Trees are renewable, too

Renewable energy gets all the glory in discussions of green jobs, but a new report says that while we worship the sun and wind, we should also look to the trees.

Data from Heidi Garrett-Peltiers and Robert Pollin of the University of Massachusetts Political Economy and Research Institute focuses on jobs that improve the nation’s infrastructure—jobs like building retrofits, energy development and transportation. Then they looked at which of those categories provided the most jobs for the buck, 1 million bucks to be specific.

Forest protection leads the pack, while nuclear energy fizzles at the bottom. Investing $1 million into reforestation, land and watershed restoration and sustainable forest management would yield nearly 40 jobs, the report said, compared to only 4.2 jobs with the same investment in nuclear.

Other sectors providing at least 20 jobs per $1 million include crop agriculture, livestock, construction for gas pipelines, mass transit and freight rail construction, road and bridge repair and conservation. Fields producing the fewest jobs—less than 10 jobs per $1 million—were the financial industry, coal, oil and gas, and, as mentioned above, nuclear.