Take bold action on climate justice.
It will take a major commitment of resources to properly address this crisis. From talking with people around the state, I know there is a desire to take action – especially among the youth whose futures are on the line.
Treat the climate crisis as the public health emergency that it is. I helped organize the historic People’s Climate March in New York City in September, 2014. This was the largest climate march in history and helped launch the People’s Climate Movement, a national coalition of hundreds of organizations working to stop the climate crisis.
Employ a WWII-scale approach to solving this crisis through massive subsidies and supports for broadly distributed renewable energy, an end to pollutants harming our air, water, land and bodies, and economic development that centers conservation. The climate crisis is already affecting life in Vermont. Lyme disease threatens our health. Our state bird is at risk of extinction. “Vermont is getting wetter and warmer,” a UVM climate change study reported in November, 2021. “The Green Mountain State has warmed nearly 2-degrees F with a 21% jump in precipitation.” The study predicts increased floods and droughts, and threats to our health.
Denial, incrementalism, and operating within the current anti-democratic structures is not working. We need climate action. Fast.
Climate justice requires cooperation at all levels, so we need local, national, and international action. Vermonters are in a particularly good position to determine the plans for renewable energy expansion through our Town Meeting structure.
Build a healthier financial sector that catalyzes projects that are conducive to a sustainable, thriving local economy.
Support quality employment programs that can strengthen public services, including jobs in sustainable construction, greener public transportation services and jobs in the care sector.
Invest in the care economy to help the U.S. build a resilient local economy. Solid care networks (schools, child-care, healthcare, elder care, transportation networks, healthier food production systems) are at the core of greener, fairer and healthier communities. Healthier communities are our first line of defense in a world threatened by the impacts of Climate Change.
Climate change, like the COVID pandemic, is a global crisis, and must be responded to as such.
The climate crisis is hitting the most vulnerable communities the hardest. There is no such thing as a partial response to Climate Change. Globally: the transition to a fairer, greener economy in the U.S. cannot come at the cost of those that are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change elsewhere in the world. Nationally: we have to protect and build up our economies to make them more resilient to the effects of Climate Change, and protect vulnerable communities in the U.S. We have a duty to think about how to adapt our international system to better respond to global problems.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports make it clear that we have to stick to the agreements we have made in existing Climate agreements. We need to meet our pledges, and go beyond what is being done. Climate change is a global phenomenon and needs to be tracked both domestically and globally. Wealthier nations such as ours need to provide support for sustainable development in nations in need.