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back to article Al Gore's green job bonanza - can we afford it?

Al Gore is unleashing the climate campaign you can't ignore, in the shape of www.wecansolveit.org, which will spend $300 million to sign up some millions of people who will march, write letters and like, agitate. In the face of this government and business will be forced - the plan goes - to take climate change seriously. …

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wecansolveit.com

Mr Gore, I'd like to introduce you to the Bagpuss mice. Bagpuss mice, this is Al Gore. I believe you have a lot in common...

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Pirate

Only Global Warming is Gore's Hot Air ...

As there is more and more REAL evidence to refute any global warming, the only hot air around is that which eminates from Al Gore's ass and mouth. Let's be honest, this massive a-hole is a power hungry politician still pissed that he lost an election and then helped another moron John F*@kin Kerry lose another. All his climate blustering (pun intended) is to supplant his lack of presidential power and a publicity set up to be selected as an alternate choice of the DNC at the convention for two virtual communists - Barrack Hussain Obama and Hillary Rodhorn Clinton.

THAT's the bottom line ... you watch.

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Anonymous Coward

So we invest money...

And create jobs in the UK, and jobs are lost in oil fields of Iran, and you think this is a bad thing? Bad for whom? Iran? Venezuela? Saudi Arabia?

I don't see it, the window is broken, we didn't break the window in order to mend it, we're just trying to mend it without paying Sahim the expensive Iranian glazer a f***ing fortune.

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Green for "go away".

Why do these tiresome "green"s get so much support and press?

The net result of all thier self rightious whinging in the UK is to add just a little more misery to peoples lives without having any real effect on hte environment.

They have screwed up transport planning -- no new infrastructure whether it be airports, roads or even railways is green enough not suffer years of delay. In the meantime everybody suffers traffic jams, sardine trains and the mystifieing experience of ending up in na overcrowded shopping mall when you though you were catching a plain.

They have screwed up the rubbish collection. It is only a matter of time before a serious epidemic is caused by leaving decaying food hanging around for two weeks. And for what "to reduce landfill" as if filling up holes would destry the planet. And what do they actually do with the other stuff they collect? You have to pay to get paper recycled, most of the glass that gets dumped in the bottle bank is green, yet no manufacturer in hte UK puts anything in green glass containers so it mostly gets used as hardcore in building foundations.

Lets make Jeremy Clarkson minister for the environment.

( and Niomi Campbel is ideal for peace enoy to the middle east.)

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Anonymous Coward

The worker is worth his wage..

Should the person "cleaning babies bottoms" be earning 10K and then changes jobs to do something worth 20K then they have doubled the value of they produce, and thus it is a benefit for all of us that people attain the full value of their abilities.*

There is an opportunity in the "green bonanza" in that no country has come out as a clear centre of what will in future become the core component of the energy industry.

You're right of course that the more jobs the greater cost, but it's still true that it will create work and that work could be here or it could be there and we are better off if it's here.

*Many people have a negative economic value and should be killed.

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Coat

Faulty arguments made sounding logical

In this article, the author berates Al Gore and all the "middle age hippies" are wrong to assume new high paying jobs would be created.

1 - Any new technology creates a new market and a lot of managers, sales, support and technical jobs.

2 - most of these jobs are higher paying than Burger King. Thank goodness!

3 - the government/ politicians can not create jobs. Of course not, but they can provide incentives for entrepreneurs to create jobs.

4 "the dweebs that populate the green movement need opportunities to congregate and repopulate just as much as any other unfortunate section of society" clearly show the author's bias against the "green" movement.

Look Mr. Worstall, your opinion that all the tree hugging is a waste of effort and we should just consume oil and coal like there is no tomorrow may be a self fulfilling prophecy. Hiding your head in the sand because you believe what you want or out of convenience does not change the facts of global climate change.

It is nice to hear one of you radicals logically explain why you are so full of sh*te.

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Anonymous Coward

Costs? Some are bearable.

