Greener Reality: Jobs, Skills, and Equity in a Cleaner U.S. Economy

  • September 27, 2012
  • COWS
  • Laura Dresser & Joel Rogers

Human capital — workers’ skill and knowledge and creativity — has always anchored our vision of the green economy. But as a darkening economic and political horizon circumscribes this country’s exuberant green imaginings, plotting a course to our common future requires a new reckoning. Greener Pathways (2008) and Greener Skills (2010) charted the intersection of workforce development and a greener economy. This report, Greener Reality, explores not only the practice and promise at the crossroads, but equally importantly the economic, natural, and political context which surrounds that intersection. All the work at the corner — diverse in structure and quality as it is — faces the challenges of that context, a reality increasingly defined by rising temperatures and inequality, and declining true democracy. Our efforts, and those of many other thinkers, advocates, practitioners, and policy-makers invested in building a greener economy, is surrounded and often swamped by the fierce forces at play in American politics.