Monday, April 28, 2008
Green Collar Jobs
The opportunity before us is to create a new economy filled with Green Collar jobs. My friends at DIG Coop are early adopters; they can design and install a gray water system, for example, and they offer job training too.
Say what you will about the space programs of the US and Russia, but they have been responsible for the livelihood of legions of engineers, technicians and scientists. We are inspired by images the Hubble Space Telescope brings to us. The origin of these benefits, concrete and intangible, can be traced back to a group of German students studying to be civil engineers nearly 100 years ago. When they needed work, there was none in what they had trained to do, but Werner von Braun put their skills to use. He built rockets. The V-2 was a terrible weapon of war, true. Can we do better?
We have a similar labor pool now, here in the US; our vast number of underemployed, near-poverty workers. Our country has a shameful number of poor people for being a "developed" nation. Green Collar jobs cover a wide spectrum of skill, training and investment, from soil testing and ditch digging, to edible landscapes, to the design of energy systems for homes, businesses or municipalities. With cradle to cradle design, materials sciences, there are opportunities for highly skilled workers. In the service sector, Green Coaching has begun to help people re-invent their lives to be more sustainable as they live within a responsible ecologic footprint.
Let's be conscious of the deep yearning people have to do meaningful work, and together continue to find ways to develop Green Collar jobs.