Green-collar worker

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A green-collar worker is a worker who is employed in the environmental sectors of the economy.[1] Environmental green-collar workers (or green jobs) satisfy the demand for green development. Generally, they implement environmentally conscious design, policy, and technology to improve conservation and sustainability. Formal environmental regulations as well as informal social expectations are pushing many firms to seek professionals with expertise with environmental, energy efficiency, and clean renewable energy issues. They often seek to make their output more sustainable, and thus more favorable to public opinion, governmental regulation, and the Earth's ecology.

Green collar workers include professionals such as conservation movement workers, environmental consultants, council environmental services/waste management/recycling managers/officers, environmental or biological systems engineers, green building architects, holistic passive solar building designers, solar energy and wind energy engineers and installers, nuclear engineers,[2][3][4][5][6][7] green vehicle engineers, "green business" owners,[8] green vehicle, organic farmers, environmental lawyers, ecology educators, and ecotechnology workers, and sales staff working with these services or products. Green collar workers also include vocational or trade-level workers: electricians who install solar panels, plumbers who install solar water heaters, recycling centre/MRF attendants, process managers and collectors, construction workers who build energy-efficient green buildings and wind power farms, construction workers who weatherize buildings to make them more energy efficient, or other workers involved in clean, renewable, sustainable future energy development.

There is a growing movement to incorporate social responsibility within the green industries. A sustainable green economy simultaneously values the importance of natural resources and inclusive, equitable, and healthy opportunities for all communities.[9]

In the context of the current world economic crisis, many experts now argue that a massive push to develop renewable sources of energy could create millions of new jobs and help the economy recover while simultaneously improving the environment, increasing labour conditions in poor economies, and strengthening energy and food security.[citation needed]

Notable uses[edit]

  1. Of or pertaining to both employment and the environment or environmentalism.
    • 1976, Patrick Heffernan, “Jobs for the Environment — The Coming Green Collar Revolution”, in Jobs and Prices in the West Coast Region: Hearing before the Joint Economic Committee, Congress of the United States, Ninety-Fourth Congress, Second Session, U.S. Government Printing Office, page 134,
    • 1997, Geoff Mulgan, Perri 6 [sic] et al., The British Spring: A Manifesto for the Election After Next, Demos, page 26,
      The United States, Canada, Germany, and Denmark are all generating hundreds of thousands of new 'green collar' jobs, especially for young people, achieving remarkable reductions in energy, water, waste disposal and materials costs.
    • 2001, Diane Warburton and Ian Christie, From Here to Sustainability: Politics in the Real World, Earthscan, page 75,
      Studies for the UK suggest that the more than 100,000 existing 'green collar' workers in environmental occupations could be joined by many thousands more, both in the private sector and in the 'social economy' of community enterprises.
    • 2007, U.S. Green Jobs Act[10]
    • 2007, U.S. Energy Independence and Security Act - Title X: "Green Jobs - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Worker Training Program" (signed into law 2007-12-19)[11]
    • 2008, during the U.S. Presidential Campaign, both Hillary Clinton[12][13][14] and Barack Obama[15] specifically promised more green collar jobs, and green vehicle bonds. Other candidates' energy policy of the United States recommendations all included increased green development, which should accelerate the creation of millions of new green jobs.
    • 2008, January 22 U.S. Federal Reserve Board unprecedented mid-term 3/4% interest rate cut[16] to soon be followed by other economic stimulus to avoid recession and support new job development in green building construction, remodeling/weatherization, transportation (green vehicles) and green manufacturing industry sectors. Widespread bipartisan, Administration and Congressional support for immediate economic stimulus funding, with a bias toward increasing sustainable green-collar jobs.
  2. Of or pertaining to rural, agricultural employment; often contrasted with urban blue-collar employment.
    • 1983, U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Forestry, Water Resources, and Environment, Cultivation of Marihuana in National Forests: Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Forestry, Water Resources, and Environment, […], U.S. Government Printing Office, page 32,
      American [marijuana] growers, who have more recently become known as America's "green-collar" workers because of the bright green color of their product, […]
    • 2004, Martin Heidenreich et al., Regional Innovation Systems: The Role of Governances in a Globalized World, Routledge UK, page 394,
Qualification structure of the workforce (%) 1980 1997
    Blue-collar 29.7 33.5
    Green-collar 21.2 10.0
    White-collar 25.0 31.7
    Grey-collar 24.0 24.8

