Van Jones, Bob Gough, Bracken Hendricks and Jay Inslee – The Green Collar Economy, Intertribal Coup Wind Energy, Apollo’s Fire and Duncan’s New Energy for a New World
Living Dialogues
Duncan Campbell

Episode 68 - Van Jones, Bob Gough, Bracken Hendricks and Jay Inslee – The Green Collar Economy, Intertribal Coup Wind Energy, Apollo’s Fire and Duncan’s New Energy for a New World

Episode Description:

In this episode of our Engaged Elder series, I dialogue with widely-acclaimed activist Van Jones, author of the just-issued The Green Collar Economy, Bob Gough, international clean energy award winner and Secretary of the InterTribal COUP Wind Energy association and project, Bracken Hendricks, co-founder of the Apollo Alliance, and Jay Inslee, U.S. Congressman from Seattle, who for a number of years has been the leading voice in the U.S. Congress for what I term New Energy and a New Energy economy.

Since I began writing about my vision of an evolutionary New Energy Economy more than four years ago, I have called it New Energy for a New World, New Energy for a New Century, etc.  Bracken Hendricks and Jay Inslee are the co-authors of the excellent recent book Apollo’s Fire: Igniting America’s Clean Energy Economy.  Van Jones is the author of the just-published and highly praised The Green Collar Economy:  How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems, with a foreword by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.   Together with Worldwatch Institute founder and current Earth Enterprise Institute president Lester Brown’s Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization (see Program 70), Apollo’s Fire and now The Green Collar Economy constitute perhaps the best trilogy of the key truly up-to-date educational and informational resources for personal and public policy choices that meet the ineluctable evolutionary imperative for us to now consciously move from the Old Oil Elite Fossil Fuel economy to a New Energy economy for a New World.  Such a New Energy economy will provide the foundation for self-reliant prosperity, real security and abundance, and generosity of collaboration for all in this New Century.

In addition to my previous dialogue with Jay Inslee recorded during the Democratic National Convention in Denver on August 25, 2008 (Program 67), this Program 68 dialogue highlights in wider detail the great benefits and new energy resources that are readily available in the U.S., and the reality of the technological options now available for us that we can quickly, efficiently, and economically bring to scale, capable of moving us to the kind of New Energy economy and policy proposals I first put forth in 2004 and which the times are now catching up to:  to empower and reward all citizens, not just the already wealthy, and to salvage and repair our broken economy in the only sustainable ways possible.  My New Energy proposals discussed include both democratizing a portion of venture capital to restructure our economy, now in global crisis, through New Energy Bonds, and the job creation and training program I have termed O.N.E. America Corps.

The O.N.E. America Corps also presents us the possibility for the U.S. to go a long way in reality and in the eyes of the world to cleanse the national psyche of what Pulitzer Prize-wining historian Joseph Ellis (see Programs 37 and 38) has called the “two original sins of America” which have contracted and held America back from realizing its full destiny:  the ongoing long-term effects of slavery and our treatment of the Native Americans.

Next week, on Program 69 in dialogue with Barbara Marx Hubbard, we talk about how the evolution of consciousness can be reflected in Conscious Citizen Solutions to our current economic collapse, including as an example my proposal for New Energy Bonds, and how each of you can contribute your own new energy ideas.

For a summary of the practical proposals I have made in this time of global economic crisis and required change, you can see my additional website or contact me at  Visit my blog at

After you listen to this Dialogue, I invite you to both explore and make possible further interesting material on Living Dialogues by taking less than 5 minutes to click on and fill out the Listener Survey.



Duncan, I had the pleasure of transcribing an interview between Jay Inslee and yourself [Program 67].  I must say, prior to that event, I knew nothing of Living Dialogues.  However, I was intrigued by the interview and had to learn more about your site.  I'd just like to say that I appreciate what you are doing in terms of educating those of us who- well, for lack of a better phrase- tend to be in the dark on issues facing our world today.  The conversation with Jay Inslee was definitely the most informative podcast that I've listened to in a long time.  Again, thank you for the information you provide to the public.” – Amanda B.

