“Green” Economic Recovery Plan More Important Than Ever

As a Massachusetts native and an environmental scientist, I listened to Boston Mayor Menino’s  State of the City Address last night with great interest.  Clearly, the economic crisis is as pervasive in Boston as it is anywhere else in the nation, and despite the optimism that comes with a new year and new presidential administration, any real relief from the financial pressure being felt by so many is still beyond immediate reach.  Given that grim reality, how encouraging to hear Mayor Menino recognize and highlight the city’s investment in green technology, green jobs and green businesses as a critical component of Boston’s economic future.

Where there’s clearly a need to address the economic crisis with tangible and immediate action, to ignore the potential benefits of perhaps less obvious efforts involving clean energy and sustainable development would be short-sighted.  President-elect Obama himself has pledged to double renewable energy production in an effort to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and put people back to work – a move that would most certainly contribute to the nation’s economic relief.

We need more visionary leaders like Mayor Menino and President-elect Obama to include environmentally-conscious thinking in their recovery plans … leaders of cities and states but also leaders of companies large and small.  Economic stability and environmental sustainability are part and parcel of our future success, but we’ve got to commit to that notion – and start purposefully incorporating energy efficiency, clean technology, renewable energy in our planning and operations. 

In last night’s speech, Mayor Menino called for “urgent action.”  Following his lead and embracing green ideas, programs and innovations will allow us to realize a more economically and environmentally sustainable future.  Who else out there is ready to meet the call? 

Betsy Blaisdell
Manager of Environmental Stewardship, Timberland

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