Al Gore Repower America[edit]

Al Gore states that economists across the spectrum — including Martin Feldstein and Lawrence Summers — agree that large and rapid investments in a jobs-intensive infrastructure initiative is the best way to revive the economy in a quick and sustainable way.[17]

Center for American Progress[edit]

A report from the Center for American Progress concludes that a $100 billion federal investment in clean energy technologies over 2009 and 2010 would yield 2 million new U.S. jobs, cutting the unemployment rate by 1.3% and put the nation on a path toward a low-carbon economy. The report, prepared by the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, proposes $50 billion in tax credits for energy efficiency retrofits and renewable energy systems; $46 billion in direct government spending for public building retrofits, mass transit, freight rail, smart electrical grid systems, and renewable energy systems; and $4 billion for federal loan guarantees to help finance building retrofits and renewable energy projects. The Center believes that clean energy investments would yield about 300,000 more jobs than if the same funds were distributed among U.S. taxpayers. The clean energy investments would also have the added benefits of lower home energy bills and reduced prices for non-renewable energy sources, due to the reduced consumption of those energy sources.[18]

Worldwatch Institute/ UNEP[edit]

Global efforts to tackle climate change could result in millions of "green" jobs over the coming decades, according to a 2008 study prepared by the Worldwatch Institute with funding from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The study found that the global market for environmental products and services is projected to double from $1.37 trillion per year at present to $2.74 trillion by 2020, with half of that market in efficient energy use. In terms of energy supply, the renewable energy industry will be particularly important. Some 2.3 million people have found renewable energy jobs in recent years, and projected investments of $630 billion by 2030 would translate into at least 20 million additional jobs.[19]

U.S. Conference of Mayors[edit]

Also in 2008, the U.S. Conference of Mayors released a report that finds the U.S. economy currently generates more than 750,000 green jobs, while over the next 30 years, an emphasis on clean energy could result in a five-fold increase, to more than 4.2 million jobs. Engineering, legal, research, and consulting jobs currently dominate the green jobs in the United States and could grow by 1.4 million by 2038, while renewable electricity production will create 1.23 million jobs, alternative transportation fuels will add 1.5 million jobs, and building retrofits will create another 81,000 jobs. The report notes that most of today's jobs are in metropolitan areas, led by New York City; Washington, D.C.; Houston, Texas; and Los Angeles, California.[20]

Scientific, environmental, and health justifications for green collar jobs[edit]

The Vattenfall study found Nuclear, Hydro, and Wind to have far less greenhouse emissions than other sources represented.

The Swedish utility Vattenfall did a study of full life cycle emissions of Nuclear, Hydro, Coal, Gas, Solar Cell, Peat and Wind which the utility uses to produce electricity. The net result of the study was that nuclear power produced 3.3 grams of carbon dioxide per KW-Hr of produced power. This compares to 400 for natural gas and 700 for coal (according to this study). The study also concluded that nuclear power produced the smallest amount of CO2 of any of their electricity sources.[21]

Claims exist that the problems of nuclear waste do not come anywhere close to approaching the problems of fossil fuel waste.[22][23] A 2004 article from the BBC states: "The World Health Organization (WHO) says 3 million people are killed worldwide by outdoor air pollution annually from vehicles and industrial emissions, and 1.6 million indoors through using solid fuel."[24] In the U.S. alone, fossil fuel waste kills 20,000 people each year.[25] A coal power plant releases 100 times as much radiation as a nuclear power plant of the same wattage.[26] It is estimated that during 1982, US coal burning released 155 times as much radioactivity into the atmosphere as the Three Mile Island incident.[27] In addition, fossil fuel waste causes global warming, which leads to increased deaths from hurricanes, flooding, and other weather events. The World Nuclear Association provides a comparison of deaths due to accidents among different forms of energy production. In their comparison, deaths per TW-yr of electricity produced from 1970 to 1992 are quoted as 885 for hydropower, 342 for coal, 85 for natural gas, and 8 for nuclear.[28]

