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Weekly John Locke Foundation research division newsletter focusing on environmental issues.

The newsletter highlights relevant analysis done by the JLF and other think tanks as well as items in the news.

1. You may have a "green job" and not know it

Did you know that workers at steel mills that use scrap metal (something that steel mills have been doing for generations), school bus drivers, trash collectors, and paper mill workers are all counted in the Obama administration’s propaganda on how many "green jobs" the economy has? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, green jobs are held by those who produce "green goods and services." And what are these, you might ask. Well these are goods and services "that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources," Given this incredibly broad definition I’m actually kind of surprised that they could only come with 3.1 million. Conserve natural resources? As opposed to what? Use them in unlimited quantities?  Of course every business conserves resources. That’s what it means to reduce costs and maximize profits.

A new study by the Heritage Foundation notes that:

The definition is so broad as to include trash collectors, bus drivers, Salvation Army employees, op-ed writers, and most of the employees in steel mills. The loose definition makes the green jobs total useless for measuring the impact of green jobs policies…so many of the green jobs identified in the BLS study have nothing to do with the industries targeted for the subsidies and mandates."

But even if the only jobs being counted were those that resulted from subsidies and mandates, a total "jobs" number would be meaningless from an economics perspective. What would be important is "net jobs created," which is a number that the deceivers who roll out these numbers never even consider. The fact is that mandates and subsidies do not create, but divert, investment. The reason why such mandates and subsidies are necessary is that private entrepreneurs are judging other investments to be more productive than those targeted by policy makers. So the mandates and subsidies are shifting resource use from investments that private sector entrepreneurs using their own money believe are more efficient to projects that bureaucrats and ideologues using other people’s money want to see carried out. Anyone with a shred of understanding of how markets work would know that this process is not, on net, creating jobs, but destroying them.

2. The Fakegate Story

The Capital Research Center’s latest issue of Greenwatch is devoted to reviewing and summarizing the extent to which the green movement, vis a vis the actions of one of its most revered scientist/activists Dr. Peter Gleik, will use deception and fraud to discredit those that disagree with it, in this case the libertarian think tank the Heartland Institute in Illinois. They summarize what occurred as follows:

Peter Gleick transmitted to a group of liberal bloggers and journalists documents that he obtained from the Heartland Institute, a Chicago-based think-tank specializing in environmental policy. Gleick’s goal: destroy Heartland, a group that has mobilized scientists who are skeptical about global warming. Gleick faked his identity and pretended to be a Heartland board member to obtain some of the documents. One of the documents that Gleick sent was a fake, created by Gleick or parties unknown to prove what wasn’t true. Gleick’s reckless, unethical and, most likely, criminal action shows just how desperate green activists are to prop up their overblown claims about global warming.

A PDF of entire story can be accessed here. It is well worth the read.

3. Ozone Report

The 2012 ozone season began on April 1 and each week during the ozone season this newsletter will report how many, if any, high ozone days had been experienced throughout the state during the previous week, where they were experienced, and how many have been recorded during the entire season to date. The ozone season will end on October 31st. All reported data is from the North Carolina Division of Air Quality, which is part of the state’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources. During the period April 30th to May 6th there were no reported high ozone readings on any of the state’s monitors and there have been none thus far this season.

Click here for the Environmental Update archive.