"So all of our new found workforce would have in fact come from doing something else. It doesn't really matter what else either, not to make the basic point. For we lose whatever else it was that they were doing at the same time as we gain our bright shiny new energy system. They might have been wiping babies' bottoms, stacking shelves at Albertson's or working to cure cancer. Whatever it was, that they are now not doing those things is a cost to us: smelly babies, the Great Famine that would follow Albertson's running out of food, the cancer that will get about a third of us, these are all costs."

Apart from the fallacy that all the new workforce would have been doing something else, not everything that is currently done is actually *valuable*. So getting them to do something *useful* isn't a cost at all.

"Ah," you say, "but they're getting paid, so their work must have value." Only to the person paying them. Not in an actual productive sense. We could get along perfectly well without a large proportion of the service and entertainment industries, thank you. The parasites in the City who purport to drive the economy but are in reality just betting other peoples' money and taking a cut, win or lose: they could be "redeployed" to produce something real at no cost to society.

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well, sounds good to me

since there is a skills shortage in the UK, USA and soon China, then I guess the jobs will go to migrants (quick- build more walls!). But it gets worse, to get to skilled workers, we need better schooling and that means overhauling the education system which really has not done as well as expected on both sides of the Atlantic- and that will cost more money (and create more jobs) but hey, if it takes 50 years, then it doesn't matter since the Stern Review reckons we Londoners may be living under water by then...

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Excelsior!

How dare you criticize the man who single-handedly killed ManBearPig.

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Thumb Down

Tim Worstall may know loads about metals...

...but he seems to know fuck all about environmental economics. As this wooly-written article hints at.

But fuck it all anyway - I'm off on a long-haul flight to Thailand in about an hour :)

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Bronze badge

Correct Logic

I think that global warming is a real problem, and so we should create highly paid jobs building shiny new nuclear power plants.

But, yes, this is going to mean electricity will cost more for a while, as we replace power plants at a faster rate than we would have to if it weren't for global warming. And we would be even poorer as a society if we had to tighten our belts on energy use to get by on wind power and solar power and the like. So it is indeed the "Broken Windows Fallacy", as you say.

If they want to make a case that energy conservation would lead to a fairer distribution of income - the way that Japanese laws preventing big-box stores from competing with small family-owned retail outlets are claimed to - they can try and advance the figures for that case.

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Tim
Flame

@jose

Doubtless you are filled with the kind of righteous anger that only a convert to a new religion (like Climate Change) could muster. Good for you. Unfortunately you've confused two separate opinions with one there. Tim Worstall might well think that all tree hugging is a waste of effort, but he didn't say anything in his article about how we should all go on "consuming oil and coal like there's no tomorrow."

What you radicals fail to understand is that perhaps the middle way makes a lot of sense. The middle way means reducing fossil fuel usage without spending billions and billions on pointless quangos, regulation designed by closet marxists to make ordinary people miserable, and make-work programmes led by brand-of-selfs like Al Gore.

I recycle, I have a modestly fuel-efficient car, I have energy saving lightbulbs and my thermostat is set low. I still travel though, because basic measures are much more important than indulging in the 21st century equivalent of self-flagellation which the green lobby enjoy so much.

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Bronze badge

Oh No....

"Look Mr. Worstall, your opinion that all the tree hugging is a waste of effort and we should just consume oil and coal like there is no tomorrow"

Certainly not. I want everyone to be using solid oxide fuel cells because they use the metals that I sell in my day job in their manufacture. I will be much better off personally if lots lots more money is put into alternative and hydrogen cycle energy systems. Vastly so.

Why, I've even used my very own personal money to subsidise research in the field.

But then I try not to let what benefits me personally colour my view of the larger elements of the picture.

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Flame

Al Gore

The only companies, jobs and revenues he cares about are the ones he can create for himself on the back of his 'green' campaign.

I think dumping Al Gore and his poor presentation of the facts would do everyone good. He isn't really bothered about the issues, only how he can use them for his own benefit.

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Anonymous Coward

That which is seen..

Having read the link, very good BTW, I see that actually your argument falls foul of the fallacy itself.

Currently the Middle East and Russia are the main producers of energy, in the window example, they are the glazier, we, of course are the shopkeeper, and the shoemaker, is in fact our own population.

