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Old 04-24-2009, 11:35 AM   #1
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Green Jobs Myths

Myths fuel the eco lobby's emissions-slashing, green-jobs fantasy

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Myths fuel the eco lobby's emissions-slashing, green-jobs fantasy

Ideologically-driven employment claims don't stand up to scrutiny

By Gary Lamphier, The Edmonton Journal

April 23, 2009

In December 2007, just as the worst recession in decades got underway, 54 leading U.S. economists were asked by Business Week magazine to share their economic outlook for 2008.

More than 96 per cent saw another year of modest growth. Only two predicted a recession -- even though it had already started.

In July 2008, when oil prices hit $147 US a barrel, some of the biggest brains on Wall Street -- along with famed energy tycoon T. Boone Pickens -- predicted crude would soon hit $200.

Wrong again. With oil now hovering around $50, the experts overshot the mark by $150.

As these gigantic goofs illustrate, forecasting anything -- from next year's economic growth, to the outcome of the Stanley Cup playoffs, to this weekend's weather, to the growth of man-made carbon emissions by 2050 -- is a fool's game.

Most forecasts turn out to be dead wrong. Why?

They're often based on faulty assumptions, an inability to anticipate the impact of complex future technological or societal changes, incomplete or inaccurate data, and last but not least, built-in biases.

Even the most fair-minded forecasters often see what they want to see -- depending on their particular vested interest -- and then do their best to rationalize the preordained conclusions their "research" inevitably produces.

All of which brings me to the current topic du jour: the glorious dream, perpetuated by the green lobby and its allies that the world can end its reliance on evil fossil fuels, slash carbon emissions, save the planet, and create millions of well-paid new green jobs, with little or no pain.

Along the way, we're told, we could also end the recession, replace the millions of North American jobs that have disappeared since the downturn began, and set the world on course for a bright, sustainable, shiny future.

This is pure fantasy, of course, and it's even more delusional in light of the current global economic crisis.

Entire countries are now flirting with bankruptcy, global bank losses are expected to top $4 trillion US, according to the International Monetary Fund, and the U.S. has already lost more jobs -- 5.1 million -- than Barack Obama's celebrated green-jobs plan promises to create over the next 10 years.

Yet, if anything, the fantastical dream of economic salvation through green jobs grows stronger by the day. But that doesn't change a simple fact. The world depends on fossil fuels for an obvious reason. They're cheap, plentiful, efficient and flexible.

The preferred green alternatives -- solar power, wind power, biofuels, geothermal, tidal power, fuel cells -- are far more costly, less reliable and largely unproven, on a mass commercial basis.

All rely heavily on massive public subsidies -- from cash-strapped governments that are already straining under the weight of huge deficits -- and in the case of corn-based ethanol, are arguably more damaging to the planet than fossil fuels.

Most thoughtful people know this. But that doesn't stop the greens from pushing their sanitized version of the future.

Witness the 70-page report issued Wednesday by Greenpeace, the Sierra Club Prairie Chapter, and the Alberta Federation of Labour, titled It's Time to Build Alberta's Future.

At a time when Alberta -- and the rest of the country -- is shedding thousands of jobs every month, the report suggests the province could create more than 200,000 green jobs in areas such as mass transit, renewable energy and publicly funded home retrofits.

Predictably, the report slams "false solutions" such as Alberta's $2-billion commitment to carbon capture and storage technology, which doesn't align with the green movement's selective enthusiasm for new technology.

I hope you read the report. It's thought-provoking. But after you do, I'd suggest you read another report, produced last month by a group of economists and legal experts from four U.S. universities, titled Green Jobs Myths.

The report can be downloaded, free of charge, from the U.S.-based Social Science Research Network.

Be forewarned: the painstakingly researched 97-page document doesn't make for easy reading. It's a scholarly study, full of footnotes, detailed tables, and comprehensive economic and energy data. It's not a polemic.

But in the end, it paints a damning, highly critical picture of the lofty job creation claims that are so casually tossed around by people like Al Gore, and pressure groups such as Greenpeace.

