Contributed by Michelle Stirling with commentary by Robert Lyman © May 2021
Maclean’s published an article claiming that there would be too many climate action jobs and not enough qualified people, and even if there were enough qualified people, there would be a shortage of housing for them. The Maclean’s op-ed was effusive in its optimism that a zero-emissions drive, EVs, clean-tech, and a decarbonized economy (which is premised on incorporating renewables instead of conventional fossil fuel energy) would bring all kinds of jobs, too many, in fact! Before you rejoice, some sober second thought.
I asked Robert Lyman about the ‘too many jobs’ claim. He wrote the following:
The effects of renewables-driven higher electricity rates have been studied in several European countries. According to a study done at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Spain provided subsidies of more than one million euros per job in the wind industry, and the resulting high electricity rates destroyed 2.2 jobs for every green job created. Manual Frondel of the Rheinisch-Westfalisches Institute found that Germany provided per-worker subsidies to producers of photovoltaics as high as 175,000 euros (CDN $245,000). CEPOS, a Danish think tank, found that Denmark’s renewable energy subsidies raised electricity rates there to the highest in Europe. They also shifted employment from more productive work in other sectors to less productive work in the wind industry. In the United Kingdom, a study by Verso Economics found that for every job created in renewable energy, 3.7 jobs were lost in other sectors. In short, experience in other countries indicates that policies that divert money from the general economy to subsidize renewable energy result in lower value employment in the “Clean Tech” industries, disproportionate loss of employment and income in the broader economy, and higher costs for consumers.
The “Environmental and Clean Technology Products Account” of industrial activities, as defined by Statistics Canada, in 2019 included virtually every part of the economy that was in any way related to reducing environmental impacts of economic activity, whether that be in the provision of goods or services. Thus, for example, the largest share of income and employment was in Waste Management services and “sale of energy efficiency technologies” like installing insulation. This entire account provided 341,000 jobs in what is undoubtedly the most heavily subsidized part of the Canadian economy. That’s about 1.7% of Canadian employment. Big deal.
It is notable that the contributing authors of the Maclean’s article are both from the Smart Prosperity Institute. Former international bank Parker Gallant has some insights on Smart Prosperity in this post: “The Lourie Butts Team Returns and Strives to Be “Resilient”.
Parker also notes that: “The bulk of funders of the Smart Prosperity Institute are Federal and Provincial Ministries using taxpayer dollars as well as several charitable foundations, such as Tides Canada who support “global warming” theories.”
In 2017, Friends of Science Society challenged the claims of Smart Properity’s report “Accelerating Clean Innovation in Canada” with our report “Grounded in Reality”.
In 2018, Robert Lyman wrote “The Clean Growth Hallucination”.
In 2016, Robert Lyman wrote “Green Jobs – Rhetoric or Reality?”
In the fall of 2020, we issued a two part report “Penury or Prosperity? What is Canada’s Future?” rebutting the “Task Force for a Resilient Recovery – Five Bold Moves”.
As for the claim that climate action will require more access to affordable housing, Canadians should be asking questions about how that is possible. NetZero policies will push home-ownership beyond the reach of most Canadians as shown in Robert Lyman’s “Forget the Dream House – How Net Zero Building Codes May Place Home Ownership Beyond Reach”. Not to mention, NetZero 2050 and Bill C-12 policies, along with the Clean Fuel Standard will lead to double or triple the cost for gasoline and diesel, so living in the cheaper suburbs and driving to work will not be an affordable option either.
Canadians are being subjected to Cruel and Unusual Punishment by a government that is actively funding clean-tech and climate propaganda with taxpayer’s money, then promising you a tiny carbon tax rebate as a bribe, while destroying Canada’s economy and standard of living. Is this the future you want?