Monday, February 11, 2013

Can green jobs unite economy and ecology?

Green job is term that is being mentioned very often these days and in order to better understand what it really means we need to involve other terms such as environment, renewable energy and economy. The most appropriate definition of "green job" would be a job or business that is considered to be environmentally conscious. Environmentally conscious job is any job that helps restore our planet's health by for instance cleaning up the polluted environment or controlling climate change impact.

You have probably heard statements from politicians like Barrack Obama who promised thousands of new green jobs to help cope with environmental problems world is faced with these days. The whole green job idea actually looks quite appealing to most of people because what you're basically doing is earning money by doing something that is helpful to our environment. Making money by helping environment is certainly a brand new aspect because so far money was being made mostly through industry and you don't need me telling you what kind of environmental mess industry has done over the last century or so. The environmental careers are certainly looking to be the next big thing that could actually do something good for our planet but lots of money will have to be spent before we can talk of “green jobs revolution”.

If you remember President Obama promised to spend $150 billion over 10 years to create 5 million new green-collar jobs, mostly in renewable energy sectors like solar and wind energy. A few years back there was one interesting study by the RAND Corporation and University of Tennessee which concluded that if 25% of all American energy were to be produced from renewable sources by 2025, we would generate at least 5 million new green jobs. But such large percentage of renewable energy is still very much utopia because of two reasons - fossil fuels lobbies are still too powerful and the development of renewable energy sector in U.S. is yet to reach its full climax. However, not everything is negative because solar and wind energy industry are currently among the fastest growing industries in United States.

We also must look at the things from the right perspective and not forget that the average Joe will not do this job purely because he loves the planet, many will be strictly motivated with money, meaning they would ask decent wages and a real career path to fully enjoy it.

Many people are afraid to make switch to green jobs because they think they are not skilled enough. In real life in many cases the needed skills are anything but advanced, and will often require very little training. This is mostly because almost two thirds of energy-efficiency jobs are considered middle skills, so green job trainings are definitely not as advanced as many people think they are, and in many cases all you will need to do is little tweaking of your current skills.

What green jobs really need is much stronger renewable energy sector, and much more environmental conscience from all of us. We must first realize the damage that is done to our planet by different environmental issues (such as climate change and pollution) in order to find the right solution to clean this gigantic environmental mess. Ensuring much bigger percentage of clean energy (energy from renewable sources) would definitely mean less pollution, less greenhouse gas emissions and ultimately lesser climate change impact.

World is yet to fully recover from recession where millions of people across the globe have lost their jobs and are no longer able to support their families. Why not give these people green jobs so they can not only help themselves and their families but also help our planet.

So far ecology was always forced to compete against economy, losing time and time again. Wouldn't it be great if green jobs would actually unite economy and ecology?