“Duncan Campbell, I heard about your podcast a few months ago, and have been deeply listening to all the dialogues with your fantastic friends/guests. Your words, ideas, and wisdom are truly inspirational.  You have evoked a new appetite for knowledge in me that I hope to share with a starving younger generation. Thank you for doing what you do, and creating a unique space, void of boundaries and classification.  A breath of fresh air!  Much love and respect.” – Amit Kapadiya

In furtherance of creating and maintaining the planetary dialogues now required in the 21st century, I am featuring a special series of dialogues on this site with myself and other elders in the weeks leading up to and including the 2008 Olympics hosted by China and the U.S. election season.  These dialogues address various specific political aspects of our planetary crisis, with its dangers and opportunities for a visionary and evolutionary shift. (We remember that the Chinese character for “crisis” is often described as meaning both “danger” when visioned from a fear perspective, and “opportunity” when visioned from a wisdom perspective.)

In my preceding dialogues I have talked in various ways about the need to generate dialogues across generational, ethnic, gender, and national boundaries -- building bridges of understanding and wisdom in the cooperative spirit and reaching out required by our 21st century realities, and the essential roles that we all are called to play in our evolution for it to take place.

This is the time for renewed dialogue, for visionary and inspiring discourse producing practical and innovative solutions together, to engage our own elder wisdom and youthful inspiration, and in so doing to experience and exemplify that “Dialogue is the Language of Evolutionary Transformation”.

And that is what we all do, in our mutual roles as host, deep listeners, and guests, when we gather together here from all parts of the globe in Living Dialogues.


 Other programs you will find of immediate interest on these themes are the Dialogues Programs 35-36 with Paul Hawken regarding the emergence of collaborative citizen movements worldwide, Program 37 with sociologist Paul Ray on the creation of a new wisdom culture and political paradigm, Program 58 with Ted Sorensen, counselor to John F. Kennedy, Program 59 with Robert Thurman on the Dalai Lama and China, Program 61 with David Boren on the need for new energy and transpartisanship, Programs 62-64 with George Lakoff on understanding the 21st century Political Mind, and Programs 65-66 with Tom Hayden on the Youth-Elder Dialogue from the Sixties through the present, and Program 67 with Jay Inslee re New Energy.   Also of directly related interest in terms of the founding and traditions of the U.S. during its tipping point 2008 election season, with its implications for global shifts, are my dialogues with historian Joseph Ellis, honored as “the Founders’ historian” by The New York Review of Books (see Programs 38 and 39).



The best way to reach me is through my website:  Many thanks again for your attentive deep listening in helping co-create this program.

All the best, Duncan.

P.S. As a way of further acknowledging and appreciating your part in these dialogues, and since I cannot personally answer all of them, I have begun to publish from time to time in these pages some of the numerous (unsolicited) appreciations received from you.


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Duncan Campbell: From time in memorial, beginning with indigenous counsels and ancient wisdom traditions, through the work of Western visionaries such as Plato, Galleleo, and Quantum Physicist David Bohm.  Mutually participatory dialogue has been seen as the key to evolving and transforming consciousness.  Evoking a flow of meaning, a dia flow of [logos] meaning, beyond what any one individual can bring through alone.  So join us now, as together with you, the active deep listener, we evoke and engage in Living Dialogues.

Welcome to the program.  I'm your host, Duncan Campbell, and in this particular program we're going to be talking about the current financial meltdown of the economy, and how we could actually build it back up to something strong and vibrant, and it may just be this very meltdown that has proved to get people's attention that will prove to encourage our politicians, our government officials, and our private sector to do, in the words of Ted Turner, "What's smart, and stop doing what's dumb."  And we're going to be talking today about the new energy economy.  It has become transparent to many people in this last election season, many of them for the first time, that those of us who have, as visionaries, been talking about the obvious need to move from the old fossil fuel oil elite, degenerating economy, into a new, vibrant, new energy economy that promises abundance and prosperity, that is real, based on real products, based on real necessities that people have in their lives, and which will be at the same time, solving our global climate crisis, is a move that has to be made.  It has to be made incredibly quickly, and it has to be made in a unified way, not only within the country of the United States, which has been terribly polarized these thirty, forty years, particularly the last twenty years, but a global response is necessary. This is something that people are catching onto in the financial markets themselves. We saw the Asian market meltdown, and it's happening on Wall Street.  At this point what's happened, is within the last week alone, major indexes across the world have lost twenty to twenty five percent of their market value.  We're talking trillions and trillions of dollars. 

