In the future, the only jobs left will be green. Last year, the NY Times reported, “In the energy sector alone, the deployment of new technologies, like wind and solar power, has the potential to support 20 million jobs by 2030 and trillions of dollars in revenue, analysts estimate.”
Averting catastrophic climate change will generate far more jobs by 2050, as we must deploy more than 10,000 GW of clean energy (see here). Failing to avert catastrophic climate change will probably generate more jobs, especially post-2030, since we still have to make the transition off fossil fuels, but on top of that we will have to have to make probably 10 times as much investment in sea walls, levees, relocating people and cities, and the like (see Real adaptation is as politically tough as real mitigation, but much more expensive and not as effective in reducing future misery).
The inevitable transition to a low carbon, low-fossil-fuel, water- and resource-efficient economy is apparently lost on many in the media. We expect confusion and misinformation on this point from the right wing media (see Conservative Media Inanely Declare Solar Power ‘Doesn’t Work’). It is surprising, though, when even NPR runs the headline, “Is Obama’s Bet On Green Jobs Risky?”
In fact, the only “risky” move is failing to aggressively pursue clean energy, failing to quickly reduce dependence on petroleum before peak oil forces us too, and failing to embrace a sustainable economy before the global Ponzi scheme collapses.
NPR and many other media outlets have confused the (very high) risks inherent in investing in any single company with the (super-low) risks of placing a large bet across the full portfolio of green tech, as I discuss here.
The rest of this post imagines Labor Day a couple of decades from now, updating an earlier piece, “When the global Ponzi scheme collapses (circa 2030), the only jobs left will be green.”