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Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt had a genuine howler the other day. On NBC’s Meet the Press, he said, “Since the fourth quarter of last year until most recently, we’ve added almost 50,000 jobs in the coal sector. In the month of May alone, almost 7,000 jobs.” Try instead maybe 1,000 jobs in the first four months of the Trump administration. And just to be accurate, let’s add a few more numbers to the mix. According to Department of Energy figures, the coal industry, which has been losing jobs for years, now has about 54,000 mining jobs and employs about 160,000 people in total. To put that in context, solar power alone now employs 373,000 people part- or full-time in this country and yet represents only a small part of U.S. energy output, though it’s growing fast.

A recent Sierra Club analysis of Energy Department job figures found that “nationally, clean energy jobs outnumber all fossil fuel jobs by over 2.5 to 1, and exceed all jobs in coal and gas by 5 to 1.” In addition, on surveying the country’s energy employment figures, on a state-by-state basis, the report found that “41 states and Washington, D.C. (80% of the total) have more clean energy jobs than fossil fuel jobs from all sources.” In addition, according to a report from the Environmental Defense Fund’s Climate Corps program, “solar and wind jobs are growing at a rate 12 times as fast as the rest of the U.S. economy.”

And as TomDispatch regular Michael Klare points out today, this is the sector of the energy economy that Donald Trump, the self-styled “jobs president” (“I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created”), essentially wants to shut down. In other words, he’s ready to leave what could be one of the biggest job-generation machines on the planet — renewable energy already employs an estimated 8.1 million people globally — to the Chinese, the Germans, and other increasingly green-oriented countries. In this context, consider Klare’s analysis of what a Trumpian new world order, organized around his own fossil fuel fixation, might look like and what it might mean for us all.

(Republished from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Donald Trump, Environment 
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  1. bob sykes says:

    What the Sierra Club analysis does is to emphasize just how unproductive of energy the clean energy jobs are and just how productive coal workers are. If the rest of the economy were as unproductive as clean energy workers, we would still be living in the Middle Ages.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Rurik
    the Sierra Club have as much credibility as Bernie Madoff (only less if that's possible)

    in fact is was a financier just like Bernie Madoff that bribed the corrupt leadership of the Sierra Club with millions of shekels to never again mention the damage done to (especially the future) environment by human over-population. Because virtually all the increases in sheer human numbers that are devastating the N. American environment are coming from super-profligate third world immigrants. And as soon as some actual environmentalist at the formerly honorable Sierra Club [David Brower, God rest his soul] figured out that massive third world immigration was going to be a catastrophe for the environment..

    ~ DUH ~

    all it took was for a Marxist ((millionaire)) to write a check for $100 million shekels for the now completely corrupt Sierra Club to never again mention over-population as it effects the environment, and these scum took the money and betrayed everything they ever stood for.

    may they all rot in hell

    https://www.noozhawk.com/article/021712_joe_guzzardi_sierra_club

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  2. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    This analysis does not introduce the factor of nuclear power. Advanced nuclear plants such as Molten Salt Reactors are simpler, cheaper, and safer. Mr. Sykes is correct concerning the productivity of coal workers, but because of the huge difference in energy density of the two fuels (uranium or thorium vs coal), nuclear workers are by far the most productive.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sunbeam
    "This analysis does not introduce the factor of nuclear power. Advanced nuclear plants such as Molten Salt Reactors are simpler, cheaper, and safer. Mr. Sykes is correct concerning the productivity of coal workers, but because of the huge difference in energy density of the two fuels (uranium or thorium vs coal), nuclear workers are by far the most productive."

    NO, just NO.

    Nothing against nuclear power on ideology grounds. And while it's a little deep to go into here, what you are saying is practical - in theory.

    But what theory says, and what practice has been since 51 or 52 (whenever Shippingsport started up) has been very disappointing.

    After all this time we appear to be no further along in reprocessing "spent" (well slightly spent fuel) after one go through a reactor. That is almost totally meaningless in terms of decades, let alone centuries.

    There is a lot of uranium (let alone thorium) on the earth. Only thing is a lot of it is in the core of the planet, or dissolved in seawater. Meaning that if you use the present model of reactors that use enriched uranium, deplete a few percent (at most) of the available uranium in a fuel rod, and the "spent fuel" is totally useless thereafter and has to be stored for a long, long time, including some very dangerous and pernicious decay products that have equally problematic half-lives...

