The company Lighting Science Group Corporation has just won an allocation of almost $19 million in federal stimulus bonds to expand its operations to develop and manufacture energy efficient LED lighting in Florida, with the potential to create 832 new green jobs. The boost for clean, sustainable, job-creating technology is in stark contrast to last week’s Gulf Coast oil rig disaster, which killed 11 workers and created an oil slick that is currently the size of Rhode Island, to say nothing of the recent Massey coal mine disaster that killed 29 workers.
In this regard, the massive clean energy rally in Washington earlier this week was as much a demonstration of support for a greener workforce as it is for action on greenhouse gas emissions. Producers estimate that more than 150,000 people attended, even though the event received minimal buildup compared to the giant PR push for the tea bag party rallies.
With Friends Like a Giant Oil Slick, Who Needs Enemies?
One can always hope, but at this writing things are not looking good for the Gulf Coast. Aside from the oil slick’s potential impact on ecosystems along the Florida-Louisiana coast, it also has the potential to destroy thousands of jobs in commercial fishing and oystering as well as sport fishing and tourist industries among others. As detailed by Associated Press writer Cain Burdeau, the well is still gushing 42,000 gallons daily with no prospect of a quick end. If we ever need a more clear demonstration that our economy cannot support the domination of fossil fuels much longer, this is it.
Tea Bags and Oil Slicks
Dang, those tea bag people sure pick funny things to get mad about, but the thing that seems to bother them the most is that their targets keep slipping away: taxes (going down, got a problem with that?), guns (nope, nobody’s taking them away), socialism (whatever that is, it better not come after my Medicare). Considering how much the oil industry depends on government subsidies (now that’s what I call socialism!), if the tea bag people are in the market for a new target well I got one the size of Rhode Island floating right off the Gulf Coast that’s pretty hard to miss, and it ain’t going to slip away any time soon.
Image: Tea bag by Selma 90 on flickr.com.
Tina Casey specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Tina’s articles are reposted frequently on Reuters, Scientific American, and many other sites. You can also follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.