It's impossible to do the report justice in this column. It covers far too much ground, and the details are exhaustive. But it concludes that there are seven myths behind the current ideological push to create so-called green jobs:
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.c...act_id=1358423

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Myth: Everyone understands what a green job is.

Reality: No standard definition of a green job exists.

Myth: Creating green jobs will boost productive employment.

Reality: Green jobs estimates include huge numbers of clerical, bureaucratic, and administrative positions that do not produce goods and services for consumption.

Myth: Green jobs forecasts are reliable.

Reality: The green jobs studies made estimates using poor economic models based on dubious assumptions.

Myth: Green jobs promote employment growth.

Reality: By promoting more jobs instead of more productivity, the green jobs described in the literature encourage low-paying jobs in less desirable conditions. Economic growth cannot be ordered by Congress or by the United Nations. Government interference - such as restricting successful technologies in favor of speculative technologies favored by special interests - will generate stagnation.

Myth: The world economy can be remade by reducing trade and relying on local production and reduced consumption without dramatically decreasing our standard of living.

Reality: History shows that nations cannot produce everything their citizens need or desire. People and firms have talents that allow specialization that make goods and services ever more efficient and lower-cost, thereby enriching society.

Myth: Government mandates are a substitute for free markets.

Reality: Companies react more swiftly and efficiently to the demands of their customers and markets, than to cumbersome government mandates.

Myth: Imposing technological progress by regulation is desirable.

Reality: Some technologies preferred by the green jobs studies are not capable of efficiently reaching the scale necessary to meet today's demands and could be counterproductive to environmental quality.
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Old 04-24-2009, 07:23 PM   #2
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The 'Green Jobs' Myth - WSJ.com
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Old 04-24-2009, 07:29 PM   #3
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Oh wow, I'm gonna go out tomorrow and buy about twenty seven Hummers.

Yeah! I'm fucking the environment, just 'cos I can! Wow, look at me, what controversy I generate! Look, mum, I really pissed off the libruls with this one! Look at me, everyone!
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Old 04-24-2009, 07:52 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by financeguy View Post
Yeah! I'm fucking the environment, just 'cos I can! Wow, look at me, what controversy I generate! Look, mum, I really pissed off the libruls with this one! Look at me, everyone!
Begin

It should be controversial to have another unproductive bureaucracy increasing energy costs just because they can. BTW I drive a Toyota Echo and I try to use energy efficient smart powerbars and walk when I can. Though I do this to SAVE MONEY as opposed to being self-righteous about pretending to save the planet.

You of all people, a libertarian, should hate fake "green jobs". If the market place was colluding to keep green energy that could come near nuclear power or oil in cost out of the market then I would be fine with government intervention but I don't see real viable alternatives at all. Even the EPA is making C02 a poison gas when it's necessary for life on earth. I could see Milton Friedman clawing his way out of his grave. "As usual unexpected consequences will come from the good intentions of regulators." Maybe I should go leftwing and get a "green job" (preferably with a government pension) and rob the public and be called a saint for it. Now that's an idea.

End
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Old 04-24-2009, 11:26 PM   #5
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It's so frustrating to see those who revel in ignorance. From your telling people how they should feel down to your childish tongue sticking out smilie.

This article is dripping with bias. But of course you wouldn't see that... You avoid all the tough questions on the environment, and you honestly think it's a made up movement in order to push socialism. I hope some day you'll be as curious about the environment that you were about saving and you'll read something that isn't from the Rush library about what is going on...
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Old 04-25-2009, 01:51 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by BVS View Post
It's so frustrating to see those who revel in ignorance. From your telling people how they should feel down to your childish tongue sticking out smilie.

This article is dripping with bias. But of course you wouldn't see that... You avoid all the tough questions on the environment, and you honestly think it's a made up movement in order to push socialism. I hope some day you'll be as curious about the environment that you were about saving and you'll read something that isn't from the Rush library about what is going on...
They are not pushing socialism? Creating green bureaucrats is exactly that. They cost money but do they produce? Pointing out hypocrisy is not telling people how to feel. I get the sense I'm supposed to agree with people out of conformism. No one else is put to that standard when they point out Republican hypocrisy. Get over it. My response was quite appropriate to FinanceGuy's "Hummer" straw man.

