November 2009

The Green Collar Economy, by Van Jones

The Green Collar Economy, by Van Jones, is one of the potentially cornerstone texts of the 20th century. Unfortunately, the ideas in this book that took him first to national acclaim and then to the White House also brought the ire of Glenn Beck upon him. What Jones talks about and has dedicated his life to is a revolutionary approach to solving the economic and environmental crisis at the same time. His idea, essentially, is to give out of work blue collar workers green job training and then put them to work making the urban landscape greener and more sustainable.

Save energy and create jobs- simple, right?

The way he presents it in this book, it sounds that way- in fact, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. wrote the Foreward, and early on, Jones lays out how his  idea of the green collar economy will do wonders for the economy:

Sharing Nature with Children

Today’s parents are raising children in an increasingly complex technological world. Many of us have no idea how to play Halo, who our kids are playing with online (they often don’t either), or how half of our kids’ toys work. Sure, many of their friends have these toys—but do they really need them all?

When I was little, my parents didn’t run out and buy me the latest game systems or toys; I had an old fashioned bike while my friends had ten speeds, an Atari when they were all playing Sega. It didn’t make me less of a happy child; in fact, I think it was more beneficial, considering that my friends spent more time in front of the TV with their game controllers while I played or read outside. Really, other than preserving the life of your clothing a bit longer (I always wore holes in my clothes), I can’t see the benefit of playing inside for the entire day.