I usually don’t comment on stories from Grist here. However, they published an article about a significant transition towards a green economy, so I’m breaking with that tradition today. It has shown a clear identifier of where our priorities are headed and, quite frankly, what makes more business sense.

As many people have heard or read about, General Motors recently closed a Wisconsin plant that produced SUV’s and Pick up trucks.

As many have not heard about, the high speed train industry is the most underfunded part of transportation in America, way behind highway construction.

However, a high speed train network using several hubs across the country is being planned.

At the same time, factories that make gas guzzlers are closing and trucking companies are protesting gas prices.

This transportation shift is a clear example of the ensuing transition to a cleaner, greener economy. This shift will also help manufacturing is a few big ways.

1.       With more high speed rail shipping, to and from Midwest cities and outward, factories will have a cheaper more efficient way to deliver goods.

2.       Trucking companies won’t be relied on for longer distances. They will be able to make more local stops, stay regionalized, and create a better work environment for drivers.

3.        Less trucks means less pollution and it also means less fuel cost to manufacturers looking to ship.

4.       The construction of this project will be immense and the upkeep will employ workers for a long time. Manufacturing of railway material and trains would be extremely difficult to outsource.

5.       The creation of new trains can take advantage of advances in sustainable technology allowing for the materials reused time and again.

Also, the basis of the Grist article is revolved around a quote by Barack Obama,

“the fight for American manufacturing is the fight for America’s future — and I believe that’s a fight this country will win.”

So do I.

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.

Sincerely,

Sean Keller

Green Collar Media

          Today, I take a look at my hometown. I believe I can make a difference most in my own community. Impacting the lives of the people I associate with seems more within my grasp. That’s why when the city of Boston sponsors green economic development, I am personally excited. It means that my community is doing something for the environment and is spending their money on renewable alternatives.

          My favorite so far is the urban compost center that will be the first of its kind. It will capture heat from a compost heap made of local restaurant scraps and yard waste and turn it into energy. The co2 that burns off will contribute to a greenhouse full of plants located above the compost pile. They have made plans to install wind turbines on the roof of city hall and there are other initiatives as well.  Also Massachusetts based Evergreen Solar has announced it will double its size and add 350 jobs.

In the article they also cite that

“Besides Evergreen, the state recently attracted a wind blade research facility that will be built near the Tobin Bridge. In addition, Greatpoint Energy, a Cambridge company that specializes in coal and natural gas conversion technology, is building a pilot facility in Somerset, MA.”

          It seems like communities across the country are looking to be the leaders in renewable energy and green business practices. I have read the phrase “If we take advantage of the green movement, we can put (insert region) at the forefront of growth in this industry” or something like that by writers from Buffalo, Vermont, Ohio, Indiana, and New Mexico. California and Oregon seem like they are already at the forefront. Hot weather desert states have the sun while the plains are looking towards corn and wind. Detroit has said they want to be at the forefront and think they have what it takes.

          I don’t want to get too historical but besides the analogies to the Industrial Revolution, I’ve also heard the “space race mentality” term being thrown around a bit too. All of these states, along with private corporations, are competing to be leaders and create a competitive advantage. This type of competition also speeds up the progression to a Green Collar Economy.

          On March 13, I wrote about green procurement and commented on Paradigm Group and Harry Brix. Well apparently Mr. Brix has been getting more green manufacturing media play and was cited in a Manufacturing Business Technology article three days ago. He’s quoted as saying that green manufacturing might just be a fad like the 70s and then 90s. However, Nabil Nasr, Ph.D.,The director of the Center for Manufacturing Studies at Rochester Institute of Technology disagrees.

Nasr cites the numbers from a survey which found:

“only 9 percent of respondents prioritized reduction of their carbon footprint in 2007. When asked why, 72 percent of the respondents said they had other priorities to address first, 15 percent said the process is too costly, and 8 percent said they didn’t know how to do it.”

 So that’s what I am going to set out to do. It’s actually what I’ve been doing for the past couple months. Prove that the cost of the process is becoming increasingly easier to implement and can reap even bigger profits; Teach how to find the resources and learn how to make the right moves; And while other priorities may take precedent, the green wave could carry you for years while you address those higher priorities. 

“Green manufacturing cuts across every aspect of manufacturing, including information decisions, process technologies, energy consumption, material selection, and material flow. A lot of the decisions manufacturers make are related to cost, function, and quality. Now they are adding another dimension, which is sustainability.”

 This is just a great quote and sums up green manufacturing very well. Sustainability is where we are headed and its within our reach. Let’s keep driving towards profitable sustinability.

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               You could take this as a response to my last post about whether or not green economy is truly beneficial to our economy; but honestly all I did was a Google news search for green manufacturing and standing at the top of the search results, was an Reuters article entitled ‘CEOs see green energy policies preserving US Jobs’. The opening line was

 

It’s not often you hear executives from the biggest U.S. industries and a Republican governor clamoring for stronger regulations on climate change. But that’s exactly what they want.

This makes me think I may not have do anymore convincing or mind changing.A Chief Executive at Dow Chemical Co had some compelling comments, which I must include here:  

 

The entire chemical industry and manufacturing sector has lost 3.1 million jobs due to a lack of a coherent energy policy…We have a manufacturing crisis in this country … The leadership of this country needs to step up’

 

He said this at a Wall Street Journal Conference where a President from BP Alternative Energy North America also made the comment:

 

 “We don’t know how to deploy capital when the rules change year on year.”

 

Republican Governor Shwarzenegger even said his state had to create their own regulations because ‘Washington is not’.

 

I could go on. There were a few other quotes from CEOs of major Corporations, who more than support green energy but I don’t want to inundate you with quotes. This blog is about green revitalizing American manufacturing, and it seems that corporations welcome the movement. I’m not a tie dye clad activist, trying to bring down corporations.  Corporations agree with these green concepts. They want tighter regulations. And apparently think that they are being held back by government policy, while the rest of the world moves forward.

 

Wow, I’m actually rooting for government to give in to corporate America. This is a new green economy.