The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems

The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems

by Van Jones


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061650765
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/29/2009
Pages: 247
Sales rank: 353,153
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Van Jones is the founder and former president of Green For All. In March of 2009, he became the special advisor for Green Jobs at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Van Jones lives in the Washington D.C. area with his wife and two sons.

Table of Contents

Foreword Robert F.Kennedy Jr. ix

Introduction Reality Check 1

1 The Dual Crisis 25

2 The Fourth Quadrant 41

3 Eco-Equity 67

4 The Green New Deal 85

5 The Future Is Now 121

6 The Government Question 151

7 Buoyancy and Hope 189


Action Items 205

Resource List 209

Notes 227

Acknowledgments 245

What People are Saying About This

Tavis Smiley

“Van Jones’ authentic and passionate arguments trump the status quo. In The Green Collar Economy he holds the welfare of our neediest people front and center as he lays out a viable plan for the remainder of the 21st century.”

Leonardo DiCaprio

“In less than two years, Jones has risen from local grass-roots organizer to shepherd of a national movement to build an inclusive green economy... Jones is making sure that our planet and our people will not just survive but also thrive in a clean-energy economy.”

John Hope Bryant

“Jones accomplishes the super heroic feat of linking together the solutions for poverty, the energy crisis, and global warming. Van is a visionary of our times, and one of my personal heroes. Every relevant 21st century leader needs to read Van’s book.”

Winona LaDuke

“Van’s words echo the sentiments of many indigenous communities, who have endured the effects of coal strip mining, uranium mining and mega dams. The Green Collar Economy outlines industrial society’s path towards a just future.”

Al Gore

“This book illustrates the link between the struggle to restore the environment and the need to revive the US economy. Van Jones demonstrates conclusively that the best solutions for the survivability of our planet are also the best solutions for everyday Americans.”

Nancy Pelosi

“Van Jones has a unique ability to inspire people of all colors, classes and generations to uplift vulnerable people, while protecting our vulnerable planet. His sparkling intelligence, powerful vision and deep empathy are all on full display in The Green-Collar Economy.”

Ben Jealous

“As the Earth warms and the oceans rise, the civil and human rights agenda must expand. No one has worked harder to level the playing field in the rapidly growing green economy than Van Jones.”

Tom Daschle

“Once in a very long while, a truly original voice enters our national political discussion—and changes the conversation for the better. [...]Van Jones does just that. The Green Collar Economy lets us envision a world in which the Earth and everyday people both thrive.”

Laurie David

“The baton is passed to climate advocate Van Jones who clearly sees that our future must be green and must include everyone. His powerful new book ‘The Green Collar Economy’ shows us how to accomplish it.”

Mario Van Peebles

“Brother Van Jones is a visionary who spells out real solutions in black and white - and, of course, green. Van’s vision of a thriving, green economy doesn’t have throw-away things or throw-away people. It’s the kind of environmentalism everyone can get behind.”

Lennox Yearwood

“In The Green-Collar Economy, Van Jones has penned a working man’s manifesto for the solar age. When green solutions finally catch on among everyday folks, Van and this book will deserve the lion’s share of the credit.”

Gavin Newsom

“It’s rare that someone with such a gift for speaking is able to convey the energy and excitement of his message equally well in writing. With The Green Collar Economy, Van Jones surpasses all expectations. The country seriously needs his take on the environment and the economy.”

Fred Krupp

“The Green Collar Economy is a both a rallying call and a road map for how we can save the planet, reduce our dependency on budget-busting fossil fuels, and bring millions of new jobs to America.”

Arianna Huffington

“Van Jones represents a new generation of environmental leaderone who sees the Greening of America as both a moral imperative and a nuts and bolts economic issue. His passion, intelligence, and idealism shine through every page of this must-read book.”

Carl Pope

“Van Jones reminds us that the worst of times can also be the best of times— that a nation with an abundance of resources it’s wasting — beginningwith its youth — has an enormous opportunity to stop foolishly bankruptingitself by chasing resources it is running out of — like oil.”

Paul Hawken

“Pay attention: we are witnessing the debut of a major American voice.”

