A common criticism of proposals to fight global warming is that the U.S. (and the rest of the world) can’t afford it right now because we’re in the middle of a deep recession. Critics also argue that any federal action on climate will cause job losses at a time of high unemployment.
The Environmental Defense Fund paints a very different picture with its new web site, LessCarbonMoreJobs.com. In one of the better examples of a Google Maps mash-up, EDF has catalogued companies whose products or services are helping to reduce carbon emissions. Click on a state and the map shows the location of the companies — along with details on what they make and the number of employees. You can also find information on the local media markets — a handy link that can prompt reporters to write stories about new jobs in the green economy.
These companies will probably grow more if a cap and trade bill passes in Congress. The goal of the web site is to help build a positive political force for climate legislation and counter the effect of fossil-fuel dependent industries that only highlight potential job losses.
EDF strategically chose 12 swing states — places where the 2008 election was particularly competitive — for the initial release of the site. Director of Sustainable Technologies Jackie Roberts told me in Washington last week that the site will cover the whole country later this year. If you know of companies that ought to be included on the LessCarbonMoreJobs map, you can submit them here.