Climate change is an existential threat, and we need to recognize that we’re already living through the negative effects. The increase in natural disasters is costing us hundreds of billions of dollars, and the total cost of climate change will run into the trillions while taking an untold number of lives. And the people who are most affected by these impacts of climate change are the least able to deal with it – economically disadvantaged and minority communities face a disproportionate burden.
The right time to deal with this crisis was decades ago. We’ve waited too long, so we need to act fast and recognize that all options need to be on the table in order to adapt to the changed world we live in while mitigating behaviors that make it worse and reversing the damage we’ve already done. We can’t dismiss any ideas – especially not those that have support from the scientific community – or rule anything out because it doesn’t fit our ideological framework.
The Green New Deal has done a great job in starting the conversation about how we define the scope of the problem and the scope of the solution, and its goals of lowering emissions, converting to renewable energy, and creating good paying jobs are commendable. We need to strive for these goals and set up a realistic plan utilizing all options in order to get to a fully sustainable economy ahead of 2050.
To read Andrew’s entire climate change plan, click here.
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Problems to be Solved
- Energy bills make up a substantial portion of the average American’s expenses.
- Burning fossil fuels indiscriminately for over a century has done damage to the environment.
- We are not truly addressing global warming and rising sea levels, only slowing the rate of change.
- Americans are suffering from higher rates of asthma, emphysema, COPD, and other respiratory diseases because of pollution from burning fossil fuels.
- People want to do more to combat climate change but don’t know how, or can’t afford the high start-up costs of “going solar.”
Climate change is up there with automation as a society-wide threat. Parts of Florida and Virginia are already experiencing flooding, and hurricanes are more powerful and frequent. This is exactly the kind of problem that government must rise to meet. As much as we must evolve and take responsibility, the U.S. only emits 15% of the world’s greenhouse gases - this is a global problem. We should invest resources in large-scale geo-engineering measures like shoring up glaciers and reducing solar exposure to counteract the effects of climate change even as we reduce our emissions. Waiting around for the oceans to rise is not the American way. If we don’t adopt and lead in geoengineering, China will wind up making decisions for us when it decides to modify the climate in about 20 years.
- 2025 – Establish net-zero standards for new buildings
- 2027 – New nuclear reactors begin to come online
- 2030 – Zero-emission standard for all new cars
- 2035 – 100% emissions free electric grid
- 2040 – Net-zero for all transportation sectors
- 2045 – 85% methane recapture
- 2049 – Achieve net-zero emissions
As President, I will...
- Build a sustainable economy by transitioning away from fossil fuels to renewable energy, upgrading our infrastructure, and improving the way we farm and use land. Public financing options will allow individuals to make the right decisions for their families.
- Build a sustainable world. The United States, throughout history, has led the world in times of crisis. We’re the most entrepreneurial country in the history of the world. It’s time to activate the American imagination and work ethic to provide the innovation and technology that will power the rest of the world.
- Move our people to higher ground. Natural disasters and other effects of climate change are already causing damage and death. We need to adapt our country to this new reality.
- Reverse the damage we’ve done. Research needs to be done on removing carbon from our atmosphere, cooling the planet and rejuvenating ecosystems.
- Hold future administrations accountable. We need to pass a constitutional amendment that creates a duty on the federal and state governments to be stewards for the environment.