Other uses[edit]

"Green collar" is used in the Metal Gear franchise to refer to members of the arms industry, mercenaries, and other individuals in the private sector involved in war and military activity, notably for profit.[29]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wickman, Forrest. "Working Man's Blues: Why do we call manual laborers blue collar?" Slate.com, 01 May 2012.
  2. ^ Westinghouse gets set for UK construction
  3. ^ Going Nuclear: A Green Makes the Case, The Washington Post, April 16, 2006
  4. ^ France closes its last coal mine, BBC, April 23, 2004
  5. ^ France: Vive Les Nukes, "60 Minutes," CBS, April 8, 2007
  6. ^ Hot idea: Fight warming with nuclear power, MSNBC, July 7, 2005
  7. ^ Environmentalists For Nuclear Energy
  8. ^ "Green Collar Jobs". NOW on PBS. 2008-11-14. 
  9. ^ "Our Mission". Green For All. Retrieved 2008-11-07. 
  10. ^ Jones, Van (2007-08-01). ""Green Jobs Act of 2007": Pelosi's Plan To Save The Polar Bears -- And Poor Kids, Too". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2008-11-07. 
  11. ^ "Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (Enrolled as Agreed to or Passed by Both House and Senate)". THOMAS. Retrieved 2008-01-18. 
  12. ^ Pappu, Sridhar (2008-01-23). "Politicians Power Up With 'Green-Collar' Workers". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-11-07. 
  13. ^ "Hillary’s Plan to Create a Green Jobs Revolution: Creating New, High-Wage Jobs of the Future". 
  14. ^ Chozick, Amy (2008-02-11). "Clinton Pushes ‘Green Collar’ Jobs in Md. Factory Tour". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2008-11-07. 
  15. ^ "5 Million Green Collar Jobs". Barack Obama's presidential campaign website. Retrieved 2008-11-07. 
  16. ^ La Monica, Paul R. (2008-01-22). "Fed slashes key rate to 3.5%". CNNMoney.com. Retrieved 2008-11-07. 
  17. ^ Gore, Al (2008-11-09). "The Climate for Change". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-11-15. 
  18. ^ "EERE Network News". EERE. 
  19. ^ "Landmark New Report Says Emerging Green Economy Could Create Tens of Millions of New "Green Jobs"". UNEP. 2008-09-24. Retrieved 2008-11-07. 
  20. ^ United States Conference of Mayors. "2008 Green Jobs Report". 
  21. ^ nuclearinfo.net. Greenhouse Emissions of Nuclear Power
  22. ^ David Bodansky. "The Environmental Paradox of Nuclear Power". American Physical Society. Retrieved 2008-01-31. (reprinted from Environmental Practice, vol. 3, no. 2 (June 2001), pp.86–88 (Oxford University Press)) 
  23. ^ "Some Amazing Facts about Nuclear Power". August 2002. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  24. ^ Alex Kirby (13 December 2004). "Pollution: A life and death issue". BBC News. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  25. ^ Don Hopey (June 29, 2005). "State sues utility for U.S. pollution violations". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  26. ^ Alex Gabbard. "Coal Combustion: Nuclear Resource or Danger". Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  27. ^ Nuclear proliferation through coal burning — Gordon J. Aubrecht, II, Ohio State University
  28. ^ "Safety of Nuclear Power Reactors". 
  29. ^ Kojima Productions (2008). "Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots". PlayStation 3. Konami. Scene: Act 1: Liquid Sun. Remember, Drebin's a green collar. He makes his living off the war economy. 

External links[edit]