Most of the tough questions against man made global warming are being asked and being ignored. Yes I'm being tongue n cheek, but if cap and trade is adopted the higher energy prices ensuing will make me use more often than When U.N. weather projections exclude El-Nino and La-Nina and haven't done the due diligence on water vapour should I be blamed for being critical? If McCain would legislate cap n trade (he would) I would be just as critical. People have to stop taking criticisms personally in a debate forum.

Here I've got a project for you. How about you find sources of information that shows the U.N. weather projections are reliable enough to predict disaster so there can be a debate instead of people ignoring conservative threads.
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Old 04-25-2009, 02:48 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by purpleoscar View Post
Here I've got a project for you. How about you find sources of information that shows the U.N. weather projections are reliable enough to predict disaster so there can be a debate instead of people ignoring conservative threads.
What?! What does this have to do with anything we are talking about? Are you purposely trying to create distractions?

Do you honestly think that no matter what we do the planet will not be effected? Will the planet be the same as it is or has been 100 200 years from now, no matter what we do?
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Old 04-25-2009, 04:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BVS View Post
It's so frustrating to see those who revel in ignorance. From your telling people how they should feel down to your childish tongue sticking out smilie.

This article is dripping with bias. But of course you wouldn't see that... You avoid all the tough questions on the environment, and you honestly think it's a made up movement in order to push socialism. I hope some day you'll be as curious about the environment that you were about saving and you'll read something that isn't from the Rush library about what is going on...
Stick to the topic at hand, BVS. There's no need to get personal in your response.
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Old 04-25-2009, 07:52 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by purpleoscar View Post
They are not pushing socialism? Creating green bureaucrats is exactly that. They cost money but do they produce? Pointing out hypocrisy is not telling people how to feel. I get the sense I'm supposed to agree with people out of conformism. No one else is put to that standard when they point out Republican hypocrisy. Get over it. My response was quite appropriate to FinanceGuy's "Hummer" straw man.

Most of the tough questions against man made global warming are being asked and being ignored. Yes I'm being tongue n cheek, but if cap and trade is adopted the higher energy prices ensuing will make me use more often than When U.N. weather projections exclude El-Nino and La-Nina and haven't done the due diligence on water vapour should I be blamed for being critical? If McCain would legislate cap n trade (he would) I would be just as critical. People have to stop taking criticisms personally in a debate forum.

Here I've got a project for you. How about you find sources of information that shows the U.N. weather projections are reliable enough to predict disaster so there can be a debate instead of people ignoring conservative threads.
Do you support funding for scientific research into global warming, to establish the mechanisms and the most cost effective responses?
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Old 04-26-2009, 04:33 PM   #10
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Do you support funding for scientific research into global warming, to establish the mechanisms and the most cost effective responses?
Yes. The NASA satellite that is supposed to be studying water vapour in 2013 I'm interested in seeing their data in coming years. I'm sure man has some effect on the planet but the C02 sensitivity predicted by the IPCC hasn't panned out. Knowing how much is natural versus man-made is the most important discovery we need. It's very easy to overreact and make a cure that's worse than the disease. Depending on how large or small the C02 impact is there's an opportunity to adapt as opposed to call C02 a poison and point at industry. Of course industry (in order to stay alive) raises the prices on consumers.

Having green jobs based on wind/solar power and ethanol are already failures, why pour money into those dead ends. Fusion seems decades away and cap and trade in Europe just raises prices for people. Is the added cost supposed to force innovation? Are there any viable cheap technologies that will thrive under higher energy prices? To me it looks like another layer of bureaucracy to pay for with dubious promises.
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Old 04-26-2009, 04:47 PM   #11
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What?! What does this have to do with anything we are talking about? Are you purposely trying to create distractions?
Relax dude. You were talking about my ignorance, right? Okay then show my ignorance. I don't have an ego that needs to be right. I can be proven wrong. Debates help with bringing out people's sources so many different points of view are shared.

