President Obama has made a green economy a priority. His green building czar talks about “green collar jobs”.
The administration has made money available to the states, which offer rebates on energy upgrades. He has implemented tax credits for further help with these upgrades. That, my friend, is effective stimulus. I needed a new roof. By going to energy star shingles and increasing attic insulation, caulking windows and installing solar, I get help meeting five national objectives.
Employment: local installers all over the country retain employees and add new ones. There are 120 million homes that need to be retrofitted. Green building is booming, while other building has tanked. Effective green collar jobs creation. Check.
Manufacturing: National manufacturers make the green products that local installers put in my house. Retained manufacturing jobs, and new ones. Check.
Environment: Fewer new coal plants will be needed, so cleaner air. Reduces emissions, which the courts say must be regulated as harmful to the public health. Those are greenhouse gasses as well as toxins, so a doubly good thing.
Energy: We need to move toward energy independence, and clean sustainable energy for the future. Conservation is now the runaway cheapest form of “new” energy.
Security: Ultimately, we will be more secure when we are not tied to the fortunes of the Middle East. We’re funding hostile regimes and elements.
Economy: We want to stop “the largest transfer of wealth in the history of the world; from the West to the Middle East.” (TB Pickens).
This is a small step, but it’s fast, sensible and effective action toward major priorities. I think we’ll see lots more of this kind of systems thinking, and yes, we can move this country in the right direction. Those who claim Obama and the Democrats (sounds like a band) have not made any progress, I say not so. And I’ve got the more energy efficient home to prove it.