Recently I read an interview in The Sun magazine with Van Jones, a California activist who fights for racial justice and green jobs initiatives, among other things. I've rarely been so excited by someone's ideas and so I encourage you, anyone, everyone, to read the interview here.
Here's a teaser excerpt:
It used to be that, to people working for racial justice, the environment was a side issue. The same was true of those working for the environment: racial justice was an add-on. That approach won’t work anymore. Social problems are driving ecological problems, which are feeding back into social problems. You have to deal with both at the same time. If you try to fix poverty with suburban sprawl and pollution-based economic development, you are going to sink the environment. But if you preserve the environment by outlawing development, you then strand poor people and displace workers. They’re not going to starve to death so that you can have trees. They are going to fight for their survival. You have got to come up with economic development that honors the real constraints of the natural world. All roads lead to the same solution: a green-collar-jobs agenda that puts people to work reengineering our production, waste, energy, and water processes.
-Van Jones, The Sun, March 2008, issue 387.