Contributing Monkie G Living Staff Monkies
Published on April 25, 2008
It seems we just can’t come up with new clichés anymore. We re-use the same old sayings, inserting new ideas that fit the times. Folks who study the emerging environmental economy are no exception and politicians have fallen right in step, labeling the new working-people’s jobs “Green Collar.”
Who really cares, though? What’s important – and hopefully politicians will really take notice after you-know-who is gone – is that efficiency, renewability, and sustainability, have a place in the economy of the next 50+ years. According to Lois Quam of the investment firm Piper Jaffray, which is pioneering investment funds for renewables, “When I first started looking at this area, many people commented on how this will be as big as the Internet. But this is so much bigger than the Internet. The only comparable example we can find is the Industrial Revolution. It will affect every business and every industry.”
And what about the jobs? According to Van Jones of Green for All, there are two important factors. The first is, these jobs can’t be outsourced; someone in the U.S. has to install solar panels on a building in the U.S. The second, a whole new apprenticeship economy is developing where someone learns the trade from an expert and eventually starts a new business. There’s plenty of room for competition in renewables right now and competition is key to capitalism. Business folk take notice.
Of course there are detractors, but there were those that believed Henry Ford wouldn’t last either.
This is an area where America must make a commitment and a dedication to home-sourcing our energy and has repercussions beyond protecting the environment. As Jim Bauer, a steel worker turned wind turbine maker sees it, “We have to get away from fossil fuels and oil so we can tell the Saudis to take a hike.”
(via the New York Times)