Now, under the current set up, it is seen that the Middle East and Russia benefit from our need of energy, but what is not seen is that if the energy is produced by our own population the money we would have sent to Russia or the ME instead goes to our own population. Thus we would be paying to our own pocket, even if the cost is greater we could (depending on how great the cost) still be better off.

Global warming is irrelevant to whether or not we should work on our own energy supply.

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Unhappy

Thank you..

..for the 'Broken Window' link. What goes around comes around!

As for global warming, it's an inconvenient truth that the globe stopped warming in 1998...

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Pirate

The real problem...

...is overpopulation. This is the fact that no one seems able to suggest. Our hunger for energy is dependent on two things parameters: energy per person and total number of people. Persuading a few people to switch to low enery bulbs and hybrid cars (which are more polluting than petrol cars unless our electricity is entirely renewable or nuclear) is pointless when our population is growing at an ever increasing rate.

I have a few suggestions to rectify this, but you will probably find them in poor taste.

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By the time any of these Green schemes are set to happen

The temps will already be sufficiently down regardless of Co2 that even the true believers will start to doubt the whole thing.

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You'll be lucky, Tim.

"But then I try not to let what benefits me personally colour my view of the larger elements of the picture."

That's not allowed around here. Another Tim summed it up very nicely in the last comment:

"spending billions and billions on pointless quangos, regulation designed by closet marxists to make ordinary people miserable, and make-work programme"

All these boondoggles directly benefit The Grauniad readers, the only people in Britain who think working for an eco-quango is a productive and valuable job.

That leaves the make-people-miserable brigade, and they can't wait to start going through your rubbish, telling you to turn the lights out, and imposing Maltusian limits on developing countries.

At least we can see "Climate Change" for what it is - a Death Cult.

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Alien

Is investing a cost? in the long run?

I don't see it. Creating a job is not a cost. Nobody is forced to take that job.

If someone has more $ to move a guy from mowing my lawn, to installing solar panels, then that service must be more profitable/productive. I'd rather have solar panels than short grass anyways. Then I can use the saved $$ to hire the unemployed guy to cut my grass, or buy the robot to use the electricity to cut the grass. (Then the unemployed guy, can work at the robot assembly plant.)

It's an investment.

Put something into it now for a bigger payoff later. While the cows (or your idiot neighbors) still survive, their lives don't get better because they don't invest. They just consume what they have, until it's gone or they die. However, in 10 years those who invested are better off.

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Where to apply?

I'm all set- I'd like a high paying new job, and if it helps save the Earth, so much the better.

I'm just having a hard time finding the "Submit Resume" page... Anyone else see it? All I can find is a bunch of pages about sending e-mail to an Elected Official('s intern) and how to feel self-rightous about it...

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ian
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Thumb Down

Politicos (i.e. governments) can't create jobs?

That is a startling assertion! As I recall Hitler had a full-employment scheme. More seriously, the government-funded Hoover Dam in the US produced (and produces to this day) many jobs and companies.

I could supply you with many similar examples, but the logical basis of your argument is the usual libertarian crap, and needs no more attention.

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Bronze badge

Not just greenwash

In an uncanny moment of synchronicity, George Monbiot observes that pretty much every large government or corporate action that tells us it will create hundreds of thousands of jobs is basically a bunch of big fat lies: http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2008/04/01/snow-jobs/

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Paris Hilton

@jose

"1 - Any new technology creates a new market and a lot of managers, sales, support and technical jobs."

Granted.

"2 - most of these jobs are higher paying than Burger King. Thank goodness!"

How many Burger King employees are qualified to do the jobs mentioned in #1?

"3 - the government/ politicians can not create jobs. Of course not, but they can provide incentives for entrepreneurs to create jobs."

One could argue that it's not the governments place to provide economic incentives for any reason.

"4 "the dweebs that populate the green movement need opportunities to congregate and repopulate just as much as any other unfortunate section of society" clearly show the author's bias against the "green" movement."

Since it would cause a massive up-tick in the number of loose females available to us we'd be overjoyed to have the greens intermingle with the rest of normal society, if they would simply bathe...

