Destined to the become a candidate for somebody's word-of-the-year in 2008, the term "green-collar" job has been around since the 90s (but possibly as early as the 70s) and has been favorite of John Edwards, and more notably, Hillary Clinton, on their campaigns.
"...I want to put money into clean energy, green-collar jobs", Clinton said in January. And she also said it last night during her Ohio victory speech.
Consider it the new "sustainable"...an imperfect term that sounds awesome but has a flexible definition. I mean, at this point who wouldn't wanna hang up their blue-collar for a fresh, crispy green one? Well, maybe the people who have been perfectly happy driving recycling trucks for decades now? Most green-collar gigs are blue-collar gigs in disguise (think: solar panel installation, or wind turbine maintenance). But even being the developer of places like "Street of Dreams" could be considered a "green-collar" job by the right people. So could being the CEO of Weyerhaeuser, or Ford (go to both companies websites to be bludgeoned by their commitment to "green").
I suspect that some environmentalists will ((and already do) find fault with it, simply because a term so pliable is bound to be used for all the wrong reasons.
But one way of looking at it is it's certainly not as polarizing. Our country has struggled with class differences between white-collars and blue-collars for many years. A term like this could break down some barriers, at least psychologically.
But if I were one of the marijuana farmers in Humboldt County, man, I'd be a little pissed off.