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The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems Hardcover – Bargain Price, October 7, 2008
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From the Back Cover
Provocative, personal, and inspirational, The Green Collar Economy is not a dire warning but rather a substantive and viable plan for solving the biggest issues facing the country—the failing economy and our devastated environment. From a distance, it appears that these two problems are separate, but when we look closer, the connection becomes unmistakable.
In The Green Collar Economy, acclaimed activist and political advisor Van Jones delivers a real solution that both rescues our economy and saves the environment. The economy is built on and powered almost exclusively by oil, natural gas, and coal—all fast-diminishing nonrenewable resources. As supplies disappear, the price of energy climbs and nearly everything becomes more expensive. With costs and unemployment soaring, the economy stalls. Not only that, when we burn these fuels, the greenhouse gases they create overheat the atmosphere. As the headlines make clear, total climate chaos looms over us. The bottom line: we cannot continue with business as usual. We cannot drill and burn our way out of these dual dilemmas.
Instead, Van Jones illustrates how we can invent and invest our way out of the pollution-based grey economy and into the healthy new green economy. Built by a broad coalition deeply rooted in the lives and struggles of ordinary people, this path has the practical benefit of both cutting energy prices and generating enough work to pull the U.S. economy out of its present death spiral.
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, Van Jones's The Green Collar Economy delivers a timely and essential call to action for this new century.--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Top Customer Reviews
My largest complaint is that so much of this book (the first 65 pages) covers nothing but Hurricane Katrina and race relations. You would never tell from the cover descriptions or introduction that this really is a book about race and class. Van Jones comes across as obsessed with this issue, yet fails to convince me of a real connection between race and the environment.
Van Jones is also very non-specific throughout most of the book. He desperately needs more evidence, comparisons, and statistics to back up his claims. Not until the second to last chapter do we learn of specific policy solutions.
The Green Collar Economy also neglects some of the most important green issues. He dedicates less than one page to suburban sprawl vs. transit oriented development, which is really a paramount topic. Intercity rail is barely mentioned. He rarely brings up Europe, even though the US has so much to learn from them (How can you write book on anything green without drawing comparisons to Europe?).
Bottom line is I'm not sure who this book is for. Environmentalists will be unsatisfied with the lack of new information, and conservatives will remain unconvinced that Van Jones' proposals will actually work.
This error should not detract too badly from Jones' basic message; there is a lot of work to be done in the U.S. to improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings, retrofitting buildings with solar, wind, and/or geothermal systems, assessing existing buildings for cost-effective improvements, and the list goes on.
Jones' does take up the mantle of the "new" environmental movement, one which focuses on the relationship between race and being green. In this movement it is no coincidence that the Katrina response was nearly nonexistent while flooding in Iowa and elsewhere along the Mississippi River a few years earlier immediately brought out thousands of state-funded and federally-funded efforts to "save" the unfortunate residents along the banks of the river. When the victims of catastrophe were shades of brown less effort was made than when the faces of the victims were white.Read more ›
"It is true that we don't have any throwaway species or resources. We don't have any throwaway children, throwaway neighborhoods, or throwaway nations either. Therefore, the green economy must do more than reclaim thrown-away stuff. It must also reclaim thrown away lives and thrown-away places. And it must reclaim the thrown-away values that insist we are all members of one human family, with sacred obligations to each other.
In the United States, especially, we have strayed far from these truths. The following facts are worth repeating. We represent only 4 percent of the world's population, but we are responsible for 25 percent of the world's greenhouse gases. And we now jail more than 25 percent of the world's prisoners. In other words, one out of every four carbon molecules superheating the atmosphere has our name on it, and one out of every four people locked up anywhere in the world is locked up in a U.S. jail or prison. Some say that number is closer to 50 percent. This is a disturbing testament to a profound moral failing: we are functioning as if we have a disposable planet--and disposable people.
We know deep inside us that all beings have value. All people are precious. All of creation has sacred, inherent worth. We must take a stand in defense of the children of all species--including our own."
Filled with solutions and food for thought, this book is still as relevant today for fixing our economic/ecological crisis.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A book of great importance as we transition to a green economy with clean energy and a plethora of new kinds of jobsPublished 2 months ago by Annis Pratt
Van Jones is a liberal socialist who borders on communism. His idea of a "green collar economy" is simply having the government take control and dictate what can and cannot... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Eli Brown
Check this book out from a library. Don't spend the money purchasing it. This book will be quickly outdated.Published 14 months ago by felines100
Van Jones wrote this before Obama hired him, FYI.
"The Green Collar Economy" was one of the greatest books that I have ever read about environmental activism and action. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Charles Franklin
As a libertarian, I knew I wouldn't like this but I read it as part of a college class. Its nice to see how the "other side" thinks but man some of his ideas are out... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Derek B.