Monday, November 17, 2008

Lomborg: "The green pseudo-revolution"

Bjorn Lomborg the Danish statistican with a habit of upsetting environmentalists has written a Guardian opinion piece.

This article links to a number of previous posts I have made on the topic of "green jobs". Academic articles are also beginning to emerge. I think it is safe to say that green jobs are unlikely to compensate for jobs lost if "heavy industry" becomes uncompetitive although their may be a "first mover advantage" for certain countries in certain sectors.

Whilst I have some sympathy for Lomborg's argument I believe he is over simplifying the issue and missing a number of important elements of the story.

The green pseudo-revolution
"Whatever the enviro-lobbyists say, subsidising inefficient green industries is not the way to tackle climate change"

Many green pundits have, however, started saying that the financial crisis only makes the need for action on climate change greater. They urge America's president-elect Barack Obama to pursue a "green revolution" with big investments in renewable energy, arguing that this could create millions of new "green collar" jobs and open huge new markets. Such sentiments, no surprise, are strongly voiced by business leaders who live off such subsidies. But are such pleas smart investments for society?

The problem with the green revolution argument is that it doesn't trouble itself about efficiency. It is most often lauded for supplying new jobs. But billions of dollars in tax subsidies would create plenty of new jobs in almost any sector: the point is that many less capital-intensive sectors would create many more jobs for a given investment of taxpayers' money.

Similarly, green initiatives will open new markets only if other nations subsidise inefficient technologies bought abroad. Thus, the real game becomes which nations get to suck up other nations' tax-financed subsidies. Apart from the resulting global inefficiency, this also creates a whole new raft of industry players that will keep pushing inefficient legislation, simply because it fills their coffers.

4 comments:

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If you are interested please add the following information to your website and kindly let me know when it´s ready and I will do the same for you in less than 24 hours, otherwise you can delete my link from your site.

TITLE: Recycling
URL: http://www.snaffleup.co.uk
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Or you can use the following html code:

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Lara Glew said...

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Your link will be placed here:
http://www.ekamo.org/ PR2 (It`s a recycling website)

As mentioned, your link would be placed on the site home page, not on any "links" pages which may be buried in the site somewhere.

If you are interested please add the following information to your website and kindly let me know when it´s ready and I will do the same for you in less than 24 hours, otherwise you can delete my link from your site.

TITLE: Recycling
URL: http://www.snaffleup.co.uk
DESCRIPTION: SnaffleUp The recycling web site designed to keep useful items out of landfill.

Or you can use the following html code:

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I hope you have a nice day and thank you for your time,

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william said...

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http://www.5milliongreenjobs.org