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Amanda Page-Hoongrajok, Shouvik Chakraborty, Robert Pollin have developed a green growth plan for Costa Rica that would eliminate demand for fossil fuels, creat good jobs, reduce energy costs and give back local control of the economy. “In its essentials, our green growth plan consists of two elements: large-scale annual investments in both energy efficiency and clean renewable energy. Through these investments, low-cost, domestically-produced clean energy will steadily supplant imported fossil fuels, with the target being that by 2050, clean energy sources will have replaced fossil fuels entirely in Puerto Rico. This green growth program is capable of delivering much lower energy costs on the island, while also steadily reducing, and finally eliminating altogether, its dependence on fossil fuel imports. The green growth program will also be a major new source of job opportunities and will create widespread opportunities for small-scale ownership forms to flourish within the island’s energy sector. Major debt write-downs will be necessary to enable the green growth program to move forward at a significant scale.”
Mariana Mazzucato, Professor of the Economics of Innovation at the Science Policy Research Unit of the University of Sussex and author of The Entrepreneurial State: debunking public vs. private sector myths, has made a passionate case for the government’s active role in the economy —sending the old laissez faire notion that markets can run themselves into the dustbin where it belongs. In a new book co-edited with Michael Jacobs, Rethinking Capitalism: Economics and Policy for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth, she offers a bold new vision for contemporary capitalism that works for the people and the planet. What chance does this vision have in the age of Trump and Brexit? Mazzucato shares her view in this interview with Lynn Parramore
“If we want growth today to be more innovation-driven, more inclusive and more sustainable, then we need a more active state — not a less active one. Yet we still hear the dogma that we should just fix market failure by focusing on science and infrastructure, and to ‘level the playing field.’”
An interview from The Real News Network with Heidi Garrett-Peltier on why more and better jobs will come from transitioning NOW to clean energy
“when we look at the economy as a whole, the transition to clean energy creates many more jobs in renewable energy industries and energy efficiency industries and all of the supply chain that goes into those industries. So many more jobs are created than the number of jobs that are lost in fossil fuels but that doesnt mean that there arent potential hardships for the people in the communities that are dependent on fossil fuel employment. So, one of the things that were actually working on here at the research institute, at PERI, is that the concept of a just transition. So what does it mean for people and communities who are dependent on fossil fuels for their living, for their livelihoods. For some it means retraining and having enough funding from the federal government to provide retaining especially for people who are earlier in their careers. For people who are later in their careers and closer to retirement age, it might mean an earlier retirement. But there are implications for specific individuals and communities. But the other thing to keep in mind is that clean energy jobs can be created in many different communities. So there are specific renewable energies that need to be in places where there is more sunlight or more wind. But if we think about something like weatherizing homes or making commercial buildings more energy efficient, those kinds of instillation, construction jobs and the manufacturing jobs creating those energy efficient technologies and renewable energy technologies, those can be situated anywhere. So if we are thinking of this really holistically in terms of where the clean energy industry as a whole is going and we think specifically about the impacts on communities that stand to lose jobs, we can stand to lose some of these manufacturing plants in those communities and also the weatherization and energy efficiency sort of where it will happen economy wide in all communities since there are building everywhere that are inefficient. So that offsets some of the job loss. ”
Heidi Garrett-Peltier holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and works as an assistant research professor for Political Economy Research Institute (PERI). Her research focuses on the employment impacts of public and private investments, particularly in the realm of clean-energy programs. Heidi has written and contributed to a number of reports on the clean energy economy (see Recent publications, below). She has also written about the employment effects of defense spending with co-author Robert Pollin, consulted with the U.S. Department of Energy on federal energy programs and is an active member of the Center for Popular Economics.
If our national Government was to spend more than the currently budgeted amount on your health care system next year, it would be good to know how they would finance that spending. It is a question…
Tis wisely said, “you can take a horse to water but you cannot make it drink”. In the absence of growing demand for their products, there is no reason to expect that business will respond to a tax cut by investing in expanded productive capacity. Any additional after-tax profit is just as likely to be used for buying residential real estate – precisely what an already speculation-prone economy and society does not need!…
The government’s so-called ‘economic plan’ does not stand up to critical scrutiny. It looks particularly ill-suited to the economic conditions that the nation faces in the aftermath of the local mining boom and the continuing financial instability on a global scale. There is little ‘on the table’ that provides an affective antidote or alternative. Rather, we are being offered continuity in the form of ‘trickle-down economics’. This is the belief that giving wealthy people even more income will eventually benefit everyone. It is a self-serving elite ideology, rather than sound economics. It was deeply embedded in the policies of US President Ronald Reagan, for example, emphasising tax cuts for the wealthy as a means of creating more incentives for wealth-creating private enterprise. Reaganomics caused both economic inequality and the budget deficit to surge. Are we doomed to re-run this failed policy?
The Coalition’s oft-restated commitment to ‘jobs and growth’ is an Abbott-style three word slogan, hitched to a give-away to the big end of town in the form of business tax cuts and some assorted policies that intensify economic inequalities. When the promised surge in ‘jobs and growth’ fails to materialise, the government will have three options: (1) abandon any claims about its capacity to undertake ‘budget repair’, (2) engage in big cuts to social services, health and education in the attempt to get the government budget back into surplus, and/or (3) raise the rate of taxation on goods and services (GST).
No-one knows for sure what the future will bring, but it is hard to take the government’s ‘economic plan’ seriously without also mentioning the tooth fairy or the prospect that pigs might fly…
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Mainstream economics is terrible at understanding the reality of human behaviour. Now, even the respected thinker Paul Romer is calling for change says Paul Mason
Romer’s huge mea culpa on behalf of mainstream economics is a sign that, after a decade-long hunt for trolls and gremlins as the cause of crisis, academia now has to begin the search for the cause of instablity inside the system, not outside it. My hunch is that the answer lies in large, agent-based simulations, in which millions of virtual people take random decisions driven by irrational urges – such as sex and altruism – not just the pursuit of wealth
Solar and wind energy projects can put people to work without imperiling the planet. But will these jobs be friendly to workers, as well as the environment?
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the United Steelworkers (USW) want to ensure that unions have a place in the emerging low-carbon economy. After decades of organizing workers in the fossil-fuel-intensive mining, refinery and utility sectors, they see the winds shifting. Refineries and coal plants are shutting down and taking jobs with them, thanks to a combination of market forces and new climate policies enacted after years of public pressure. Last year, the number of jobs in oil and gas fell by 18 percent, while those in renewables increased by 6 percent.
While this is good news for the environment, it could cut into unions’ membership. In response, they’re launching campaigns to organize workers in the clean energy sector.