More Deep Thoughts

How can a blog affect a nations economy? The blogospherre is giving a voice to anyone who has internet connection and a bit of time. Where years ago, your voice was bound to your circle of influence, today the masses truly have a voice of their own.

By collaborating, we can create change. One post will not change the world but an excessive stream of commentary can show just how concerned people are. I’ve personally always had an opinion on something and this blog gives me an outlet. As others share the same desire to make their opinion known, our collaboration could create the ripple needed to evolve into a crushing wave.

Green Collar Manufacturing is about “How Green is Revitalizing America’s Manufacturing Base”. In my opinion, this is an inevitable component to the recovery of the American economy. My opinion has been shaped by conversations with people and reading several books and articles. The faster we get to it, the better.

However, there is the issue of war. America has assumed the role of world police and spends half the world’s military spending. We’re only one country. If we quickly shift our spending to developing more efficient manufacturing and green technology, we supposedly risk security. So it is possible that my progressive blog posts about sustainable business could actually pose a security threat because I promote rapid growth. Ok that’s a little extreme but let’s move on.

An article at Foreign Policy in Focus written by Jonathan Rynn, PhD, who also frequently writes for Grist, brought to light some disturbing figures. Disturbing to me, the guy who lives in America, is very Patriotic, wants his country to get back its economic mojo, reclaim the value of our dollar, be a safe home where people are free to believe in and do whatever they would like as long as it doesn’t impede others human rights, and respect our limited natural resources in the face of extreme population growth. (Exhale)

That being said, Rynn, makes among other things these observations, which I hold true because he says so and I trust his numbers. When you read them, you’ll believe that they are about accurate.

Spain is a global leader in railway and solar development.

Denmark leads in wind.

Germany leads in solar and renewable manufacturing, thanks to big incentives, which reduce every year, and which will eventually give way to free market competition.

Japan produces machinery for manufacturing at about the same level of USA with half the population. They also are railway leaders

Russia, China, Japan, Italy, and Spain are all years ahead of America in high speed train production.

If this was the Olympics, America would be low in the medal count.

European and Japanese companies are apparently the only viable options for building a rail network at several hubs in the US. They “dominate the most fundamental sector of the economy, namely the production of machinery for manufacturing industries in general (often referred to as the mechanical engineering sector).

So I have to force myself to believe that this great country of ours can reclaim the manufacturing base needed to establish economic security in the face of all this. That’s why I need to write at this website, and it’s why we, the people, need to make our voices heard no matter how much it may seem like no one is listening. There are ripples everywhere right now and it will soon become a wave. We are years behind the rest of the world and we have to catch up.



AlterNet commented today that

“even the most modest modeling indicates that the green economy holds much promise for urban and rural revitalization.”

These people deserve this. I am one of these people. A recent college graduate who wants to establish myself in American society, grow wealth in order to support a family and save enough for retirement.

Most American are among these people.

That’s why we see so much excitement in the ideas of Green for All and Apollo Alliance and Sustainable South Bronx. Urban Communities that see hope in the green possibilities in America.

That’s why rural communities who have relied on such things as coal plants and factories can rely on safe work environments again and, for some, for the very first time. These are the people that revitalizing America’s manufacturing base will really help.

It is starting to happen now. It needs to continue to happen infinitely, until the phrase ‘green economy’ is phased out by something better. ‘Great economy’ would be better, or ‘prosperous economy’ even.

 I have written this blog for business people to benefit. For people who are in charge of increasing efficiency and taking advantage of new technologies in order to raise their profit margins. I have written for the people who want to hear that green manufacturing CAN WIN in this age.

Maybe I should be writing for those who can find new financial freedom by getting a well paid job so that their home won’t be foreclosed or so they can buy diapers for their babies.

For the people who have lost their jobs and lost hope. Or for the people who felt from a young age that hope didn’t apply to them in the first place.

Maybe I should write for those people to realize that hope applies to everyone and that the opportunity is there for people like them.

If green revitalizes America’s manufacturing base, it can revitalize America’s working class base, give spending power back to the masses, and move our economy in the right direction.

