Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Seattle Blows 20,000,000 Green Dollars

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On the eve of Earth Day, Seattle's mayor Mike McGinn joined Vice President Joe Biden to announce that the city was receiving $20,000,000 from the Obama administration to insulate crawl spaces and train workers for new careers.

It was a magical moment. Well covered by the press. On that special eve, there may have been a sleigh on a roof somewhere---pulled by 8 tiny unicorns.

It was said---no, promised, the Earth Day gift would produce 2000 living wage jobs and fix 2000 homes in poor neighborhoods.

And shrink the carbon footprint.

More than a year later, 3 homes have been "greened up". That's right. 3.

And 14 new jobs have emerged from the program.

Happy Earth Day.

But where's the money?

KOMO News reported last week that Michael Woo, director of Seattle's "Got Green," a community organizing group focusing on the environment and social justice says, "It's been a very slow and tedious process, the jobs haven't surfaced yet---and there has been no real investment for the broader public."


But, who's got the money?

KOMO News asked the same question.

Well, the Washington Athletic Club and a few hospitals got a little, but it is said what they got will not reduce the fund amount.

But what about the poor? Has the carbon footprint been reduced? If so, by how much?

Howard Greenwich, policy director for Puget Sound Sage, an economic-justice group said, "It doesn't square with what the aspiration was."

It rarely does in the land of "Green". That's why Al Gore has been so angry of late.

Greenwich said, "I think what it boils down to is who's got the money?"

Those 14 who were trained for a living wage job in weatherization are frustrated.

Long Duong, 32, is one who was trained from the $20,000,000 Earth Day gift. However, he soon found that other men had more qualifications than him and he has now taken part time jobs---"installing light bulbs and canvassing doors."

Joshua Curtis, Seattle's manager for Community Power Works says, "We're not where we want to be, but we have a path forward."

Every taxpaying American should be concerned about that "path forward."

Washington Policy Center's Todd Myers has written a new book titled, "Eco-Fads: How The Rise of Trendy Environmentalism is Harming The Environment."

Meyers says:

Wherever we turn, politicians, businesses and activists are promoting the latest fashionable "green" policy or product. Green buildings, biofuels, electric cars, compact fluorescent lightbulbs and a variety of other technologies are touted as the next key step in protecting the environment and promoting a sustainable future. Increasingly, however, scientific and economic information regarding environmental problems takes a back seat to the social and personal value of being seen and perceived as "green."

As environmental consciousness has become socially popular, eco-fads supplant objective data. Politicians pick the latest environmental agenda in the same way we choose the fall fashions – looking for what will yield the largest benefit with our public and social circles.

Eco-Fads exposes the pressures that cause politicians, businesses, the media and even scientists to fall for trendy environmental fads. It examines why we fall for such fads, even when we should know better. The desire to "be green" can cloud our judgment, causing us to place things that make us appear green ahead of actions that may be socially invisible yet environmentally responsible.

By recognizing the range of forces that have taken us in the wrong direction, Eco-Fads shows how we can begin to get back on track, creating a prosperous and sustainable legacy for our planet’s future.

In the meantime, the path forward for this administration seems to be repeating the same thing over and over, each time expecting different results.

The President will give us his new plan for millions of new jobs when he completes his vacation at Martha's Vineyard.

Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Informed. Be Diligent. Be Blessed.

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