MATT POLSKY / NJ ENVIRONMENT NEWS – I recently collaborated with students in my Sustainable Economics course at Ramapo College to write a proposal to Governor Murphy for a green economy in New Jersey. “Green economy” and “green jobs” are not new terms, but our proposal takes them in new directions. Typically, green jobs refer to solar and wind installers, recycling and efficiency jobs. But, perhaps surprisingly, conventional green jobs may not be the largest category of jobs in a fuller green economy.
Our proposal offers a vision of what a green economy could ultimately be. The principal purpose of a green economy would be as a creative way to address serious environmental and, increasingly, social problems. It may be the most viable response if environmental and social conflicts, and resource shortages, worsen in the future. Alternatively, New Jersey could decide to lead the U.S. and join much of the rest of the world in pursuing the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals. If so, we would need new ways to actually do so.