Antarctica is melting, the Amazon rainforest is burning, and the Arctic is on fire. Climate change is the biggest threat to our way of life and a heightening global emergency. The last few years have seen one environmental disaster after another. Our soils are depleted, our trees are dying, chronic disease is at an all time high, and extreme weather events from surging heat waves and wildfires to catastrophic floods and hurricanes ravage entire communities, economies, and our American way of life. Through decades of government inaction, working-class and communities of color have borne this affliction disproportionately; and it seems inevitable that Gen-Z will be forced to shoulder this burden.
The first step to solving any problem is to come together and acknowledge it exists. The willingness to recognize the tremendous issues we face is the prerequisite for any moral and substantive action. Together, we must foster consensus and build coalitions. Americans of every stripe from liberal environmentalists to conservative conservationists share a common desire for a clean and healthy environment.
While progressive public policy discussions have done a great job in jump-starting a conversation about the scope of our problems and the scope of our solutions in how we achieve lower emissions, greater renewable energy, and protect good paying jobs; we must chart a better, more attainable path towards a cleaner, greener, and brighter future shifting our thinking from short-term change to long-term transformation. Rather than a Green New Deal, let’s embrace a common-sense Green New Century of climate innovation, clean energy independence, and becoming a global leader in rainforest preservation and marine restoration because America’s next generation deserves a walkable, breathable, and livable future.
Combat Climate Change
Our planet is a mess. The last eight years have been the eight warmest in history. Over the last 20 years, Greenland has lost about 255 giga-tons of ice each year – a “worst-case scenario” not anticipated until 2070. Atlantic hurricanes are growing in intensity and frequency, our West Coast has been engulfed by fire, and communities all across America are enduring new waves of drought, flood, loss of agriculture and biodiversity, and toxic waste and industrial poisons that make people and ecosystems sick.
There has also been a tremendously difficult time in mobilizing everyday Americans to help combat climate change. We ought to create a sustainable economy where everyone has a chance to be champions of our environment while still making a decent living. To be stewards of our sacred environment, we must:
- Achieve a carbon-free America by 2050.
- Responsibly transition to clean energy by incentivizing companies to adopt zero-waste cycles & clean energy sources.
- Preserve public land, water, and wildlife.
- Balance decarbonization with economic development.
- Invest in greater natural disaster preparedness.
- Shift agricultural subsidies to encourage regenerative practices.
- Enact a Carbon Fee & Dividend.
- Make our power grid more resilient against extreme heat & hurricanes.
- Forge international agreements with other nations to implement these policies throughout the global supply chain.
- Become global leaders in rainforest preservation, climate conservation, and marine restoration.
- Activate the American enterprise & entrepreneurial spirit to provide the innovation and technology to power us at home and abroad.
Clean Energy Independence
Today, America relies heavily on fossil fuels for our energy needs – which not only contributes to climate change but also poses dire national security risks. Dependence on foreign oil leaves our nation vulnerable to price shocks and supply disruptions, while the extraction and transportation of fossil fuels pose devastating environmental impacts. With a sustainable and secure future at stake, it’s time that we as a nation undertake a mass mobilization to achieve clean-energy independence. By investing in clean energy development and deployment – America can assert global leadership in the fight to lead a more safe, secure, and sustainable future. That means:
- Subsidizing public transportation, electric cars, high-speed rail, intercontinental space transport, and other green projects.
- Investing in carbon capture, clean energy storage, & green efficiency.
- Supporting clean and nuclear energy.
- Partner with the private sector to build a national network of electric vehicle charging stations.
- Cutting billions of wasteful tax subsidies to oil and gas companies.
- Asserting American global leadership on climate change.
Expand the TVA Nationwide
In 1933, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed into law a federally-owned electric utility company called the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). For decades, the TVA has provided seamless stewardship of economic development and environmental conservation in the Tennessee Valley by offering flood control, wildlife conservation, and cheap electricity to local residents. At a time when one-third of American families struggle to pay for their basic energy needs, we must expand the TVA nationwide to become the American Energy Authority (AEA). By competing with private energy companies who monopolize the market and price-gouge consumers, the AEA would provide unparalleled programs to offer clean, efficient, reliable, and affordable energy for all who want it. Under the AEA, America would be one step closer to a clean, green, and sustainable future.
Land & Wildlife Conservation
From luscious habitats and endangered species to national parks and iconic landmarks – our country is blessed to have natural treasures that define our identity as a nation. These icons of our heritage are a birthright we pass down from generation to generation. When we conserve our country’s natural gifts, we aren’t just protecting the livelihoods of people who depend on them; but also enshrining the heart and soul of our collective national pride. Let’s:
- Establish a Department of Beautification to uphold national treasures to the highest standards of care and maintenance and promote new and beautiful architecture that reflects our national history and heritage.
- Protect pets and farm animals from inhumane treatment.
- Build new green spaces and national parks.
- New Deal for the 21st Century
- America First in Quality of Life
- Life, Liberty, & Pursuit of Happiness
- Make America Cool Again
- Marshall Plan for America
- Wage A War on Poverty
- Guarantee Healthcare to All
- World-Class Education
- Defend Our Democracy
- A Green New Century
- America Open For Business
- End the War on Drugs
- Women’s Rights Are Human Rights
- Reclaim Our Freedom
- Safe Streets & Secure Neighborhoods
- Affordable Housing for All
- A Welcoming Nation of Immigrants
- Moral Global Leadership
- Tackle the Teenage Mental Health Crisis
- Protect the Second Amendment & Second Graders