From unemployment to green employment

November 8, 2008 at 2:36 am Leave a comment

The US economy shed 240,000 jobs in October alone, bringing unemployment to 6.5%. That’s more than a million jobs lost in one year. Despite the bad news, I remain optimistic. With Obama in office and promising 5mm new green jobs, it hasn’t been lost on me that his first press conference repeatedly mentioned making a transition to “clean energy” as part of his overall retooling of the American workforce. With Michigan suffering worse than most, the auto industry looks poised to serve as a prime petri dish experiment as to how dirty industries can become green ones, and in the process, realize a renaissance. No small challenge ahead, admittedly. My hope’s that Obama’s plan is more than just politics as usual, and that he’s thinking systemically — hopefully realizing our dependence on foreign oil is an unhealthy fact that we can change if we were to reinvest our money in greener infrastructure. With a large public works package being put together as part of the overall stimulus package, my second hope is that this involves wind towers and solar panels on public buildings nationwide, in addition to road revamps, school upgrades, and park restoration.

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