Paris because she's an example of the type of female mentioned above. :-)

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US Federal Contribution

The US government under a new president's leadership must prime the fiscal and technological pump through a NASA type effort in order for Mr. Gore's plan to work. The Republican's may win this slug fest which again would put Mister Gore on the outside. Unless of course he saw this as a bipartisan effort. The only difference between then and now is that it must be a cooperative effort on a global scale.

The question is whether the US can work collaboratively with the rest of the world. Undoubtedly, they would have to observe a minimum set of requirements outlined in the 'Ten Components' document located at http://sandrewsjr.net/gosi/proposal/ . In other words, they would have to learn how to play nice. The ten components are derived from a NASA style proposal titled the 'Global Open Source Initiative' found at the same location. After reading these documents you may guessed correctly that this is John McCain territory. He has already met with EU leaders last month on the issue of climate change. McCain possesses a distinguished global warming record. Keep an eye on him as possibly the next US president. His contribution to climate change may be more critical to our survival than anyone could imagine.

Sumner Andrews Jr

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Boffin

Happy medium

the reality is likely to be something in between. Al and his crunchy commandoes are useful for pulling in one direction, and Webster's GWBushie burn-and-pillage gang are pulling in the other direction (btw, nice to see the Phreakster is on the junk again, i thought he quit Oxycontin for good), so we'll probably settle on range of somewhat reasonable solutions, with a few extreme boondoggles.

Al is useful for doing the PR work i don't have the stomach for, and if he makes a buck in the process, i don't mind (the Bushies certainly make a mint on selling their services to their corporate sponsors). not surprised to see that any voices of reason get flamed by both sides in the process.

the desirable outcome is that i will live the rest of my life in a world with somewhat less waste and pollution, and some wildlife will survive in a few remaining protected natural areas. here's hoping.

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Black Helicopters

gore the environmental disaster

Once Gore finally backs this pledge http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Pledge which he has been refusing to do for over a year, then I will believe that Gore actually believes a word he is saying.

Till then I will go on knowing he is deliberately lying rather than that he has just been misled by others who should know better

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Thumb Up

@Jose and Chevy

There are two debates: 1. Are there man made climate change. 2. What do we about it.

This article is a part of the second one. It's wording tells about an author that really doesn't want it to be a part of the first one. Yet you attack him for it. He doesn't say anything about what to conclude, he just wants the correct numbers.

It is like if my roof starts leaking and the carpenter tells me it is going to cost me 1000£ to fix it, later he hands me a bill of 5000£ and explains to me that 4000£ extra doesn't really count because it was an income for him. Not fixing the roof wouldn't be an option, so I would have to do that anyways, but I sure as hell would have like to know the actual price before I hired that particular carpenter for the job.

I don't get it. Why are we not even allowed to debate even the methods to solve climate change? Once in a while I am stupid enough to argument against a suggested method to solve some of the climate change issue. I can spend the better part of day to figure out how I am to express it without it thouching the debate wether it is or is not any man made climate change. I just want to question a particular method. Each time somebody like Jose or Chevy come along and bash my head in and crusify me for being a non-beliver. I am guessing that will be the outcome now aswell, why I choose to be a coward on this one. Thanks Jose and Chevy.

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Pirate

Your article makes no sense whatsoever!

Wow, you contradict yourself, make illogical statements, make statements that you imply are factual when you show no proof. Overall a horribly written article that says nothing and proves nothing. Oh, and just to let you no, you could apply your "logic" to every profession out there and make everything look like a cost that is stealing from other professions basically bringing society to a stand still. Everything costs and whether someone moves from a non-green job to a green job, or another non-green job, costs. So whats your point? You're arguing about something that is always going to be in society regardless of whether there is, was, or will be global warming. Just another smoke screen to blind people from what needs to happen. And you fail to look at the very real costs of doing nothing or not enough, which would far out way doing as much as possible. Stop being pessimistic and look at the problem as an opportunity rather than a road block for society!

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E

I beg to differ

The USA and UK (and Canada and France) all used political methods to build nuclear power industries.

Boeing funded the development (likely still does) of commercial airliners from profits made building military aircraft for the USA gov't, or for export under contracts arranged by the USA gov't.

