Mainstreaming Green

The notion of a green economy is one of the hottest topics today. There have long been crusaders for humans to live more sustainably with Mother Earth—from Native cultures to Al Gore’s recent book & film, An Inconvenient Truth. But, there has been a notable shift in the movement towards ‘mainstreaming green’ such that things like sustainable buildings and composting aren’t only heard in the conversations of the elite. Nothing is more evident of this than when, during the second town hall style Presidential debate, a female, African-American college student and department of children’s services employee asks Obama and McCain what they would do to address climate change during their administrations, if elected. She was the only person to bring up environmental issues during that debate. A green collar economy is another facet of how this environmental conversation has become mainstreamed—so that all people regardless of status, race, or zip code can benefit physically and economically from green principles.

Right now, one of the most prominent voices advocating for this green economy is Van Jones, co-founder of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and founding president of Green For All, both Mitchell Kapor Foundation grantees. I just started reading Van’s new book, The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems. I’ve only read up to page 10 :), but so far, my favorite line is on page 6 in regards to using corn as a source of fuel: “In a world full of hungry people, burning food should be criminally punished—not financially subsidized—by the U.S. government.”

Doesn’t that politically charged, social justice-oriented quote make you want to go out and get your own copy of this book?!? I know that I can’t wait to finish reading it to find out more about what kind of solutions Van has to suggest regarding green jobs and alternatives to our dependency on fossil fuels. If you want to find out more about this book, you can go to Van Jones’ site, or you can go pick up a copy at a bookstore nearest you!

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