Magazine article E Magazine

E Word: A New Beginning

Magazine article E Magazine

E Word: A New Beginning

Article excerpt

Then-Senator Al Gore, writing in E's November/December 1991 issue on the eve of his election to the vice presidency, discussed what he called the false trade-off" between jobs and environmental progress, a major point of contention then surrounding a number of controversies, including opposition to logging in the Pacific Northwest (remember the spotted owl?), which threatened to displace loggers.

Gore was a visionary 20 years ago, as much as he's been in recent years in recognizing the looming specter of global warming and calling us all to duty. And with our hearing that call we've come full circle in proving that Al was as right then as he is now: Environmental change will not only not hurt jobs, it will create them. But for the first time, it's not only the greens who are touting this message.

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Labor unions, once distrustful of environmentalists, and of any green legislation that they saw as a threat to everything from mining to manufacturing jobs, now recognize that the clean energy sector is the very source for new, skilled jobs, and the last great hope for growing labor's numbers and future. The two groups are building a bridge together, through the Blue Green Alliance, an organization founded by the Sierra Club and the United Steelworkers. Says Teamsters President James P. Hoffa: "We have been forced to make a false choice in the past--good jobs or a clean environment...Well, look what happened--we let the big corporations pollute and the jobs went overseas anyway. But today is a new day. …

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