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Originally Posted by BVS View Post
Do you honestly think that no matter what we do the planet will not be effected? Will the planet be the same as it is or has been 100 200 years from now, no matter what we do?
No, but the degree of what we do and how much we affect the planet is not certain, especially historical record of wild fluxuations with human industry involved. Hence the study of water vapour (the largest greenhouse gas). Solar studies are important as well. Wouldn't it be the nail in the coffin if the IPCC can show that climate change is largely due to humans and that water vapour is not a big deal? I know there's lots of doom and gloom but many NASA (along with Roy Spencer) are saying that it had to do with scare tactics used as a method to gain funding from Congress. If James Hansen feels he needs to do that to get funding then there is a serious problem.

Also Bjorn Lomborg did a good book that shows past laughable environmental alarmist claims that overstated things for funding purposes and even a scientist that admited that the environmentalist movement likes to exagerrate things in order to steer the public in the "right" direction. To me there is a serious problem with funding and science and a conflict of interest keeps creeping up which leads to shrillness and arrogance towards the public. If there is a feeling that the public NEEDS to be lied to then how much is science and how much is a propaganda megaphone? I think the debate hasn't been solved yet and some "deniers" are getting different results than the IPCC.
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Old 04-26-2009, 05:13 PM   #12
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Having green jobs based on wind/solar power and ethanol are already failures, why pour money into those dead ends.
How so? I know for a fact that wind is very effective and proving to be very profitable for places here in West Texas.
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Old 04-26-2009, 05:26 PM   #13
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Relax dude. You were talking about my ignorance, right? Okay then show my ignorance. I don't have an ego that needs to be right. I can be proven wrong. Debates help with bringing out people's sources so many different points of view are shared.
I'm relaxed I'm just not sure why you insist on trying to steer the thread in another direction, you do that a lot.

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Originally Posted by purpleoscar View Post

No, but the degree of what we do and how much we affect the planet is not certain, especially historical record of wild fluxuations with human industry involved. Hence the study of water vapour (the largest greenhouse gas). Solar studies are important as well. Wouldn't it be the nail in the coffin if the IPCC can show that climate change is largely due to humans and that water vapour is not a big deal? I know there's lots of doom and gloom but many NASA (along with Roy Spencer) are saying that it had to do with scare tactics used as a method to gain funding from Congress. If James Hansen feels he needs to do that to get funding then there is a serious problem.

Also Bjorn Lomborg did a good book that shows past laughable environmental alarmist claims that overstated things for funding purposes and even a scientist that admited that the environmentalist movement likes to exagerrate things in order to steer the public in the "right" direction. To me there is a serious problem with funding and science and a conflict of interest keeps creeping up which leads to shrillness and arrogance towards the public. If there is a feeling that the public NEEDS to be lied to then how much is science and how much is a propaganda megaphone? I think the debate hasn't been solved yet and some "deniers" are getting different results than the IPCC.
I think you'll find exaggerations are everywhere not just the environmentalist movement. Societies as a whole are lazy and don't like to change, in order to make change you do have to paint a worse case scenario sometimes. You show the worse case scenario to get people to quit smoking, to not drive drunk, etc... What do you think threat levels are for?

So I wouldn't exactly call it lying. It's ridiculous that in 2009 recyling is still not found everywhere.
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Old 06-03-2009, 12:45 PM   #14
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Obama�s Green Delusions by Alex Alexiev on National Review Online

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Obama’s Green Delusions
The false promises of renewable energy.

By Alex Alexiev


Standing in front of an array of photovoltaic solar panels at Nellis Air Force Base last Wednesday, President Obama gave us to understand that his vision for an America powered by clean, renewable energy and awash in green jobs is becoming a reality faster than anyone could have imagined. Nellis, near Las Vegas, is the home of the largest solar-energy plant in the Western Hemisphere and, in the president’s words, a “shining example” of what renewable energy can do to put our economy on a “firmer foundation for economic growth.” It is a success story that needs to be replicated “in cities and states across America,” Obama said, and he announced a “solar energy technology program” to do just that.

