Too much of the climate movement of the past was about what climate change is doing to us, and not about what climate action will do for us. Taking action does not require austerity and scarcity. Done well, it will result in more wealth, more fairness, and better jobs.
We already have many of the technologies needed to avert catastrophe. We just need the American optimism and the political will to deploy them on an unprecedented scale.
What we are describing is a future with an improved quality of life, more fairness, and better products. If we do this right, the people and communities that have been treated unfairly, exposed to chronic pollution, and left out of progress in the past stand to gain the most.
But can we afford all of this? Of course we can. These investments will pay for themselves in new jobs, innovation, and most importantly, avoided costs. We should not be asking whether we can afford to act on climate. We should be asking whether we can afford not to.
There is no viable scenario in which our country avoids significant spending. We can wait and spend trillions of dollars in a disorderly, unproductive manner to continuously respond to our changing climate. Or, we strategically invest in climate solutions now.
The climate movement is no longer a movement for just environmentalists. It belongs to everyone who wants a strong economy, more and better jobs, a safe and healthy neighborhood, energy security, and an overall better quality of life. END
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