Jul 15

Jobs tonight. Earth tomorrow.

Today's guest post is by Ann Barlow, President, Peppercom West & Director, GreenPepper.

We need jobs now and we need the earth later.  Why can’t the two go together? 
Broc_obama_2

According to an Economix blog earlier this week, green jobs, even with the spotty help they’ve gotten from government and private investment, are growing at 2½ times the rate of the rest of the jobs out there.  With the dire need for jobs and a job-led economic recovery, isn’t this something to build on?  God knows, we have a ton of work to do to become as energy efficient as Europe and even China at this point.  And renewable energy must be integrated into our existing infrastructure if we are to rely on something more advanced than burning the liquid and the rocks we dig out of the ground.  So why in the world can’t we address these two huge needs through one comprehensive, government-led program that will provide tens of thousands of jobs now while building for our future?

Oh, I can hear all of you ‘big government is our enemy’ folks yelling now, “That’s all we need! Another government project funded by the taxpayers!”  You’re not wrong; a wasteful, poorly managed program is the last thing we need.  But look at what can be done when the power of this nation’s government is wielded, power that is supported by a public that puts everyone’s needs ahead of their own personal ones.  Bridges and dams and parks and roads get built.  Power sources and grids.  Think of all of the people who were able to feed, clothe and house their families thanks to FDR’s New Deal, and the legacy they left for generations to come.

I hope this President, who came to power with so much promise for taking on the big problems, can seize this moment, becoming the Architect in Chief of a program that will relieve the suffering felt by so many millions right now while preserving the planet for their descendants.