by Rona Fried
In the environmental community, we’ve got a very long “wish list” and you can’t help but notice this is exactly what Bernie Sanders proposes in his platform (as opposed to Hillary Clinton) and legislation he’s introduced throughout his career:
- a quick and complete shift to 100% renewable energy – no half measures
- massive investments in energy efficiency
- a carbon tax
- support states that want to ban fracking; bar the fossil fuel industry from public lands; no more dirty pipeline infrastructure
- ban offshore oil drilling and oil and gas exports; ban mountaintop coal mining and place a moratorium on nuclear energy
- an end to fossil fuel subsidies
- move our transportation sector beyond oil through electric vehicles and mass transit, including high-speed rail. Increase fuel economy standards to 65 miles per gallon by 2025, catching up to Europe and Japan.
- real protection and expansion of our public lands for wildlife and biodiversity
- ousting conventional agriculture (ie Monsanto) and fossil lobbyists
- a transition to sustainable agriculture and away from GMO and subsidies for big ag companies
- resources and attention to climate change that treat it as the emergency it is.
Sanders would provide tax incentives for renewable energy permanently and proposes $41 billion for programs that help people in the fossil fuel industry transfer their skills to clean energy.
Sanders views climate change as the “single greatest threat facing our planet” at a time when it’s still not viewed that way by most of the public. He’s correct, of course, and has the nerve to state it.
He’s also correct when he says the reason the US hasn’t taken the level of action necessary on climate change is: a “small subsection of the 1% are hell-bent on doing everything in their power to block action.” (eg. Koch Brothers and fossil industry peers)
That’s why reversing Citizen’s United and getting big money out of politics is so important, he says.
Sanders views a transition to a green economy as we do: the opportunity for new industries to rise that will bring us the next “industrial” revolution, but this time creating tens of millions of well-paying jobs … that do not destroy our environment and peoples’ health.
And here’s something you’ll never hear from other candidates: Bernie strongly favors organic agriculture. He co-sponsored legislation to nationally label foods that contain GMOs and wants Monsanto et. al. out of the way.
At this crucial time in the Supreme Court, we can count on him to nominate justices that reinforce the direction our economy needs to go.
To sum it up, Bernie “gets” what truly is important to LIFE on Earth.
Rona Fried, Ph.D., is CEO of SustainableBusiness.com, known for its daily Green Business News and national Green Dream Jobs service since 1996.