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Now, the idea is moving closer to reality. This week, more than 80 Democratic legislators put forward a letter laying out their vision, which could be funded through the American Jobs Plan and next year’s budget. Its stated goals are:
providing employment opportunities
investing in natural climate solutions, clean energy, and resilience
addressing environmental justice through locally-led, science-based projects.
Why This Matters: Climate change is the defining issue of our time, and a Civilian Climate Corps would both take on the long-term crisis at hand while also addressing the shorter-term crisis of job loss from the pandemic. With the proposed $15 minimum wage, it could launch members into future careers in clean energy, conservation, and disaster mitigation after being paid a living wage through the learning curve. It’s a win from all sides.
“We have a historic opportunity to make bold investments in our public lands, clean energy, and climate resiliency, all while creating good-paying jobs, building a diverse workforce, and strengthening career pathways,” the letter reads.
Jobs, with justice at the center: For all the nostalgia about the original CCC, it effectively only hired white men and developed on Native land without consent. This iteration calls for “prioritizing environmental justice and investing in an equitable and diverse Corps membership” through actions like recruiting half of the corps members from communities harmed by American’s environmental and climate policies. It also specifies that projects should be coordinated with Tribal communities, not done against their will.
A boon for National Parks and local communities alike: The original CCC was integral to the development of the National Parks we know and love today, and a modern version could help get them in shape for the future. The National Park Service currently has a nearly $12 billion maintenance backlog that could be taken on by the corps, helping to “ensure our public lands remain healthy, supporting strong ecosystems and biodiversity.”
It wouldn’t just be about the wilderness, though. As Evan Weber, the Sunrise Movement’s political director, told the American Prospect:“For us, the idea of a public jobs program that connects a new generation of Americans with their communities, with the government in a different way, and with the environment is in and of itself a non-reformist reform that can have societal ripple effects.”
The Colorado River is drying up, millions are at risk of losing their water supply, and Indigenous communities are fighting to keep their water rights. The Western megadrought is taking its toll on American communities, but how did we get here? In his new film, River’s End: California’s Latest Water War, Jacob Morrison delves […]
World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and HP just announced that they’re taking their friendship to the next level. The odd couple is teaming up and expanding their partnership to restore, protect, and improve the management of almost one million acres of forest. HP is pledging $80 million to forest conservation and restoration, and not stopping there […]
Researchers from the National University of Singapore used data from more than 1,000 twin siblings to evaluate their opinions about environmental policy. They found identical twins were more likely to have similar views on green policy than non-identical twins, suggesting that support for climate action may have a genetic component. Felix Tropf, a professor in […]
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