Where have all the green jobs gone? No doubt down the tubes with the rest of the economy, but that’s not exactly what Auntie refers to. Rather, she hearkens back to a simpler time, when work meant toiling in the field or the factory and one measured one’s self-worth by the sweat upon one’s brow. She thought those humble, honest days might be returning with the move toward more sustainable communities, but alas! According to the wonks at SustainableBusiness.com, the Top 20 Green Job Titles during the recession don’t look substantially different than the titles for any other industry. Here’s the top five from the list: executive director for a nonprofit, project manager, sustainability program director, business development associate and marketing coordinator.
With all due respect to the bureaucratic class, there’s not a lot of jobs on the list Auntie would call work. Becoming a solar or wind energy engineer sounds promising—at least you’d be designing things that someone else can build. Same goes for “green architect”—unless that title refers to one’s experience in the field. Beyond that, it’s all managers, directors and consultants. Your Ruthness admits she’s always had problems with authority, but isn’t one of modern civilization’s primary problems that we have way too many chiefs and not enough Indians?
Not that there isn’t any green work available in Sacramento. The Environmental Defense Fund Web site at www.edf.org offers an extremely useful map that shows all the locations of the green jobs in California, including Sacramento. There are scores of sustainable firms listed here, including alternative-energy providers, green-construction companies and LED lighting installers. And that’s just the companies on the list. For example, there’s Plastic Package, which manufactures plastic trays and containers and claims that it’s creating programs that recycle the packaging, thus keeping it out of landfills. OK, so maybe that’s not your ideal dream green job. But you could always drive a forklift in the warehouse. They’re electric, you know.