Book Highlight: The Green Collar Economy by Van Jones


by Staff, Center for American Progress, reprinted in Metro CERTS.

In The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems, acclaimed activist and environmental leader Van Jones tackles the challenges of oil dependence, a sagging economy, and global warming itself, transforming these looming threats into enormous financial opportunities.

Jones gives voice to a different kind of environmentalism, one deeply rooted in the lives and struggles of ordinary people. It’s not about green consumers; it’s about green workers and bringing the environmental movement to the working class. The message of The Green Collar Economy is clear: “Give the work that most needs to be done to the people who most need the work,” solving two pressing problems—pollution and poverty—at once. In turn, you provide people with not just a paycheck, but also a purpose. Like FDR’s New Deal, Jones’s plan involves the government putting people to work for the benefit of the economy. In this “New Green Deal,” workers will be employed to install solar panels, harness wind power, build hybrid engines, etc., which will create a green collar workforce.

Van Jones brings a fresh perspective to these crucial issues. As an African-American father and Yale-educated attorney, he has spent his adult life fighting for the planet and its people. He recently worked successfully with Congress to pass the Green Jobs Act of 2007. That historic legislation authorized $125 million in funding to train 35,000 people for jobs in the environmental sector.

Rachel Carson’s 1963 landmark book Silent Spring was the pivotal ecological examination of the last century. Now, rising above the impenetrable debate over the environment and the economy, The Green Collar Economy delivers a timely and essential call to action for a new century.

Click here to learn more about Van Jones!