“Green” Restructuring of the U.S. Economy
Most of us think of “green” in terms of the environment. We buy recycled products, purchase LED lights, drive less, and reuse products as much as we can — all in an effort to help improve the environment. But it’s not only about the environment. A lot of times, it’s about the economy too.
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See, “green” is no longer associated with a stereotype of hippies. Green practices are more mainstream and even expected. Companies make responsible business decisions based on the environment and protecting it. Indeed, the general awakening of global movements that have a common goal: to help the environment, are becoming a major focus of attention. The fossil fuel-based, automobile-centered, throwaway economy that grew from western industrial societies is no longer a viable model and many movements across the United States are moving to change this model.
Power to the People and a Clean-Energy Economy
It seems that a common goal of green is a cleaner future. Also, companies relate green to a more just America. The energized and passionate young leaders who have committed themselves to shaping a green future in their own neighborhoods met and over the course of four days, these participants took part in training, workshops, panels, and actions. They heard from leaders in the environmental movement and learned how to take these lessons back to their communities.
Therefore, the participants engaged in three campaigns:
- Catalyzing the Clean Energy Economy – Building the ground force for clean tech growth and job creation
- Campus Climate Challenge 2.0 – Transforming higher education into the innovation hub for a clean energy society.
- Beyond Dirty Energy – Campaign to fight for the rights of every community to have access to clean air and water, healthy food and an EPA that’s allowed to do its job.
Other notable organizations are gaining strong followings, such as Green For All, a national organization working to build an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty.
Co-Ops and Green Restructuring
Of great importance, budding alliances between worker-owned and -managed companies are becoming more common. Worker-owned and -managed businesses combine the romance of entrepreneurship with solid family values and commitment to a strong community. “What’s not to like?” said Nancy Folbre, an economics professor at University of Massachusetts. In the past, even the socially responsible business movements paid little attention to true workplace democracy. Consequently, this has changed as worker co-operatives and co-operative businesses have become a powerful force in America and are gaining traction.
If these alliances work, it might make a system of worker-owned enterprises assembled with the purpose of a green restructuring of the U.S. economy. That could be a powerful force.
Human Rights for Mother Nature
Former Obama “Green Jobs Czar” Van Jones is taking up the challenge as one of the newest board members of a San Francisco organization known as the Pachamama Alliance, which has been creating a global movement to make human rights for Mother Nature an international reality — complete with enforceable laws. Jones joined the alliance’s board last December, shortly after the organization announced creation of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature to carry the concept around the world—and install it not only in international law but in the statutes of communities and municipalities across the U.S.
Jones has continued to promote those ideas since leaving the Obama administration. His green community organizing skills apparently are going global, along with the Pachamama Alliance’s rights-for-nature campaign.
Services from Nature
In conclusion, the services that nature provides are, at times, not taken into account. Air, water, soil, raw material, climate regulation, pollination — without any of these, there would be no economy. So it only seems just that many companies join the green movement. Therefore, as more companies achieve efficient usage of their energy allowance, the wave of green energy consortium grows. Environmentally-responsible companies prosper, along with the environment.