US coal jobs bleeding while renewable technology booms worldwide

While coal industry mouthpieces like the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity tout coal as the second-coming of Jesus for the United States, the latest Vital Signs report shows that coal industry employment has fallen by half in the last 20 years, despite a one-third increase in production. 

According to the new report out today by the Worldwatch Institute, a transition to renewable energy sources promises significant global job gains at a time when the coal industry has been hemorrhaging jobs for years.

An estimated 2.3 million people worldwide currently work either directly in renewables or indirectly in supplier industries. The solar thermal industry employs at least 624,000 people, the wind power industry 300,000, and the solar PV industry 170,000. More than 1 million people work in the biomass and biofuels sector, while small-scale hydropower employs 39,000 individuals and geothermal employs 25,000.

These figures are expected to swell substantially as private investment and government support for alternative energy sources grow.

Will the US finally wake up and smell the opportunity of a cleaner energy sector?

Jeff Biggers on the Huffington Post points to the coal-grown Appalachian region in West Virginia as a potential boom-town for wind power:

If Senator Barack Obama ever needs a living symbol of change we can believe in, and a hopeful way to transcend the dirty politics of our failed energy policies, he should go and see the future of renewable energy in the Coal River Valley in West Virginia.”



Dr. Patrick Michaels can debate science, where science is debated… in the peer reviewed journals. As a scientist if Michaels wants to convince his peers with evidence that he has every opportunity to do so through with rigorous, robust research findings. That’s how science works.

If “that’s how science works”, then why does James Hoggan & Associates PR INC. find it necessary to stick their nose in and act as shills?

They work to counter the people who lie to non-scientists about what the science is saying. People who are not scientists often have no idea of how scientists work.

“Rob: Illiterate or dishonest? Let the intelligent reader decide.”

When “the intelligent reader” figures it out, please let VJ know.

Hansen and Gore are simply scared of being humiliated. Terrified in fact

What? You expect them to risk killing their golden goose? They might end up having to get real jobs?

Debates are about the dumbest way imaginable to do science.

1) Anything serious wants graphs, not just words.

2) But whether with words or graphs, it is WAY, WAY easier to cherry-pick and generate confusion and doubts in an audience than to generate clarity.

I’ve seen people write short articles or letters-to-editors in which they’ve managed to include a dozen or so of the arguments listed in .

Every one of those arguments would be wrong, long-ago debunked, with plenty of scientific references. But it takes far less time to throw all those arguments up in the hope that one or more of them sticks with a listener, than it takes to carefully and patiently debunk each one so that a general audience understands. There’s probably an inherent 10:1 or 20:1 ratio.

All it takes to “win” a debate is to generate 10 wrong arugments and hope that an audience member worries about one of them.

Just go down the list above and you’ll see what I mean.

The merger of Sun Microsystems and Oracle Corp is something to look out for. IBM was in talks and appeared on the verge of closing the deal, but negotiations fell apart.  Now it will become half of Oracle Sun, but it will likely mean layoffs, as any large merger usually does.  Payday loans to buy stock in Oracle may not be the greatest idea, since the stock has dropped almost a dollar since the news broke.  However, this goes a long way for credit repair for the Sun sale, into Oracle Sun.