I received an e-mail from Environmental Defense. Environmental Defense, the United Steel Workers union, and Blue Green Alliance is launching a new ad campaign that says “Carbon Caps = Hard Hats.” A group of unemployed steel workers is featured, as well as, the mayor of Braddock, PA, a town that was better known as the “Jewel of the Monongahela Valley” when it was a thriving steel producer. But the Monongahela Valley has lost 250,000 jobs according to Mayor John Fetterman, and needs a boost.
The mayor and the steelworkers know that carbon caps will force green industries to grow and are hoping to cash in on the wind. It takes 250 tons of steel to make a wind turbine. I did not know that! And the steelworkers in Braddock are ready to rock on producing as many turbines as possible.
It sounds like a plan to me. But so many people just don’t have the foresight to see that a new green industry will spur our economy. And others fight it because they are tied to our old polluting economy. But, Mayor Fetterman knows that wind energy is “the next big business built from steel.” And if big business from green energy can spur steel jobs in the Monongahela Valley, it can happen in Michigan, Ohio, and other blue-collar states too.
Capping carbon will be the catalyst for green industry. A good sense move because it literally tackles two problems with one solution—global warming, and new jobs. Once we go green, I bet we find that we’ve also solved a variety of health problems that are related to the fossil fuel industry from the air we breathe, to the water we drink that affects every living thing worldwide. It’ll be a domino effect, but for the good for a change.
Michigan already sees it can benefit by being the next world producer of lithium batteries, a strong competitor in the solar energy market, and creating wind farms instead of coalburners. It just takes a mindset that looks to the future instead of clinging to fossilized ideas.