Climate change is the ultimate global issue and to tackle it we need a global perspective. By 2050 the world’s population will be over 10 billion. If we are to live fulfilling lives, then we need to find new modes of economic growth without damaging the biosphere.
We have to:
- Transition from 19th century fossil fuel to sustainable, carbon-neutral energy.
- Change agricultural practices from short-term profitability to long-term viability of soils and aquifers.
- Remember that there is more to be gained from community, cooperation, and connection than there is from an unwinnable battle for dominance over nature and one another.
- Immediately eliminate federal subsidies to the fossil fuel and agricultural industries.
- Shift resources and incentives to support the renewable energy sector and small local farmers practicing regenerative agriculture.
- Ban drilling and mining on federal lands and begin to tax the carbon those extractive industries produce.
When FDR fought for the original New Deal it was opposed by financial and industrial elites. It was called ‘socialism’ and considered an unwarranted government intrusion into the affairs of the ‘free-market’. But against the backdrop of the Great Depression he was able to implement the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). They put people back to work, modernized infrastructure, and built the foundations for a post-war economic boom. The New Deal did not undermine capitalism, it saved it.
We need to:
- Implement federal legislation and programs to replace our crumbling infrastructure.
- Pass a federal jobs and public works bill to reconstitute the CCC and WPA to begin reforestation, habitat reclamation, and clean energy infrastructure development.
According to science, we have a decade to save our environment. We face extinction-level threats due to the exploitation of our natural resources and generations of inaction and neglect. We have the knowledge, means and resources to lead the world on the critical mission to change our relationships with nature and one another, and to save ourselves and the planet.