Any way you calculate it, ‘green’ jobs aren’t worth it

Benn Steil and Dinah Walker at the Council of Foreign Relations have crunched the “green” energy numbers one more way. We’ve seen the total cost and the cost per kilowatt, but they’ve calculated the cost per job in taxpayer support.

Obama promised 5 million “green” jobs, but he’s come nowhere close even if you count garbage collectors, bus drivers and EPA clerks. Steil and Walker calculate the number of wind, solar, and nuclear jobs at about 250,000.

When you look at the tax breaks and grants from taxpayers by energy source, they found: “The bottom line is that green-energy jobs cost taxpayers, on average, 15 times more than oil, gas, and coal jobs. Wind-backed jobs cost 25 times more.”

This is what it looks like:



29 comments on “Any way you calculate it, ‘green’ jobs aren’t worth it

  1. brucefeher says:

    Makes one wonder if government can do anything right…..

  2. Steve says:

    They (enviroterrorists) claim over the 100 years the “externalities” will cost far more than what that graph shows and they will require the “externalities” (based on their calculations) be factored in.

    And today they are trying to place the east coast “super” storm Sandy in in the category of an “externality” while many in their own camps are not so sure about it.

  3. Vernon Clayson says:

    If it were possible to stop all man made pollution there would still be hurricanes, volcanic activity, etc,, there’s about as much chance that man caused the storm and damage currently in the news as there’s a chance man can cause a gentle summer rain. Al Gore probably laughs at the rain dance and chants of Native Americans but he performs his dance of the fat white man with chants of carbon, carbon, carbon. We are amused at the buffoonery of Joe Biden and there are people that still listen to Al Gore?????, Dick Cheney looks really good, so does Dan Quayle, in comparison to the aforemention clowns.

  4. I like the rain dance analogy, Vernon. I’ll probably steal that one day.


  5. Vernon Clayson says:

    Feel free. I have to admit an imagination for analogy.

  6. Rincon says:

    Although Al Gore’s views are certainly questionable, I say no more so than the view of the Republican Party (the anti-science party) that manmade global warming does not exist.

  7. Steve says:

    Climate is changing. Climate has been changing since the earth formed. Its mighty hubris to think humans are THE one and only cause of climate change. Its even more so to believe humans can effect a “cure”.

    Worse yet, according to the consensus of global climate scientists, the effects are not going to stop for over 100 years no matter what humans do.

    The best efforts humans can take, NO MATTER THE CAUSE of the climate change, are to learn to adapt to it because no matter the cause the effects are inevitable.

    Resistance futile, acceptance and adaptation are mandatory for human survival.

    Save the planet is bullshit, the planet doesn’t give one iota of care for humans and the planet will be here long after this species becomes extinct joining 98% of all the other species that have existed on this planets surface.

    It is bad science to call one cause for climate change since climate has always been and always will be, changing.


  8. Rincon says:

    It’s mighty hubris to say that we humans can do whatever we want without impacting the Earth, especially when, over the centuries, we have already changed the Earth. Extinction of the large mammals and the creation of the American prairie come to mind. We do agree though, that the Earth will be just fine. It’s been through far worse.

    Manmade global warming is a risk for which the magnitude is unknown. Prevention of global warming is not all or nothing. Some degree of prevention(mitigation)is likely better than none at all. To say that adaptation is cheaper when there are many ways to mitigate global warming that save money and help us get off foreign oil at the same time is, to use your word, bullshit.

  9. Anti-science? Since when is “consensus” science?

  10. Actually, Rincon, Americans can freeze in the dark as mitigation but it will do no good so long as the Chinese keep burning coal.

  11. Steve says:

    I did not in any way say its cheaper to adapt. I am clear its the only choice. 100 years is multigenerational.

  12. Rincon says:

    I call the Republicans antiscience because they deny the robust evidence regarding global warming,endangered species, overfished oceans, ozone, evolution, the toxicity of DDT, trans fat, bisophenol, and many other substances, and some feel that the Earth is 9000 years old and that in cases of “legitimate rape”, the womans’s body becomes immune to pregnancy. They also often claim that marijuana will rot your brain and back in the 1960’s, they said that controlling air and water pollution was impractical.

    Steve, are you saying that it is better to keep producing prodigious quantities of greenhouse gases and adapt than it is to cut back a bit and do a little less adapting?

  13. Steve says:

    No, I am saying adaptation is off the table and not even under consideration in environmentalist circles. For one example look at the reaction to Bjorn Lomborg. All they want to say is humans are bad, humans have to stop all the bad things humans do and they proceed to tell us everything humans do are bad. This leads to things like a totally off the wall concept but logically where the radical left is going.

