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Green Jobs? What About The Industries We Are Destroying?

October 25, 2020

By Paul Homewood

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We keep hearing about a “green job bonanza”, but what about all of the jobs which will be at risk because of the green agenda?

One industrial sector stands slap bang in the path of the green juggernaut – the oil and gas sector.

We often think about the production side, North Sea oil rigs and so on. But the downstream oil sector is far more significant in the UK. The UK Petroleum Industry Association (UKPIA), commissioned a study from Oxford Economics last year on the economic contribution of the sector to the UK. It serves as a stark reminder of just how much we are putting at risk with our climate policies:


Some of the highlights:





Refineries obviously do a lot more than produce fuel for vehicles, but it is hard to see how any of these other things can be viable without the fuel part of their business.

In particular, the feedstock they produce for petrochemicals, aviation and marine fuels is often the bit they are left over after supplying road transport. You cannot economically produce that feedstock on its own.

In turn, the loss of that feedstock could also spell the death knell for the UK chemical industry as well.

The potential loss of 300,000 jobs would be catastrophic for the economy, particularly since any replacement green jobs would inevitably be heavily subsidised.

Another important consideration is the value added by these jobs. As the Oxford study points out, the oil sector is highly skilled with much higher productivity than the national average. Pay rates are 90% above the UK average.

Yet we are expected to replace these with low paid green jobs.

I am not arguing for one minute that we keep existing industries and jobs alive just for the hell of it. But these industries are still highly profitable, economically viable, and provide goods that people want to buy.

Yet we seem to be prepared to condemn them to the grave yard for no good reason at all.

  1. October 25, 2020 11:19 am

    All this based on the idea but not the evidence that fossil fuel emissions change atmospheric composition.

  2. Mad Mike permalink
    October 25, 2020 11:28 am

    Here’s our favourite reporter again.

    At least there is some realism in this article but the real agenda of the Alarmists are in there but given very low coverage

    “In fact, experts say, tackling climate change will need action right across society and the economy – with a host of new incentives, laws, rules, bans, appliance standards, taxes and institutional innovations.”

    “They also warn that citizens’ behaviour must shift, with people probably driving and flying less, and eating less meat and dairy produce.”

    So on top of destroying industries they are proposing destroying lifestyles and freedoms as well. All to reduce world CO2 emissions by about 1% so we know it can’t be about that.. Welcome to the future.

    • Broadlands permalink
      October 25, 2020 12:15 pm

      Mike has it right. The fact that so many people seem to misunderstand is that lowering carbon emissions to zero ASAP will take no CO2 from the atmosphere. Therefore the Earth’s global temperature cannot be lowered until that happens. That is the job of the CCS, BECCS industries and like all transport industry it cannot operate efficiently with rapidly lowered carbon fuel emissions. The future is about careful timing. To keep telling people it is urgent and a climate emergency is irresponsible behavior by our political leaders.

      • Nancy & John Hultquist permalink
        October 25, 2020 3:28 pm

        Therefore the Earth’s global temperature cannot be lowered until that happens.

        Why do you want to lower Earth’s global temperature?
        How much lower would you like it to be?
        What will cause the decrease to that number, and how long will that take?

      • StephenP permalink
        October 25, 2020 3:55 pm

        IIRC we were in the Little Ice Age when CO2 levels were at the starting figure of 280 ppm.
        Do we want to reduce the CO2 level to return to the LIA?
        Also the increase in temperature in the Arctic has reduced the temperature difference between the Tropics and the Arctic, which should, IIRC, result in fewer hurricans.

      • europeanonion permalink
        October 26, 2020 8:30 am

        To turn something natural and on-going into a totally given-over to process mechanism would soon find itself weaponised. Currently, we build dams and garner the ire of those down-stream, but to deny them weather? This is from the same human error catalogue as the Chinese being told to kill the sparrows, said to be eating the crop; it was done and the insects ate the plants instead.

        But we are a society that can build houses on flood plains. Algorithmic housing plans dumping people in areas where there is little prospect of mass employment; rip-up the countryside for a transportation system that Covid has declared obsolescent, HS2.

        If there is a choice between man’s lamp in the brain and nature I choose nature and all the things that attach to that creation that man relies on for his last resort comfort, like faith and our moral code, his conscience. If, as some believe, God created this wonder, then there would be a purpose? To deny that, to intervene in the ways suggested, does it make man omnipotent? Disbelieve in God as worshipped and cast doubt on the whole faith thing only to then create our own deities from faulted and cunning men, who suggest that they ‘see’ unerringly.

