Seven Myths About Green Jobs
By Timothy Cox
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
A new IPN study reveals the hidden costs of so-called “green investments”, bringing a key policy of Britain’s coalition government into question. “Seven Myths About Green Jobs” (opens PDF) shows that subsidising “green jobs” wastes resources and reduces growth without necessarily protecting the environment:
Bureaucracy: In practice, “green investments” get spent on red tape. “Green jobs” are taken by bureaucrats, siphoning resources away from the productive sectors of the economy.
Waste: For those advocating “green jobs”, inefficiency is a virtue. A United Nations study on green jobs actually calls for fruit to be picked by hand rather than machine. “Green” subsidies effectively pay companies to make everyday items more expensive and scarce, taxing the public twice over.
Debt: Today’s “green investments” are made by increasing Britain’s colossal national debt, borrowing heavily in the hope of making future generations richer. If the green gamble fails, our children and grandchildren will be left with the bill.
“Green investment” isn’t even a reliable way to improve the environment, the study finds. Steel is one of the world’s most carbon-intensive industries, yet the United Nations Environment Programme counts steelworkers as having “green jobs”, because steel is needed to make wind turbines.