By Labor Day, we need a dramatic new set of economic policies to jump-start the 21st century green economy. Green jobs can put millions of Americans back to work, boost America's war-torn foreign image, and combat climate change.
Democrats are likely to lose a significant number of seats in November if they do not aggressively push a new vision and action plan for the future. The Obama Administration is weighed down by foreign wars, a liquidity starved economy, a collapsed housing market, wrenching unemployment, and the BP oil fiasco.
Having destroyed one of the world's great fisheries, the oil industry will pledge to redouble its efforts and offer up millions of dollars for safety and improved technologies. But the oil we are looking for is located in ever more remote, costly, and dangerous locations. The cheap stuff is running out - there are more intelligent ways to power the economy.
Wind, solar, and efficiency programs are the future – a future held hostage by fossil fuel corporations armed with campaign contributions and a phalanx of lawyers and lobbyists. A decade ago Vice President Cheney intoned that "Conservation may be a sign of personal virtue, but it is not a sufficient basis for a sound, comprehensive energy policy." Bush/Cheney opened up vast new lands for exploration and gutted federal enforcement. Obama failed to reverse those policies. Now, Louisiana's $2 billion dollar fishery industry is imperiled. Today, wind, solar, and efficiency corporations are another decade more mature, another decade closer to replacing fossil fuels. And the scientific basis for climate change is much firm than a decade ago.
California gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown is proposing green energy investments to create 500,000 jobs and 20,000 megawatts (MW) of clean energy by 2020. This summer, Obama should propose a nationally scaled program to provide 5 million jobs and 200,000 MW of renewable energy capacity by 2020.
From Independence Day to Labor Day, America has 60 days to galvanize an historic push for green, clean energy. Having expended a trillion dollars on wars, a trillion dollars on economic bailouts, America ought to invest a trillion dollars in green energy. America has 60 days to bring together its labor unions, scientists, environmentalists, and green energy corporations into a powerful new coalition. America has 60 days to redirect the Democratic Party and guide it to a clean, green energy future. America has 60 days to convince the President, as peacefully as possible, but as militantly as necessary, to honor Labor Day with a dramatic fall campaign to rebuild a broken America.
Apollo Alliance: http://apolloalliance.org/
Center for American Progress: http://www.americanprogress.org/
COWS – Center on Wisconsin Strategy: http://www.cows.org/
Ella Baker Center : Green Collar Jobs Campaign:
Green for All: http://www.greenforall.org/
Majora Carter Group: http://www.majoracartergroup.com/
Massachusetts Green Jobs Coalition: http://www.magjc.org/magjc/
Sustainable Long Island: http://www.sustainableli.org/
Sustainable South Bronx: http://www.ssbx.org/