We know fossil fuels are finite. We know they lower air and water quality. Plastics have been in wide use for only a single generation and are already piling up around the world and killing our sea life. We know that air and water pollution can lead to any number of negative health effects and can significantly reduce life expectancies in areas where that pollution is concentrated. We don’t need a degree in environmental science to know we have to stop passing the buck!
We know the only way that a Green New Deal is going to be truly beneficial is if it is written and designed by the low- to middle-income people who are going to be most directly affected by climate change and other environmental factors. Re-imagining our economy and our agricultural system should be considered an opportunity, and we want to make sure Kansans have a seat at the table in designing it.
The Green New Deal does not have to be the bogeyman that it is often made out to be. At it’s core, it is a re-investment in communities that were left to die after fossil fuel companies stripped all the resources from the ground and moved on to the next town, and it is an initial investment in communities whose backyards have been used as dumps by those same companies over the past 70 years. However, if it is designed in coastal think tanks, a lot of struggling Kansans are going to be completely left out of the equation. We won’t let that happen!
The Green New Deal is a re-imagination of what our towns can look like.
It means more Federal money for art projects to celebrate the history of our communities.
It means more Federal money for smaller-scale farming initiatives that feed our people, employ our residents, and increase the community aspect of our towns.
It means more parks and walking/biking trails that families can use to make sure their kids are getting a healthy dose of Vitamin D.
It means paying to train people to modernize homes in order to make them more energy efficient.
It means paying people to plant millions of trees to help sequester carbon.
It means investing in truly affordable, energy-efficient housing, investing in educating people to build that housing, and then providing millions of jobs to see it all through to fruition.
It means a Federal Job Guarantee so that we can transition our economy without putting folks out of work.
And yes, it means more wind and solar, but only if it is right for your community. Kansas has plenty of both to capture, and a Green New Deal would provide the funding to create jobs and, in turn, make energy bills much more affordable.