Obama promises 800,000 green jobs by 2012 in Wisconsin speech

The recession continues to put many Americans in a difficult situation where demand for their specialized skills is mediocre at best. That hurts everybody because there’s less productivity which eventually translates into less spending and less demand for goods and services. Obama claims the solution to that problem is not only re-training people, but creating renewed demand for existing skills in the form of green jobs.

What kind of green jobs? One major example Obama cited was advanced battery manufacturing. Think of the batteries that power the 2011 Chevrolet Volt, or the Nissan LEAF. China is focused on being a major player in battery manufacturing too, so healthy competition between the two countries is sure to continue.

Specifically Obama mentioned “Just a few years ago, American businesses could only make 2 percent of the world's advanced batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles -- 2 percent. In just a few years, we'll have up to 40 percent of the world's capacity,” according to RTT News. That’s a big jump and it assumes that investments in new technology and infrastructure continue at their current rate.

Given some of the criticisms coming from republicans that may not always be the case, but who’s to say a jump in battery production couldn’t be accomplished some other way, perhaps by using less resources. According to Obama, the resources we’re investing now will result in 800,000 green jobs by 2012 – a respectable number.

A lot of that growth may come from new demand for manufactured parts that are used to build wind turbines, solar panels, electric/hybrid cars, and other renewable energy devices. In some ways the sense of urgency generated by a lackluster economy is a good thing because it encourages us to move away from our dependence on fossil fuels more quickly.

Obama may be facing criticism for big government policies and overspending right now, but if his predictions pan out he’ll end up looking like a visionary 12 years from now.

See the original post on Tainted Green. By Matt Jansen. August 17, 2010.