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The fundamental challenge in this recession is that the growth that preceded it was a mirage. Bubble era borrowing created a network of financial jobs, real estate jobs and construction jobs that collapsed with the end of the bubble. Many of those jobs will never return.
An extremely high proportion (75%) of job losses in this recession are permanent rather than temporary. States will need to nurture completely new industry sectors and the infrastructure to support those jobs, while the jobless will need retraining in new skills to participate in those sectors.
Rhode Island’s HB 7407, now Public
Law No. 2010-203, creates the Green Economy Roundtable to advise
and assist the Governor and General Assembly in advancing Rhode Island’s
green energy economy by developing a statewide action plan.
After years of states leading the fight to promote clean energy and
reverse climate change and the House passing an energy bill last year,
U.S. Senate leaders have finally introduced climate change legislation,
Power Act (APA). The bill is lengthy and complex with compromises
that many leading environmental groups object to, although other groups have more positive evaluations of the
bill as a flawed, but important step forward.
Amidst a surge of questions on the veracity of climate change, 255
members of the US National Academy of Sciences, which since
1863 has advised the government on scientific and
technological issues, have expressed their disturbance by these recent
“political assaults” and have made it clear: “humans are changing the
climate in ways that threaten our societies and the ecosystems on which
California unanimously approved its Green Building Standards Code dubbed “CalGreen,” making it the first state to enact a mandatory green building law. Effective January 1, 2011, Calgreen
requires that every new building reduce water consumption by 20
percent, divert 50 percent of construction waste from landfills, and
install low pollutant-emitting materials and water saving plumbing
Implementing more robust, or strengthening, state green building
standards in new construction projects and renovations can help reduce
the impact buildings have on our environment. Green building or
sustainable building focuses on increasing the efficiency of resource
use — energy, water, and materials — while reducing building impacts on
human health and the environment during the building's life cycle,
through better design, construction, and operation.