The figures do indeed look impressive at first sight. The $100-million plant was built without a penny of government money, we are told, yet it provides the base with electric power costing 2.2 cents per kilowatt/hour, which is less than one-fourth of the 9 cents that Nevada Power charges its other customers. The annual savings will amount to $1 million, guaranteed for 20 years. Proof positive, it seems, that our green future is now. Or is it?

Beyond these numbers, uncritically reported by the mainstream media, is the reality of a make-believe industry touted by environmental zealots, corporate freeloaders parading as entrepreneurs, and a president capable of staggering disingenuousness. If the Nellis solar project is a “shining example,” it is a shining example of everything that’s wrong with Obama’s green delusions. The project makes no economic sense on its own merits and, like all renewable-energy projects, was made possible only by a combination of government coercion and state and federal handouts at the expense of utility customers and the American taxpayer. The coercion in this case came in the form of a state mandate that Nevada utilities must obtain 20 percent of their power from hugely expensive renewable sources by 2015; the handouts came in the form of a 30 percent federal tax credit, accelerated depreciation rates, “solar energy credits,” and similar goodies. It is such government largesse — and the promise of more to come — that convinces the renewable-energy industry’s corporate welfare queens to line up behind dubious projects like Nellis.

In his speech at Nellis, President Obama asserted that he wants “everybody to know what we’re doing here in Vegas,” and he pointed to Germany as an example to follow in the solar business. He should have followed his own advice and looked more closely at the German example. After Germany guaranteed solar producers a rate seven times as high as the market rate, the country’s electric bill jumped by 38 percent in one year.

Obama also should have mentioned what happens to investors who fall for Washington’s green hype. For the two private companies involved in the Nellis project, it has not been a success story. SunPower Corp., the builder of the solar plant, has lost 75 percent of its market value in just the past year and is facing an uncertain future (to put it mildly). MMA Renewable Ventures, a San Francisco–based firm, which financed the project, was recently sold to the Spanish company Fotowatio for the fire-sale price of $19.7 million, after losing more than half of its business between 2007 and 2008.

The Spanish purchase of the dying MMA made no business sense except in one critical area: It allowed Fotowatio to establish a beachhead in the United States, which, with $20 billion of green-energy tax incentives in 2010 alone, increasingly looks like the world’s last refuge for solar freeloaders. Most European countries have seen the damage that green energy can do to their economies and are rapidly (if quietly) scaling back their support. This is especially true in the countries that have been leaders on solar and wind power. Both Germany and Spain have dramatically slashed their subsidies for renewables, and Spain has reduced its commitment to green power from 2400 megawatts in 2008 to 500 megawatts or less in 2009.

There is yet another lesson from Spain that Obama prefers not to discuss. The $100-million Nellis project created 200 jobs at a cost of $500,000 per job. The longer Spanish experience, according to a recent study from Juan Carlos University, shows a cost of $774,000 for each government-subsidized green job created since 2000. More disturbingly, for each of these jobs, 2.2 jobs in other industries were destroyed because of higher energy prices, not counting manufacturers who vote with their feet. This is surely a success story that Americans can do without.

— Alex Alexiev is an adjunct fellow at the Hudson Institute.
Spain's experience with green jobs:

http://www.juandemariana.org/pdf/090...-renewable.pdf

Something Rotten in the NYT - Chris Horner - Planet Gore on National Review Online

Nuclear Energy in Denmark : WNA

In a nutshell: Denmark imports much of their electricity so they piggy back on other countries to get their "green" status.
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Old 06-03-2009, 01:59 PM   #15
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The National Review and a libertarian website as sources?

The actual "article" you quoted contradicts itself and to be quite frank I think it flat out lies at times.

Quote:
There is yet another lesson from Spain that Obama prefers not to discuss. The $100-million Nellis project created 200 jobs at a cost of $500,000 per job. The longer Spanish experience, according to a recent study from Juan Carlos University, shows a cost of $774,000 for each government-subsidized green job created since 2000. More disturbingly, for each of these jobs, 2.2 jobs in other industries were destroyed because of higher energy prices, not counting manufacturers who vote with their feet. This is surely a success story that Americans can do without.
I'd really like to see them explain this.

The pdf that is disguised to look like a scientific report is nothing but a report of a report filled with attack.
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