A future with a Green New Deal.
Climate change is one of the biggest challenges we have ever faced. Whereas a government can be protested and a corporation can be boycotted, this environmental threat can’t be negotiated with. We’ve already seen the increase of devastating storm patterns, the increasing record-breaking temperatures, and sunny day flooding in Florida and Nebraska. Without an immediate change of course, this problem will continue to affect all aspects of our lives and economy in ways that will be impossible to predict.
That being said, one of the things holding back organizing around meaningful action, is the feeling that the problem is too massive and complex to stop. Fortunately, that’s not the case. We know the steps that need to be taken but we need to take them now. That means fighting for bold legislation and holding the principal offenders accountable. And it also means not providing an opportunity for the wealthy to profit off the solution of a crisis they helped create.
Every day our representatives hesitate on backing ambitious climate policies, our neighborhoods are being destroyed, our seas are filling with oil, and our lands are being fracked into rubble. We need our Representative in Congress to not just to vote for change, but to fight everyday on the inside to make the argument and get it passed. Brian knows the urgency of the problem and knows the commitment it will take.
Policies like the Green New Deal address a framework that promotes renewable sources of energy, works to reduce the carbon in our atmosphere, and puts the working class first as we transition into a green economy. For years now, California has been leading the way on environmental policy, with a state-wide goal of 100% clean energy by 2045, and even a version of the Green New Deal in Los Angeles. We have already seen success.
Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis described a state as a “laboratory of democracy,” with the role of trying “novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.” Applying the goals of California’s energy and environmental policy on a federal scale, we could expedite the timeline for a green economy to less than ten years.
Instead, we’ve gotten accustomed to being told that individual responsibility will head off the problem, but no amount of plastic straws can balance out the abuse of unchecked industry and the destruction of our natural resources. We know what needs to be done and yet our leadership often chooses to play it safe, giving lip-service to incremental change instead of taking on the fight that we elect them to lead on.
Previously serving as chair of the Sustainability Committee for the Studio City Neighborhood Council, Brian has made this issue a personal priority. Because of the topography of our area, the effects of smog are even greater felt. The Los Angeles Times reports that West LA had two bad air days in 2018, while the San Fernando Valley had 49. This has led to some of the highest rates of asthma in the state just as we were getting used to getting slowly poisoned by the lingering effects of Aliso Canyon. We will continue to see deregulation wreak havoc on our communities unless we are able to fight back with unabashedly progressive protections.
But we can fight back by removing the structures that require excuses. If we move away from an oil and natural gas economy, the emergency access to Aliso Canyon becomes moot. By increasing access to public transportation, we minimize the amount of damage our daily traffic jams produce.
A federal Green New Deal will move us toward a sustainable future, one that revitalizes our economy while protecting the livability of our communities – and with a shift towards renewable energy, we would invalidate the excuses that keep Aliso Canyon operational and a bigger disaster waiting to happen.