Two huge challenges facing us today are the ecological crisis we’re in and the social crisis of the widening gap between the rich and poor.
Van Jones of Green for All (and former Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality ) suggests in the short video below that the solution to tackle both poverty and pollution is to build a green economy. With the increase in demand for green technology across the world, comes the increase in demand for labor. A lot of work needs to be done in retrofitting homes, and in harnessing alternative energy sources. A lot of people need work. Bring together the two and you get green collar jobs.
He also brings up the issue that our governments are currently partners to the polluters, war-mongers and incarcerators. They need to start partnering up with the problem solvers in the world.
Is the solution that simple? What tangible steps can we take to get there?
When the sad state of the economy hasn’t been rectified, or even addressed, coupled with other crippling initiatives that cost billions more (like a shift from the energy dependent system currently to something green and inadequate) will actually widen the divide. When so much of our population is out of work and since the middle class is generally better educated, who do you think is going to land those green jobs in a highly competitive market?
If Obama had worked on improving the economy instead of every other initiative he did focus on or was forced to deal with, the creation of jobs would have been an enormous improvement. The only way to responsibly help the poor is by flooding the market with jobs. Jobs would have also served as a source of healthcare, housing, food, clothing and hope for a better future.
Or you can buy into the pretend fix and mandate everybody that has a job pay for those who don’t, in the end causing both groups to give up and become complacent, dependent and unproductive, all relying on a system that is unsustainable.