THINGS GOTTA CHANGE—old-hat rhetoric? lachrymose echolalia? dyspeptic parroting of unfulfilled election promises? Well, taking an even cursory glance at just about everything driving the news these days, I’d like to reverse polarity and add a positive movement to this rather gruesome mix of new-decade decline-and-fall downerisms ad infinitum.

And I’m going to take Cleveland, and the “Cleveland Model,” as a new and enlightening nexus point, that is, its cooperative spirit, literal co-ops and bright green focus—and, hoop fans, I’m not talking LeBron James, Shaq, turn$tile revenues (green of another sort) and the concomitant full-glaze opiate common of professional sports. This is—drum roll, please—CHANGE TO BELIEVE IN! And I think we’re all ready for a true (a posse ad esseannus mirabillis. Read More »

Green JobsTHE BLUE GREEN ALLIANCE IS AN ORGANIZATION WHOSE TIME HAS COME. With unemployment hitting a 26-year high of 10.2 percent (up from 9.8 in September) and Christina Romer, chairwoman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors, proclaiming, “Having the unemployment rate reach double digits is a stark reminder of how much work remains to be done,” it is indeed time to get to work in novel ways that can bust us out of the torpor and downright moribund climate which surround us, and are dragging so many of us down.

Traditional methodologies and paradigms, and let’s throw in the $787 billion spending package, have thus far not done the trick—far, far from it (okay, the spending package has helped but it is not close to enough). Organizations like the Blue Green Alliance (BGA), on the other hand, are shuffling the deck and dealing new cards, even as they continue to establish credibility and put in place dependable means to get things done—”mission accomplished!” is not something they’ll probably shout anytime soon, but again they’re building that house with a canard-spouting chorus of naysayers over their shoulders, and these things take time—and there’s no time to lose.

Let’s take a closer look at this national partnership of labor unions and environmental organizations (not the odd bedfellows they at first seem) dedicated to expanding the number and quality of jobs in the green economy. Remember, in the words of Cicero, “Freedom is participation in power.” And freedom, as defined, should include the ability to find and maintain a livable wage in a healthy environment. Read More »