* Renewables can spark our recovery from the pandemic

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In follow up to the May 17 UK Guardian article “Coal industry will never recover after the coronavirus pandemic, say experts”, by Jonathon Watts and Jillian Ambrose. Sometimes opportunity comes when we least expect it.

COVID-19 has exposed how unprepared we were to plan ahead – even when we have been forewarned time and time again by the experts, i.e. the entire scientific community. Thousands of lost lives and the near collapse of our economy could have been avoided with a minimal amount of planning. As we begin to recover from the pandemic, we need to listen to the scientific community about the much larger threat now at our doorstep – global warming. The good news is that we can spark our economic recovery and reduce global warming simultaneously. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the fastest growing jobs over the next decade with will be in the renewable energy industry. Organizations, including the International Monetary Fund, are putting forth proposals to support “green” activities as part of the recovery plan. At the state level a Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery has been created, focusing on investments that prioritize “clean economy jobs creation”.

According to a Reuters poll from last year, 70% of Americans, including a majority of Republicans, want government to take action on climate change. SO, WHAT CAN WE DO TO MAKE SURE OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS MAKE THIS HAPPEN? First, write/email/call your elected officials – they pay attention when their constituents speak out. Second, become involved. