Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Who to Woohoo Wednesday: Van Jones

Sometimes, when you're feeling bad, there's a perverse instinct to seek out something that will make you feel even worse. Thus, having a bad day, I find myself feeling almost nauseous after reading the transcript of this Rush Limbaugh show. Why did I do this to myself? Seriously, why? I should know better. Now I'm sick and I'm sorry.

So, for something completely different, let's try a new blog feature—Fuller & Fuller's first feature—which will focus on someone doing good. Someone to cheer. Someone who deserves a hearty "Woohoo!" Studies have shown woohoos help restore normal breathing and reduce blood pressure in sufferers of RLS. So, welcome to Who to Woohoo Wednesday!

Interviewed on Grist: Van Jones is a civil rights lawyer and activist in Oakland, and founder and director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. Given the gang violence we've experienced in Santa Barbara this week, I was especially interested in his practical work with disadvantaged kids. Here are a few highlights:

There's no way to get changes big enough to solve these problems without creating pathways out of poverty for millions of new green-collar workers. The renewable economy is more labor-intensive, less capital-intensive; therefore, there should be a net increase in jobs.

There will also be lots and lots of money made. So beyond just having African-American kids be the workers in a green economy, we also want them to be inventors and investors and owners and entrepreneurs in the green economy. That's true for Latinos and other groups too.

And if you're tired about hearing Congressional feet dragging because they insist cutting emissions means cutting jobs, consider:

A lot of downward pressure on workers comes from increasingly intense competition with India and China. The good thing about renewable energy is that it's not going to be Chinese workers putting up solar panels. It's not going to be workers in India retrofitting buildings so they don't leak as much energy. Wind that's blowing in the United States is going to turn those wind turbines, not wind blowing in Asia. There is an opportunity here to do work that can't be outsourced.

Woohoo, Van Jones! Good to know you're out there.
I'm starting to feel a little better.

1 comment:

Noelle Aguayo said...

I happily skpped RL, seeing as my day is just starting, and went on to read about this amazing man! Please continue Woohoo Wednesdays, as your blog readers ( at least this one), look forward to it.