Guest Post Author Bio: Corey is the author and creator of 20’s Finances. His personal finance blog offers great ways to save money as well as tips to plan for the future.
With the movement of environmental concern, the world is in flux. My grandparents’ era of sitting around the breakfast table reading the newspaper is long gone. We now get news on our IPAD’s or smart phones and news comes to us so much faster. We are able to get word of the latest crisis around the world in seconds or minutes as opposed to hours, days or even weeks. The shift towards improved technologies has been assisted by the movement of environmental awareness. Scientists affirm that today is the day to bring about change. But, is it really the best time to start making radical changes? Many people ask if this is the best time to bring about change because of the vulnerable state of our current economy. Wouldn’t making radical changes to our infrastructure only hurt our ability to meet the upfront costs of switching to renewable energy?
The Change is Happening
Whether we like it or not, change is already happening. We are seeing newspapers go out of business. I remember the first time that I saw a representative from the local paper in the grocery store. I am sure many of you have seen this yourselves. Newspapers are so desperate for subscriptions that they have moved to the grocery store to give away free papers with the hope of luring in new subscribers. Unfortunately for them, the internet has taken off. Most likely, we have seen the end of an era for small town newspapers.
I know from personal experience how this trend is contributing to many people losing jobs. I grew up in a small town in the northwest. The major employers of this town were paper mills. There were at least two major paper mills in the town and provided a great way for people to make a living, especially for those without a college education. Many of my cousins, aunts and uncles worked for these paper mills. As the demand for paper has decreased, so have the jobs. In fact, one of my uncles lost his job and was forced to return to school in his late 40’s to learn a new trade.
While the environmental movement is not the sole cause of this shift in the patterns of our everyday lives, it does contribute. The demand to protect the environment certainly has placed a strain on the economy. In a time like this, it makes one wonder whether it is really worth it.
Is it necessary?
With the weakened economy, wouldn’t it be easy enough to ignore this recent environmental awareness and continue on without any radical change? We should at least make the economy a little more stable before committing to any radical change, right?
Unfortunately, it seems we don’t have a choice. Bill McKibben, one of the foremost environmental activists, suggests that it is too late. He suggests that the earth has already changed and we will never be able to return to the same world. He believes in this so strongly that he is currently sitting behind prison bars for protesting the potential construction of a new pipeline.
This however may not be enough to convince you to jump on board and commit your resources toward furthering the environmental movement, especially in this questionable economy.
We Need to Adapt
While the movement toward going green may be closing certain jobs, it is also opening up new ones. The labor in the green industry is slowly expanding and providing long-term employment. If we continue with this mentality of holding on until the very end, it will be too late. We need to act now and adapt to the changing environment, just as my uncle did to relocate to a new labor industry.
The green movement is not only helping the economy on the macro level, but also on the day-to-day things. Reducing our consumption helps save money. By implementing ‘green frugal tips,’ we can significantly lower our expenses and save money. While it may be difficult in the transition period, it is necessary to change gears in order to fully embrace care for the earth as well as create new jobs. It seems to me that the green movement may offer the best option for creating new jobs and improving the economy.
What do you think?