USA Today reports that "green" energy is the popular new field at universities around the country:
Nationwide, more than 100 majors, minors or certificates were created this year in energy and sustainability-focused programs at colleges ... Students want the courses, and employers want the trained students ...
Oh yes, students are obsessed with “sustainability.” When I speak at colleges, there’s always a fuss about it. What’s not taught is that private businesses like factory farms are most concerned about sustainability. Their livelihood depends on it. If they use too much pesticide or fertilizer, or deplete the soil, they’re out of work. But students think “sustainability” has something to do with Michelle Obama’s White House garden.
It’s another reason that the politicians’ push to get more kids to attend college is a giant mistake. College is a rip-off for many students. A recent survey asked thousands of students: Would you go to your college again? About 40 percent said no. Silly government-subsidized “sustainability” courses don’t help students find lasting work that will allow them to pay off their huge college loans.
The “green” jobs that await students are mostly government-funded make-work.
Illinois State University in Normal, Ill... has 65 majors in renewable energy, a program started in 2008 with help from a $1 million Department of Energy grant. The program has "more students wanting in than we can handle," says Richard Boser, chair of the Department of Technology. Nearby employers, including those in wind energy, hope to hire future graduates, Boser says.
So he says. But Minnesota Public Radio reported this month that one stimulus-funded weatherization training program in Minneapolis graduated 130 students -- but only 19 have found jobs.
Even if USA Today is right, and the green energy graduates will find work. It's not necessarily a good thing, because the jobs will be mostly funded by the taxpayer -- and won't really contribute to society's wealth. Creating "green jobs" may be a mantra on the left. But when government creates the jobs, they're little better than welfare.
One provision in the stimulus bill promises that the government will fund 30 percent of the cost of new wind farms. According to the EIA, wind energy receives 13 times more in subsidies per unit of energy produced than traditional fossil fuel suppliers.
Then there are the hydrogen fuel experiments. Cash-strapped California recently bought hydrogen busses that cost 30 times more than regular busses to operate.
I got a free golf cart thanks to government using your tax dollars to subsidize “electric vehicles”. The subsidy increases sales, so Golf car companies will hire some extra employees, yet Americans will be poorer than if we had been allowed to spend our tax money on the items we really wanted.