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The Great Rail Race of the 21st Century

The Great Rail Race of the 21st Century

In the midst of a deep economic crisis, public investment in intercity rail and urban transit is seen as a way to kickstart languishing economies, and to create jobs in both manufacturing and operating public transportation systems. That’s true even in the United States, which for decades has neglected rail and transit even as the federal government has invested huge sums of money in highways and air travel infrastructure. The economic stimulus program offers close to $18 billion for urban transit and intercity passenger rail systems. It could be the start to a revival of U.S. rail manufacturing and associated jobs.

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Brownfields into Greensites

Brownfields into Greensites

When people think about the emerging green economy, the vision is typically one of leaving behind the old dirty industries in favor of new landscapes dotted with gleaming “clean” factories. Sometimes, however, there is really no leaving behind old sites, but rather a redevelopment and conversion of them. In the United States, such sites could eventually help produce enough renewable energy to satisfy the country’s current electricity consumption.

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Not Glamorous, but Green

Not Glamorous, but Green

Recycling jobs are far from glamorous (and in fact are often dirty and undesirable). But they are as important to a greener economy as green architects, wind power engineers, or solar technicians. As community recyclers in the developing world suffer from the falling price of scrap materials, providing both short-term support and offering ways to bring the recyclers into the formal economy are essential.

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Ship Recycling: the Un-green Job?

Ship Recycling: the Un-green Job?

Recycling helps to reduce waste and conserves precious resources. But recycling jobs are often dirty, low-paid, and undesirable—a far cry from the ideal of “green jobs.” Perhaps the most notorious example is ship dismantling. In poor countries like India and Bangladesh, it is often marked by environmental hazards, accidents, and poor working conditions. A new international convention brings some improvement, but the industry has a long way to go become green.

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