Monday, November 02, 2009

Green is now!

The New York Times published an extremely interesting story about non-profit organizations and the arriving "green" economy.  In many ways, non-profits are leading the charge with groundbreaking moves. 

Here's a taste of the story:

Nonprofit Groups Spin Off Green Ventures
by Sally Ryan
October 28, 2009

Sweet Beginnings, a line of urban honey and natural body care products, is part of a growing trend among small businesses: for-profit ventures spun off by nonprofit groups that teach skills for green jobs. Mario Casasnovas was on the green roof of the Bronx County Building a couple of weeks ago, remembering the flowers there in the summer and offering some tips about handling the sedum that is the main plant on the roof.

“The roots from the clover,” a weed, “tend to wrap around the roots of a sedum,” he said, nine floors above the Grand Concourse, near Yankee Stadium. “You’ve got to be careful not to pull out the sedum with the clover.”

Mr. Casasnovas, an employee of SmartRoofs L.L.C., was doing routine maintenance on the vegetative roof, which his company installed in June 2003. The company, based in the Bronx, is one of the few green roofers in the New York metropolitan area. But what makes SmartRoofs even more unusual is that it is part of a tiny but growing trend among small businesses: for-profit ventures spun off by nonprofit groups that teach the job skills necessary to join the nascent green economy.

SmartRoofs was developed by the nonprofit group Sustainable South Bronx, which also runs the Bronx Environmental Stewardship Training, one of the country’s first efforts to train people for green-collar jobs. The program now trains more than 60 low-income workers each year, using funds from a variety of sources, mostly outside government.

Only a handful of these small businesses exist across the country. “These social enterprises are early adopters of green industry,” Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, chief executive of Green for All, a national organization working to create green economic opportunities in disadvantaged communities, said via e-mail. “These ventures are paving the way for mainstream business to integrate the concept of green jobs into everyday practices.”

Read the entire report by clicking here.



Chris said...

Get real, Larry. The Green Movement is just Marxism by another name.

Before Obama threw Van Jones under the bus, Jones said this:

"I have a goal of moving the United States from "suicidal capitalism" to a "Green Economy" that will "push it and push it and push it until it transforms the whole society." He said "Complete revolution is on the table and the Green Movement would bring it to pass."

Well, not hardly. No one can even give a defination of a "green job."

Non-profit groups can't do anything without money from the private sector or government handouts.

Larry James said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Larry James said...

Chris, there is no Marxism in any of what was posted in the article. I will give you the fact that you stay on the same path, but I suppose I do as well.

Non-profit groups are increasingly engaging in activities that provide funding for their work. See Bill Shore's book The Cathedral Within. I find your analysis of the non-profit sector interesting. By your definition the non-profit sector has the same funding sources as many, if not most for profit sector enterprises--just think about it for a moment! Public subsidy and private funds work there as well! BTW--and one more time--no one is calling for Marxist revolution.

JBS said...


I thank you for practicing your faith not only by the actions you take every day but by the virtuous way you engage in dialogue with people who disagree with you. I thank you for not resorting to labels and name-calling. I praise you for seeking solutions instead of casting blame. I thank you for embracing those who do not share your opinions and listening to their perspectives. It would so discredit your witness as a Christian if you resorted to labeling, name-calling, and angry diatribe. Perhaps it is your refusal to distort the gospel with such tactics that makes so many of us want to hear what you believe. Thanks. May God continue to bless your faithful service to His Kingdom.

Anonymous said...

Interesting idea, Larry. I'm not sure what to think yet of "green jobs" myself. But I guess I might not have known what to think of a "high tech" job 25 years ago. Maybe that's why I would not make much of an entrepeneur.

Chris: As Larry says, kudos for at least being consistent. You have a tried and true formula: labeling + guilt be association + a dash of obfuscation = .... well, nothing, but you steadfastly keep at it nonetheless!

Larry James said...

At the present, we are working on a "green job" project to prove up the feasibility of solar panels in low-income, South Dallas neighborhoods. Thanks to John Greenan and Brent Brown, we've figured out a way to install the panels at a price that makes the strategy very doable. We have a meeting with local energy company tomorrow to work on this. So, Chris, here's a "green job": learning how to install and service solar panels owned by a non-profit company that will pay you to work hard and perfect your skills.

Chris said...

Comment from Vaclav Klaus, President of the Czech Republic:

"The green movement is trying to dictate, control, regulate, mastermind our lives. This is what we see every day. They want to discuss how many child we can have because the man is a creature which damage the atmosphere because of breathing. They are dictating us what kind of cars we can drive, how big the refrigerator we can have. I speak as someone who lived in a communist environment and who knows what it means to eliminate freedom, as someone who knows what it means to eliminate the market. Someone who knows what it means to regulate, to command, to mastermind the economy from above."

Of course this doesn't mean that everyone who is concerned about the environment is a communist. But since the fall of the Soviet Union, the communist movement has found a perfect home in the environmental movement. Van Jones is a perfect example. Ultimately he cloaked his Red ideology with the green movement. In 2007, brimming with environmental waco redistribution claptrap, Jones established the "Green for All" organization.

Anonymous said...

Chris, extreme points of view serve very well the reasoned and the innovative.

Anonymous said...


This sounds suspiciously close to McCarthy in the 50's. "Communists have infiltrated America and taken over Hollywood and even our own State Department to spread their sinister ideology." (paraphrasing) Sorry, Chris, it's been tried before. Fox "News" notwithstanding, I don't think the country will fall for it again.

Chris said...

And speaking of Marxism, Obama's friend, Jeremiah Wright, gave a speech in New York in which he praised Marx and Marxism. Hmm... birds of a feather...

Anonymous said...

You never fail to satisfy, Chris. Still following your formula!

Chris said...

I don't want to disappoint!