The Village Green

A blog about how Canadians can achieve energy independence by powering down and then powering up the right way.

I thought I would post this link to a speech by Van Jones.  You just gotta check it out.  Skip ahead to Jones’ segment at minute 22:40.  But fair warning, if you watch one minute you’ll be hooked by this guy and the thing runs about an hour. 

Jones nails this thing.  The solution for Pookie and the solution for the polar bears is the same thing (minute 37:50).   

As Jones says, we have to weatherize millions and millions of houses and install millions and millions of solar panels.   Who will do this work?  

A solar water heating panel weighs in at about 150 pounds.  These things have to be hauled up to roofs - mostly by hand - and bolted in.  I’m on the wrong side of 40 so my days of doing this are at an end.  So who will do this, millions of times?  

In our remote native communities, kids are killing themselves for lack of opportunity (the native population in Canada is the fastest growing and the youngest).  These are the kids who we have to train to do this work.  We have to start training them now. 

The green movement has often been criticized as a movement of upper-middle class white people who have the time, money and luxury to worry about things other than, well, like feeding themselves and paying the landlord and not getting evicted.  We used to talk about this a lot when I was active in the Green Party here in Ontario.  

I think this understanding is shifting.  The sustainability movement is now starting to be seen for what it actually is, that is, an opportunity to undertake a massive social re-balancing toward a prosperity that is shared collectively.  I really think people are starting to get it.  

A recent poll undertaken by Environmental Defence and published in the Globe and Mail found that the majority of Canadians wants tar sands oil production cut.  They want Canada to cut greenhouse gases as we head into the Copenhagen round of climate talks and they want the emphasis in Canada to put on energy efficiency and clean energy job creation, not on the tar sands.  In this regard, Canadians are well ahead of their politicians and corporations.  

We can have a functioning democracy with a prosperity that is shared by all.  Or, we can have a prosperity that is increasingly concentrated in the hands of those few households with significant stock market holdings.  

We can’t have both.