50 Unforgettable Van Jones Quotes

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Which are your favorite Van Jones quotes?

Van Jones is an American news commentator, author, and lawyer. Coming from a political stance as a Democrat, he is best known for being a regular CNN political commentator.

Jones is also known for his passion for humanitarian work, co-founding many non-profit organizations, including the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Color of Change, and the Dream Corps.

Jones has also successfully authored three New York Times best-selling books The Green Collar, Rebuild the Dream, and Beyond the Messy Truth. His company, Madic Labs Media LLC, produced The Messy Truth VR Experience with Van Jones which granted him an Emmy Award.

Here’s a collection of the most motivational Van Jones quotes:


50 Unforgettable Van Jones Quotes

1. “The surest path to safe streets and peaceful communities is not more police and prisons, but ecologically sounds economic development. And that same path can lift us to a new, green economy – one with the power to lift people out of poverty while respecting and repairing the environment.” – Van Jones

2. “Dr. King didn’t get famous giving a speech that said, I have a complaint.” – Van Jones

3. “Rather than continuing to base our economy on a finite supply of dead things, we can base it on sources that are practically infinite and eternal: the sun, the moon, and the Earth’s inner fire.” – Van Jones

4. “The time has come to move beyond eco-elitism to eco- populism . Ecopopulism … To change our laws and culture, the green movement justice, political solutions, and social change.” – Van Jones

5. “Most people walking around in a mall or on a college campus are carrying on them better technology than the entire U.S. government had when it put a man on the moon. Each one of us is a walking technological superpower.” – Van Jones

6. “Apparently, the fossil-fuel industry’s strategy is to convince the American people that we should just burn all the way through the last of our oil and coal reserves.” – Van Jones

7. “If we keep pulling death from the ground, we will reap death from the skies.” – Van Jones

8. “The human family has invaluable friends and irreplaceable allies in the plant and animal worlds. We cannot continue to tug at the web of life without tearing a hole in the very fabric of our earthly existence-and eventually falling through that hole ourselves.” – Van Jones

9. “Government-mandated and -subsidized ethanol from corn will go down in history as the “Iraq War” of environmental solutions: ill-considered, costly, and disastrous.” – Van Jones


10th of 50 Van Jones Quotes

10. “The green economy should not just be about reclaiming throw-away stuff. It should be about reclaiming thrown-away communities. It should not just be about recycling things to give them a second life. We should also be gathering up people and giving them a second chance.” – Van Jones


11. “We seem to forget that everything that is good for the environment is a job. Solar panels don’t put themselves up. Wind turbines don’t manufacture themselves. Houses don’t retrofit themselves and put in their own new boilers and furnaces and better-fitting windows and doors. Advanced biofuel crops don’t plant themselves. Community gardens don’t tend themselves. Farmers’ markets don’t run themselves. Every single thing that is good for the environment is actually a job, a contract, or an entrepreneurial opportunity.” – Van Jones

12. “Any successful long-term strategy will require that the green wave fully and passionately embrace the principles of eco-equity.” – Van Jones

13. “We pull out of the ground death, we burn death in our power plants, and then we act shocked when we get death in the form of oil spills and global warming.” – Van Jones

14. “Reversing global warming will take a World War II level of mobilization. It is the work of tens of millions, not hundreds of thousands.” – Van Jones

15. “In a democracy, you won’t always get to have your way. But you should always get to have your say.” – Van Jones

16. “All the big ideas for getting us onto a lower carbon trajectory involve a lot of people doing a lot of work, and that’s been missing from the conversation. This is a great time to go to the next step and ask, well, who’s going to do the work? Who’s going to invest in the new technologies? What are ways to get communities wealth, improved health, and expanded job opportunities out of this improved transition?” – Van Jones

17. “To solve the new century’s mounting social and environmental problems, people of color activist and white activists need to be able to join forces. But all too often, the unconscious racism of white activists stands in the way of any effective, worthwhile collaboration. The Challenging White Supremacy Workshop is the most powerful tool that I have seen for removing the barriers to true partnerships between people of color and white folks. If the CWS trainings were mandatory for all white activists, the progressive movement in the United States would be unstoppable.” – Van Jones

18. “The time has come for a public-private community partnership to fix this country and put it back to work.” – Van Jones

19. “Come, then, let us go forward together with our united strength – and win a better future for generations to come.” – Van Jones


20th of 50 Van Jones Quotes

20. “Americans need to see people who are honestly trying to learn from each other, even as we make our own points powerfully and fight for our own values and policies.” – Van Jones


21. “I’m willing to forgo the cheap satisfaction of the radical pose for the deep satisfaction of radical ends.” – Van Jones

22. “A green economy begins to replace some of the clunking and chugging of ugly machines with the wise effort of beautiful, skilled people. That means more jobs.” – Van Jones

23. “On the eve of historic fights for health care and clean energy, opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me. They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide. I have been inundated with calls – from across the political spectrum — urging me to ‘stay and fight.’ But I came here to fight for others, not for myself. I cannot in good conscience ask my colleagues to expend precious time and energy defending or explaining my past. We need all hands on deck, fighting for the future.” – Van Jones

24. “Now, here’s a good question: should serious people focus on global political instability – terrorism, failing states, nuclear weapons – or should we focus on global climate instability – droughts, floods, extreme weather? Here’s the correct answer: yes, both, because climate disruption will make every other national security problem worse.” – Van Jones

25. “By kicking its carbon addiction, America will increase its national wealth and generate millions of jobs that can’t be outsourced.” – Van Jones

