In the wake of a devastating economic crisis and a historic election, Sightline’s executive director Alan Durning takes five minutes to talk about the opportunities brought by this pivotal moment. As Durning puts it, “the path to economic recovery goes through a clean energy revolution,” including smart climate policy and green-collar jobs.

Video excerpts:

  • “It’s a time of extraordinary danger and of extraordinary possibility. This economic crisis is probably the worst of our lifetimes. At the same time, the political moment that we’re in is truly historic and exceptional, a transcendent moment with regard to race, the highest voter turnout in at least generation. There has been a turning toward the ideals we share across Cascadia.”
  • “The convergence of these two events—the political moment and the economic crisis—creates what I believe is a chance, maybe the biggest chance that we have encountered in advancing sustainability. If we can redouble our efforts in support of one another, we can achieve a kind of economic revival that is fueled by clean energy and green-collar jobs, that brings about an end to our addiction to oil and that we can set an example for other parts of the world at the same time.”
  • “The problem is that [this revolution] won’t necessarily distribute those jobs to the ones who need them the most. It won’t necessarily open opportunity for all. We can make sure that it does if we apply ourselves to that problem. We can ensure that green becomes a pathway out of poverty. There are all kinds of organizations rising to this challenge.”
  • “Seven western states and four provinces, including most jurisdictions in Cascadia, have already banded together and designed a regional system for regulating greenhouse gases [the Western Climate Initiative]. It is a visionary proposal. It will be, once implemented, the most comprehensive green greenhouse gas regulation system in the world, and it will set the table for national action in Washington DC and Canada as well.”
  • “The climate initiative will ultimately provide the motive fuel for the clean energy revolution. It will make sure that the clean energy industries are profitable and that we realize the potential of green-collar jobs across our region to become the economic engine of revival that we need.”

See also

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September 18, 2009