Examines the practice and promise at the intersection of workforce development and a greener economy, exploring the economic, natural, and political context that surrounds this intersection.
“This report, Greener Reality, explored not only the practice and promise at the crossroads [of workforce development and a greener economy], 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” (p.1). “After years of writing about the nature of jobs and training in the clean energy economy, and the skill delivery system necessary to provide a modicum of equity in its development, we must now think more broadly and systematically about building resilient systems, capable of responding holistically to a new reality dominated by uncertainty — in climate change, in politics, in labor markets” (p.11). (Abstractor: Author)

Major Findings & Recommendations

• “Value nature… if we continue to organize our economic affairs largely through competitive markets of different kinds, one way to begin to stop that is by putting some price on what nature gives us, and on what we’re doing to it by way of destruction or restoration. That means assigning, through regulation and markets, limits and costs to such things as carbon dioxide and other GHG emissions and minimal requirements and rewards for our natural capital’s more efficient and restorative use. We stress that actual regulation, public power and decision, are needed here as well as markets” (p.90). • “Lead with equity and respect… the willing cooperation of many people, and nations, will be needed to achieve anything like resolution of our environmental problems. That cooperation will not be forthcoming if you don’t treat people with respect. Temporizing admitted, there are only two endgames of threatened environmental disaster. It arrives. Or it’s turned back, via greater mutual respect among the members of humanity. And respect means opportunity, which requires greater equity” (p. 91). • “Build democracy, don’t assume it. If the world is really threatened by anything now, it’s not hordes of poor people overrunning elites, but a few elites destroying what’s left of real democracy…[we] see the effective hollowing out of democratic sovereignty, as nation states are gradually converted to collection agents for banks, and a decline in the forms of popular organization that once gave ‘the people’ some real bite in the economy and politics. Such organization is urgently needed now. Yes for reasons of equity, but also for competence and capacity, for the sake of a productive, not just redistributive, democracy. Without the organization of masses of actual people, in the economy, with a stake in the sustainability of its practices and the local intelligence and monitoring capacity to sweat the details and make those practices work, they simply won’t” (p.91–92). (Abstractor: Author)