Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The promise of "green jobs"

The report below comes from Bread for the World Institute, a somewhat surprising source.  What you'll find is a bit more encouraging than some of what I've read in recent days about "green jobs" and economic renewal. 

Let me encourage you to open the link below to the entire report.  The analysis of jobs created in the emerging "green sector" is very interesting. 

As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts.  Solar power has become a focus in our world here at CDM. 

Greening the Recovery

If it were ever really true that what’s good for the environment is bad for business and vice versa, the tradeoff has swiftly become an anachronism, largely because of the pressing need to address climate change. Climate change will be a huge challenge—and a tremendous economic opportunity. It’s possible to battle climate change and create jobs at the same time.

Greening the economy means different things to different people, but in this report we’re referring to a transformation of the nation’s energy infrastructure, from carbon-intensive fossil fuels to clean, renewable forms of energy such as solar, wind, and geothermal. We also include stepping up investments in cost-effective energy efficiency, such as weatherizing homes and office buildings.

“Green jobs” may sound like something altogether new, but they are mostly jobs that already exist with new skills added to the mix. A green roofer is like any other roofer, except that he has been trained to build roofs that are energy efficient. A manufacturer of solar cells is a green manufacturer in the sense that she is producing parts for the clean energy industry, but she is still a manufacturer.

Improvements in the nation’s infrastructure can yield significant productivity gains throughout the economy. Energy savings is just one reason that this is a wise investment. Because infrastructure projects are labor-intensive, they produce many more jobs than investments in most other sectors of the economy.1 Proponents of a greener economy believe that clean energy and energy efficiency can engage a sizeable share of the U.S. workforce for at least a generation.2 For each job that is created in the clean energy sector, there are additional jobs created by indirect and induced effects. “Indirect” effects come from industries that supply intermediate goods to clean energy producers. “Induced” effects refer to the sectors that produce goods and services that workers in the new clean energy sector buy with their own incomes. The total number of jobs created depends on the scale of public and private investment.



Anonymous said...

In my opinion, it's not a good idea to base our entire economic system on a false premise. A couple of weeks ago, The European Foundation, an international think tank composed of European scientists and politicians, issued a dossier specifying 100 reasons why climate change is natural and not manmade. Just google "100 reasons why climate change...."

Have you noticed how rich Al Gore is getting off of this hoax?

Anonymous said...

Yes, yes, yes, and the Earth is flat.

Cody said...

I've had this conversation with my father. Maybe climate change is natural and not man made. But, is it really such a bad thing to work on reducing pollution and dependence on a resource that will eventually be gone?

Regardless of the cause of climate change, I just don't see the harm in having a cleaner, more sustainable world. Though, I could be missing something.

Anonymous said...

The point is, it's a power grab from third world countries for money.

Larry James said...

Of course, my interests for the city relate to jobs and energy cost savings for the urban poor. Beyond that, like Cody, it seems to me that energy independence in a world like ours would be a very good and wise thing. Leave the global warming debate aside for the moment.

Anonymous said...

Why not energy cost savings for everyone? The truth is we don't have the technology yet. We should be drilling for oil now. Putting solar panels on the houses of the poor is just income redistribution.