    • Mad Mike permalink
      October 25, 2020 5:00 pm

      Stephen, what does IIRC stand for?

      • StephenP permalink
        October 25, 2020 5:52 pm

        If I Recall Correctly

    • Rowland P permalink
      October 26, 2020 11:52 am

      We are being softened up for this by the restrictions imposed “to keep us safe from the Covid”. Start to quietly rebel by not wearing face muzzles and defying other stupid rules.
      “Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men!”

  3. Ian Miller permalink
    October 25, 2020 12:05 pm

    All very fine, but absolutely no point in preaching to the converted. This needs determined mainstream cover !

  4. 2hmp permalink
    October 25, 2020 12:14 pm

    Its the MPs who need educating. Until recently there was not a single science trained MP in the House. I asked one ex minister what the CO2 content of the atmosphere was and he answered ” about 60%”. What chance does reason have when you get that level of ignorance in our lawmakers.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      October 26, 2020 1:00 pm

      Good luck with that.

      Next year will be a whole new world for the UK and the MPs who will actually have to run the whole country and not just the bits the EU has permitted. Sadly none of them are up to the job so it will be a struggle.

  5. MrGrimNasty permalink
    October 25, 2020 12:22 pm

    Scottish power are sponsoring/advertising in front of SU2C Gogglebox, it consists of a family reveling in watching a television screen of a hilly landscape crammed with wind turbines that can only be described as industrialised desecration.

    When I was looking on satellite view google maps and found the evidence that the missing raptor tracker was found dumped near a wind farm, it was so obvious where the windmills are from the razed landscape and scarring meandering swirling access tracks.

    It’s quite surreal, that people can think this is ‘green’ and ‘sustainable’.

    Patently our whole economy is based on the value and leverage provided by the use of fossil fuels, without them, the future of our lives and the natural world will be an horrific disaster.

  6. October 25, 2020 12:24 pm

    Our politically correct politicians are manifestly engaged in acts of extreme stupidity. They are smugly sacrificing the energy advantages with which we have been endowed by a beneficent nature. They are slaves to a false god which will impoverish the population but enrich a privileged few.
    The industrial revolution, so called, made us one of the richest countries in the world bringing our population from extreme poverty and short lives to the relative luxury and good health we enjoy today.
    By contrast already the country has been disadvantaged to such an extent that we are no longer world leaders but are sliding down the scale of prosperity.
    Where is the sense of deliberately destroying our coal and gas industry to impoverish the country and set us back hundreds of years of potential improvement?
    We, ordinary folk, are captive to an avaricious political class who are destroying us without a remedy to hand.

    • George Lawson permalink
      October 26, 2020 4:43 pm

      Absolutely correct. Few politicians these days dare risk their salaries and promotion by standing out in the crowd and going public with views which oppose an increasingly stupid government. A government that is blind to the great dangers of the policies which they advocate, They would far sooner keep their heads down and bring the nation down in the long term than go out on a limb in the short term and do what is right for the nation. Parliamentary government is rapidly becoming a thing of the past and a useless tool in the directing of our once great nation.

  7. Gamecock permalink
    October 25, 2020 1:18 pm

    Jobs are a cost, not a benefit.

    Petrol workers make big bucks because of their high productivity.

    A “green job bonanza” is a declaration of inefficiency. A losers dream.

  8. Up2snuff permalink
    October 25, 2020 1:39 pm

    I think there may be an item missing from the excellent lists of the by-products of the oil and related industries – an one that is especially important during the Pandemic – household cleaning products. If I have remembered correctly, much of cleaning materials keeping Covid-19 viruses at bay are linked to and derived from the ‘leftovers’ from the oil refining industry.

    • In the Real World permalink
      October 25, 2020 2:22 pm

      Another factor missing from the oil industry by/products list is electricity production .

      Several times I have seen Green Loonies claim that refineries use a lot of electricity which could be used to make up the massive shortfall for charging up electric vehicles .
      That of course is a total lie , as all UK refineries use oil or gas as their main energy source , and all have CHPs to produce their own electricity . They then supply their excess power into the grid .

      Just the Immingham refinery provides 2.5% of the total needed for the National Grid .

      • Nancy & John Hultquist permalink
        October 25, 2020 3:34 pm

        Thanks for the info.
        This activity I had not heard about.

  9. ThinkingScientist permalink
    October 25, 2020 2:05 pm

    If the survey had been conducted about 4 years ago there would probably have been at least another 130,000 jobs. The previous oil price crash cost a lot of jobs, especially in Aberdeen, for the upstream sector. Many service companies had 2 – 3 rounds of job cuts, losing up to 60% of their staff in the last 5 years.

