« Clean Energy Trends 2008 | Main | The Death and Rebirth of "50 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Earth" »

March 17, 2008


Bill Dunnington

I wish I had been able to attend the Pittsburgh conference. Joel's reflections and remarks make me wonder if there aren't likely to be several overlapping dynamics in play with respect to job creation:
1) as Joel mentions, a contraction of sorts, as reduce, reuse, recycle activities take hold - and also later if/as consumption patterns downshift;
2) the hoped-for expansion of sorts, where new clean tech investments scale into new jobs as clean tech companies come to market;
3) a net holding pattern, where people learn greener habits and practices as part of doing their daily work, rather than relying on additonal green experts and specialists.

Kara C.

I'd like to offer a personal comment that a discussion about "green jobs" isn't complete without including the category of jobs in the water and wastewater industry. People who are certified operators for running either water plants or wastewater plants play an absolutely vital role in our environment's health. Thanks to their work and dedication, when you turn on your faucet you immediately get safe drinking water. When you flush your toilet, all sewage is taken away and treated to ensure that our public lands and waterways keep clean. As our world's precious water supplies become more threatened -- whether due to drought or increasing population -- it is essential to have people who can help communities efficiently and effectively use their water resources. I work for a company called CH2M HILL OMI, and we do see a need for more talent in this area, and we are always recruiting for certified operators and operators-in-training (www.ch2mhill.jobs/omi). Educational requirements vary by each state, but people who are interested in beginning to work in this field generally need a high-school degree or equivalent plus two years of college credit or equivalent, and they must pass a state exam to achieve certification. Just Google "how to become a wastewater operator" and you'll find a wealth of information as well as links to accredited two-year programs in water/wastewater technology.


Hey just stopping by to get my dose of green info. Always good stuff here! I am trying to compile a list of stuff I can do to reduce my carbon emissions. MTV had a commercial about it, and got me interested. I have been to www.earthlab.com and they have a ton of tips but I was mostly impressed by their page where they have their users send in tips: http://www.earthlab.com/life/tips.aspx Does anyone else know of other data bases that I can find these types of small things that lower my emissions? EPA or WWF maybe?

Thanks for all your info and drop me a link if you guys see anything worth my time.

Mark W. McElroy


Shouldn't you be critiqing the ambiguity of the term "green" before you use it in your analyses? What is a "green job", anyway? And what is the "green economy", for that matter? If a company uses 1 percent less energy this year than last, is it green? Or must it be 10 or 20 percent before that designation comes into play?

Moreover, what makes a product green? Less toxicity this time around than last? If a company produces a less toxic product relative to its competitors, but consumes more energy and materials in order to do so, is it "green"?

I really don't understand why you don't rise above all this nonsense and call for some clarity and reason around the terms you're using and the concepts that lie behind them. You could start by demanding a clear explanation for what everyone purports to mean when they use the term "green".




We need local companies that can do home and business energy audits as well as contractors that can install the needed insulation, windows, solar panels, wind generators, geo-thermal units, high efficient water heaters, etc., recommended by such audits. If each city and it's surrounding region had these local companies get started through a city govt policy encouraging them, lots of jobs would be created. There could also be companies that install water catchment systems and the water sterilizing equipment needed. Perhaps companies that use whole systems analysis and create systems for govt and commercial buildings that maximize energy effeciency, water conservation and recycling and renewable energy systems as well as natural edible landscaping.

Sustainablilty analysis organizations could also employ specially trained individuals as consultants and as intsallers, etc.



We need local farmers trained in small scale bio-mass energy conversion as well.

Ryan Jones

Am loving your blog. I have put you up on my blogroll at www.m-cause.com


Mark W. McElroy

Still waiting for Joel's definition of 'green' and -- most importantly -- his explanation for why we should embrace it instead of 'sustainability'. Isn't 'green' just 'unsustainability in slow motion'?


Will O'Neill

I agree with Mark that this article should have been written with sustainability-related jobs in mind. To think that an abundance of jobs are being created with the sole purpose of being "green" (which I basically think is a marketing term) is far fetched. Rather, we should be looking at growth in regards to sustainability. Indeed, a number of companies have created positions with this purpose in mind and I'm sure they encompass what many would consider "green" issues as well as broader issues such as the social impact of their respective companies.

Additionally, I am curious as to the extent that these sustainability focused jobs are going to offset the job losses caused by shifting business consciousness. Whenever a company makes a decision to pursue environmentally-friendly or socially rightous options they could potentially be eliminating a lot of jobs. I just think this is something that may often get overlooked.

Nick Ellis

One of many places to find green jobs: Bright Green Talent. Realistically, believe they are everywhere, and thankfully so!


The green jobs need to be in alternative energy. Here in Appalachia, people are dying because of coal, there is no such thing as "clean coal". We need green and sustainable jobs here for this community that has been raped of livelihood for decades. Employ them in wind power projects, geo thermal projects, and other alternative energy endeavors. That will be sustainable. That will be green.

Clando Brownlee

Would like to advocate for green jobs creation for youth need some support here in San Diego Thank's

Clando 619-321-7698


i would also like to advocate for green job creations in australia for our youth funding and helping source from http://www.jobr.com.au

Warm Regards

Steve Sony

Atlanta Maid Service

Green jobs is the new slogan being thrown around. My Atlanta Maid Service company sponsored me to attend a solar power convention last October '08. Let me tell you, this is one cat that is not easy to skin. There are two major obstacles, most importantly, demand. The progressive states have it, the conservative ones don't. Unless legislation provides incentives to make it economically feasable, there isn't going to be movement, at least fast enough to create a green wave. On top of the demand problem, lies the problem of technical ability. Green jobs are tough, they not only require the skillset of being self employed such as sales, marketing, accounting etc. They require electrical, plumbing, construction and the patience to fight the government with regulations. Not that following regulations are bad, it is just that ambiguity runs rampant one zoning and licensing issues from time to time. One inspector may approve, another may not. In the end, this is going to take some time. Unless economic necessity drives it, the theory will continue to sound interesting, but not much real action will take place.

The comments to this entry are closed.