I finally got around to watching the historic first meeting last week of the Middle Class Task Force led by Vice President Joe Biden. Historic both because it seriously addresses for the first time in decades the dwindling middle class, and also because it focuses in on green jobs. It's long but worth watching the first half hour.
The meeting featured John Podesta, CEO of the Center for American Progress, Van Jones, now senior advisor (not Green Czar) to the White House Council on Environmental Quality, and Fred Krupp, President of EDF (Environmental Defense Fund).
Podesta presented the now famous graph by the McKinsey Institute which shows (on the left side) that the best way to solve the climate crisis is to invest in energy efficiency, a sector which relies upon green jobs. This investment is "cost-negative," paying for itself in a few short years, and then it keeps on paying itself back resulting in additional reclaimed capital:
Van Jones gave a moving speech about the "moral challenge" the government faces in making sure that the money that goes into green jobs (20 percent is earmarked for vulnerable communities) helps lift people out of poverty and into good, long-term jobs. As Van said, "We have an opportunity to build a green economy that Dr. King would be proud of."
Lastly, Krupp announced that the Environmental Defense Fund launched (last Friday) a very cool website called LessCarbonMoreJobs.org, which actually maps state by state green companies in 250 market sectors. The goal is to show how stimulating growth in both energy efficiency and renewable energy creates permanent jobs in the U.S.
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