Decades of inaction by politicians have put us into a crisis situation. It’s no longer a question of avoiding a radical change in global climate in the future, but dealing with a problem that’s on our doorstep.
Shocks to global food supplies, driven by changes in weather patterns that are a product of climate change, have become a substantial national security threat to U.S. interests abroad. The policy of the United States has to be to freeze, and then reduce, our total carbon emissions footprint in order to deter threats to international political stability.
Our best tool to do so is to invest at home in clean, renewable energy sources: wind and solar. We should continue to rely on nuclear energy as an important stop-gap as we complete the transition to renewable sources.
We should also recognize that fully-funding environmental regulation is the only way to protect the 16th’s greatest economic asset: its farmland. Allowing foreign companies to seize our farmland — and our backyards — to export unrefined tar-sands oil abroad puts our kids at risk of having contaminated food and drinking water. And any continued dependence on the fossil fuel industry will further entrap us with backwards, dangerous regimes in the Middle East and elsewhere.