Faith Communities and Green New Deal

Most of us living in the United States feel frustrated, and often helpless, in the face of so many social, economic, racial, political and environmental problems and injustices.

We know fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions are destroying our planet in many different ways. Again we feel helpless to make significant changes because our cities and communities are sprawling but often don’t have mass transit options, making us feel we have to have a car. The stock market and banking systems appear fragile. Our communities, economy and governments are collapsing under the weight of damages from increasingly severe and frequent environmental chaos.

All of this is looking a lot like the Great Depression of the 1930s. The policies of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal pulled the country out of that depression.

The New Deal was a series of programs, public work projects, financial reforms and regulations enacted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the United States between 1933 and 1936. It responded to needs for relief, reform and recovery from the Great Depression. Major federal programs included the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), the Civil Works Administration (CWA), the Farm Security Administration (FSA), the National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933 (NIRA) and the Social Security Administration (SSA). They provided support for farmers, the unemployed, youth and the elderly. The New Deal included new constraints and safeguards on the banking industry and efforts to re-inflate the economy after prices had fallen sharply. New Deal programs included both laws passed by Congress as well as presidential executive orders during the first term of the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt. The programs focused on what historians refer to as the “3 Rs”: relief for the unemployed and poor, recovery of the economy back to normal levels and reform of the financial system to prevent a repeat depression

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Deal

The difference now is environmental chaos is added to all of these problems. This is a global threat, and we have no choice but to fully engage to tackle our environmental crises right NOW. The alternative is the extinction of humans and most other life on Mother Earth in a very short time. That is why the new plan is called the GREEN New Deal.

The Green New Deal has many parts similar to the New Deal of the 1930’s. Converting to 100% renewable energy within 10 years will create millions of good jobs. A large part of the Green New Deal (GND) is the just transition to this new economy, making sure those who are disadvantaged by our current society get the new jobs and other benefits of these changes. Guaranteed jobs, Medicare for all, and free education are part of the GND.

There are many options for paying for the GND, including re-prioritizing our budget, including shifting billions of dollars from the military budget. Government loans and taxes on fossil fuels are other income sources.

We have the solutions to address climate change and create millions of new jobs. In the process we will create a more just society. The fossil fuel industry, and the politicians that have taken contributions from that industry, are trying to block this plan.

We have no choice but to begin to implement the Green New Deal right now. New Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has a bill that will create a House Select Committee for a Green New Deal that over 40 Representatives and 3 U.S. Senators support. Unfortunately the Democratic leadership in the House is not putting it on the new House agenda.

If Congress continues to refuse to support the Green New Deal, our backup plan is to use other sources to develop the plan. But to not develop a GND is just not an option. We are out of time. It would be very helpful if you would let your Congressional representatives know how important you feel a Green New Deal is.

The Sunrise Movement is a well organized, youth driven organization to make the Green New Deal happen. You can find a great deal of information, including how to get involved yourself, on our website: https://www.sunrisemovement.org/

The following video explaining the Green New Deal is from the Washington Post.

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