    Up to about 6 years ago the oil sector tax contribution was about 8 to 11 Billion a year, now negligible as its tough to break even at these prices. My micro business (upstream technology) revenue dropped 70% from 2014 to 2017.

    • Broadlands permalink
      October 25, 2020 2:27 pm

      Those problems have, of course, been made even worse because of the pandemic. And the pandemic has shown us what happens to economies when carbon fuel emissions are rapidly cut. These green deal zealots should at least acknowledge that. But their zeal is paramount and they want the world to continue removing fossil fuel carbon ASAP. Crazy! Nuts!

  10. Vernon E permalink
    October 25, 2020 4:01 pm

    Not to mention all the jobs in design andd engineering that go into establishing these huge and complex facilities.

  11. T Stewart permalink
    October 25, 2020 4:49 pm

    Boris has taken a young eco radical into his bed and will destroy the future of the country with his mad turbines to keep her quiet. Gove worships Greta and wants to ban home heating by gas. I am old enough to remember the global cooling disaster that was predicted un the seventies but there was no money to be made so global warming took over and when that did not happen it is minute traces of CO2 that will kill us.
    In the April 28, 1975 edition of Newsweek, they actually proposed solutions for climate change that included outlawing internal combustion engines. The interesting aspect was the fear at that time was about global cooling — not global warming. The 70s were dominated by the fear that we were facing manmade global cooling, not warming. TIME magazine’s January 31, 1977 cover featured a story, — How to Survive the Coming Ice Age. It included facts such as scientists predicting that Earth’s so-called average temperature could drop by 20 degrees Fahrenheit due to manmade global cooling. Dr Murray Mitchell of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warned readers that – the drop in temperature between 1945 and 1968 had taken us one-sixth of the way to the next Ice Age temperature.”

    Boris and Alok Sharma tell blatant lies in the government website about cheap green energy and jobs bonanza.

  12. October 25, 2020 4:56 pm

    The long march through the institutions means that we are all doomed – well, at least future generations are. Us oldies have tried, but we have been unable to rectify the dire straits that the country is now in.

  13. October 25, 2020 6:52 pm

    The ‘non-natural’ fertilizer industry would be snookered without petrochemicals.

    Half of all food consumed in the world depends on the application of nitrogen fertilizers. They are produced…through the petrochemical processing of natural gas.

    • paul weldon permalink
      October 25, 2020 9:06 pm

      But the Dutch have that in hand – they are going to make ‘green’ ammonia form hydrogen produced form wind power. That is, if they can find find the funding for the project.

      • Duker permalink
        October 26, 2020 1:25 am

        I thought the ‘excess wind power’ ( oxymoron in its self) was going to be allocated to ‘green hydrogen’ and all the other ‘game changers’ like recharging electric cars at night at home?

      • StephenP permalink
        October 26, 2020 12:36 pm

        Having made the ‘green’ hydrogen it needs to be compressed with nitrogen over a catalyst in the Haber process to produce ammonia.
        “The lower the temperature and the higher the pressure used, the greater the proportion of ammonia yielded in the mixture. For commercial production, the reaction is carried out at pressures ranging from 200 to 400 atmospheres and at temperatures ranging from 400° to 650° C”
        This process needs heat and powerful compressors which need a considerable amount of power. Presumably this will be expected to come from burning some of the hydrogen, as wind power is too unreliable and, my goodness, the sun goes down at night!
        Ammonia is not often used on its own as a fertiliser, although it used to be injected into grassland in the 1970s.
        It is normally converted in part to nitric acid which is reacted with ammonia to produce ammonium nitrate and converted into a prill by a process, similar to that of making lead shot, by spraying at the top of a high tower and solidifying as it falls down the tower into a current of cold air, or else the ammonia is converted to urea which is also prilled.
        Each of these forms has advantages and drawbacks which depend on climate and soil type, as well as the local demand for ammonium nitrate for explosives.

  14. Crowcatcher permalink
    October 26, 2020 7:15 am

    I’m glad I’m the age I am (76) because I won’t be here hen it all goes horribly wrong.
    When my grandchildren are my age they will curse this generation or leaving them with all those rusting hulks at sea and on the hilltops, and all those shards of glass scattered all over the countryside.
    In the last election every candidate mentioned “climate change” or “zero carbon” so I put a very rude message on my ballot paper!!!!

    • Gamecock permalink
      October 26, 2020 10:47 am

      Sorry to say, you may live to see it go horribly wrong.

      The French are threatening to cut off power to the Brits if they don’t allow post-Brexit fishing rights in British waters. Hence, the impact of climate change could be next year.

