Welcome to the final episode in our Sea Change series, Back to the Future. Journalist and policy strategist David Bollier tells us about the idea of the commons; wind energy expert Patrick Quinlan talks about wind power in Massachusetts and how it has become a battleground over competing definitions of the commons; wind developer Dan Juhl talks about community wind power; and historian Kerry Buckley sums up the lessons of our series. Read the show transcript
This week, green business guru Joel Makower encourages us to envision success in creating a clean, sustainable economy that averts climate catastrophe and improves our environment, communities, and lives. And shareholder activist John Harrington urges banks bailed out with Troubled Asset Relief Program funding to make sure they stabilize US economic security.
At the G-20 Summit addressing the global financial crisis this weekend, the government leaders of the world’s largest economies essentially twiddled their thumbs, punting on setting ambitious goals until April 2009 — when the Barack Obama Administration, which is dedicated to addressing the financial crisis and the climate crisis, is in office. Before the Summit, Worldwatch Institute Senior Researchers Michael Renner and Gary Gardner proposed that the G-20 enact a Global Green Deal, evocative of FDR’s new deal but more audacious in scope and vision. CWR co-hosts Francesca Rheannon and Bill Baue speak with Renner about the proposal’s 5 strategies, including transitioning to a renewable energy economy, launching an efficiency revolution, and investing in green infrastructure.
And speaking of green infrastructure, Deutsche Asset Management issued a report calling for the establishment of a “green” National Infrastructure Bank. Bill Baue speaks with Deutsche Climate Change Investment Research Director Bruce Kahn about the report, a followup on the Investing in Climate Change 2009: Necessity and Opportunity in Turbulent Times report CWR covered recently.
CWR News Analysis: Listen
—Pew Research Center on the People and the Environment “A Deeper Partisan Divide Over Global Warming”
—Schwarzenegger Blames Global Warming for Elongated Fire Season
—BBC: “Emissions up in developed nations”
—NY Times: “Pollution Has Leveled Off, but the Figures Have Holes”
—Pam Solo: “Saving Detroit from itself”
—Marketplace: “Obama meant it about C02”
CWR ViewPoint: Listen
The Top BENNY Award for 2008, given to activist campaigns holding corporations accountable by the Business Ethics Network (BEN), went to the Clean Up Ecuador campaign for bringing Chevron to justice for decades of pollution in the Amazon. The campaign is led by the Amazon Defense Coalition and Amazon Watch. Mitch Anderson of Amazon Watch has our commentary today, produced in partnership with BEN.
You could see the global market meltdown coming a mile away, according to futurist Hazel Henderson of Ethical Markets. She’s been identifying fatal flaws in the global economy, and sustainable alternatives, for three decades. Her most recent commentary on CSRwire critiques the “fractional reserve banking system,” which allows banks to lend 10 times the amount of money they actually have in reserves. In other words, money for nothing. Today, CWR co-hosts Bill Baue and Francesca Rheannon speak with Henderson about using the financial crisis as an opportunity to shift to a more sustainable economy.
The Democratic party has shied away from linking clean energy, the economy, and the environment since Jimmy Carter’s 1977 Energy Policy. But the political winds are changing. At Tuesday evening’s Democratic National Convention, almost all of the speakers hit on the theme of green collar jobs. Nancy Floyd of Nth Power noted that there are 2.4 million green collar jobs worldwide — but less than 10 percent are in US. Presumptive Democrat candidate Barack Obama’s platform calls for more than doubling that number to 5 million green collar jobs in the US alone. And he’s framing it as a win-win-win to get us off foreign oil, stop global warming, and create tons of green jobs in the US. This week, we feature the second part of our conversation with Bracken Hendricks, co-author with Congressman Jay Inslee of Apollo’s Fire, and co-founder of the Apollo Alliance. The discussion focuses on the political will required to build a green economy.
Green Jobs: Towards Sustainable Work in a Low-Carbon World report by the Worldwatch Institute as part of the UNEP- ILO- ITUC Green Jobs Initiative
CWR ViewPoint: read
Climate change, racial discrimination, and economic recession may seem impossible to solve. But building a green economy could do the trick. The beauty of the green economy is that it could tackle all these problems at the same time. But only if labor is a driving force behind it. And that’s beginning to happen. Green collar jobs build a clean energy infrastructure. They’re hard to outsource because most of the work, like weatherizing homes, happens on-site. Advocates are working to make the green workforce more racially inclusive. And incomes could rise as demand grows for workers left out of the oil-based economy. Today we speak with 2 of the most prominent advocates for green collar jobs and the green economy. Today, we speak with Bracken Hendricks, author of Apollo’s Fire: Igniting America’s Clean Energy Economy. and co-founder of the Apollo Alliance, a coalition of business, labor, environmental, and community leaders working to catalyze a green economy. We also hear from Van Jones, founder of Green For All, an initiative seeking to lift 250,000 people out of poverty through green-collar jobs.
Renowned Futurist Hazel Henderson discusses her new book, Ethical Markets: Growing the Green Economy, and the paradigm shift from our current economy measured in Gross Domestic Product to a new, sustainable economy measured by such yardsticks as the Buddhist country of Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness or Henderson’s own “love economy.” Francesca Rheannon and Bill Baue co-host.