By Tuan Nguyen
Posting in Cities
A new report suggests that the green economy hasn't quite materialized as the panacea many had hoped.
When President Barack Obama and his fellow democrats swept into office, they did so under the banner of job creation, specifically touting green jobs as the way forward.
It appeared, at the time, like the perfect win-win kill -two-birds-with one stone answer to some of the nation's most pressing problems. The economy was reeling. Climate change was becoming an ever dire situation. And soaring gas prices was again setting the stage for a renewed call for America to wean off of foreign oil.
It's nearly four years later and a new report entitled "Sizing the Clean Economy," issued by the Brookings Institute, a non-partisan think tank, suggests that the green economy hasn't quite materialized as the panacea many had hoped. In 2010, the industry added 2.7 million jobs in the fields of wind, solar and hydro-electric power and other related sectors that confers benefits to the environment. And since 2003, the green economy has grown at a rate of 3.4 percent, a tad lower than the nation's overall 4.2 percent growth rate.
Despite these sobering numbers, the report revealed that the sector was making major strides. It's one of the fastest growing economies, outpacing even fossil fuels (2.4 million jobs).
But where are these green jobs? To answer this question, the institute has generated an interactive map that displays the relative growth of jobs throughout various geographic areas in the U.S. You can peruse how many green jobs were added by city, state or by specific sectors like renewable energy. The dark green regions designate the top performing cities and states.
Take a look at the map at http://www.brookings.edu/metro/Clean_Economy/Map.aspx and tell me how well is your city doing?
More interactive maps and graphics:
- Infographic: Map reveals which forests store the most carbon
- Infographic: Just how safe is your neighborhood?
- Infographic: Which American cities are most vulnerable to natural disasters?
- Infographic: Interactive map shows nuclear disaster hotspots
- Infographic: What is the water footprint in the U.S.?
- Infographic: Where HIV cases are most prevalent
More green tech:
- New York City’s trash problem to get solar-powered fix
- New battery can recharge itself using sunlight
- New invention turns building rooftops into wind farms
- Wind power’s future may soar with flying wind turbine
- Waste not: new tech taps energy from urine
- California highways may soon produce their own power
Jul 14, 2011
Even the President's first "green jobs" czar was unable or unwilling to define exactly what a "green job" was. Sure, it's easy to say that a guy who installs solar panels is. But how about the truck driver who delivers them? The secretary who dispatches the truck? The bureaucrat who processes the paperwork for the permits? The lobbyist working for more tax breaks?
Massachusetts could not have added between 53,000 and 94,000 green jobs in 2010 as all private business sectors combined added only 55,000 jobs in 2010. I can assure you 53,000 of those were not green jobs as the largest green employer in the state, Evergreen Solar, closed it's production line in 2010 taking 500 jobs with it to China.
I agree with that statement, John...the Brookings Institute even describes it without certainty: **The green or clean or low-carbon economydefined as the sector of the economy that produces goods and services with an environmental benefit remains at once a compelling aspiration and an enigma.** Until this is defined and outlined, the infographic is meaningless. On a side note, I find it hard to believe that Cleveland, Ohio has more "green" jobs than, say, Seattle...based on their graphic, filtered to show share of "green collar" jobs.