It's time to build the green-collar economy
Posted by Van Jones (Guest Contributor) at 1:00 PM on 06 Oct 2008
This post originally ran on Wonk Room.
At best, the federal government's bail out of Wall Street will help the U.S. economy -- which is already in a ditch -- avoid a total meltdown. Fine. Now we need a plan to jumpstart the economy and actually get
In my new book, The Green Collar Economy, I propose a bold, green cure for the economic mess we are in. Think of it as a comprehensive plan to bail out ordinary people -- and the planet, too.
We just found $700 billion. Let's find another $350 billion. That's half the price tag of the Wall Street rescue -- which has no guarantee of success. But with $350 billion investment, we absolutely and positively could retrofit and repower
In other words, a comprehensive "green bailout" could give
Another report just released by the Political Economy Research Institute and the Center for American Progress shows that the
The time for choosing has arrived. Looking at both our energy system and our financial system, we face some hard choices. Our energy system can create awesome storms. Or it can create awesome jobs. Our financial system can become a global sinkhole -- or a global springboard.
The gray economy that is collapsing is based on consumption, debt and environmental destruction. The green economy that is emerging will be based on production, smart savings and environmental restoration.
The bottom line is: you can't base a national economy on credit cards. But you can base it on solar panels, wind turbines, smart bio-fuels and massive, a program to weatherize every building and home in
A green economy would be less vulnerable to oil shocks and financial bubbles. In a green economy, we would rely on less credit from overseas and more on creativity right here at home. It's time to stop borrowing and start building.
As Thomas Friedman says, "We don't just need a bailout. We need a buildup."
Rather than just giving platinum parachutes to those who wrecked the economy, let's throw a green lifeline to the ordinary people who want to rebuild it. We can't drill and burn our way out of our present mess. But we can invent and invest our way out. And in The Green Collar Economy, I suggest a game plan for getting started.
Join MicCheck Radio to hear an exclusive interview with Van Jones about the Green Collar Economy.
UPDATE: Living on Earth's Jeff Young explores the "elements of a green economic bailout" with CAPAF fellows Bracken Hendricks, Carol Browner, and Van Jones:
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