      • October 26, 2020 11:03 am

        I hope they do – we will simply need to fire up our remaining coal power stations if they do, and it will act as a reminder that we should not rely on foreign countries for our power.

        Actually though, France would be cutting off their nose to spite their face if they do, because they will lose income not only for the power but also the fees charged for interconnector use which they half own

        What Macron has threatened I gather is to stop uk selling electricity into the EU – if they do Ireland’s economy will revert to the dark ages when the wind does not blow. All in all, no more than just another empty threat from the buffoon.

  15. Lorde late permalink
    October 26, 2020 9:54 am

    I would thick we are all sing fem the same song sheet here.
    Our challenge is to get the correct messages out to the masses but most people I talk to are regrettably more interested in what’s happening in the latest pointless tv show. Maybe there should be more responsible storylines in eastenders and the like!

    • Lorde late permalink
      October 26, 2020 9:56 am

      Singing from! ( damn predictive text!)

  16. October 26, 2020 10:11 am

    I worked in the heavy chemical industry in 2008 when Ed Milibands Climate Change Act was enacted. I was put on mitigating its impact on our UK plants.
    It became clear that over time it was going to be very difficult to survive under its draconian requirements.
    The company stopped investing in the UK and built plant in the far east, for no reduction in world co2, we just exported good jobs.
    The CCA has literally destroyed the heavy chemicais industry, as well as aluminium, steel, ceramics and soon vehicles

  17. Nordisch geo-climber permalink
    October 26, 2020 10:47 am

    The oil and gas business has been light years ahead of other industries in terms of professionalism, profitability, tax-generation, technology, diversity, it has been practical, customer-focussed, successful, rich, global, international and profitable.

    Those who work in it are by nature adventurers, explorers, scientists, unconventional visionaries, lateral thinkers, sceptics, hands-on, nose-in-the-dirt practical types, otherwise we would not have found so much oil and gas over the years. We certainly do not need right now a crisis of confidence, especially after so many economically difficult trading years and the oil price crash of 2014 with the cyclical low in January 2016 when crude was $29 a barrel.

    However, all this does not stop our fantastic industry being temporarily destroyed by the lunatic Labour Climate Change Act 2008 which bases all legislation on decarbonisation, a futile, impossible and unchangeable gesture made possible by ignorant politicians. Meanwhile, the whole World runs on oil and gas, a hugely beneficial industry.

    Yet lives have been destroyed, careers, jobs and houses lost, professional societies taken over by ignorant woke hypocrites. But the push-back is on, there is an awakening.

  18. October 26, 2020 11:03 am

    “Just how much we are putting at risk with our climate policies”

    And just how much you are putting at risk with your insistemce that Asia must do as you do.

  19. StephenP permalink
    October 26, 2020 12:49 pm

    Another thing that is starting to happen is that having trashed our economy with the CCA and Covid, share prices have fallen and the hedge funds and private equity business are sniifing around hoping to buy up companies at bargain prices. For example Rolls Royce has its problems:

  20. Harry Davidson permalink
    October 26, 2020 12:57 pm

    I read this this morning:
    And then I read the comments BTL. I would suggest you (as in y’all, yous) do the same if you have a spare 15 minutes. Nothing is open for debate, all is certainty.

    • October 27, 2020 7:45 am

      10 years since I looked at Guardian comments
      .. cos the mods got into a habit of shaping the discussion by removing comments that didn’t toe the agenda pushing. line.
      Very 1984
      Open comments are not allowed on many stories.

  21. October 27, 2020 7:41 am

    Tip : Twitter advert pushed at me
    ⚡ Is a net-zero emissions future possible?
    Join The Great Energy Debate LIVE on November 2
    to see this and other questions answered. #EnergyDebate

  22. Coeur de Lion permalink
    October 27, 2020 6:14 pm

    On the companionable website WUWT there’s a science denier called Griff whom I suggested should take a £100 bet that Arctic ice would bottom out above four million square kilometres. For the second time since 2007 it didn’t and he would have won. I’m proposing the same for 2021 but no response to date .

  23. yonason permalink
    October 28, 2020 7:29 am

    “What About The Industries We Are Destroying?”

    That’s not a “bug” of ANY Green Raw Deal. It’s a “feature!”

  24. jack broughton permalink
    October 29, 2020 11:07 am

    I gather that Scotland is targeting 11 GW capacity off-shore. This is far more than Scotland uses, when it is windy, so who is going to pay the constraint payments for the excess capacity in the summer months especially, and provide the back-up generation?

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