Van Jones on Rebuilding the Dream

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Green economy pioneer Van Jones discusses his journey from grassroots outsider to White House insider. In Rebuild the Dream, he explains why he resigned his post as a special advisor to the Obama White House and proposes a plan to fix our democracy and renew the American dream.


Van Jones

Comments [17]

amalgam from NYC by day, NJ by night

@ geTaylor - Oh yes; you _expect_ a 100% success rate in all ventures with public support and/or financing? I guess over the DOE clean energy grants success rate of over 90% (an A) is insufficient.

I'm sure all those oil and gas wild-catters receiving federal tax breaks and subsidies over the years would be scared to see you coming. Plus, you're right, whole-hearted support of _WANING_ fossil fuel supplies even through unconventional is so innovative and futuristic.

And as for the Blythe Solar Power Project and the bankruptcy of the GERMAN-owned developer, Solar Trust, it happened bcause German subsidies stopped and had nothing to do with the U.S. federal govt (and the dreaded Obama admin.). Start looking for the complexity in life rather than simplifying things to lowest common denominator. Here you go:

"Solar Trust’s parent company, German developer Solar Millennium, filed for bankruptcy in Germany in December and moved to sell its U.S pipeline of projects to a German photovoltaic power plant developer called Solarhybrid. Then late last month Solarhybrid itself sought bankruptcy protection, citing a cutback in German subsidies for solar energy...

...The collapse of Solar Trust, based in Oakland, Calif., shows once again how vulnerable the U.S. solar industry is to upheavals in the global market and just how difficult it has become to get big solar projects built absent a deep-pocketed backer with the financial muscle of, say, a General Electric."

Apr. 04 2012 10:00 AM
Peter Talbot from Harrison, NJ

Kudos to Van Jones for saying what he could given the forces of darkness arrayed against any and all thoughtful debate. At the very end of the interview he admits under prodding from Leonard that the biggest mistake that the Obama crew made was in completely punting on the economic debate, including shameful failure to make bailouts conditional and reforms required. Van exposes a weakness that may still cost Obama the election: the POTUS' support for Samuels massive spending approach over Volcker in deference to his Goldman Sachsian Treasury and FED cadre is an unmitigated tragedy: and its effects may be worse than any other component of his difficult career. There is no doubt that he has been swimming upstream amidst tendentious arguments covering sheer racism on the part of too much of the electorate (right and left), but Obama's failure to know when he had been hornswaggled by the disciples of Blankfein means he wasn't paying attention to the lessons of his mentors at the U of C (home of Uncle Miltie). Derivative trades should NEVER be allowed with money held in trust that is guaranteed by the FDIC. This isn't just gambling with widows' lunch money: it is being used by speculators to impoverish the USA in support of international 3rd country profits. Arguments that the banksters have made since Glass Steagal was passed that this suppressed their ability to compete globally are outright, unmitigated falsehoods propagated by a very small group of very arrogant white males that are truly socially Darwinian. And two of them are still in the Cabinet, with many others still working for the FED, the SEC, the Commerce Dept and Treasury, where they should not be allowed to stay. Volcker is right. The CDS/CDO meltdown was not caused by bad mortages. It was caused by, and is STILL being propagated by unrestrained, irrational and anti-fiduciary practices pushed by banks and their torch bearers on both sides of the aisle that are debasing what is left of global faith in US currency. A rising tide does NOT raise all boats unless they are capable of floating, and the credit squeeze, unemployment trends, fuel inflation and tax inflation have put holes in the bottom of most small craft. Jobs alone WON'T do it, guys. It has to be long or medium term living wages that produce residual investment value in American production in America for Americans. The American citizen should understand that the Dow Jones and much of the NASDAQ listees of today are the same folks that used to support King Cotton at the expense of the Union in the War between the States (the Brits of 1863). A vote for Wall Street is a vote for slavery in 2012.

The surrender to the banksters wasn't done on Van Jones watch, but it overshadows all other practical positions taken by this often timid President. If Obama were smart, he'd refuse to run for a second term and let Romney or some Dem-to-be-named-later go down with the ship of state.

Apr. 03 2012 04:15 PM

@John A.:

To be fair, they sort of talked about it when they mentioned the German interest in solar energy and the fact that we seem to be in a race with China to waste money on these solar boondoggles. At least China will be left with their equally large investment in conventionally fuelled electric generation.
On the other hand - we will probably be the leading consumer of hand cranked radios; featuring a weather band, a flashlight and an MP3 player. The actual units will be made in China.
Peace and Love

Apr. 03 2012 12:56 PM
John A.

The comments here are pointing to "Blythe Solar Power Project" (concentrated to steam) and "Solar Trust of America" as a failure bigger than Solyndra. This should be talked about.

Apr. 03 2012 12:35 PM
Tamara from Brooklyn

You make so much sense. You really need to get these messages out there. I like this guy!

Apr. 03 2012 12:34 PM
Amy from Manhattan

We also need to get a congress that won't oppose everything the president tries to do--even by 1 vote to stop a filibuster.

Apr. 03 2012 12:32 PM

we should also elect a congress who support the president and the people

Apr. 03 2012 12:32 PM

Mr. Lopate:

I'm not sure that you could match wits with this huckster even if you wanted to. But I expect you could serve on his "3-card-monte" crew.
For those who cannot get enough of Mr. Vann's voice, download the podcast and replay continuously.
Peace and Love

Apr. 03 2012 12:30 PM

Would Mr Jones please address the influence of refining capacity on gasoline prices?

Apr. 03 2012 12:28 PM
john from office

OWS turned the world upside down??, did we miss something??

Apr. 03 2012 12:28 PM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Van Jones's clear concise, clear talking points, shows the Obama administration's current lack of ability to control its narrative and get its message out - because, people like Van Jones, no longer have a voice in Obama's inner circle.

Apr. 03 2012 12:23 PM
art525 from Park Slope

It is our loss that Mr Jones left the White House. Every time I have heard him speak he has won me over with his intelligence and his insight. A rare voice of reason that I would like to hear more often.

Apr. 03 2012 12:21 PM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

Left. Right. Who cares? This man makes a HUGE amount of sense, backed up by a great amount of real knowledge of the subject.

We have been having this same conversation in this country for almost 40 years (or even longer), but our progress has been painfully slow, and what small progress we have made (small in the face of what needs to be done and what might have been accomplished at this point) has often been haphazard and just lucky -- but lacking in true societal commitment.

If we don't do this for ourselves, then we as a social experiment (and folks, that's what we still are -- there is no end zone for political and economic systems), will fail and fade away. As has every other culture in the past.

Apr. 03 2012 12:18 PM
William from Manhattan

Does Mr. Jones have any advice for New York City as we move to eliminate oil burners in residential buildings, with the preferred replacement being natural gas derived from fracking? Recently I've heard that that biodiesel (not the same thing as biofuel) is a much better choice than natural gas, requiring much less cost to buildings and ultimately far greener than natural gas.

Apr. 03 2012 12:15 PM

Here's the intro to the failed project, attended by the usual suspects.

Apr. 03 2012 12:15 PM

No Reason To Make a Big Deal of It.

See what Czar Jones knows about this one.

Apr. 03 2012 12:11 PM
Antonio from bayside

Does Mr. Jones believe a true left leaning party could sprout in the near future?

Apr. 03 2012 12:09 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.