The USA's semiconductor industry largely arose out of servicing federal government tenders for military hardware - until the PC and such gained mass market appeal in the 80's. The first computers were built for the military to crack Nazi & Imperial Japanese crypto. Hell, even today the biggest single customer for AMD & Intel opteron/xeon processors is the USA national labs building clusters.

Tell me that until the Asians kicked the North American auto makers in the teeth that Autopact was a destroyer of industry and jobs?

One of the things I like about the Reg is it's general lack of jeering & winking political propaganda. This article is one of the infrequent instances that get through.

"Leave aside the absurdity of our (or anyone elses') elected officials being able to create jobs, companies or revenues:..."

This article is pure right wing American-style obscurantism. Every first world (and many 2nd & 3rd) government in the world uses some form of industrial policy to foster targetted sectors for growth.

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Jim

So...

More jobs means more costs, what does an increase in GDP denote? IIRC that means that more money has been made, which in turn means more money has been spent.

It always amuses me when economists forget that it is a net zero game at best. For someone to get richer someone else (or many) has to get poorer. Externalising costs is not the same as reducing costs, even though it may appear so on the balance sheet.

Reducing labour requirements means that there is more labour resource available but there is no gaurentee that this surplus labour will be used, or used in a truly productive way. The Canadian seal hunt and the Japanese whale hunt are fine examples of what happens when you have excess labour resources.

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Stop

Sensationalism from both sides

Whether or not the author of this article is right or whether Gore is right is hard to say from such a short piece. What this does however demonstrate is why the debate on climate change needs to be radically altered.

Pretty much everyone posting here has a firm opinion one way or the other regarding whether climate change is really occurring. Some say yes, some say no, but all have a failry cast iron opinion. Most of the reason for this IMO is the sensationalistic nature of the reporting of climate change. If an article is to make it either onto the 6 o clock news, into a newspaper or even onto the boards of el reg it has to come to some pretty firm conclusions. Unfortunately those just are not possible given current scientific knowledge. We are still at a stage of speaking of "scientific consensus", which a few hundred years ago would have had the world as round.

The only way to form a balanced and fair opinion is to go and read a hell of a lot of scientific journals, various studies on various aspects of the issue and weigh up all the evidence accordingly. Only then are you in a position to form an opinion. Go and read up on the royal society, particularly on their website looking at climate change. The most respected scientific body on earth doesn't have any sensational claims, doesn't come close to claiming to know what is happening and what the consequences will be. It just highlights where the evidence points and suggests a course of action based on the evidence at hand.

Articles such as the one I have just read are necessary in the face of action the likes of which Gore is proposing and undertaking, but it is precisely this kind of article/argument that is rendering the public debate on climate change completely and utterly pointless.

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Uzi
Paris Hilton

How naieve

"How excellent, eh? Supermarkets use fewer resources (for the labour of a human being is most certainly a resource) but get the same job done. Our retail requirements are catered for and instead of five people working to do so, only one is. The other four are able to go off and wipe bottoms and/or cure cancer. We thus get both our groceries and fresh smelling babies (and perhaps that cancer cure will come before my Marlboros kick in). Excellent, we're richer, all of us as a society, by using less labour to complete a task"

Most of the money saved by lower labour costs is pocketed by Supermarkets and their shareholders. The lesser labour requirements means there is lesser demand for labour so the 4 now unemployed workers now have to compete in a more competitive labour market which will suffer from some level of wage depression. That's assuming that the money saved by society in terms of slightly cheaper food is enough to create jobs to make up for the four lost.

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E

@Jim

Since when is economics a zero sum game? That view was discredited with mercantilism.

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E

@Jim 2

Seriously, would you claim that the car industry was an economically bad thing because it put an end to widespread jobs working with horses?

The view that a new industry is bad because it replaces an older one is completely wrongheaded. The new industry may be bigger than the one it replaces, or it may provide same products at reduced cost. Or - think TV or the 'net - it may create wealth via an enterprise that simply did not exist before.

Of course sometimes the replacement does cost jobs (but it's less common than the other case) eg the move to largely recycled steel as part of the global steel supply in the 80's: but that is just capitalism, it was cheaper the recycle the stuff than dig up the ore and smelt it.

