The University of Vermont had the honor of hosting a talk led by Van Jones. Van Jones was one of the founding directors of Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. He is also very concerned with the environment. He is a member of many organizations such as, Rainforest Action Network, WITNESS, Bioneers, the New Apollo Project and the Social Venture Network. The University was very thankful fortunate to have such a passionate figure come and grace us with some of his knowledge.
The speech was titled “The New Dream” presented by “Reclaim the Future.” Van began by telling us we were part of the 3rd wave of Environmentalism. The first wave was conservation which began with the Native Americans. During this time a squirrel could climb up a tree in California and jump from branch to branch and make it to the Mississippi River. The second wave was Regulation which was started with Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring. Now in the 3rd wave called, Investment. The result of an investment is hoped and assumed to be a positive one bringing many progressive results to the investor. We are in a wave of hope and optimism.
The amount of money our Country is spending on alternative energy, green cars and green products is on the rise. We are currently spending $229 billion dollars a year on all of these materials. These are amazing numbers and they are only on the rise. However the most astonishing fact is that the Green wave is the most racially segregated economy in the United States. The work being put forth to encourage this Green wave is so that it will last forever. If it doesn’t include everyone, then we won’t last very long.