found about half the lineup of new vehicles would need to be gas-electric hybrids under the most aggressive standards. The technology needed to achieve a 56 mpg standard, according to administration estimates, would add $2,100 to $2,600 to the price of a car. But because the vehicles would need less fuel, owners would make up the difference with fewer trips to the gas station.

    Is it possible? Can the electrical grid be modified in time? At what cost?

    This seems to come from the “Legislate and the technical problems will disappear” school of thought.

    This seems to be the same school of Liberal Thought that currently dominates Ontario Politics — Hopefully not for long.

  4. A very short mention here…


    I haven’t parsed the literature on renewables, but there are many questions on which I’d have appreciated authoritative opinions.

    For example, I hear the usual concerns that the median output of wind farms is a fraction of nameplate capacity and that their output can be zero at times of peak demand. (This is very much the case in Ontario.) In order for the IPCC report to be useful, it has to provide something more authoritative than a repetition of a Greenpeace scenario.

    I’m also aware of great optimism on the part of technology promoters that the cost of photovoltaic can be halved repeatedly until it reaches not only grid parity, but becomes the energy supply of choice. It would be great if this scenario bears out. If photovoltaic reaches grid parity or below – then it seems to me that we have a future of great prosperity ahead of us and that many of our present worries will dissipate.

    But before relying on such a favorable scenario, I, for one, would like really hard and really independent cross-examination of the evidence that such an optimistic scenario is realistic. It’s one thing to hear such a scenario from Greenpeace or WWF. It’s another thing if their evidence for the feasibility of such a scenario has been examined and verified by independent assessors. IPCC didn’t do this.

    I hope you enjoy this article folks…

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