Image (1) green_jobs_economy.jpg for post 31361

Over the weekend, two very different media outlets ran two very different takes on green jobs.

David Leonhardt, writing for The New York Times, begins with a common critique: Green jobs produce more expensive energy, so they’re a net loss for the economy.

Green jobs have long had a whiff of exaggeration to them. The alternative-energy sector may ultimately employ millions of people. But raising the cost of the energy that households and businesses use every day — a necessary effect of helping the climate — is not exactly a recipe for an economic boom.

Not when framed like that, certainly. Leonhardt doesn’t address the built-in economic advantages fossil fuels enjoy, nor the recent examples of price parity between fossils and solar, for example. He’s trying to make a broader point: The climate should be fixed for its own sake, because the economic cost of climate change over the long run will be enormous. The goal is preventing disaster, not worrying about jobs.