    Mitigation can be and most likely is needed as part of adaptation. But if the continued insistence on only mitigation as the one and only solution because the one and only cause is claimed to be AGP, humans will not be ready for the inevitable. Throwing all your eggs in one basket is stupid.

    Remember climate always changes. No matter the cause, adaptation is always necessary.

  14. Rincon says:

    What a few environmentalists want is not a major concern. Let’s look at what the country is doing. Since we’ve done next to nothing in the past 50 years to get off of foreign oil and in the last 20 years to mitigate global warming, it seems to me that adaptation is still the only thing that’s ON the table.

  15. Steve says:

    Tell that to Bjorn Lomborg.

  16. Rincon says:

    I have a copy of Lomborg’s book and read it years ago. I was unimpressed. In particular, his knowledge of science appeared limited. As a Professor of Statistics in the Political Science Department, I would not consider him to be an expert on climate. It’s possible that his book was accurate, but there have been substantial claims of “malpractice”, if there is such a thing in this world of lies, damned lies, and statistics.

    His publication was found to be “…clearly contrary to the standards of good scientific practice”. by the
    Danish Ministry of Science. This was anulled on appeal.

    Regardless of his honesty, he failed to give weight to what is NOT controversial:

    1) Carbon dioxide (etc)is a greenhouse gas that warms the earth and acidifies the oceans significantly. The magnitude of this warming effect is unknown.
    2) At 390 ppm, the CO2 levels are 80 ppm higher than at any time in the last 800,000 years.
    3) Humans are responsible for the elevation of CO2.
    There are a thousand details, but it is clear that by taking an active gas like CO2 so far past historical norms, we are monkeying with something that we do not understand well. This represents a risk of unknown magnitude.

  17. Steve says:

    Co2 and average temperature is known to increase before ice ages.

    Based on Vostoc Ice Core data the planet is well overdue for an ice age.

    Co2 releases before the last major Ice age could not have been caused by human action.

    It stands to good reason being well overdue for an ice age, the planet would release far more Co2 than it did before the last ice age.

    Seems controversial to me, its just I (along with many actual scientists) get outvoted in the consensus.

    In any case, adaptation is key. Mitigation, by their own admissions, will have no effects for 100 years.

    Putting forth a theory, no matter how well accepted, does not make them the only source capable of deciding the solution. In fact there is no solution. None of us will be around in 100 years to see what comes of this.

    Mitigation alone is not the answer. If future generations are truly the concern then adaptation is key. This is what they did not like about Lomborg, he offered something they did not like and they vilified him for it.

    Most in authority suffer a condition I like to call “false authority syndrome”. Just because they have power does not make them correct. Always question their authority.

  18. Rincon says:

    I’m afraid you will have to help me with your first four points, Steve. I’m not following the logic. I do wonder though; I know of only one theory as to why we are overdue for an Ice Age, but I don’t think you would accept it. Do you know of any valid theory that explains it?

    It is untrue that mitigation will have no effect – it would prevent some future warming. Certainly, it can’t reverse what has already been set in motion, but common sense suggests that maintaining CO2 at 390 ppm is less risky than allowing it to rise to say, 500 ppm.

    Perhaps we could apply this same logic to the budget. Let’s not worry about it. Future generations will just have to adapt to the changes. Party on!

    My bottom line for global warming: It is a risk and as with most risks, I prefer to minimize it, especially if the net cost is near zero.

  19. Steve says:

    My first four points are direct response to yours.

    I have read about that theory too, our own green house gasses are supposed to holding it off. Love the hubris in it.

    Of course we are a part of the climate, we are not its driver. It drives us not the other way round.

    I would say budget logic is being felt in current policies. Trillion here trillion there, party on Garth!

    I keep saying mitigation is part but not the whole to making this about future generations instead of current authoritative power structures which are fighting any idea of adaptation tooth and nail.

    I say in 100 years they will be known as today’s flat earthers of climate science.

  20. Rincon says:

    We agree that mitigation is worth pursuing, but not at unreasonable costs. We also agree that government fiat is to be avoided. Maybe I’m smarter than you thought :).

    I still don’t follow the first four points well. Are you implying that the recent elevations in CO2 are not of human origin? Or perhaps that the planet is releasing CO2 because an ice age is due?

    Hubris? To suggest that man is too little to impact the planet sounds disingenuous since almost everyone agrees that we have the power to render the entire planet uninhabitable with nuclear weapons. No hubris there, just acceptance of the evidence.

