Netroots Victory: “The Green Collar Economy” is a NYT Bestseller

Not too surprisingly (and thankfully), Thomas Friedman’s book Hot, Flat and Crowded holds spot #2 on the NYT‘s list of non-fiction bestsellers. A bit more shocking is that Van Jones’ book “The Green Collar Economy” landed the #12 spot.

The blogosphere is delighted by the news. As should be all advocates of the clean energy economy.

“The Green Collar Economy” received a major online push. Green for All, Jones’ organization founded to explore green solutions to poverty, launched a massive, online networking effort to spread the word about the book. They turned to e-mail lists, various forms of online promotion (videos, for example), and the blogosphere. Once the bloggers caught wind of the story, online sales skyrocketed. Next stop – NYT bestsellers.

At first, that sort of success seemed a long shot.

Jones is a first-time author and doesn’t have a whole lot of publicity outside of his choir (environmentalists and some community development advocates). Plus, the book’s marketing budget was … well, it wasn’t.

But the achievement is equally huge for the progressive and environmental communities. In my opinion, it is those of us that advocate for a clean energy economy who should be celebrating the most.

Naturally, The Huffington Post has taken the opportunity to bask in the wonders of the blogosphere’s astonishing influence. But the post doesn’t mention that Jones is also the first African-American to make the bestsellers list with a book about the environment (this being something Jones is very conscious of).

That in itself is a statement. What it’s going to take to transition our economy to one that is no longer carbon-intensive is busting the myths of what it means to be an environmentalist (it’s not necessarily for the elite, and it shouldn’t see class or race). Van Jones is an inspirational leader with a powerful message about mobilizing the masses toward a green revolution.

In a 2007 article, he envisioned:

Imagine a coalition that unites the best of labor, business, racial justice activists, environmentalists, intellectuals, students and more. That combination would rival the last century’s New Deal and New Right coalitions.

The blogosphere is a potent tool these days, no doubt. But there’s real substance to Jones’ message, and the bloggers’ success in catapulting the book to the bestseller list is evidence that a 21st century coalition could be emerging, with a force, a purpose, a shape, and roots unlike anything history has seen.

— Kari M.

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2 Responses to Netroots Victory: “The Green Collar Economy” is a NYT Bestseller

  1. Recognizing that which is a product of arrogance and also shameful behavior.

    Our lexicon of business activities is being expanded daily, thanks to the “wonder boys” on Wall Street. We are learning about derivatives, collateralized debt obligations, credit default swaps, recapitalization, puts, short selling and so on. We are gaining a new vocabulary from the recent meltdown of the financial system and expected slowdown of the real economy worldwide.

    Where did this debacle begin? Well, it began in the center of human community’s banking and investment houses in the financial district of NYC. Supposedly, the “brightest and best” among us go to Wall Street, know what they are doing and do the right thing. Unfortunately, such assumptions turn out to be colossal mistakes.

    How did this calamity occur and why is the human family in such dire economic straits? It appears that grotesque greed and a culture of corruption have come to dominate significant operating systems of the global political economy.

    Powerful people in high offices within huge business institutions with access to great wealth are recklessly and deleteriously manipulating the unbridled expansion of the global economy in the small, finite planetary home God blesses us to inhabit.

    Self-proclaimed Masters of the Universe have surreptitiously “manufactured” a sub prime “asset bubble” and perversely fostered its uneconomic growth within the world economy. Not unexpectedly, this asset bubble did what bubbles do. The sub prime bubble burst and made a mess. Global credit markets have frozen, stock prices are tumbling and the value of the dollar is gyrating.

    Evidently organizers, managers and whiz kids overseeing the global economy, and the unraveling {ie, deleveraging} of the worldwide sub prime swindle, are running the artificially designed financial system of the global economy as a pyramid scheme. This is to say that the international financial system is being operated so that most of the wealth funneled pyramidally into the hands of a small minority of people at the top of the world economy where this wealth is accumulated and consolidated. Note that thirty percent of annual corporate profits end up in the accounts of a tiny number of people. At the same time, the vast majority of people on Earth, near the bottom of the global economic pyramid, are left with very little wealth. Does the economy of the family of humanity exist primarily to provide wealth to the already stupendously wealthy? The “bankstas” among us evidently think so.

    In the 1980s, this extremely inequitable method of distributing wealth and arranging business activities was called a “trickle down” economy. We have been repeatedly told how this ‘rational’ economic scheme is good because it “raises all ships.” And yet, from my limited scope of observation, the billion people living on resources valued at less than one dollar per day and the additional 2.7 billion people being sustained on two dollars per day of resources now appear to be stuck in squalid conditions. The ‘ships’ carrying these billions of less fortunate people {ie, more people than lived on Earth in the year of my birth} do not appear to be lifting them out of poverty.

    Steven Earl Salmony
    AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population, established 2001

  2. Greg N says:

    Thanks Kari, book ordered from amazon.