What’s green, employs ten times as many people as the “fossil fuel industry” and fake?

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From WUWT

What’s green, employs ten times as many people as the “fossil fuel industry” and fake? The “green economy“.

Hat tip to Kevin McNeill…

US green economy has 10 times as many jobs as the fossil fuel industry

ENVIRONMENT 15 October 2019
By Adam Vaughan

The green economy has grown so much in the US that it employs around 10 times as many people as the fossil fuel industry – despite the past decade’s oil and gas boom.

The fossil fuel sector, from coal mines to gas power plants, employed around 900,000 people in the US in 2015-16, government figures show. But Lucien Georgeson and Mark Maslin at University College London found that over the same period this was vastly outweighed by the green economy, which provided nearly 9.5 million jobs, or 4 per cent of the working age population. The pair defined the green economy broadly, covering everything from renewable energy to environmental consultancy.

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The “Productivity Of Debt” Myth

By Steve Saville – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

Page 4 in Hoisington Investment Management’s latest Quarterly Review and Outlook contains a discussion about the falling productivity of debt problem. According to Hoisington and many other analysts, the problem is encapsulated by the falling trend in the amount of GDP generated by each additional dollar of debt, or, looking from a different angle, by the rising trend in the amount of additional debt required to generate an additional unit of GDP. However, there are some serious flaws in the “Productivity of Debt” concept.

There are three big problems with the whole “it takes X$ of debt to generate Y$ of GDP” concept, the first being that GDP is not a good indicator of the economy’s size or progress.

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Modern Agricultural Miracle

By Steve Goreham – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Agriculture is under attack. Environmentalists label modern farming as unsustainable, blaming farming for polluting the planet and destroying the climate. But today’s food is abundant and nutritious—a modern agricultural miracle.

 

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Tocqueville The Productivity Myth

By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

Every now and then, there’s a rash of commentary on national productivity. And for the British, productivity is all part of the Brexit angst, with the OECD, the Treasury, the Bank of England and Remainers all saying the average Brit’s poor productivity just goes to show how much they need the certain comfort of being in the EU. As Hilaire Belloc put it, we must hold on to nurse, for fear of something worse.

Only this week, the OECD came out with a paper repeating its disproved nonsense about the economic consequences of Brexit, even recommending Britain should hold a second referendum to reverse the Brexit decision. To back up its analysis it claimed Britain’s labour productivity is at a standstill, while that of France, Germany the United States and the OECD averages are all improving.

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An Empire Self-Destructs

By Jeff Thomas – Re-Blogged From International Man

Empires are built through the creation or acquisition of wealth. The Roman Empire came about through the productivity of its people and its subsequent acquisition of wealth from those that it invaded. The Spanish Empire began with productivity and expanded through the use of its large armada of ships, looting the New World of its gold. The British Empire began through localized productivity and grew through its creation of colonies worldwide—colonies that it exploited, bringing the wealth back to England to make it the wealthiest country in the world.

In the Victorian Age, we Brits were proud to say, “There will always be an England,” and “The sun never sets on the British Empire.” So, where did we go wrong? Why are we no longer the world’s foremost empire? Why have we lost not only the majority of our colonies, but also the majority of our wealth?

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Can Trump Get 3 Percent Growth?

By Peter Morici – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

President Donald Trump’s economic team paints a rosier picture about what his policies could accomplish than the economics profession is willing to endorse.

His team is formulating budget and tax proposals that project 3 percent annual growth, while the number crunchers at the Congressional Budget Office estimate only 1.9 percent.

How fast the economy can grow comes down to the simple sum of likely worker productivity and labor force growth. Since the financial crisis, productivity has advanced about 1 percent a year, as compared to the 2 percent in prior decades.

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What NPR Misses About Energy Jobs In America

[There seem to be a difference of opinion on the purpose of energy production. – Bob]

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

NPR_Energy

In 2008, candidate Barack Obama ran an ad with this opening line: “The hands that built this nation can build a new economy. The hands that harvest crops can also harvest the wind.”