Now, the key question is: How can we restore the economic foundation, not only for ourselves, but for the world, and do so in a way that benefits everybody- not just the elite few that have gotten us into this mess in the first place.  And therefore, this program today is going to concentrate on the positive.  On things that can actually be done right now to bring a new energy economy into being with already proven technologies that can simply be brought to scale with the proper kind of government and private market cooperation, and visionary programs, much as FDR, Franklin Roosevelt did when overnight, literally, he led the nation during World War Two, facing that particular worldwide threat at that point, to mobilize, to do really what people had thought was not possible. Literally overnight, to change our production strategies and priorities, to produce what was necessary to win the war.  That possibility has been envisioned by a number of us in the last several years, and it is definitely possible.  So we're going to start this program with a ten minute excerpt of a dialogue that I did previously with Congressman Jay Inslee from Seattle, and Bracken Hendricks who is the co-founder of the Apollo Alliance.  It was about the new energy initiatives that are already taking place surprisingly under the radar of our media, within companies like General Motors, and others in terms of our transportation, that we want to share with you so that people realize that although it hasn't been reported, there are signs of hope within the economy, and there are actual, real technologies out there right now, ready to go, that can be competitive economically.  It's not something we have to wait ten or twenty years for, and suffer through more of this oil tyranny and so on.  So after that, we're going to have as my guest Bob Gough, of the Intertribal COUP wind project.  We're going to be talking about wind energy.  And then Van Jones, the author of a new book entitled "The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems"- the economy and the environment, with a forward by Robert Kennedy. So without further adieu, we're going to start with the excerpt of the dialogue I did with Congressman Jay Inslee from Seattle, and Bracken Hendricks, co-authors of a great book, I highly recommend it, called "Apollo's Fire". 

Duncan Campbell: Those bright lights in the automotive industry or in the oil and gas industry that are facing up to the fact that they for their own self interest in the long term have to make a fundamental shift, because there is cause for hope. There are voices within those industries that are seeing what you're seeing, and are making long term plans and who are potential allies in this effort.

Jay Inslee:  There is good news.  I had lunch with Chelsea Sexton last week, who is featured prominently in "Who Killed the Electric Car?"  She's this tremendous advocate for the electric car, and...

Duncan Campbell: with GM

Jay Inslee: Yes, who used to work for GM.

Duncan Campbell: That's what I mean, used to work for GM.

Jay Inslee:  She started her career. And she was obviously very angry at the car manufacturers for chopping up the electric cars and using their steel to make Hummers, in one of the nightmare scenarios.  But she believes as I do that there is a good chance that Detroit is very serious now about in fact building plug in electric cars, building all electric cars. And GM has now made several hundred million dollars in investments to do this. And I believe they believe that the future of automobiles are to be all electric.  That we actually use electric motors to drive the wheels.  Now there's a big debate about what will be the source of the electricity on board to drive that.  Will it be Lithium IM batteries?  Will it be some other type of battery?  Will it be an electric fuel cell using Hydrogen? Will there be some other system?  So there's a debate about that.  But I think that they have made a decision to make significant investments in that regard, and that is really, really good news for us. Now it's not just GM.  Honda is very serious about a fuel cell vehicle very shortly.  I think actually we're a little more dubious about fuel cells in the immediate future.  We think plug ins will probably be dominant.  We have a little section in our book called "Best Bets". Ford has a new President, former President of Boeing, who I believe is serious about this transition.  So I do hope and believe that there's a reason to believe that there's a new leaf that's turned over there, and is desperately...Because frankly Congress, in not insisting on fuel efficiency, has sort have been in the assisted suicide business to allow the Big Three to be on the precipice of disaster, and they are right on the edge right now.  So we are trying to help save them and our domestic industry, and I think people of that religion are there now, so that's the good news. 

