What have you done today to lower your impact?

We are washing away the foundations of our existence on every front. It is high time we move from crashing about on the planet like a bull in china shop and find a way to go forward with intent. We must find systems of living based on sustainability. The systems and tools exist, it is up to each of us to adopt them.

Blog Archive

Thursday, 10 September 2009

The Green Economy, If we don't do it, someone else will.

With the certainty of peak oil relentlessly drawing ever nearer and the damage from climate change growing ever more obvious there is no doubt that the future will be green. If we want a vibrant sustainable economy we have to create it. Read Tom Friedman's take on this over at Worldchanging.

Here is an excerpt;

"The jobs argument is a core message for winning the public debate about the clean air, clean water, clean energy jobs bill.

Friedman is a centrist who advances the argument because he knows it is true, because he understands climate science is real, and because he is a hard-core capitalist who sees the tough dynamic the U.S. is facing in the global economy. If you’re not first, you’re probably last.

The importance of the clean energy jobs message is evidenced by the fact that the corporate polluters and their right-wing allies in the media will do anything to kill it, from publishing phony studies attacking clean energy jobs to pushing their vile assault on Van Jones, who has been a leading articulator of the message (see “Fox News blurts out its agenda: “Now that Jones has resigned, we need to follow through…. First, stop cap-and-trade, which could send these groups trillions,” and then put “the whole corrupt ‘green jobs’ concept outside the bounds of the political mainstream”).

How else do we know the clean energy jobs message is crucial? Obama also uses it at every opportunity, including his recent Labor Day speech. In spite of the media’s strong desire to push the message that Obama has lost interest in the climate and clean energy bill, once again he said:

We have to build a new foundation for prosperity in America….An America where energy reform creates green jobs that can never be outsourced and that finally frees America from the grip of foreign oil.

And here’s yet another way to frame the job message — from Obama again (4/22):

The choice we face is not between saving our environment and saving our economy. The choice we face is between prosperity and decline… We can allow climate change to wreak unnatural havoc across the landscape, or we can create jobs working to prevent its worst effects…. The nation that leads the world in creating new energy sources will be the nation that leads the 21st-century global economy.

And Obama again (3/19):

We can let the jobs of tomorrow be created abroad, or we can create those jobs right here in America and lay the foundation for our lasting prosperity.

Another way to frame the message that polls well is :

Opponents of bill – oil companies, special interests – fighting against energy reform
• They’ve made America less secure, and more dependent on foreign oil.
• They’ve protected corporations that pollute the air our children breathe and water they drink.
• This bill protects the American people – by creating 1.7 million new jobs and reducing our dependence on foreign oil.

The international competitiveness argument works — but as it turns out, it works best if it is linked directly to the loss of American jobs. This paragraph tests very well in polling of swing voters:

China has a million workers in the clean energy economy. India is doubling their clean energy market in 4 years. Germany is creating nearly three hundred thousand clean energy jobs. If we do nothing, America will lose its competitive edge and American jobs will continue to go overseas" - Joe Romm

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