Unsustainable Green Jobs

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

Apparently even college campuses aren’t providing green jobs anymore. A survey by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (Aashe) “showed that creation of new sustainability positions peaked in 2008, then dropped 31 percent in 2009,” Dave Newport reported in The Chronicle of Higher Education on April 6, 2012.

Newport directs the Environmental Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder. That actually might be a better record than the Obama Administration has amassed in its much-touted—at least by administration officials—green jobs program.

The Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (ETA) found that “ETA and grantees have reported achieving limited performance targets for serving and placing workers.”

“Grantees have reported serving 52,762 (42 percent) of the targeted 124,893 participants with 61 percent of training grant periods having elapsed and have reported placing 8,035 participants (10 percent) into employment out of the target of 79,854 participants. The rates at which grantees are achieving their performance goals have been increasing. However, with 61 percent of the training grant periods elapsed and only 10 percent of participants entered employment, there is no evidence that grantees will effectively use the funds and deliver targeted employment outcomes by the end of the grant periods.”

As you might expect, hope and change has a longer shelf life on campus, despite mounting evidence that it might be misplaced. Newport notes that “Aashe, has tracked remarkable growth in campus-sustainability programs—the group’s membership has gone from a handful of campuses in 2006 to about 1,000 today. The American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, a landmark carbon-neutrality effort, has committed almost 700 college presidents to zeroing out greenhouse-gas emissions and increasing climate-literacy efforts.”

They might consider increasing “climate-literacy efforts” by looking at the failures of environmentalism at home and abroad. “The British government, although not yet ready to say so, has finally rejected the bogus economics of climate change or, more likely, it always knew the figures didn’t add up but is now desperate for the internationally competitive cheap energy needed to keep our industrial base from wholesale emigration,” Dominic Lawson wrote in The Sunday Times on April 1, 2012.

“The lack of warming for more than a decade—indeed, the smaller-than-predicted warming over the 22 years since the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) began issuing projections—suggests that computer models have greatly exaggerated how much warming additional CO2 can cause,” 16 scientists noted in a letter which appeared in The Wall Street Journal. “Faced with this embarrassment, those promoting alarm have shifted their drumbeat from warming to weather extremes, to enable anything unusual that happens in our chaotic climate to be ascribed to CO2.”

Campus environmentalists may have another option: Thought control. “Resistance at individual and societal levels must be recognized before real action can be taken to effectively address threats facing the planet from human-caused contributions to climate change,” the University of Oregon states. “That’s the message to this week’s Planet Under Pressure Conference by a group of speakers led by Kari Marie Norgaard, professor of sociology and environmental studies at the University of Oregon.”

Well, at least she has a green job.

Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia.

If you would like to comment on this article, e-mail mal.kline@academia.org.

 

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