    For what it’s worth, I’m only interestes in win-win propositions when it comes to mitigation. For example, burning less oil helps our foreign policy and balance of trade tremendously, mitigates global warming, reduces air pollution and if done by means of efficiency, conserves a valuable nonrenewable resource (if you think we have plenty, try thinking 500 years into the future instead of 50). If done properly, it would even boost the economy, since wasteful burning of oil is inefficient economically. Only a total pessimist would say the payoff is zero. If the payoff is not zero, then it is worth some unspecified cost since there’s no free lunch.

  21. Athos says:

    Rincon, look at the chart Tom provided in this blog. Then think of the debt owed by “we, the people” of the United States. $16 trillion. And climbing. At this point in our history, we’re simply too broke to be this stupid.

    Wanna know why they eat dogs in SE Asia?

    Cause they’re hungry and that’s all they have.

    Wanna take a ride on that lifestyle?

  22. Steve says:

    Rincon, its far to large an issue to put everything into one little post. My examples are simply one bit of it. One crack in the accepted consensus theory. There are many of these cracks in the main accepted theory on climate change.

    Its like they are insisting the world is flat and anyone who sails over the horizon is going to fall off. But only a few people, who argue against this, are the idiots because they don’t believe the consensus of the majority of flat earth scientists. And that was the consensus back then.

    Get that analogy?

    100 years is the time frame the consensus of the majority of climate scientists insist it will take for their solutions to have any effect. I say, in 100 years, today’s climate scientists will be as the flat earthers are to us today.

  23. Rincon says:

    I’m not talking about wind and solar, Athos. I am against them too if they are not economical. I am talking about motivating people to save fuel and let them come up with a thousand ways to do so. At the least, we need to remove subsidies for burning fossil fuels. For example, as of about 5 years ago, 28% of the cost of our roads were paid from general tax revenues, not road or gas taxes. In 1996, Congress gave the oil companies access to the Gulf by waiving $65 billion in royalties, which are desperatly needed in the treasury, etc, etc.

    I would also go beyond that. If you want more of something, subsidize it; if you want less, tax it. So what’s our biggest tax on? Human effort or labor. Don’t we want more of that? Meantime, we subsidize fossil fuel use, even paying heating bills for the poor, so they have no reason to conserve. Income taxes should be reduced, which would bring offshore money back into this country. In turn, fossil fuels should be taxed to pay for the costs they produce.

    Would we have gotten involved in the mideast and 9/11 if we had gotten off the foreign oil habit in the 1980’s? Doubtful. Yet we have generated about $3.7 trillion guarding our oil supply ( Let the oil users pay that bill! I also wonder how much oil was burned by our armed forces during those wars.

    Afraid of another tax? Hey, the bills have already been generated. We’ll pay for our party sooner or later – unless we can get our kids to pay for it.

    As for the “controversey” on global warming, you will find little of that in the scientific community. Wikipedia has an article called Scientific Opinion on Climate Change” Read it if you dare. You could also try an exercise to determine scientific opinion as I have. Enter climate change into google scholar and look at as many articles as you want. The vast majority accept climate change as real.
    If you look up Fred Singer’s biography (one of the most prominent skeptics), you will find that he also crusaded against the opinion that smoking causes cances. Look up funding for skeptic organizations – primarily from the fossil fuel industry.

  24. Athos says:

    All right, Rincon, let’s go step by step. Congress gave oil companies access to the Gulf, and Ø took it away (unless you’re Brazil, Mexico, or China). Ø’s energy czar has never backed off his desire for $10/gal gas (European model) and if you live in California, you’re half way there!

    Third party payers are always a losing proposition.

  25. Steve says:

    Back in Columbus’s day the vast majority of the worlds scientists were fully convinced the earth was flat.

    Turned out the vast majority was horribly wrong.

    Why would today be any different?

  26. Rincon says:

    Is Obama making them pay royalties? I know they’re still drilling and are pulling more oil from the Gulf than before the BP fiasco. So are they not allowing new drilling?

    There were no scientists in 1492 – or perhaps very few by today’s standards. Actually, the Greeks figured out that the Earth is round and even estimated it’s size to within maybe 10%, but the knowledge was lost – possibly by those that didn’t trust scientists :). While it’s true that scientists are human and therefore fallible, I don’t advise betting against them. As the church found out, they’re right an awful lot of the time.

    To me, it’s upside vs downside. If we do the wrong thing, it’s no great disaster if we invested in cheap insurance. If, on the other hand, we fail to insure and we’re wrong, the potential for extreme costs is substantial.

  27. Steve says:

    Not betting against their theory. Just their demand that their solution is the ONLY solution.

  28. Rincon says:

    I agree. Extreme liberals are just as bad as extreme conservatives.

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