More Broken Windows–IMF says Climate Change Will Create Jobs!

Posted on June 27, 2013 by


Over on the DC publication The Hill, we find that the head of the IMF suggests climate change is the new growth engine for jobs!

Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, said Thursday that climate change will drive job creation.  “Climate change will create jobs. It will create disasters before it creates jobs, but it will create jobs,” Lagarde said on the MSNBC program “Morning Joe.”

Unfortunately Bastiat’s Broken Window has reared its ugly head again.  Its not important whether climate change is real or not (in the sense its proponents suggest; of course the climate is always changing)–if jobs are created dealing with climate change, the resources used could have been used somewhere else.  We must always ask “compared to what?”.  So even if Ms. Lagarde is correct and jobs are created dealing with climate change, that does not mean this is a good thing–those resources would alternatively be used in some other capacity that would have added more to our quality of life.  Resources used to combat climate change are a social loss, no different than resources used to rebuild after a hurricane.
EDIT 15 July:  Ben Zycher over @ AEI has a more in-depth analysis that provides a helpful way of thinking about the importance of energy to our overall economy.