When I travel, I spend a fair amount of time in rental cars, which provides me with more opportunity to listen to radio programming on our civilization’s challenges and opportunities than I have when I’m home. One of the themes I see emerging is the economic plight of today’s youth, and how likely it appears that this generation will be the first to fall short of its parent’s in terms of quality of life, at least defined in economic terms. In particular, the feeble job market has made stable, high-quality careers in young people’s chosen fields extremely rare. And where the situation for college graduates is tough, the outlook for kids entering the job market with only a high school diploma is, of course, even worse.
Occasionally we read about the concept of a national commitment on the scale of what we did to fight World War II or to put a man on the moon, aimed at sustainability: energy efficiency, renewable energy, electric transportation, smart-grid, energy storage, etc. Authors of articles like these contemplate millions of well-paying, highly stable jobs, all focused on averting the environmental catastrophe that we will most certainly realize if we continue our business-as-usual approach.
A pipe-dream? Not according to some. Even Dr. Robert Pollin, whom I interviewed for “Is Renewable Really Doable?” told me that we could – and should — be making a huge difference while putting a ton of people back to work. But is he qualified to make such a call? I urge you to check out this resume, and come to your own conclusion.