    There's really isn't enough readily accessible ore to be anything more than a toy for a century at most.

    Molten Salt Reactors (MSR's) solve a lot of the present problems with nuclear power. But show me a working one, show me one that is scaleable for mass production, and show me how waste is disposed of. I want everything detailed. It's been a while, but it wouldn't surprise me if there was a possible MSR that could handle thorium. BUT SHOW ME ONE FIRST that can operate safely and reliably without heat exchangers getting totally clogged by ultra corrosive molten salts.

    Feel utterly free to build prototypes, do research. But no implementation until you do that.

    No more "Let's build one, how hard can the other problems be?" Seemed like a good idea in the 50's. But like I said WE SEEM TO KNOW NO MORE about how to recycle fuel after 60 years and lots of research money than we did then. Transuranic chemistry must be a mo-fo.

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  3. Rurik says:
    @bob sykes
    What the Sierra Club analysis does is to emphasize just how unproductive of energy the clean energy jobs are and just how productive coal workers are. If the rest of the economy were as unproductive as clean energy workers, we would still be living in the Middle Ages.

    the Sierra Club have as much credibility as Bernie Madoff (only less if that’s possible)

    in fact is was a financier just like Bernie Madoff that bribed the corrupt leadership of the Sierra Club with millions of shekels to never again mention the damage done to (especially the future) environment by human over-population. Because virtually all the increases in sheer human numbers that are devastating the N. American environment are coming from super-profligate third world immigrants. And as soon as some actual environmentalist at the formerly honorable Sierra Club [David Brower, God rest his soul] figured out that massive third world immigration was going to be a catastrophe for the environment..

    ~ DUH ~

    all it took was for a Marxist ((millionaire)) to write a check for $100 million shekels for the now completely corrupt Sierra Club to never again mention over-population as it effects the environment, and these scum took the money and betrayed everything they ever stood for.

    may they all rot in hell

    https://www.noozhawk.com/article/021712_joe_guzzardi_sierra_club

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  4. Sunbeam says:
    @Anon
    This analysis does not introduce the factor of nuclear power. Advanced nuclear plants such as Molten Salt Reactors are simpler, cheaper, and safer. Mr. Sykes is correct concerning the productivity of coal workers, but because of the huge difference in energy density of the two fuels (uranium or thorium vs coal), nuclear workers are by far the most productive.

    “This analysis does not introduce the factor of nuclear power. Advanced nuclear plants such as Molten Salt Reactors are simpler, cheaper, and safer. Mr. Sykes is correct concerning the productivity of coal workers, but because of the huge difference in energy density of the two fuels (uranium or thorium vs coal), nuclear workers are by far the most productive.”

    NO, just NO.

    Nothing against nuclear power on ideology grounds. And while it’s a little deep to go into here, what you are saying is practical – in theory.

    But what theory says, and what practice has been since 51 or 52 (whenever Shippingsport started up) has been very disappointing.

    After all this time we appear to be no further along in reprocessing “spent” (well slightly spent fuel) after one go through a reactor. That is almost totally meaningless in terms of decades, let alone centuries.

    There is a lot of uranium (let alone thorium) on the earth. Only thing is a lot of it is in the core of the planet, or dissolved in seawater. Meaning that if you use the present model of reactors that use enriched uranium, deplete a few percent (at most) of the available uranium in a fuel rod, and the “spent fuel” is totally useless thereafter and has to be stored for a long, long time, including some very dangerous and pernicious decay products that have equally problematic half-lives…

    There’s really isn’t enough readily accessible ore to be anything more than a toy for a century at most.

    Molten Salt Reactors (MSR’s) solve a lot of the present problems with nuclear power. But show me a working one, show me one that is scaleable for mass production, and show me how waste is disposed of. I want everything detailed. It’s been a while, but it wouldn’t surprise me if there was a possible MSR that could handle thorium. BUT SHOW ME ONE FIRST that can operate safely and reliably without heat exchangers getting totally clogged by ultra corrosive molten salts.

    Feel utterly free to build prototypes, do research. But no implementation until you do that.

    No more “Let’s build one, how hard can the other problems be?” Seemed like a good idea in the 50′s. But like I said WE SEEM TO KNOW NO MORE about how to recycle fuel after 60 years and lots of research money than we did then. Transuranic chemistry must be a mo-fo.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
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