Are Green Jobs a fantasy?

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Wendy S. Delmater's picture
Wendy S. Delmater
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Are Green Jobs a fantasy?

Are green jobs going to help the US economy? They certainly did not help Italy or Spain.

guardia's picture
guardia
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Re: Are Green Jobs a fantasy?

AFAIK, in Europe they approached the problem by building mainly large wind farms and pumped-storage hydroelectricity... because its cheaper than solar panels... Germany, the exception, has been pushing solar panels, and they don't seem to be in so much of an economic hole, do they? I think solar panels are a better option for two reasons, even if they are in theory more expensive: 1. The homeowner can install the panels on the roof of the home mostly by himself, so we can save on labor cost, or maintenance at the very least and 2. it's easy to couple that locally with something like a fuel cell or something for when the sun isn't shining, in effect a "microgrid", and the whole infrastructure of the electric grid does not need to be changed so much into a "smart grid" (although it may still be a good thing for the future). Each homeowner can decide when enough is enough, when the @%%^& electricity from the grid gets too expensive, and do what's necessary to get the equipment. No need of governmental subsidies or grand Obama projects in that case...

Samuel

EndGamePlayer's picture
EndGamePlayer
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Are Green Jobs a fantasy?

I think we are going to see "green jobs" but not in the way anticipated in a "growth economy".

We will definately see more locally grown food production, recycling/re-purposing and all forms energy conservation.

IMHO, the "New Economy" will be whatever you "own or can produce in food or energy". To my way of thinking, food and salable "energy" are the new gold standard.

EGP

Wendy S. Delmater's picture
Wendy S. Delmater
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EGP, agreed. Still, the

EGP, agreed. Still, the article was interesting.

SailAway's picture
SailAway
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I think that was this

I think that was this article miss completely is the long term vision. It essentially just assumes that we have endless supply of cheap carbon energy.

In the short term renewable energies are obviously an expensive investment. The "let's the free market decides theory" that would let the oil price dictates when investments in alternative energy start to make sense is a very dangerous game in this case IMO. Because it just assumes a smooth declines of oil supply but the reality for importing countries could be very very different.

Knowing what's coming with peak oil, my opinion is we should massively invest in sustainable form of energy while we still have the luxury to print money, this opportunity won't last forever. Of course energy choices have to be based on science not politic or lobbyists...

 

 

sevenmmm's picture
sevenmmm
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These technologies have

These technologies have helped those economies immensely. Please compare these jobs and energy production with what would have been the normal investments; resulting in even higher use of fossil fuels.

I view this similar to Y2K, as the potential became widely known, the best and the brightest came to the for and solved the problem. So in a perfect world, where renewable energy continues to grow, the demand and price of fossil fuels, and the consequent transfer of capital away from economies with no landed supply, stabilize, or better yet, decline.

One more point, Richard Hienberg is putting together a book titled: End of Growth. So think about a no growth scenario without a free flow of energy from renewables...

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
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zero growth scenario
sevenmmm wrote:

One more point, Richard Hienberg is putting together a book titled: End of Growth. So think about a no growth scenario without a free flow of energy from renewables...

That's all very well, but a zero growth economy cannot print money to repay debts.  So in your scenario, what happens to debts?

Mike

guardia's picture
guardia
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Re: zero growth scenario
Damnthematrix wrote:

That's all very well, but a zero growth economy cannot print money to repay debts.  So in your scenario, what happens to debts?

We don't need to go in debt, if we restrain ourselves from using the capital for other purposes...

BTW, just to bring some food to this discussion, I see the following trend currently happening in Japan. The country itself has an enormously large debt (that ain't going to get any smaller this year), but most of it is owned domestically, by, well, that's not a very hard thing to imagine, old people, companies and banks. Banks and companies have no will of themselves, and old people aren't going to start a civil war. This leaves the country free to go bankrupt, and have something else take its place.

Therefore, it makes sense for the government to entice people in installing solar panels and fuel cells, at the expense of the bond holders, but that's their problem if they don't like it :) I do hope this incident with the nuclear power plant forces the government to go in that direction

Samuel

dshields's picture
dshields
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The Same

Green jobs are like all other jobs - if a green product or service gets created and people buy it then you have green jobs.  The government(s) can distort that market for a while giving tax breaks, but when they stop the product or service has to stand on its own.

I do not think there is a lot more to it than that.

 

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