Dave Weigel doesn't think much of green jobs. In this snarky-ish post about a green-jobs panel he attended at the Aspen Festival of Ideas, he writes that "the problem for green jobs was that they didn't seem to exist" and scoffs a bit at one speaker's assertion that green jobs are under attack:
Questions were of the "how-do-we-convince-everyone-else?" variety -- the green jobs case was just obvious. What the environmental movement needed was good stories of good jobs, to push back against the endless accusations that they were peddling a sham. They knew they weren't. What was the problem?
In the new issue of The Washington Monthly, Phillip Longman makes a strong case that America doesn't need high-speed rail so much as higher-speed rail that arrives on time and at more frequent intervals. Here's the crux of his argument:
Increasing speeds on the slowest segments of the line would do as much or more to shorten travel times as making the fastest speeds faster, and wouldn’t require an expensive new right-of-way or new equipment.
Earlier this month, the National Trust for Historic Preservation released its [annual list of most endangered historic places](http://www.preservationnation.org/about-us/press-center/press-releases/2...). Most of these places are suffering from lack of funds and attention, and one "place" is actually a group of places -- "sites imperiled by state actions," i.e. cuts for preservation funding.
Suburbs once seemed like a good idea to politicians and the people that moved there, but the downsides to suburban sprawl became clear in a few generations: long commutes and the pollution that goes with them, loss of farmland and forests, increasingly large houses with increasingly large carbon footprints. But will the refocus on transit-oriented, densely-populated cities post unforseen problems for the next generation? In Orion Magazine, James Howard Kunstler suggests that the mistake we're making is huddling in bigger, taller cities that won't be resilient when energy pressures make running them too expensive.
I feel a little bad for Mike Pool, the deputy director of the Bureau of Land Management. He's [a career BLM employee](http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/info/newsroom/2009/february/SO0903_Pool_acti...) who worked his way up through the agency. And this month he's doing his duty by dealing with the House Natural Resources Committee and its push to open up as much federal land as possible to drilling and other energy development.