The view that for someone to get rich others must be impoverished is utter poppycock. A basic reason that the money supply grows year on year is to maintain liquidity in a market where more new stuff is produced every year. If your claim were true then the money supply would never need change.

Fact of the matter is that the view you express is statist and fundamentally anti-capitalist. If some people want to try to create a green industry, they have the right to do so and established industries have only the right to destroy the green industry by competing better. Half baked economic arguments and political interference to limit the new industry are wrong and contradict the fundamental principle of competition. The new industry will live or die quite well on it's own, on it's own merits.

Also, I don't know anyone who emigrates across Canada to club seals. The seal hunt employs perhaps a few thousand people out of a work force of about 8 or 10 million people, and it is driven by profit... seal pelts are valued by people who like to wear fur. The seal hunt is irrelevant in the overall labour market in Canada. I suspect the same is true of the Japanese hunting whales.

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Stop

You want costs?

Check out the Stern Report, summary here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/6098362.stm

Since the opportunity cost of doing nothing is at least 1% of GDP, you can spend up to that doing something to mitigate that cost.

I see no problem in selling C02 permits to internalise the externalities of the energy market.

A feed-in subsidy for electricity generation, like the Germans, would help the solar markets achieve economies of scale and technological progress more quickly.

Substitution of oil, gas, and coal use for power generation by solar, wind, and reduced consumption (by conservation measures), reducing our dependency on scarce imports is a plus.

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Coat

More jobs?

And what happens to all those millions of jobs once the earth is clean and global warming/whatever has been solved and Al Gore's stopped farting...?

Tired of this crap - going out to drive around in my 4x4 and de-stress.

Mine's the one with the Hummer keys and the Marlboros in the pockets...

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Bronze badge

No

"Seriously, would you claim that the car industry was an economically bad thing because it put an end to widespread jobs working with horses?"

Of course not. Only that the end of those widespread jobs with horses was a cost of the auto industry. As I say in the piece, it may be that it's a cost we're happy to pay, it may be that the benefits of the new technology outweigh those costs.

The point isn't even that a green economy itself is a bad idea. Only that shouting about how many jobs you're going to create is a cost, not a benefit, of such schemes.

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disposable income ...

... will NOT increase, rather the opposite will happen, therefore the question should be: where will all the money come from other than printing new one?

reminds me of the piracy issue: industrie claims losses in the billions, but again, where's the beef?

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Stop

@thank you

Global warming stopped in 1998?

Crap. Even the guy who told the world that there had not been any increase for the last few years said that this counted for nothing - you need to look at the upward trend.

Global warming is here. Global warming is happening. WE are CONTRIBUTING to the rate of change

As long as the nay-sayers have a university at a Texas University to fall back on, nothing will get done.

Its too convenient to say he's talking crap - present an intelligent, reasoned answer - Excel & Shell haven't so far.

Governments create jobs?

Britain had very low levels of unemployment during WW II - what's the problem?

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Bronze badge

A small update

This is a rather funny litte ad that Wecansolveit has just issued.

http://ollysonions.blogspot.com/2008/04/america-fought-them-on-beaches_04.html

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Go

Has anyone at the Adam Smith Insitute read Adam Smith?

Great lobby group articles for The Register. Cool!

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Flame

yeah well

Once he stops taking privte planes to places to tell people to fly less, orders endagered spices as food at privite functions and has a lower power bill than the average wage then he will have a point...until then why does he not just piss off?

Gore is just another of a long line of "do what say not what I do" wankers

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Two sides of the debate

One of the fundamental problems I have with the anti-AGW types is that they are very rarely rational in their views. They continually demonstrate their disdain for people who care about our future, denigrating them as "a-hole"s, "tiresome greens" or "dweebs" who are part of an "unfortunate section of society".

This attitude demonstrates such a lack of a balanced perspective that it ruins any chance of them being taken seriously. Rudeness and an irrational hatred for anyone who disagrees with them are typical characteristics of the neocon right winger who only sees the world from a money-focused perspective, without the ability to appreciate the concept of greater good.

I am reassured to see that the balance of comments to this post so far are from the more educated and concerned side of the debate. Global warming is happening without any doubt at all. I don't think that James Pickett can seriously believe that it ceased in 1998 unless he just hasn't looked into the science at all, but his baseless assertion is very typical of those who try to deny that we have a problem ahead of us.