Duncan Campbell:  Well this is really great.  Before we get to Bracken. I'd invite you to talk about this, Bracken, because you build alliances for the last number of years.  This is another twenty first century hallmark.  No more demonizing than the other.  No more bad oil industry, good environmentalist.  No more bad automotive industry, good alternative energy people.  We need to be talking together, in dialogue, getting business on board, getting the military on board, because it's so transparent.  When you think about it at the level that's portrayed in this book, and as I have been thinking about it with people on Living Dialogues, it's clear that it's in all of our interests to actually look in this big way a the big shift that's required for all of us. It's going to come sooner or later, and as many people say in your book, the sooner we get on board with this, the less cost there's going to be to retrofit homes and so on. And at a certain point, it may become almost insuperable.  So we have to get moving quickly, and so what are some of the signs you see, as Jay has seen in Congress and in his traveling around the country, of the people's openness now, the beginnings of an opening to building unprecedented alliances between what were regarded as almost historical dualities that could not be overcome. The environmentalists on one side, the business people on the other side, that sort of thing.

Bracken Hendricks: There's a fascinating partnership that has come together called the U.S. CAP, or the U.S. Climate Action Partnership.  And it's got groups like the Natural Resources Defense Counsel, and the World Resources Institute, good solid, research based environmental groups.  But working with major industry, and I think you're starting to see a split between industries that are looking backward, and those that are looking forward and recognize the reality that's in place now.  And if you're a multi-national company, you're doing business in Europe, you're operating under the Kyoto Protocol right now, you're responsible for your carbon already. It's a complexity to be managing under all these different regimes.  You have all this uncertainty because you know that at some point you'll be held responsible here, but you don't know what it's going to look like.  So you have companies like Duke Energy and British Petroleum and Alcoa and Pacific Gas and Electric, coming together and saying they want a binding carbon constraint that will cut carbon emissions sixty to eighty percent by 2050.  That's what the science says we need to do, and they're coming forward and they're asking for those policies.  That's a huge shift, and it's a very important one.  You mentioned, though, the roll of lobbyists in distorting what goes on in Washington.  There's a very very important thing that will be determined in the next few years, around a Cap and Trade System, and what happens to that money.  It's very hard to conceive of the scale of this problem.  It's also very hard to conceive of the level of resources involved.  We're talking about easily a hundred billion dollars a year coming from this, from some sort of a Cap and Trade System if you were to auction the permits and have emitters pay for the right to put their carbon into the atmosphere.  That's a huge public resource.  And it can be used to defray energy costs on low income users, it can be used to bring new technologies to market, or it can simply be grandfathered back to polluters.  And it could become the largest windfall if we aren't vigilant.  One of the most important things, and we mention in the book, a developer in Harlem named Carlton Brown, who builds all affordable, all green buildings, and he talks about how we have a model based on scarcity right now, the notion that there's not enough to go around.  But he thinks that there's plenty to go around if we invest in efficient technology, green buildings.  And he's bringing clean, healthy, more cost effective buildings to low income people in Harlem right now.  So distributed generation of power can mean solar panels on rooftops.  But in another way it means distributing power to people.  It means helping out poor communities in Africa, to leapfrog over industrial processes.  It means uplifting communities in low income parts of the urban areas or in devastated rural economies. So what we see throughout is there's a huge potential investment coming.  Our job right now is to make sure that investment goes into the betterment of people, and restoration of the American Dream, restoration of promise of entry into the middle class, rebuilding of our manufacturing society.  And all of those potentials are absolutely within our reach.  And that's what we try to tell in these very concrete stories in the book "Apollo's Fire".