We must also ensure that there are low-cost training and continuing education opportunities for workers to transition from the fossil fuel industry into good, green-collar union jobs. We need a just and fair transition so that working people, their families and communities are protected and supported as we move toward a clean energy economy.
The next decade is decisive because trajectory counts for so much; if we bend it now, we may slide the car to a halt with just the front tires hanging off the cliff. But if we sail on for a few more years, it's pretty clear we're fast and furiously going airborne -- that's what happens when, say, Arctic permafrost starts to melt in earnest, releasing clouds of methane.
He doesn't go on and on about the woods and the rivers -- he goes on and on about working class Vermonters who can't afford health care and heating oil. His issue is inequality and unfairness, and it has been from the start. And for those of us who do work mostly on the environment, that's just the kind of ally we need.
I was to have been one of 400,000 protestors gathered for the People's Climate March in New York on Sept. 21. Alas, a knee injury sidelined me. As a consolation prize, a friend bought me Naomi Klein's This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate. So wowed am I by Klein's singular accomplishment that I dedicate this post to an unsolicited review.
The President has a vision of what he wants the world to look like for his daughters and their children -- and it isn't B-Roll from Interstellar. Oh, and just in case he falters, there are those at the grassroots level who will remain vigilant... because they don't want future generations to be living in a science fiction movie.