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The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
MelindaLibrary on LibraryThing 2 days ago
Overall, this book has some interesting and helpful ways to go green from a global, political, and personal perspective. The Resource List and Notes section are informative and helpful. The way the author ties in racial and social justice to being green is insightful.However, it is also one of the most depressing books I have read. It reads like a litany of everything that has gone wrong, could go wrong, and will go wrong. In addition, the author hammers home that faith-based organizations and churches need to be part of the solution, yet he also states that the average response of religious people to global warming is, "Well, it's just the end times, I guess. That means Jesus is coming back." (page 103). It seems a wee bit counterintuitive to want to include people who are so deliberately not wanting to be part of the solution. He further justifies including faith-based people because his own faith led, in part, to civil rights for black people. He never once discusses how that same religion has been used to justify slavery, to denigrate and nullify any other spiritual beliefs, to deny marriage between African-Americans and Caucasians, and to perpetuate willful ignorance. If *anything* else were taught in the manner that religion is, it would be called brainwashing, psyche-damaging, and horrible, irretrievable mangling and twisting of children's minds. And yet these folks should be included because of...? Yes, I think everyone should be on board for a green collar economy, but not faith-based folks for the reasons the author lists.In addition, the author uses sexist language. Read this book if you enjoy being depressed and having the author's religious beliefs color his worldview, with occasional helpful and enlightening ideas thrown in.
tracyfox on LibraryThing 2 days ago
The Green Collar Economy outlines Van Jones' vision for a clean, green, equal-opportunity America. It's chock full of plans to build a new economy based on caulking and weatherization, solar panel installation, wind turbine and hybrid car manufacturing, small-scale organic farming, and mass transit. Jones minces no words in spelling out the many problems with the energy sources of the old, dirty, gray economy. He frames the argument for an aggressive transition in terms of the opportunity to combat both poverty and pollution. He calls for a new 'green jobs' alliance between traditional environmentalists, social justice advocates, labor, students and faith-based organizations based on equal protection and equal opportunity for all and reverence for all creation.Jones is no fan of free market solutions (with especially acerbic commentary on just how well the free market evacuation plan worked following hurricane Katrina) and calls for a government-sponsored 'green' New Deal. However, instead of calling for another big, clunky program, he envisions government's role as providing permanent and reliable tax breaks to eco-entrepreneurs, funding research, making polluters pay for carbon emissions, and developing a green workforce. The book went to press as the presidential election of 2008 neared. The economic meltdown had already kindled a backlash against decisive action on climate change. Little could Jones have known that he personally would feel its sting. (He resigned his position as Obama's 'Green Jobs' czar in fall 2009 following controversy about earlier affiliations with radical political groups.) But, as Jones acknowledged at the end of the book, 'Delivering on that promise [of a new green economy that provides increased work, wealth and health] is the great work of the new century. The real work is just beginning.' Hopefully Van Jones and his ideas will continue to be part of the effort.
ctfranklin28 More than 1 year ago
"The Green Collar Economy" was one of the greatest books that I have ever read about environmental activism and action. Written by the founder of Green for All and civil rights advocate Van Jones, this book presents a comprehensive approach to addressing economic, environmental, and social justice issues using a collaboration of public (mostly federal, but also local), business, and the non-profit/faith communities. This is a rather novel approach, because most books that I have read focus on just on reaching one of these audiences, not all.  "The Green Collar Economy" is also unique in that it focuses on issues not typically discussed in "green" books, such as racism, oppression, and the utter lack of people not in the "hybrid-driving, upper-income group". Jones argues that any large, system-wide "green" movement should include voices and "green" actions from a diverse range of people.  Another interesting feature of the book is Jones ability to balance seemingly polar opposite approaches in his book. He is able to throw a lot of statistics that demonstrate how we are destroying the earth, while also balancing that with positive optimism drawn from case studies, quotes, and inspirational speech. He is also able to break down "green" technology-speak down to the realm of everyday conversation. He praises the methods of the "green" movement, but also critiques the tactics and methods used. Lastly, the book provides one of the most comprehensive plans to address the issues. Jones presents a very ambitious "New-Deal" type of plan similar to what is presented in the "The Covenant for Black America". While many will say it is overtly optimistic (something Jones addressed himself in the last chapter), this has been one of the greatest plans that I have seen for getting America going on the "green path". As Jones says, even if we don't accomplish everything in the book (or even half), we will be headed in a better direction than where we are going. This book is best recommended for those people who: (1) believe in "green" principles and want to glimpse one potential plan to get there. (2) social justice advocates who want to make the connections between race, poverty, and the environment and need examples or models to draw inspiration This review was based on a library copy, however I will be purchasing the book for my own bookshelf,
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Overall, the book sends out a relevant message, for indeed today's Green movement is a luxury for the wealthier members of society only and that can only change with the introduction of green collar jobs, allowing all layers of society to participate and benefit. I must, hovewer give the book only three stars because this lovely message would have had a much more powerful effect had it been condenced deom 256 to 50 or so well written pages. Instead, the inspiring beginning turns insipid and I found my attention wandering as the author continued to repeat himself. I am not sure what audience Jones is targeting with this book...It is not thorough enough for professionals, too long to be an introduction for students (which incidentally what it mostly tries to be - it was assigned to all first years at my college). Do not buy it but instead grab a cup of coffee at your local bookstore and read the first three chapters. Any more and your appreciation will dwindle.
Rochester-Boilermaker More than 1 year ago
We hear a lot about "GREEN" these days but it isn't always clear what we can or should be doing in our local communities to get started. Van Jones does an outstanding job of putting facts about the Green on the table along with an "equity" view that talks about the often unnoticed discriminations associated with Green efforts in the past as well as what could happen if we're not conscious about thinking "Green for All" in our efforts. He takes a historical walk through efforts surrounding taking care of our planet from early civilizations around the world. The premise of helping the economy and the planet through Green jobs is backed up with chapters of examples of successful community initiatives that have been implemented coast to coast. He describes both private and government initiatives and partnerships. And he offers a long list of resources to help anyone do more research and be able to take a first step into getting involved. Whether someone is anxious to roll up their sleeves and enter the Green Economy or become informed to advocate at a local, state or federal level this book should be required reading.
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