I didn’t write a post on Memorial Day, but I have to voice support for anyone in the Armed Forces right now. And for their families living here, hoping that their sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives come home safe. Their work provides us the freedom to live the American dream. Thank you for working towards peace. Thank you, also, to anyone working for peace around the world, even if you’re not in the armed forces.

I sit here, in a climate controlled room, with a comfortable chair, and a flat screen monitor reading about and commenting on breakthroughs in green manufacturing. Hopefully, my work can support a movement that will revitalize America’s manufacturing base, create prosperity where it was lost and create a cleaner, safer, healthier planet. Maybe it can give you a job when you get back too.

Thank you for the FREEDOM you work (some would say fight) to provide for me. I have a renewed sense (maybe because Memorial Day just passed) that attempting to work just as hard at what I am doing, is the best way for me to say thank you.


Sean Keller

Green Collar Media

I spend a lot of time here promoting the use of green practices right now. My opinion has usually been,

“Let start taking advantage of innovative technologies and reduce non renewable energy usage today.”

The environmental reasons and capitalist reasons are plenty. But today I read a statement by Wake Forest University that made me stop and think.

Adam Mayer, the founder of the Wake Forest American Energy Security chapter said,

“…absolutely solar, wind, geothermal, etc., but only as soon as they are economically feasible. Trying to be completely renewable now will put too much strain on the US economy and on US taxpayers. The trucker strike is a prime example of the fact that we need cheap fuel now.”

So I opened my mind and dropped these words in. It makes so much sense. There needs to be a bridge to the green economy. We can’t get by on fumes while we try to set up new infrastructure; we need to work with what we got.

The purpose of is simply to promote the idea that “We need to do the things that will save us money. By converting to renewable energy we are building a new revenue stream and simultaneously preserving the environment.”

If it is not economically feasible to work green manufacturing into your process, be sure to be aware of the things that you can do. Grasp green and apply it where possible.

          Enertech could give you 47 million reasons why waste to green renewable energy might be a good industry to be in. They take waste water sludge and convert it into energy, using a patented system called SlurryCarb.

          This is almost along the lines of Waste Management’s Landfill to Energy Projects or the few new livestock manure to energy projects. Then there’s the compost to energy project in Greentown.


          Even though society is moving toward sustainable practices and will greatly cut overall water usage, our population continues to grow rapidly. We will still create some waste, enough to allow Enertech, and other sludge to energy converters, to continue doing business.

          By converting waste to energy, renewable energy takes on a new meaning. We are able to conduct business (please shareholders) and grow our economy (build stronger communities). As opposed to cutting down on all our workloads (losing jobs) and turning into minimalists (lack enjoying luxury).

          At some point everyone will agree that we are literally throwing money away when we burn or dump landfills and it has been made possible by innovations in technology. Now these entrepreneurs, who predict high energy production, while cutting greenhouse gas emissions, have the responsibility to prove that it can be done.


          If they do, they have won competitive advantage. Enertech already has a competitive advantage because of the SlurryCarb patent.

Everyday, I log into Green Collar Manufacturing, hoping to acquire a new reader, or get some feedback, or make a connection; all in an effort toward making the green economy a reality. It will take a while, as Sal Dimasi so honestly pointed out, for it to fully come to fruition, but every day I use my space in the blogosphere to create more content on the subject. There can never be enough as far as I am concerned.

The one post per day that I write seems a bit low considering the amount of info and news on the web regarding alternative energy jobs, renewable, solar, wind, weatherization, community farms, smart grids, smart cars, hybrids, ethanol. Yet all I do is post once per day. What else can I do without actually putting my hands into the creation of these products and services? I definitely can’t do everything, so I have to pick my focus. 

The one thing I can do is come to my office every weekday morning at 9 and stay until around six, contributing to the progression of the green movement. The movement itself is on a roll and it’s not because of my blog that I started a month ago; this is, obviously, far bigger than me. But I can continue playing the role of internet advocate.

On Monday I will be a part of the launching of the Green Collar Media flagship website, Green Collar Economy. It’s another way to more swiftly advance the movement, as the site will be a clearinghouse for ideas and a location to find partners, products, or services. This is made possible with a 2700 company business to business directory divided into seven channels: Business Services, Transportation, Capital, Energy, Environment, Facilities & Construction, and Office.

