Think about the recent announcement that Airbus is building a large manufacturing facility in Alabama. Yes, this creates a lot of jobs in both the construction of the plant and the ongoing operations at the plant, and these kinds of developments are generally considered good by economists. But when you take the 30,000 foot view, are these jobs really “additive”? In other words, are Airbus employees basically just replacing the need for Boeing to add jobs? Or is the construction in Alabama really just replacing jobs for manufacturing back home in France, Airbus’s home country?
This is the fundamental difference in the clean economy. The clean economy is truly additive. When someone starts a business helping homeowners convert their backyards into organic gardens, and then helps those folks maintain those yards, they’re not really displacing another job. They’re creating a job more or less from thin air. In addition, they’re helping to produce organic and local food, which can help a local economy keep more money within its area and stimulate other local economic development. Similarly, an energy auditor helps homeowners reduce their electricity bills. It’s not replacing another job, it’s actually creating one. Green jobs are simply… different.
So back to that contest. Here’s how it works. Just nominate a green entrepreneur in your area by leaving a comment in the article about the contest. One business will be chosen for just how additive it is, and will receive $150 in cold hard cash just as a show of appreciation.
And with that, I’d like to also encourage you to go out and support locally owned, green leaning companies. Because we need them now more than ever, and they represent our best hope of changing our world for the better.
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Green entrepreneur photo courtesy of Shutterstock.