26. “I am sharing my faith with my sons. I pray, meditate, and read devotionally. But let me be clear: I am a “person of faith” not because I am a saint, but because I am a sinner.” – Van Jones

27. “It’s in that convergence of spiritual people becoming active and active people becoming spiritual that the hope of humanity now rests.” – Van Jones

28. “Even if we can solve the carbon problem for coal, it is still a non-renewable resource. At some point, coal supplies will drop.” – Van Jones

29. “The bombs the government drops in Iraq are the bombs that blew up in New York City.” – Van Jones


30th of 50 Van Jones Quotes

30. “I don’t put myself above anyone, and I have as many shortcomings as any non-believer. I just choose to turn to a higher power to help me gain wisdom and, I hope, improve over time.” – Van Jones


31. “Former brownfields, depressed urban areas and hard-hit rural towns blossom as eco-industrial parks, green enterprise zones, and eco-villages. Farmers’ markets, community co-ops, and mobile markets get fresh, organic produce to the people who can’t afford to shop at health-food stores.” – Van Jones

32. “Clean energy is hippy power. But its also cowboy power, it’s rancher power, it’s Appalachian power.” – Van Jones

33. “Now is not the time to shrink from the challenge of saving our only home in the universe. Now is not the time to pull into ourselves, retreating into either survivalist or escapist mode. To the contrary, this is the time for titans, not turtles. Now is the time to open our arms, expand our horizons, and dream big. Big problems require big solutions.” – Van Jones

34. “A family-friendly “eco-populism” can mobilize and unite millions who, at this point, would be turned off by a more extreme set of demands. The momentum will build, through these early efforts, for more comprehensive solutions.” – Van Jones

35. “Clean coal represents a breakthrough in the marketing of coal, but not in the science of burning coal.” – Van Jones

36. “If we stand for change, we can spark a popular movement with power, influence, magic and genius.” – Van Jones

37. “Ocean’s remarkable stories, depth of commitment, and eloquent communication make him a fantastic resource for conferences, universities, and indeed everyone who wants a potent dose of grounded inspiration.” – Van Jones

38. “Most green-collar jobs are middle-skill jobs. That means they require more education that a high-school diploma, but less than a four-year degree.” – Van Jones

39. “In the fourth quadrant (lower right), working-class people are motivated to take on green-collar jobs and start green businesses.” – Van Jones


40th of 50 Van Jones Quotes

40. “Each and every one of us should stop playing small and license ourselves to become one of the giants of the new century. We will need champions by the truckload.” – Van Jones


41. “If the road to social transformation can be paved only by saints who never make mistakes, the road will NEVER be built.” – Van Jones

42. “Our point of view is, let’s not be so elitist that we can’t honor good, hard, dignified, ennobling work: people working with their hands, building things, putting up solar panels, weatherizing homes, working on organic agriculture, building wind farms. We don’t have robots in society, so somebody has to do that work. Let’s make sure that the people who can use that work get a chance to do it. I see that as a first step toward bigger and better things.” – Van Jones

43. “Big government? Who wants that? I just want effective government. That means America’s government needs to be big in some places, small in others and non-existent in others.” – Van Jones

44. “Let’s stop wasting billions of dollars on prisons, which send people home who are too often less capable and more damaged than when they went in. We would have safer neighborhoods if we spent the same money on true rehabilitation, job training, employment and entrepreneurship.” – Van Jones

45. “Now we stand at our own crossroads, looking out upon two futures: one with rising temperatures, rising oceans, and rising violence on a hot and strip-mined planet and another with expanding organic harvests, growing solar arrays, and deepening global partnerships on a green and thriving Earth.” – Van Jones

46. “Mr. Vice President, the most fiscally conservative thing this government has ever done, is to invest massively in the green part of the recovery. Because those green dollars are the hardest working dollars in the history of American politics. That same dollar that is being used to cut energy bills, is also cutting global warming gas emissions, is also cutting unemployment, is also cutting poverty, through retrofits it’s also raising the value of homes, is also by cleaning the air, cutting asthma rates.” – Van Jones

47. “Deep patriots don’t just sing the song, ‘America the Beautiful’ and then go home. We actually stick around to defend America’s beauty — from the oil spillers, the clear-cutters, and the mountaintop removers. Deep patriots don’t just visit the Statue of Liberty and send a postcard home to grandma. We defend the principles upon which that great monument was founded — ‘give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” – Van Jones

48. “Barack Obama volunteered to be the Captain of the Titanic AFTER it hit the iceberg” – Van Jones

49. “I cannot in good conscience ask my colleagues to expend precious time and energy defending or explaining my past. We need all hands on deck, fighting for the future.” – Van Jones

50. “The first few feet of sea-level rise alone will displace more than 100 million people worldwide and turn all our major Gulf and Atlantic coast cities into preKatrina New Orleans – below sea level and facing super-hurricanes. – Joseph Romm210. The generations living today get to retrofit, reboot and reenergize a nation. We get to rescue and reinvent the U.S. economy.” – Van Jones



Thanks for checking out this collection of quotes from Van Jones! Don’t forget to share them on social media with your friends and family.

Which are your favorite Van Jones quotes? Leave a comment below.

Zisilia Alvsa
Zisilia Alvsa
Zisilia Alvsa is a writer for Wealthy Gorilla. Friends often call her Zii. She is a girl from Jakarta, Indonesia who currently lives in Bali. Zii loves photography and travelling.


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