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Week of 5.29.09

Green Jobs: Hope or Hype?

Will "green jobs" revitalize the American economy?

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Web Features

Top Green Jobs
What green jobs will most be in demand in the coming year?

"The Green Collar Economy"
In an excerpt from his book, Van Jones hopes for a "Green New Deal."

Video: The Veggie Van
How recycling cooking oil is fueling green jobs.
What will jobs of the future look like? Many studying that question are seeing green - green jobs. And with President Obama promising to create 5 million "green-collar" jobs over the next 10 years, some are predicting that new career paths in energy efficiency and clean power will transform the American economy.

This week, NOW on PBS talks with environmental activist Van Jones, founder of "Green for All," an environmental group dedicated to bringing green jobs to the disadvantaged.

In March, Jones was appointed as special advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Now that he has the President's ear, will Jones be creating a new career frontier for America?

Related Links

The Weekly Q Council on Environmental Quality

Green for All: What are green collar jobs?

YouTube: Van Jones Keynote at Powershift 09

In the News

Associated Press: Govt announces money for green jobs and training

The New York Times: Study Forecasts 297,000 Green Jobs

NPR: What Kind Of Green Jobs Will Stimulus Spawn?

Viewer Comments

Commenter: Teri Beau
People are so ridiculous. I've been in the legal field for 20 yrs., and nearly every court decision takes into account the impact the ruling will have on people.

The GOP really needs to come up with some ideas and solutions, and stop trying to sound bite and polarize us all back into a trance. NOT working.

Commenter: B A Phillips

The whole purpose of courts is to have human beings relating to the context of issues, decide them within existing and evolving legal frameworks.

An automaton cannot be a judge. Written law is never that clear, and facts are muddy. Empathy is a precious quality of human connectedness. But it does not need to sway a judge away from judicial constraints. Far from it.

Commenter: W.Kawahara
Storage of solar/wind energy is a challenge.
Consider large, horizontal, flywheels, to store excess energy and extract as needed. They could be suspended by maglev, drawing from the flywheel itself. These flywheels would be located in rural areas near the solar/wind collectors, and use transmission lines to sub/urbia.

Commenter: josh
Such a shame 'the stimulus' couldn't have jump started this revolution. Looks like the future of mainstream green jobs will be duked out in the house and senate for years to come, along with its associated policies.

Commenter: Mike Roberts
When you're talking about 'conserving' - whether it's using less energy, or polluting less - try rephrasing it so that you're presenting your case as "being more conservative".

Driving a big SUV is not a conservative thing to do because it's a very liberal use of gasoline. Takes a while for it to sink in, but it works.

Commenter: Sheri
Victoria, use your brain. If there's no CO2, everything dies. Don't buy into the scam. It's all about greed, control, taxation and poulation reduction by the control freak, globalist scum, who deem themselves lords over the rest of us feudal slaves. Start thinking for yourself.

Commenter: Sheri
To Jim Sosa: Darkness to light? Are you serious? You have some serious delusion going on, and are in dire need of mental help and deprogramming. It's slimy communists like you -- living in the radical fringe 60's time warp, who have contributed to the ruin of this country -- and you gloat? You don't even deserve to plant your old, treasonous a** on US soil! In the end fools like you will lose -- You WILL be held accountable for your actions. You'd be wise to tone down your foolish arrogance -- What goes around comes around.

To NOW: Your program is nothing more than Pravda news. You'd have to be a blind, ignorant idiot not to see what your trash, propaganda program is about. It's obvious the lunatics are truly running the asylum.

Commenter: David F.
When NOW had presented shows in the past which I had enjoyed, I was too lazy to post any of my comments. Even when I really enjoyed them, I still sat on my thumbs. So, here's a long overdue kudos to David and Maria for their excellent, excellent work.

I've been thinking about taking some solar panel installation classes (looks fun) at our local college, and now I'm determined to enroll (all I have to do is find that damn catalog). I hope this show has inspired others as well.

Commenter: E Savage
One needs to include sentiment along with legal rationale. If not for human empathy we could program a computer (smart enough to play chess) to make the decisions.

Commenter: Victoria
C.Q. Clodfodder,

It's funny you mention the importance of education. You may want to refresh yours a bit. Van Jones is a civil rights attorney, an author, and an environmental advocate. He is 41 -- not that young. He founded the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, an organization working for alternatives to violence and incarceration. Jones is the president and founder of Green For All, a national organization dedicated to building an inclusive green economy for EVERYONE (not select groups as you claim). Evolving blue collar jobs into green collar jobs benefits us all (and there's room for every group of every color/class of the rainbow).

Native Americans call what your white ancestors did genocide, not colonization. Most of the brown folks you refer to are not here by choice. We need to heal the past, move forward, and embrace the now and future together as the moral, strong nation we purport to be.

Commenter: Victoria

How much will it cost to sit and do nothing in this economy? How much will it cost to sit by and allow the CO2 to increase in our atmosphere, quickly warming our planet, increasing wildfires, childhood asthma, species extinction, and deadly hurricanes. Van Jones is creating jobs to save our economy, our community, and our planet (do some research on his accomplishments thus far). David asked the proper and necessary questions "the public needs" answered; to help us survive this recession and to help us save our planet.

Optimism goes a long way.

Commenter: SpringGirl
My daughter in law has a Ph.D. in Environmental Ecology and after she graduated there were NO jobs, she now has a good position in the Solar Energy Division of the State of California. She was looking to the future when she did her degree, and now the future is finally catching up to her. P.S. Every car driven by members of my immediate family is a hybrid.

Commenter: G.Q.Clodfelter
I saw a black president of my country appointment a fast talking young black man promote a green future with black, and brown groups with little or no education to take over the white white color, and white blue color jobs in the future of my country that my family came here to help colonize. This is not the change that I would have voted for.

Commenter: Wellington
David, If this week’s episode of Now had been 5 minutes longer we would’ve witnessed you giving Van Jones a back rub and crooning Come Fly With Me in his ear. You didn’t ask a single tough question, such as how much each of these “green” jobs will cost to create. You are a good journalist; use your access to ask the questions the public needs answered.

Commenter: Jim Sosa
I enjoyed Maria Hinojosa's commentary on Judge Sotomayor. This is such a wonderful time in our country. We have gone from the darkness to the light in one election. We have a long way to go, but as a "boomer" I am thankful to see a new generation carrying on the gains we worked for. I'm starting to run out of steam - well, I guess I just fight slower now. In my later years I never expected to take the "fight" to College Station, TX - but doing so has renrgized my wife and I. If we had retired to Maine as we planned it would not be as much fun as we are having here in the middle of a conservative community.

We are long-term NOW watchers, having followed David from his days on Market Place. NOW is one of the bright spots in our week. Please keep up the good work.

Green Jobs: Hope or Hype?

Top Green Jobs

Book Excerpt: "The Green Collar Economy"

Video: The Veggie Van

The Future of Green Jobs

Our Response to N. Korea

Personal Essay: The Impact of Sonia Sotomayor

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