Speaking at the Boston GreenFest at City Hall Plaza Friday afternoon, Green Party Presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein stated that the threat of climate change to the nation requires an immediate declaration of a national emergency similar to that which followed the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.
“The threat to our nation requires a wartime level of mobilization to rebuild our energy infrastructure and set an example that the world can follow”, Stein said. “We can no longer afford to spend our money on exploration, extraction and infrastructure development for polluting fossil fuels - because this only makes the climate crisis worse”, according to Stein. “Starting immediately, we must redirect our investments into renewable energy and energy efficiency to achieve 100% clean renewable energy by 2030. In doing so we can not only turn the tide on climate change, we can create millions of green jobs and make wars for oil obsolete.”
She described the dire threat from climate change as “…beyond any emergency humanity has ever faced. 2014 was the hottest year yet and we’re on track to beat that now. The foremost US climate scientist, James Hansen and 16 leading experts have just predicted a devastating sea level rise of 10 feet or more as soon as 2065. California, which produces half the fruit and vegetable supply for the country, has one year of water left in its reservoirs. India’s recent heat wave had a heat-humidity impact of 149 degrees F, causing roads to melt and killing nearly 2000 people. Climate stress is causing species to disappear at a rate that’s more than 1000 times normal. Looking down the road, we are staring at the destruction of our economy and failures of food production that bring human survival itself into question. Clearly, we need solutions as big as the crisis barreling down on us. For our own survival, we have to take our future out of the hands of foot-dragging politicians. They must be replaced by principled, unbought representatives of the people, who are guided by the science and community values, and not by a desire to please their big campaign donors.”
To do this, Stein is calling for a Green New Deal, a set of emergency programs to create 20 million sustainable, living wage jobs that will lead directly to a just and Green economy.
As part of the change in direction, Stein called specifically for a halt to any expansion of fracking, coal excavation, oil and gas drilling, gas pipelines or other new infrastructure that would prolong our dependence on fossil fuels. She would reverse President Obama’s actions to expand drilling off-shore, on Federal lands and in to the Arctic. According to Stein, the Green New Deal essentially pays for itself. “Since it makes wars for oil obsolete, the Green New Deal enables a substantial downsizing of the $1 trillion per year defense spending. Rather than spending our money fighting for oil, we can build the sustainable energy system that makes our nation independent of oil. We can train our young people for good jobs right here in America instead of putting them into harm’s way invading other countries.”
“The Green New Deal is also paid for through the health savings it creates. 75% of our annual $3 trillion dollar national health care bill pays for treatment of chronic diseases linked to unhealthy food of industrial agriculture, physical inactivity associated with passive transportation, and toxic pollution from fossil fuels. Since the Green New Deal remedies each of these conditions, it will profoundly reduce the cost of health care.”
“This is the time to stand up and demand the policies we deserve, that our survival depends on. Together, we have the power to create a peaceful, just, green future for us all. It’s in our hands!”