A United Front: As the Nation Faces a Variety of Problems, We Look for Solutions That Address the Whole, Instead of Its Independent Parts

By Gangloff, Deborah | American Forests, Spring 2009 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

A United Front: As the Nation Faces a Variety of Problems, We Look for Solutions That Address the Whole, Instead of Its Independent Parts


Gangloff, Deborah, American Forests


It may be that every new President promises to transform government, but from the last few months it appears that President Obama is actually keeping to that promise (Dawson, p. 9). In a recent interview, the President admitted that he was dealing with many issues at once - energy, the economy, unemployment, health care, education, the environment, etc. - but wished he could have the option of taking them one at a time.

What we lose with a one-at-a-time strategy is the synergy that comes from dealing with many interrelated issues at once. We need to integrate these problem areas into comprehensive solutions. How can we create jobs, save energy and money, provide education opportunities, enhance human health, and reverse climate change all at the same time? You would be surprised how green solutions can solve a myriad of problems.

The green industry is made up of urban foresters, nursery workers, arborists, landscapers, and many others. It's a multi-billion dollar industry that employs hundreds of thousands of people. Expanding the number of trees in our cities and towns would create jobs in their planting and care, and provide many social, environmental, and economic benefits. Green jobs guru Van Jones is now an Administration member in the White House's Council on Environmental Quality; a promising appointment for green jobs and the ecosystem service value of trees.

As we rebuild our decaying infrastructure - our roads, bridges, and tunnels - let's rebuild our green infrastructure to ensure that the natural functioning of the land - the cycling of air, water, carbon - is restored and enhanced. Rebuilding "the gray and the green" in tandem, is the only way to ensure that both are whole and functioning. (See Millar, p.34).

The US Department of Energy (DOE) encourages the use of shade trees and shrubs to cool buildings as a low-cost, energy efficiency action (Little, p. 43), and statements from DOE's Secretary Chu indicate that the science of urban forestry will receive much-deserved attention in his tenure.

It's also promising to hear officials at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) promote the use of energy efficient appliances and green building standards.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

A United Front: As the Nation Faces a Variety of Problems, We Look for Solutions That Address the Whole, Instead of Its Independent Parts
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?