Egg on Faces of Al Gore and Ban Ki-Moon

Roger Pielke, Jr. of the Promethus Blog spotted a little egg on the faces of ex-V.P. Al Gore and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon the other day.

I wouldn’t be surprised if he noticed before they did.

It seems the esteemed gentlemen submitted an op-ed to Britain’s Financial Times without fact-checking it first (or, more likely, telling the lackey who fact-checks to fact-check the lackey who writes).

The op-ed claims: “In the US, there are now more jobs in the wind industry than in the entire coal industry.”

Roger asked:

First, is this in fact true?

Second, if it is true, how can it be that wind can ever be cost competitive with coal? Consider that coal, according to the US EIA was responsible for generating 155,000 thousand megawatt-hours of energy production in November, 2008. Wind was responsible for 1,300 thousand megawatt hours. This means that the US saw about 120 times as much energy produced from coal as wind. If it takes more employees to generate 0.8% of the energy as coal produces, how can it ever be cost competitive?

Something does not add up. Someone please explain this.

Somebody did.

It seems that, for the wind industry totals, the esteemed gentlemen counted every job involved in supplying equipment to the wind industry, including component manufacturing, legal services, marketing, etc., and for the coal industry, the men counted only miners.

So if you hear this shibboleth, beware.


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