Blue Green Alliance: Growing the Future Through a Green Economic Recovery

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

The Blue Green Alliance was formed by the Steelworkers Union and the Sierra Club in 2006. Recently, the Communication Workers of America (CWA), the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) announced that they were joining the Blue Green Alliance. By joining forces, the Alliance now unites more than 6 million people working to create a Green Economy based on justice and fairness.

The Alliance is a strong advocate of a Green Economic Recovery:

If we invest $100 billion into six green strategies, we project it will create 2 million jobs

This is a real movement growing to make change, to make a new future.  This is the path to economic recovery, sustainable growth and economic fairness. More, after the fold.

(a version of this diary is also on Daily Kos at http://www.dailykos.com/story/… )

Founded in June 2006 by the Steelworkers Union and the Sierra Club, the Alliance is dedicated to solving the core problems of our era, environmental degredation and economic fairness, because they are intertwined:

The Blue/Green Alliance is one of the most important initiatives undertaken by the environmental movement in decades,” said Carl Pope, Executive Director of the Sierra Club.

“We have reached a point in the development of a global economy where we can either use our planet’s resources for long-term sustainability or to create an ever more dangerous polarization of wealth and poverty.  Our new alliance allows us to address the great challenge of the global economy in the 21st century–how to provide good jobs, a clean environment and a safer world.”

Good jobs and a clean environment are important to American workers–we cannot have one without the other, said Leo W. Gerard, International President of USW.  “In fact, secure 21st century jobs are those that will help solve the problem of global warming with energy efficiency and renewable energy.”

Sierra Club, United Steelworkers Announce ‘Blue-Green Alliance’

The Alliance is growing with the addition of SEIU, America’s fastest growing union and strong supporters of Barack Obama in the recent election, LIUNA, CWA, and the NRDC.  It has a bold agenda of fundamentally changing our economy through green solutions:

Together, the Alliance represents more than 6 million people, and its goal is nothing less than to transform the U.S. economy through global warming solutions.

snip

Joining the member groups was Kit Batten of the Center for American Progress, one of the authors of “Green Recovery: A program to create good jobs and start building a low-carbon economy.”

“If we invest $100 billion into six green strategies, we project it will create 2 million jobs,” said Batten. The six strategies she described were retrofitting buildings, building a “smart” power grid, expanding mass transit, and investment in the renewable energy sources of wind, solar and advanced biofuels.

She and others on the panel described a growing level of political support for a “green recovery.” Stimulating demand for wind turbines, other renewable energy equipment, and materials for retrofitting could be the fastest way to revitalize U.S. steel, manufacturing and construction industries.

SEIU Blog

It’s a real alliance, because justice for working people is intimately tied to a new Green Economy, and vice versa:

For example, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club have endorsed the Employee Free Choice Act, a union-backed bill that would protect workers’ rights to join unions. The Sierra Club has mobilized members to write to their Congress members to support the bill.

AP: Green activists find new ally in US unions

The road to recovery is a green road:

Changing the way we produce and consume energy in the United States — building a market for renewable energy and making our homes more energy efficient — will not only create good jobs, it will reduce global warming pollution and help the U.S. to gain its independence from foreign oil.

We can create jobs in a multitude of industries — including construction, manufacturing, agriculture and transportation — by investing in a green economy. These are jobs that people already work in today. With investments in wind and solar power, building retrofits, mass transit, biofuels and smart grid transmission systems, we are putting people back to work, creating new jobs and rebuilding the energy infrastructure in the United States.

So as it turns out, the answers to our economic and climate challenges are interdependent. And unlikely allies are advocating for the green economy. The Blue Green Alliance — a unique coalition of U.S. labor unions and environmental organizations — was founded on the mission that investing in clean energy creates new jobs and helps preserve the environment for future generations.

David Foster, on HuffPo, Dec. 4, 2008.

Please go here for more on A Green Recovery and here for more on Green Jobs for America

Go here for more generally on the Blue Green Alliance.

The “road” to building a Green America with a growing middle class is a “supertrain” powered by windmill-made electricity, built and maintained by American workers with good union jobs.

That’s change worth hoping for, and I believe we can make it real.  

4 comments

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    • TomP on January 6, 2009 at 8:29 pm
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    Green economic recovery.

    • Edger on January 7, 2009 at 12:51 am

    Peanuts.

    We can take it out of the 8 and half trillion dollar wall street crooks bailout money.

    Christ, Henry Paulsen probably has $100 billion in his back pocket by now.

    Let’s do it. What’s the holdup?

  1. Not surprising, in its own way, but insufficient for the future.

    Once again, Minqi Li:

    In the coming years we are likely to witness a major realignment of global political and economic forces. There will be an upsurge in the global class struggle over the direction of the global social transformation. If we are in one of the normal cycles of the capitalist world-system, then toward the end of the current period of instability and crisis, we probably will observe a return to the dominance of Keynesian or state capitalist policies and institutions throughout the world.

    However, too much damage has been done. After centuries of global capitalist accumulation, the global environment is on the verge of collapse and there is no more ecological space for another major expansion of global capitalism. The choice is stark-either humanity will permit capitalism to destroy the environment and therefore the material basis of human civilization, or it will destroy capitalism first.

    So that’s what it looks like at the macro level.  We’re likely to see an emergency forcefeeding of Keynesian measures to prop up a capitalist economy that is near the end of its tenure on Earth.

    Let’s look at what the medium-term future needs at the micro level now.  “Jobs”?  I don’t think so.  The world citizens of the future will need to learn how to be proper students of planet Earth, to guide Earth’s ecosystems into a lasting equilibrium and to preserve what will be left of world society.  

    Let’s remember that, even with the most radical of economic predictions, “alternative energy” under capitalism will merely supplement the 85-million-barrel-a-day crude oil burning habit (to the tune of 10% to 20%) until the oil runs out or until abrupt climate change leads to massive crop failures leading to food shortages.  “More growth” under such conditions will just make things worse.

    In a piece in Capitalism Nature Socialism (December 1997), Victor Wallis lists a few professions that could be eliminated in the conserver economy of the future, when production for basic human need will trump capital accumulation (49):

    • advertising, banking, accounting, legal services
    • the whole urban sprawl/construction business
    • excess energy use for the sake of corporate globalization
    • resource-intensive corporate agribusiness
    • resource-intensive sports industries (eg NASCAR)
    • cops, soldiers, prison guards, airplanes, bombs, and so on

    Let’s get rid of “jobs” which merely pander after “effective demand,” demand backed by money, and renew the power of the people to give each individual a meaningful life in the coming era of ecosystem crisis.

    • TomP on January 7, 2009 at 4:29 pm
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