The Green Collar Economy
by Van Jones (2008)
Van Jones makes the case for the renewable energy and sustainability-related jobs. Committing to the development of this workforce can be a major win for both the environment and the economy.
Climate change is indeed a terrible man-made crisis. It’s by no means an exaggeration to state that it threatens human civilization.
It is this very danger that requires us to change the way we do things. As such, it also presents an opportunity for societies to shed their fossil fuel dependency and decarbonize.
Countries who adopt the sustainability strategy can offer climate leadership to the world. There is so much potential for motivation, innovation, and social justice as societies transform themselves.
The Game Has Changed
There is precedent. We have already changed how we do things. Yet it didn’t work to the benefit of all. and it clearly has a devastating effect on the environment. Globalization has transferred millions of manufacturing jobs away from developed nations towards the developing world, as we stripped nature of its resources and poisoned the planet.
The job growth itself was not inherently evil. Indeed, it served to pull millions from poverty, and provided a live-able income to many. But it came at a cost. The benefits were skewed, and the practices unsustainable in the long run. We can learn from our mistakes, and apply better equality and understanding going forward. The green economy provides the chance for the US (and other prosperous countries), to invest in the future while expanding the skills and benefits of their citizens.
Jobs in the renewable energy sector, and the “Green” industry at large, represent the new model for blue collar jobs. By their very nature, green jobs are predominantly domestic and often better paying. As Jones explains, The Green Collar Economy can therefore work towards resolving climate change, while representing a source of meaningful, well-paying jobs. It’s a path that will benefit both the environment & the economy.
Throughout the book, Jones backs up his vision with impressive facts and powerful community success stories. He is also personally involved in a number of initiatives. Along with being a vocal advocate of sustainable change, he is also President & Founder of Green for All, an organization that supports the green economy and seeks to help minorities and poor communities. He has lots to discuss. Read on to learn more!
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