And then it showed men working on roofs: “The hands that install roofs can also install solar panels.”

The ad was directed at a group Obama was acutely aware he had to win over — white, working-class men. A quarter of those same men deserted Democrats in 2016, according to a New York Times analysis, and voted either for Donald Trump or a third-party candidate.

On Tuesday, President Trump is trying to start making good on his promises to many of those same white men — coal workers. The Trump administration is doing an about-face on President Obama’s climate and environmental policies. The president signed an executive order with a goal of taking restraints off businesses and boosting the coal industry.

“He made a pledge to the coal industry, and he’s going to do whatever he can to help those workers,” a senior administrative official said Monday ahead of the executive order’s signing.

Speaking at the Environmental Protection Agency headquarters, Trump said a “new era” in energy production is starting Tuesday.

Surrounded by about a dozen coal miners, he said, per NPR’s Jennifer Ludden, “You’re going back to work.” He pledged to “end the war on coal and have clean coal, really clean coal.”

But there are problems with both Trump’s nostalgic Make America Great Again coal promises and Obama’s radical vision for a reshaped economy.

Trump’s ignores the reality of a changing energy industry. Solar jobs, for example, have taken off over the past decade. The Obama administration tried hard to incentivize clean energy (so much so that it got caught up in the Solyndra scandal. The head of Solyndra was an Obama campaign bundler. Obama visited the company and touted it. His administration incentivized companies like it. In 2011, the government helped Solyndra refinance, but just months later, the company failed).

But solar now accounts for some 260,000 energy jobs in the country, the majority of which are held by installers. That’s almost four times the number of coal industry jobs, about 70,000, as of May 2015, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And that industry has been on a steady and steep decline over the past 30 years…

[…]

In the energy industry, solar is outpaced only by the oil industry, according to a major report by the Solar Foundation. And solar’s gotten cheaper to produce (despite Trump’s proclamations during the campaign that he loves solar except that it’s expensive).

[…]

NPR

Why do journalists, environmentalists and liberals (redundant, I know) confuse energy production with jobs programs?  The only way an economy can successfully grow in a healthy, robust manner is through increasing productivity.

What is ‘Productivity’

Productivity is an economic measure of output per unit of input. Inputs include labor and capital, while output is typically measured in revenues and other gross domestic product (GDP) components such as business inventories. Productivity measures may be examined collectively (across the whole economy) or viewed industry by industry to examine trends in labor growth, wage levels and technological improvement.

BREAKING DOWN ‘Productivity’

Productivity gains are vital to the economy, as they mean that more is being accomplished with less. Capital and labor are both scarce resources, so maximizing their impact is a core concern of modern business. Productivity enhancements come from technology advances, such as computers and the internet, supply chain and logistics improvements, and increased skill levels within the workforce.

Read more: Productivity Definition | Investopediahttp://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/productivity.asp#ixzz4cooRyEry
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Putting coal miners back to work will be a byproduct of increased coal production, not the purpose of it.

Here is a plot of U.S. energy production from oil & gas, coal, wind and solar power in million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe).

MTOE

Source: BP 2016 Statistical Review of World Energy

I used the production numbers for oil & gas and coal rather than the consumption numbers because U.S. fossil fuel employees don’t produce imported fossil fuels.  I used the consumption numbers for wind and solar because those were the only numbers (we don’t import or store wind and solar power).  I added oil and gas together because its the same group of employees who produce the oil and the gas.

Here is a plot of Mtoe per thousand employees:

MTOEperEmployee

Sources: BP 2016 Statistical Review of World Energy, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (via FRED), The Solar Foundation and American Wind Energy Association.

Which energy employees are the most productive?

Even if I added in midstream and downstream fossil fuel-related employees, they would still be an order of magnitude more productive than wind energy employees and two orders of magnitude more productive than solar energy employees.

