All Hail the Green Collar Worker!
Yesterday I presented the concept of Green Jujitsu to the North East Recycling Forum. The event was part-sponsored by waste giants SITA, and I found myself presenting next to one of their pop-up banners which proclaimed “Making The Planet Sustainable is The Best Job on Earth.” During my talk I spoke about my road-to-Damascus moment in the Russian Arctic where massive damage from acid rain made be decide to change my career – a decision which will go down as one the best I ever made. At coffee, somebody tried to tap me up for a job for their son.
Then I came home to find that RenewablesUK had released a report to show 18,000 people now work directly in the UK’s green energy sector (excluding nuclear) – compared to about 5,000 in the coal industry – plus another 16,000 indirect jobs – a rise of 74% in just 3 years. This is despite the fact that much of the technology is imported rather than being produced domestically. This figure is expected to rise to 70,000 in a decade. This is on top of the famous Confederation of British Industry (CBI) report which showed a third of all growth in the British economy is green growth.
This all made me think that at a time when climate scepticism is rising, we need to be making more of the green collar worker. People who are climate sceptics are usually from the pro-free-market end of the political spectrum. The Green Jujitsu way to bring such people on board is not to argue the fine details of climate science, but to keep showing clear evidence of green growth, green jobs and a strong green economy.
All hail the green collar worker!