The Green Collar Economy
The ‘green economy’ and the social, economic, and political impact that it presents to the present and the coming generations is one of the hotly debated issues in the modern world. The idea of trying to make the world a better place to live in through the environmental conservation efforts has been met with great criticism as well as support from the people of all walks of life. Corporations, particularly those involved in manufacturing, have been at loggerheads with the environmental organizations on the appropriate procedures to be adhered to in an attempt to save the dying flora and fauna. The world’s governments have fueled the differences between the two even more by showing support for the corporations, giving an implication that to them, taxes and job creation are more important than the environmental dangers that are bound to emerge in the near future. Think of what the world would be like without the flowing rivers, the green and expansive forests, fresh air and fertile soils, on which our vegetation thrive. Would not the earth be a better place if we had plenty of food and healthy inhabitants? Therefore, the need for a ‘green economy’, cannot be overemphasized. This is particularly paramount because of the benefits that I am going to discuss next.
Firstly, the concept of ‘green economy’ tags along of ‘green-collar jobs’ with the creation of it, as Van Jones puts it. The ‘green-collar jobs’, according to Jones, serve to fix the two major problems that the modern world faces - poverty and the environmental crisis that has paralyzed even the strongest of the world’s economies. The number of jobless young people around the world skyrockets by the day since most of them seek for employment opportunities in the manufacturing and technology sectors, shunning the environmental sector as an equal and potential employer. They, as a result, miss out on the hundreds of thousands of non-exportable jobs in the emerging ‘green economy’ that would have guaranteed them a sustainable source of livelihood. For instance, green energy companies, environmental conservation vehicles such as the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), and other entities that are geared towards upholding environmental sanity across the world have been able to create thousands of jobs for many people. The ripple effect of this has been the reduction of poverty levels and the improvement of living standards of many young people who would otherwise be jobless. The creation of jobs has also resulted in the educed crime rates as many of our young people are now engaged in the activities that keep them busy. The opponents of the ‘green economy’ ideology may also argue that industrialization provides even more employment opportunities. They further argue that we need oil that drives industrialization in every aspect of our lives, from driving to food production. A possible petroapocalypse, according to them, would spell doom for the global economy (The End of Suburbia). Although this may be true, there is still so much at stake if we decide to go down that road. What is the need of creating so many jobs for a generation that will not be there in the next few decades to do them? All I am saying is, yes, we need to create jobs for our youthful population, but we should aim to do it in a manner that will also safeguard our future and the future of generations to come (Hopkins).
Secondly, health is paramount for a country that intends to take its economy to greater heights. The relationship between a person’s health and the environment they live in is so great that it can never be ignored. How healthy a person is, is directly pegged on what they consume as food and water and what environment they have around. This is what directly influences their productivity levels. A region characterized by a number of industries suffers from great air, water, and noise pollution, and as a result, the people in that particular region and its surrounding are faced with great health implications as opposed to those living in the areas with less or no industries and lots of vegetation. These industries may have a number of benefits to the government in terms of taxes and levies as well as to investors and stakeholders in terms of profits, but the demerits greatly outweighs the merits. Can you imagine living in a world where everybody is sick at the expense of a few individuals? That is, without a doubt, not where we want to be. It is only through being responsible and minding the surrounding we live in, that we can be able to guarantee a healthier future for ourselves, our children and our children’s children.
Last, but not the least, by embracing a greener economy, we embrace a better future for our children. Those who came before us toiled to make the world a better place for us, and it is time that we do the same to secure the future for those who will come after us. You do not want your great grandchildren to face starvation and hunger simply because you were not responsible enough. You certainly do not wish for them to suffer from skin cancer and other related conditions because you cut down trees to make your timber business grow! It is upon us, to ensure that indeed, those who come after us will be proud of us and the world that we have left for them (Heinberg).
Therefore, the struggle for a greener economy has not come without its share of challenges, some of them emanating from the most unexpected of places. Some of the institutions and organizations that are charged with the responsibility and mandate of conserving and protecting the environment that we live in are the ones that destroy it. Corporations, particularly in the energy sector, involved in oil and gas, are the main culprits when it comes to environmental degradation issues (Jones). They are particularly responsible for the massive water and air pollution that we currently experience. On the other hand, the current governments of many countries, which are supposed to protect their people, do nothing, slowly reaping from the operations of these killer-industries. Corruption has become a thorn in the flesh as those in charge of keeping these industries in check have been blinded by handouts, and now, they soak their hands wet, in the dirty oil money (Schneider-Mayerson).
We are young, the future lies in own hands, so our actions today will determine our success tomorrow. Let us work tirelessly for that future that we so desire for ourselves and the generations to come. My peers and friends, this is a wake-up call, that if we do not protect the surrounding that we call home, we might be left with nothing to leave for our children. For my family, thank you for all the effort that you have put to ensure that the world became a better place for us who came after you. I urge you to continue playing your part in ensuring that the world becomes one big ‘green collar economy’.
In conclusion, the benefits that we stand to obtain by embracing and adopting the ‘green economy’ idea are more than the hazards, if any. For that reason, ‘green economy’ is the way to go. Although there may be challenges and difficulties to be faced on the journey for a greener future, what we collectively stand to gain makes it worthwhile. One voice cannot deliver the future that we so desire for ourselves and our future generations, but together, we can turn that future into a reality and prevent a possible eco-apocalypse.