References

American Wind Energy Association

BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2016

The Solar Foundation

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, All Employees: Mining and Logging: Coal Mining [CEU1021210001], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/CEU1021210001, March 29, 2017.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, All Employees: Mining and Logging: Oil and Gas Extraction [CES1021100001], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/CES1021100001, March 29, 2017.

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Perilous Government Finances

By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

President-elect Trump stated in his victory speech that he intends to make America great again by infrastructure spending. Unfortunately, he is unlikely to have the room for manoeuvre to achieve this ambition as well as his intended tax cuts, because the Government’s finances are already in a perilous state.

It is also becoming increasingly likely that the next fiscal year will be characterised by growing price inflation and belated increases in interest rates, against a background of rising raw material prices. That being the case, public finances are not only already fragile, but they are likely to become more so from now on, without any extra spending on infrastructure or fiscal stimulus. So far, most informed commentaries on the prospects for inflation have concentrated on the negative effects of an expansionary monetary policy on the private sector. With the pending appointment of a new President with ideas of his own, this article turns our attention to the effects on government finances.

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Is Weak Productivity to Blame for Sluggish Consumer Spending?

By Frank Holmes – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

One of the highlights of last week’s MoneyShow in Dallas was listening to American economist Art Laffer, whose “Laffer curve” shows that the government can actually bring in more revenue if tax rates are kept low. Art’s theory was used as the basis for President Ronald Reagan’s free-trade, low-tax policies. Later, Art actually supported Bill Clinton because he was willing to streamline taxes and regulations.

The same cannot, I’m afraid, be said of his wife Hillary, who plans to raise taxes at nearly every level.

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Unraveling The Secular Stagnation Story

By Steven H Hanke – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

Secular stagnation is said to be present when economic growth is negligible or nonexistent over a considerable span of time. Today, secular stagnation has become a popular mantra of the chattering classes, particularly in the United States. The idea is not new, however.

Alvin Hansen, an early and prominent Keynesian economist at Harvard University, popularized the notion of secular stagnation in the 1930s. In his presidential address to the American Economic Association in 1938, he asserted that the U.S. was a mature economy that was stuck in a rut. Hansen reasoned that technological innovations had come to an end; that the great American frontier (read: natural resources) was closed; and that population growth was stagnating. So, according to Hansen, investment opportunities would be scarce, and there would be nothing ahead except secular economic stagnation. The only way out was more government spending. It would be used to boost investment via public works projects. For Hansen and the Keynesians of that era, stagnation was a symptom of market failure, and the antidote was government largesse.

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Central Banks Are Choking Productivity

By Peter Schiff – Re-Blogged From Euro Pacific Capital

If the Economy were a car, productivity would be the engine. Heated seats, on-demand 4-wheel drive and light-sensitive tinted windshields, are all very nice. But they mean little if the engine doesn’t turn and the car just sits in the driveway. The latest productivity data from the Commerce Department confirms that our economic engine is sputtering.

If you strip away all the bells and whistles of economic analysis, the simple truth is that the increased living standards that have taken us from the stone age to the digital age happened because we increased our productivity. Better plows, windmills, bulldozers, factories and, more recently, better software, technology and automation, have allowed economies to produce more output with less human effort. This means there are more goods and services for more people to share and workers can work less to acquire those goodies. When productivity stops increasing, no amount of financial gimmickry can compensate.

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The Single Most Important Thing About the US Economy Sure Looks Broken

By James Pethokoukis – Re-Blogged From the American Enterprise Institute

US productivity in the second quarter grew at the fastest pace since the end of 2013, according to revised government figures. This is good. But if you pull back the camera, longer-term productivity growth remains terribly worrisome. IHS Global Insight:

This update does not change the underlying story. Productivity growth remains low. The slowdown started about 10 years ago. The Great Recession muddied the data, making it difficult to tell whether the slowdown was a byproduct of the business cycle or something fundamental. In recent years, it has become clear that something was fundamentally off.

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