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Everything that is good for the environment is a job

Van Jones. (Photo by Zach Gross.)

In his newest book, Rebuild the Dream, green economy pioneer Van Jones reflects on his journey from grassroots outsider to White House insider, shares intimate details of his time in government, and provides a blueprint for reinventing the American Dream. Along the way, he contrasts the structure and rhetoric of the 2008 Obama campaign, the Tea Party movement, and Occupy Wall Street. The following excerpt from the book focuses on a new green economy.

Many politicians want us to lower our expectations about the economy. I say it is time to raise them. We should go beyond the shriveled thinking imposed upon us by today’s mania for austerity. The time has come to propose solutions at the scale of the problems we face. We can and we must revive the economy -- in a way that respects people and the planet.

For too long, we have acted as if we had to choose between strong economic performance and strong environmental performance. We have been torn between our children’s need for a robust economy today and our grandchildren’s need for a healthy planet tomorrow. We have been trapped in the “jobs versus the environment” dilemma.

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A message of solidarity to the Keystone XL protesters

I wish I could be there, helping you to surround my old workplace. Only unavoidable family obligations are keeping me away; I would be there with you under any other circumstances, and my spirit absolutely is. We have a duty to support the president when he is right (for instance, fighting for the jobs bill). And we have an equal duty to oppose him when he is wrong. And if he is even considering approving this monstrous, planet-killing proposal, President Obama is flat-out, absolutely, and 100 percent wrong. Let the message be clear: We, the People, cannot accept this. If …

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Obama & GOP should cut red tape blocking tribe's green energy

NCAI President Jefferson Keel delivers the 2011 address.Photo: National Congress of American IndiansThis piece was cowritten by Bracken Hendricks and Jorge Madrid of the Center for American Progress. President Obama's second State of the Union address set forward a bipartisan framework aimed at unleashing a clean energy revolution in America. Touching on everything from solar and wind power (hooray!), to nuclear power, to "clean" coal (sigh), the president seemed to leave no stone unturned in his quest for actionable solutions. But unfortunately, he did omit one major point of potential bipartisan cooperation -- one that could greatly accelerate our nation's …

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Obama & GOP should cut red tape blocking tribe’s green energy

NCAI President Jefferson Keel delivers the 2011 address.Photo: National Congress of American IndiansThis piece was cowritten by Bracken Hendricks and Jorge Madrid of the Center for American Progress. President Obama's second State of the Union address set forward a bipartisan framework aimed at unleashing a clean energy revolution in America. Touching on everything from solar and wind power (hooray!), to nuclear power, to "clean" coal (sigh), the president seemed to leave no stone unturned in his quest for actionable solutions. But unfortunately, he did omit one major point of potential bipartisan cooperation -- one that could greatly accelerate our nation's …

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A beautiful coalition against dirty energy

Photo: GreenpeaceThese Greenpeace activists are only a small part of the large clean energy coalition in California. New polls happily show that the majority of Californians reject the deceptive, job-killing ballot measure Proposition 23. But what the polls do not show -- and what few news outlets are covering -- is the striking diversity of voices that are demanding clean energy. Californians of all colors and classes are rejecting the false notion that protecting the planet and our public health will hurt the economy. Prop 23 -- which is funded by Texas oil companies and would effectively repeal the state's …

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Accept more poison to get less carbon? Kill this crazy idea NOW

With an increase in industry’s toxic pollutants, will this be the fate of our water sources? In exchange for cutting their carbon emissions, power plants want to undermine the EPA and get permission to increase other kinds of dangerous pollution. They even want the go-ahead to dump more sulfur and deadly mercury into our air and water. This literal “poison pill” proposal would turn progress in climate protection into a devastating setback for the health of all Americans -- especially for those who live near power plants. The dirty energy lobby hopes that America can be convinced to accept more …

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A message from Van Jones

Van Jones sent this message out to friends and supporters on Tuesday, Sept. 15. Dear Friends: My family and I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of love and support that we have received over the past week or so. I resigned from the White House on Sept. 6, and I have remained silent since then -- in keeping with my promise not to be a distraction during a key moment in the Obama Presidency. Over the past several days, however, many people have been asking how they can help and what they can do. The main thing is …

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It’s time to build the green-collar economy

This post originally ran on Wonk Room. ----- At best, the federal government's bail out of Wall Street will help the U.S. economy -- which is already in a ditch -- avoid a total meltdown. Fine. Now we need a plan to jumpstart the economy and actually get America moving again. In my new book, The Green Collar Economy, I propose a bold, green cure for the economic mess we are in. Think of it as a comprehensive plan to bail out ordinary people -- and the planet, too. We just found $700 billion. Let's find another $350 billion. That's …

Read more: Climate & Energy

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Forty years gone: MLK’s dream today would be colored green

The following are my introductory remarks to the Dream Reborn conference, beginning today and running through the weekend in Memphis, Tenn. Forty years ago today, on April 4, 1968, a sniper assassinated Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King had come to Memphis, Tennessee, to aid striking sanitation workers. The preeminent civil rights leader of his time, he was only 39 years old. Four decades have passed since that fateful day. As of this month, Dr. King has been gone from us longer than he was ever here. As we pass this milestone in history, we gather in Memphis to …

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Green-collar jobs mean standing up for people and the planet

For those of us who are a part of the movement for "green-collar jobs," last Sunday's Democratic presidential debate was a real watershed moment. Van Jones. Clinton, Edwards, and Obama were in the debate of their lives. And all three of them passionately championed the importance of creating good jobs in the clean energy sector. They presented "green-collar jobs" as a way to simultaneously boost the economy and beat global warming. Their words were like music to our ears. It felt like a victory for all of our organizations, which have been making this argument for some time. So ... …

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