Friday, July 05, 2013

More Investing in Green/Energy/Jobs

I had the pleasure of addressing a large crowd last week in downtown Ferndale demanding more investment in jobs, particularly green jobs. It makes so much sense, which may explain why Congress can't seem to make it happen. Always being one who wants to multi-task, the idea of creating jobs in a new green economy would move towards solving some of our most intransigent problems.

More investment in green infrastructure would reduce unemployment, add stimulus to the economy, gear up construction, and at the same time, reduce environmental degradation. Every dollar invested in green energy that is sustainable, such as solar, wind, biomass, and geo-thermal, also reduces spending on fossil fuels that sends money overseas and contributes to air pollution and climate change.

Some believe that the shale oil and gas energy "boom" is the answer to our stagnent economy, but really it is a step back to the past. Using billions of gallons of precious fresh water to "frack" for gas miles underground is a double-edged sword. It may be a "bridge" to a greener future energy plan, but it will just extend our addiction to the fuels of the 20th century. Meanwhile, as fresh water becomes scarcer and more expensive, we will have squandered huge amounts in drilling and fracking that may be permanently poisoned.

Nations as varied as Brazil, Holland, Germany, and Sweden are way ahead of this country in moving away from fossil fuels and toward a smarter, greener future.
If we are the richest and most innovative nation on earth, then why is our energy and green infrastructure policy so lazy and backward?

We can keep extending the life of our oil/gas/coal energy lifestyle, but it is not a plan that is sustainable or smart. Unless we want our future jobs to be building dikes to hold back the rising seas, and selling Great Lakes water to parched nations, we ought to start investing in green energy and sustainable green infrastructure employement. Our kids and grand-kids will thank us.


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