Thoughts on environmental and urban issues from an economics perspective.
posted by Matthew Kahn at 11:21 AM
There could be no better investment in America than to invest in America becoming energy independent! We need to utilize everything in out power to reduce our dependence on foreign oil including using our own natural resources.Create cheap clean energy, new badly needed green jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.The high cost of fuel this past year seriously damaged our economy and society. The cost of fuel effects every facet of consumer goods from production to shipping costs. After a brief reprieve gas is inching back up.OPEC will continue to cut production until they achieve their desired 80-100. per barrel.If all gasoline cars, trucks, and SUV's instead had plug-in electric drive trainsthe amount of electricity needed to replace gasoline is about equal to the estimated wind energy potential of the state of North Dakota.There is a really good new book out by Jeff Wilson called The Manhattan Project of 2009 Energy Independence Now. http://www.themanhattanprojectof2009.com
Fascinating topic. I read and listend to the podcast - well done !Clearly the idea of "green jobs" makes some sense but as you point out highly complex. I think the key complexity is the relativism that can sneak in here. The issue is that if we don't focus on what really is a sustainable future we can say that building a green car is a green job when in reality the car itself is only relatively more efficient and not actually sustainable. I think that John Foster in his book "The sustainability mirage : Illusion and Reality in the coming war on climate change" - expresses the danger of this concept. A stark example of this was mentioned in my blog entry a while ago : http://sustainableprogress.blogspot.com/2009/01/cars-and-sustainability.html . I quoted a great article : "It’s not about miles per gallon, it’s about the total number of gallons. "The fact is that by moving to green cars we are not addressing the issues that cars usage as a whole is rising at an alarming rate : "In 1950 there were an estimated 70m cars, trucks and buses on the world’s roads. Towards the end of the century there was between 600m and 700m. By 2025 the figure is expected to pass one billion."There was a caller on your podcast "Tim" who put forward that a job cleaning up gas stations was a green job. This is actually an example of how insane this could get. Paying people a subsidy to work in one of the most polluting industries !You can easily argue that something is better than nothing. We certainly want everyone to do something. At the same time if we are not honest about the real impact of civic change compared to what is really needed we will feel we are winning a war when we are not even fighting the right battle.
Truth be told, the best jobs are in green technologies. You can check out that site I just posted to search for green jobs and more.
Green Jobs are good one but it need to be done with favors to other type of jobs. Jobs of both type should be secured.
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alt="Buy My 2006 Brookings Institution Press Book: Green Cities: Urban Growth and the Environment!" />
alt="Climatopolis (Basic Books 2010)" />