Business, Economics and Jobs

Saving the economy one green job at a time

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Jones is also founding president of Green for All, an organization that promotes green-collar jobs and opportunities for the disadvantaged.

Several voters at the most recent Presidential debate asked about energy independence and the candidates energy policies. It is an issue that both presidential candidates agree is critical, but, of course, they see the solutions very differently.

Van Jones' book, asks the question, "How can the environment help to boost the economy and create jobs?"

Jones says, "My argument is that this clean energy revolution that is trying to happen, if we can get the government on the side of it, right now the government is on the side of the problem-makers in the U.S. economy -- the polluters, the Pentagon. But the problem solvers, the solar industry, the wind industry, have not gotten the support they need. We can get the government on the side of the problem solvers, we can create a tremendous number of jobs and jump-start this economy.

"What we are seeing with John McCain is the rise of a new phenomenon in American politics. I call it 'the rise of the dirty greens.'" Jones continues, "You've got 'green-washing' corporations; before, they the same toxic processes and dirty products, but they would put a green wrapper on it. Now you have 'green-washing' politicians. (McCain) said 'We want all of the above.' He wants renewable energy, he wants solar panels, he wants windmills. He also wants nuclear power, oil shale, tar sand, burning kittens -- any carbon-based dirty fuel is fine with him. We can't have that. You can't mix up moving in a clean-energy direction with going backwards to get the most dirty polycarbons burned.

"What you want to think about is how many more jobs are there going to be in the coal mines or on the oil rigs, versus putting up millions and millions of solar panels, building thousands and thousands of wind farms, manufacturing the wind turbines. Eight thousand finely machined in every wind turbine. You can put Detroit back to work, not making SUVs to destroy the world, but making wind turbines that help save the world. There is a huge jobs agenda here that actually brings jobs up, energy prices down, carbon down, restarts the economy, but you've got to be serious about it. Everbody can put a solar panel in their political ad, but do they have an agenda in place to get us there."

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