Van Jones’ latest video for the White House blog is about Green Jobs for a Green Future: Weatherization. The blog post went live earlier this morning, and readers were invited back for a live Facebook chat with Van Jones this afternoon. Viewers were asked to submit their questions and Jones answered them via a live streaming video that was broadcast both on Facebook and on the White House website.
During the 30-minute discussion, a variety of topics were discussed. Early in the discussion, Jones explained that although we often hear about greenhouse gas emissions associated with transportation choices, we don’t spend most of our time in a car or a plane. Instead, we spend the majority of our time in buildings and buildings are responsible for 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.
At this point, about half of the power used in buildings comes from coal-fired power plants. If we cut energy use in buildings (through weatherization and other projects) by 30 percent then that brings down the strain on power plants by 30 percent. This leads to a 30 percent reduction in pollution and naturally a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. If we can combine this energy reduction with the current commitment to produce more clean energy, the environment will reap the benefits.
Another question centered on a common theme seen during the current green jobs movement -- green jobs for low-income households. Van Jones explained that providing “green pathways out of poverty to prosperity” is important and discussed that the five main green energy technologies have jobs available for individuals with “GEDs to PhDs and back again.”
The five clean energy technologies Jones mentioned are solar, wind, hydro (wave), smart biofuels, and geothermal/advanced geothermal. The proposed climate bill will jump-start growth in these industries.
MNN’s own Karl Burkart even managed to get in a question of his own. Burkart asked whether churches in the Los Angeles area could apply for government funding to bring green jobs to the inner city through solar panel projects. Although Burkart’s question was concise, the answer wasn’t quite as direct. Jones referred viewers to the Department of Energy website for guidelines. For more information on weatherization grants, watch Emmanuel Hales explanation of the Recovery Act grant process.
If the live video chat gets archived to YouTube, I’ll be sure to update this post with a link.