For the record, 1998 was a particularly hot year, mainly because of an El Nino event. 2008 promises to be a cooler year as a result of the La Nina event that is happening now. These two years are examples of why you cannot take any one year in isolation as evidence of anything. You have to look at the long term trends, and these are clearly heading strongly upwards. It will take a few more years before this is clear again, unfortunately, but this evidence is only part of the picture - what is happening around the world is strong supporting evidence.

It's very easy to stick your head in the sand and pretend that nothing is happening - it means that you can continue to do nothing to modify your lefstyle without so much guilt. But can all of those people who act in this way honestly say that they don't have even a sneaking worry that they may be wrong?

That attitude is almost the definition of the phrase ignorant compacency, and people who proceed in this way should really reflect on whether by not looking into the science (as they clearly cannot have done) they are not betraying any claim to be a rational person.

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Silver badge

Creation of Wealth vs Creation of Jobs

If you look past the inflammatory statements made by the author of this story, he does make a correct point in that "making" jobs has a huge cost that few people figure in. The story also hits on the fact that higher wages does not "create" wealth.

The only way to "create" wealth is through the exploitation of natural resources (oil, gold, grains, etc...) any other scenario means that existing money has just been juggled around or tons of extra cash is being printed (leading to a doomed inflation scenario - i.e. Germany post WWI). This is also why countries with no natural resources stay poor and generally uncivilized forever.

In sticking with the Burger King example: if Tim goes from flipping burgers at $10hr to building cars at $20hr that $10hr difference must be made up for somewhere else in the economy - something must be made more cheaply or someone must be fired, otherwise the system is running a negative balance, which probably won't work for long (see inflation statement above). No amount of new jobs or increased wages will fix a negatively balanced economy - the only solution is to invoke "something-for-nothing" and use naturally occurring resources to create value - more, more, more.

If you wonks don't understand this, then you are doomed anyway. I'm going to lunch.

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Bronze badge

Yes

Has anyone at the Adam Smith Insitute read Adam Smith?

Yes, next?

"The only way to "create" wealth is through the exploitation of natural resources"

Umm, no. It's by adding value to resources.

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Flame

not that there's anything wrong with being "green"...

However, in the big global warming debate, why would Al Gore actually want to pollute the issues with facts? Excuse me for being cynical, but he has a long history of talking out both sides of his enormous face. And if you believe the happy horse crap he's selling, then you're more naive than most. Most of the scientists he's got in his pocket, spouting "irrefutable fact" are working for organizations that have a vested interest in him and his argument being preached as gospel. Had most of those "scientists" been truly objective, Mr. Gore's argument would, at best, been poked full of holes.

I for one believe that it's possible for man to adversely impact the environment, globally, but it's going to take a damn side more than roughly 250 years of serious industrialization and automobiles. The earth is simply more resilient than that. Granted, it's not bullet proof, but it's pretty damn tough.

Mr. Gore is in this simply for the ego and financial gain... Therefore it is my firm belief that if he were to claim otherwise, his nose would grow faster than it takes his private aircraft to suck down a single gallon of fuel.

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Hilarious

@bws

That is the most hilarious argument I've ever seen - that the entire international scientific community is part of some kind of Al Gore funded conspiracy. Did he fund 9/11 and Diana's death too?

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@Tim Worstal

""The only way to "create" wealth is through the exploitation of natural resources"

Umm, no. It's by adding value to resources."

Tim, 'adding value' is how you exploit natural resources. You're just restating his point, not as you imply, refuting it. The language of economics has become another form of jargon that seeks to obscure and obfuscate.

Try writing your articles in clear, concise English so we can follow the logic. This would allow both us and you to critique it and perhaps improve your ideas in the long run.

Which is surely the idea of putting something like this out?

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Silver badge

@Tim Worstal

No, "adding value" to resources only raises the cost, and thusly lowers the value of the workers wage.

As I said in my initial post "any other scenario means that existing money has just been juggled around or tons of extra cash is being printed"

You're one of those funny money jugglers aren't you Tim?

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