Environmental Wisdom2018-10-28T18:32:11+00:00

Project Description

Environmental Wisdom

Environmental Wisdom – Climate Action

The danger posed by our changing climate cannot be overstated. More than 99% of climate scientists agree that it is caused by the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere due to our consumption of fossil fuels, and the resultant increase in temperatures worldwide.

I will work tirelessly and with the greatest urgency to introduce legislation to adopt the framework of the Green New Deal, designed to engage and challenge our existing economy, re-purposing it, so that it supports the transformation of our current energy infrastructure to 100% clean, renewable energy. This ambitious, yet secure economic and environmental program, developed by the Green Party, is intended to sustain all of our people with the resources necessary for a healthy, purposeful and dignified life.

This is a non-partisan, non-political call for the restructuring of our existing economy, redefining its ultimate goals. We must re-evaluate the path we are currently on, driven by an economy powered by extracted, hydro-carbon-based fuels, to enrich the few at the expense of the many. All the while, as we now recognize, imperiling the ability of our planet to maintain its climatic equilibrium.

This plan is designed to create a just transition, prioritizing the necessary resources and assistance to support communities populated by workers dependent on the fossil fuel and nuclear industries – workers who will become displaced by the waning extracted fuel industry.

This transition to 100% clean energy will, by its nature, foster local, democratic control of our energy resources, rather than continuing the centralized systems now in place, that maximize profits for energy corporations, banks and other financial institutions, while keeping energy itself, at a premium. It will provide the means to slow down and ultimately halt the continued output of greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change. Its sweeping programs will tackle this enormous task head on, re-affirming America’s leading role in this worldwide crisis, demonstrating our will to build a just, sustainable, and healthy planet for everyone alive today as well as for future generations.

The Green New Deal will work by:

  1. Creating a Commission for Economic Democracy to provide training, education, and direct financing for cooperative development programs to create avenues for democratic reforms, engaging and supporting government agencies, private associations, and business enterprises in the energy economy transformation process.

  2. Establishing a Renewable Energy Administration on the scale of FDR’s hugely successful Rural Electrification Administration, launched in 1935 to bring electric power to rural America, 95 per cent of which had no power. This initiative provided technical support, financing, and coordination to more than 900 municipal cooperatives, many of which still exist. The Green New Deal would update this model with a variety of ecologically friendly, state of the art solar and renewable energy sources focusing on making these technologies available not just in cities, but outside of urban areas, where access might otherwise be difficult to manage.

  3. Redirecting money away from the government subsidies and tax benefits that have been supporting our extracted energy economy, to a new order of job creators who will be entrusted to make our communities more healthy, sustainable and energy secure at the same time.

  4. Moving to 100% clean energy by 2030 by providing financial incentives to invest in clean energy technologies that are proven and available now, and redirecting research funds from fossil fuels and other waning industries toward research in wind, solar, tidal, and geothermal energy.

  5. Supporting sustainable energy businesses including cooperatives and non-profits by providing grants and loans with an emphasis on small, locally-based companies that keep the wealth, created by local labor, circulating within the community rather than being drained off to enrich absentee investors.

  6. Instituting a Full Employment Program to create millions of jobs, both directly and indirectly, by implementing a nationally-funded, locally-controlled, direct employment initiative supplementing unemployment offices with local employment offices. These organizations will provide jobs, meeting community-identified needs in the public and non-profit sectors to take up any slack in private, for-profit sector employment. These will include jobs in sustainable energy and energy efficiency retrofitting, mass transit and local transportation systems that promote safe bike and pedestrian traffic, regional food systems based on sustainable organic agriculture, clean manufacturing, infrastructure, and public services (education, youth programs, child care, senior care). Communities will use a process of broad stakeholder input and democratic decision making to fairly design and implement these programs.

Addressing the Climate Crisis; Transitioning to 100% Clean Energy by 2030

The centerpiece of the Green New Deal is a commitment to transition to 100% clean, renewable energy by 2030. This transition represents a visionary plan, one that is absolutely necessary to begin the process of re-balancing the world’s climatic systems, re-establishing its ability to sustain our way of life along with the multiplicity of life forms that depend upon it.

 The Economics Of The Green New Deal

Economists predict that Americans can build a 100% renewable energy infrastructure at costs comparable to, or less than what we would otherwise spend to continue our reliance on extracted, hydro-carbon-based energy. Some estimate that the total capital cost to achieve 100% renewable energy in the US would be $13.4 trillion. Much of those capital costs would be covered by diverting existing investments in nonrenewable energy.

Studies have shown that there are no technological or logistical barriers to a clean-energy transition by 2030. A British think tank recently put out a study saying that all fossil fuels could be eliminated in 10 years.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, a carbon fee of $20 per ton would raise $120 billion a year. The Green New Deal would support a carbon fee of at least $60 per ton to generate $360 billion per year, raising the amount by $15 to $20 per ton annually. Some of the carbon fee revenues would be rebated in various forms to low and middle income households to offset the regressive nature of any consumption or sales tax.

From The Guardian, published July 16, 2018:

Eleven teams participated in a recent Stanford Energy Modeling Forum (EMF) project, examining the economic and environmental impacts of a carbon tax. The studies included “revenue recycling,” in which the funds generated from a carbon tax are returned to taxpayers either through regular household rebate checks (similar to the Citizens’ Climate Lobby [CCL] and Climate Leadership Council [CLC] proposals) or by offsetting income taxes (similar to the approach in British Columbia).

Among the eleven modeling teams the key findings were consistent. First, a carbon tax is effective at reducing carbon pollution, although the structure of the tax (the price and the rate at which it rises) are important. Second, this type of revenue-neutral carbon tax would have a very modest impact on the economy in terms of gross domestic product (GDP). In all likelihood it would slightly slow economic growth, but by an amount that would be more than offset by the benefits of cutting pollution and slowing global warming.

Meanwhile, House Republicans are again on the verge of introducing a Resolution denouncing a carbon tax as “detrimental to American families and businesses, and is not in the best interest of the United States.”

Additional Benefits of The Green New Deal

In making the investment to clean up our emissions and waste, the Green New Deal will be reinventing our energy economy, creating a sustainable, clean source for our productivity engine.  Our national security will no longer be vulnerable to disruption of extracted fuel supplies which will render wars of aggression, aimed at acquiring and protecting those resources, obsolete.

Perhaps most importantly, the Green New Deal will open up a new opportunity for hope, where individuals, communities, regions, states and our nation can share in its vision of clean, sustainable energy, enabled by a re-purposed 21st century economy, designed to support the full range of activities required for healthy, productive, peaceful and purposeful lives, for all our people.

Energy Economy Transition

Through supporting the implementation of the Green New Deal, I will help set in motion the transition to 100% renewable energy economy by 2030. This would include reaching out to local organizations and state-wide groups to find ways of supporting their initiatives for transitioning to 100% renewable energy.

I will support legislation to outlaw fracking in all fifty states, as well as scheduling the elimination of all nuclear power operations by 2040. I will also support the elimination of all exportation of nuclear power plant equipment and technology, anywhere in the world. This would reduce the problem of nuclear waste disposal as well as reduce the threat of nuclear weapon proliferation, since the missing ingredient for many countries is a way to produce plutonium, the waste product of nuclear power reactors.