Joel Kotkin takes a look at Rick Perry’s influence on Texas’ economic success in an article that first appeared in Forbes. Link to the full article is here.
The part of Kotkin’s article that I found most interesting was the role of the energy sector in job Texas creation. California is desperate to turn it’s growing unemployment around, but is unwilling to follow the Texas example. Yes, Texas has benefited from higher energy prices, but in California the opposite it true, higher energy cost are reducing employment. Companies are moving to Texas.
To be sure, Texas has benefited from higher energy prices, as Perry’s detractors point out. According to an analysis by the EMSI economic forecasting group, the energy sector jumped from over 230,000 jobs in 2001 to just under 490,000 in 2011. That’s roughly 10% of all the state’s overall job gains. This parallels job growth in other states that have experienced surges in energy-related employment — such as North Dakota and Wyoming.
But some of this has to do with making your own “luck.” Energy-rich California has all but declared war on its fossil fuel industry, once one of the nation’s most important. Instead, the state has placed lavish bets on renewable fuel and the much ballyhooed notion that “green jobs” could provide a massive base for new employment — something even the green-friendly New York Times has called “a pipe dream.” In fact, employment in this field has actually started to tick down, and the prospect of ever higher energy prices associated with “clean” fuels could prove another nail in California’s economic coffin.
What does all this have to do with the Next Grand Minimum? California is investing huge sums in “green energy” and “clean fuels” that are designed to reduce CO2, all to satisfy environmentalist who are trying to save the planet from global warming. Yet, the planet is not warming and we are spending billions that will be needed to deal with a decline in agriculture production, resulting from shorter growing seasons as we enter The Next Grand Minimum. If California has a robust economy, we will be better prepared to deal with the problem created by cooling world. Drill baby dril!
I recommend that you read all to the Kotkin article here.
I read the article and the point that struck me was the economic culture of Texas that transcends the normal Republican vs. Democratic divide. Texas has heavily developed both fossil and wind. Texans are opportunistic and the state government does not get in the way of the folks taking chances to exploit new opportunities. California’s government on the other hand feels compelled to get in the way of every opportunity. How long has it taken solar installations get off the ground in the Mojave?
Regarding the productivity of CA agriculture in a cooling world, the Pacific is a great temperature moderator. I recall in the mid to early 70’s enjoying 80 degree days in January in So. Cal. while my wife’s uncle talked about their streak of 30 days straight below zero temps in Minneapolis. The Pacific will protect California from the worst of the cold if it comes. The only question will be sufficient water to take advantage of the warmth and if the California state government will be more concerned with darters and smelt than it’s agriculture and feeding the nation.
I was looking at the progression of the vineyards up the Sierra slopes in the 1980s and 1990s, grapes that did not grow in the Sierra in the 40s and 50s. I need to calculate the average degree days in the 40s and 50s, and compare them to the degree days of the 80s and 90s, and then compare the figure with the number of degree days to grow the varieties planted in the Sierra foothills. They may be similar, it just that on one took advantage of the unique Sierra climate until the 80s and 90s. Interesting question.