Bernie Sanders Releases BOLD Climate Change Plan And Wins Major Support From Environmentalists

Bernie Sanders Releases BOLD Climate Change Plan And Wins Major Support From Environmentalists

Sanders’ climate change plan has scientists and environmentalists jumping for joy

Vermont Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is one of the only presidential candidates who regularly states that climate change is one of the biggest national security threats facing the future of our nation. If climate change is allowed to persist without even trying to cut carbon emissions, among cutting a long laundry list of other destructive human practices, then our grandchildren’s future is in jeopardy.

While other Democratic candidates say they are serious about clean energy and reversing man-made climate change, Senator Sanders’ campaign released a bold and incredibly detailed comprehensive climate change action plan, titled “People before Polluters.” The stated goal is moving to dependence on clean, sustainable energy and reducing carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050.

“The scientists are virtually unanimous that climate change is real, is caused by human activity and is already causing devastating problems in the United States and around the world. And, they tell us, if we do not act boldly the situation will only become much worse in years to come in terms of drought, floods, extreme storms and acidification of the oceans.

“Sadly, we now have a Republican Party that is more concerned about protecting the profits of Exxon, BP and Shell and the coal industry than protecting the planet. While fossil fuel companies are raking in record profits, climate change ravages our planet and our people – all because the wealthiest industry in the history of our planet has bribed politicians into ignoring science.”

His website even has a state-by-state interactive map that explains exactly how much each state needs to move to wind, solar and water energy plans based on their individual state resources. The map also details how many jobs moving to clean energy will create in each state, as well as the energy and monetary savings.

It’s not just about savings and common sense. Climate change is a real threat facing our world according to the CIA and Department of Defense, as the world’s overall climate warms crop failure, water shortages, food shortages, and dangerous weather events will create real problems in our community as well as the international community, and this has deadly consequences.

Sanders’ stated goals are: 

  • Reclaiming our democracy from the fossil fuel industry that spends billions of dollars lobbying in Washington, D.C. to pass legislation like the Keystone XL pipeline and keeping the nation dependent on destructive energy resources.
  • Accelerate a just transition away from fossil fuels. It won’t happen tomorrow, but the current state of affairs is we’re not moving fast enough away from fossil fuel dependence to make a real impact. Sanders’ plan hastens our move to clean energy resources.
  • Invest in clean, sustainable energy. This means job creation. People are needed to install solar panels, build hydroelectric dams, and erect wind turbines and people are required to maintain these structures, which means long-term, high-paying jobs. Sanders estimates that moving to clean sustainable energy means creating $10 million jobs.
  • Revolutionize our electric and transportation infrastructure. Transportation accounts for 26 percent of U.S. carbon emissions and electricity accounts for 31 percent of carbon emissions. Sanders would invest in clean and efficient high-speed intercontinental railways similar to Europe. As well as better intercity transportation to reduce the need for individual drivers.
  • Lead the international community on climate change to prevent international conflict. It’s been some time since America lead the world in innovation and meaningful action, this is the perfect issue to take a firm stand on to encourage other world superpowers to invest in their futures as well. If the world participates, we reduce chances of conflict over food, water, and resources. 

Not acting on climate change is no longer an option. Our oceans are rising and dying, ice caps are melting, heat waves, droughts and super hurricanes are killing people and more people than ever in history have respiratory disease, cancers, among other illnesses caused by pollution, chemicals in our water, and the consequences of carbon emissions warming our planet slowly. We’ve created an extremely productive world, but the world we’ve created is unsustainable and outdated. It’s time to take advantage of new technology to take our society to the next level.

And the financial savings are substantial too, moving to clean energy means lower energy bills, better-paying jobs, domestic production and reduces the demand for more costly energy resources. A healthier society also has cost benefits as well.

As for the greedy energy companies who exploit our resources, pervert our political system and pollute our planet, Sanders promises to bring them to justice — they will bend, or they will break. His plan introduces a carbon tax as well as consequences for companies who bribe politicians to deny climate science. Sanders would also ban fracking, offshore drilling and prohibit the exportation of oil and liquefied gas.

Sanders says:

“The debate is over. The vast majority of the scientific community has spoken. Climate change is real, it is caused by human activity, and it is already causing devastating harm here in the United States, and to people all around the globe. So what are we going to do about it? We will act boldly to move our energy system away from fossil fuels, toward energy efficiency and sustainable energy sources like wind, solar, and geothermal because we have a moral responsibility to leave our kids a planet that is healthy and habitable.”

Climate change scientists and advocates are ecstatic over Sanders’ plan. One of the loudest voices on the need for climate change action, Bill McKibbens of 350.org, fully endorses Senator Sanders’ climate change plan. McKibbens said:

“Bernie’s vision of a transformed America is powerful, because it recognizes both the ecological need and the human priority. There’s good useful work that we need millions of Americans to do–and he’ll make sure its done by the people left out of our economic booms of the past. Even more important than the plan is the credibility of the planner. Bernie has shown with years of committed action that he will not just talk about this stuff on the campaign trail, he will do it in the Oval Office.”

McKibbens isn’t alone, Greenpeace’s US Executive Director Anne Leonard fully supports Sanders’ plan as well. Leonard said:

“The climate plan released by Senator Bernie Sanders today shows that he has broken free of the corporate and 1% money that has held back climate policy for far too long. Sanders has issued a powerful call for climate justice and decisive action to keep fossil fuels in the ground and support the communities who are suffering from climate and environmental impacts. Greenpeace applauds this ambitious platform and challenges other candidates who are serious about climate change to reject polluter money and raise the level of ambition in their own plans to meet the greatest challenge of our time.”

Others to endorse the plan include Mark Ruffalo,  the founders of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, and Policy Director Anthony Rogers-Wright from Environmental Action. These are major advocates for climate science who can bring the environmentalist community behind Sanders — unless other candidates introduce REAL plans for reform.

Climate change is a bipartisan issue. Every Republican, Democrat, Independent and Libertarian needs clean air, water, and food to survive. Everyone from every side of the political spectrum should agree that this world we live on is unique, beautiful in every way, and needs us to help keep it that way. We only have one planet and will only ever have this one planet, but we’re letting greed get in the way of preserving this beautiful Earth because it’s easier at the moment to do nothing — this needs to change. Climate change is one issue we can all come together on — whether we believe in God or science — we all have a duty to prevent the destruction of this world before we squander our resources and destroy the world for future generations.

Featured Image via Flickr/Angel Ganev and Flickr/Truthout.org collaboration

Jenna lives in the bowels of the disgustingly hot state of Arizona among Tea Partiers, gun nuts, and racists. She is an activist, writer and politics junkie who is optimistic that stupid, can indeed, be fixed.