Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has announced an ambitious plan to hire a whopping 300 new employees, with the goal of achieving “innovative solutions to the nation’s most important challenges in strategic security, energy, and the environment.” While perhaps best known for its work in weapons, nuclear and laser technology, the lab also pioneered research into environmental remediation and climate change modeling among many other sustainability-related subjects, so it’s a safe bet that a good chunk of those 300 new jobs will be in green fields. For hiring info visit https://careers.llnl.gov and don’t forget to dream big!
Lawrence Livermore Laboratory and Nuclear Fusion
Perhaps the most exciting thing going on at Lawrence Livermore is the imminent startup of the National Ignition Facility, which will be the first ever nuclear fusion ignition in a laboratory. It represents a key milestone in “clean” nuclear energy that could help accelerate a global shift out of fossil fuels.
Green Jobs at Lawrence Livermore
Just over the past few years, researchers at Lawrence Livermore have come up with a dizzying array of new developments in fields related to alternative energy and sustainability. Some of the highlights include foundational research into biofuels based on an analysis of zinnia leaves, a non-petroleum lubrication system for advanced flywheels designed to store energy from solar arrays and other intermittent sources, and a fast acting, energy efficient “steam-cleaning” system for Superfund sites.
Recovery Act Funding
The lab received $3.6 million in Recovery Act funding for carbon capture research in May, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Last August, the Obama administration designated $327 million in Recovery Act funding for science and technology research at universities, non-profits, private firms, and government labs, with Lawrence Livermore getting a $37.8 million share.
Science Funding Uncertain After the November Elections
One of our two major parties has adopted a blanket anti-government position for years, which could put further research funding in doubt depending on the outcome of the upcoming elections, especially because they’ve added an anti-science layer in the form of a slate of candidates who are virtually in lockstep as climate change deniers. For example, one Wisconsin candidate for the U.S. Senate opposes the kind of government-business cooperation that Recovery Act funds promote, and attributes global warming to sunspots. If you like the idea of more funding for more green jobs, don’t forget to vote this November – and put your vote behind candidates who are more likely to represent your interests.
Image: Frieze by x-ray delta one on flickr.com.
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