Monday, November 3, 2008

Van Jones: Working Together for a Green New Deal

After the election, where do we go from here?

Van Jones advances the school of thought that all things are interrelated, including environment and the economy. Jones, coming from a background of anti-poverty advocacy, envisions a new green economy that enhances all sectors of the economy, including traditionally poor and disadvantaged segments of the population. He lays out a plan for a new New Deal in his book, The Green Collar Economy.

From an article in The Nation magazine adapted from the book, here are a few excerpts.

(A)t a certain point it occurred to me that what we need is less investment in the fight against and more energy in the fight for: for positive alternatives to violence and incarceration. It was around that time that I got involved in the environmental movement. And I came to understand that the answer to our social, economic and ecological crises can be one and the same: a green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty.

The fact is, when many ordinary people hear the term "green," they still automatically think the message is probably for a fancy, elite set--not for themselves. And as long as that remains true, the green movement will remain too anemic politically and too alien culturally to rescue the country.

Enlightened, affluent people who embrace green values do a great deal of good for the country and the earth--and they are making an important difference every day. But nobody should make the mistake of believing that a small circle of highly educated, upper-income enviros can unite America and lead it all by themselves.

For the sake of the ship--our planet--and all aboard it, the effort to go green must be all hands on deck.

We can take the unfinished business of America on questions of inclusion and equal opportunity and combine it with the new business of building a green economy, thereby healing the country on two fronts and redeeming the soul of the nation. We must.

Read the article - Working Together for a Green New Deal - here:

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