Green Collar Economy provides a vital new community for business professionals where ideas can be shared, news stories discovered, deals discussed and jobs found. By bringing more people together our economy benefits and businesses can exceed expectations. They can top the projected job estimates, they can reduce emission rates ahead of deadlines, and we can resuscitate the economy, not follow it into recession. Green collar economy can reward companies for sharing stories of success. It can also alter the thinking of business leaders who aren’t looking toward the distant future of climate change because their job relies on profit first.

The goal of Green Collar is to establish a database of content (authored and user generated) that proves the worth of profitable sustainability; proof that responsible energy use and less wasteful practices can add to your margin while reducing the destructive impact humans have on earth.

The site will not ask you to hug a tree, or go vegan, or change your lifestyle. Its objective is to help us all benefit from doing the things we have to do anyways: reduce our dependence on foreign oil, create jobs, please stakeholders, remove pollutants from the air and water, support our families, and restore pride in being an American. You are welcome to join Green Collar today, though we are still preparing to officially launch on Monday March 24, 2008.

               So I read this today: 


“‘Green-collar jobs’ are probably overall a net loss to the economy. If the government is saying that people have to use wind power or have to use ethanol, that means that they’ll be using less electricity or less gasoline from conventional sources. So those new jobs in those new industries will be displacing old jobs in old industries.” 

                But I’ve also previously read this: 

“Green jobs are the jobs of the future, not just because they pay well and can’t be outsourced…and not just because they’ll help strengthen our economy and lift up our middle class. But because they’ll help reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and save this planet for our children.”  

                  So now I’m thinking, surely both make valid points, and obviously I agree with the second one. Green jobs can win because just talking about it is changing the way we consume oil and fossil fuels. Reducing the ways we waste in daily life just performing normal activities is affordable and positive. But seeing devastation occur and famine strike and scientists conclude that the environment is headed down a dangerous path won’t go unnoticed.  In the end, the foundations of our economy will decide. Will we fall and recover or will we exceed and prevail?

I just want to start off by saying that defining green collar jobs as blue collar jobs done in the environmental sector is too limited. Shouldn’t white collar jobs in this sector be considered green as well? Aren’t the LEED Consultants who manage the design of an energy efficient manufacturing site also ‘green collar workers’? What about the accountants behind the scenes who are making room in their budgets for renewable energy because it can cut costs? Isn’t the person finding out the expected return on investment for green projects also a green collar worker?


That being said, I just read an article by the Philadelphia Inquirer, where they cite a City of Berkeley study that defines green collar in the limited blue tint that I just referred to. This goes along with the present thought that says ‘green collar jobs can revitalize the struggling American middle class’, who work mostly blue collar jobs.

Philadelphia is especially interested in this right now because A. The Greater Philadelphia economy has “only 250,000 manufacturing jobs remaining – a loss of more than 400,000 jobs in fewer than four decades.” and B. Van Jones just made a stop there in February. So where did the people who were doing these jobs go? Some probably got jobs in the service sector and others might have moved away. There is also a higher percentage of college educated workers today than forty years ago, who usually look for employment outside of manufacturing.

Yet on the other side of Green Collar America, Silicon Valley solar companies can’t hire people fast enough. According to The San Jose Business Journal, they are over run with solar start ups and thousands of employees are being trained on the job. Community colleges are looking for more funding to offset the shortage of trained employees at solar manufacturing plants.

So maybe my idea of manufacturing jobs is as limited as City of Berkeley’s idea of green collar jobs.Here’s the list of the new types of green manufacturing jobs that the Inquirer suggests could take hold in Philadelphia:

“biodiesel production and gas station jobs

green building 

organic food production

large-scale composting


public transit.”

From here on out I will try and include the manufacturing of these types of products as green collar manufacturing jobs as well. I mean they really are manufacturing energy, a healthy environment, and healthy humans.

Again, the scope of green should not be limited by any means, it influences everything around us and that’s why it’s such a bright future to head towards.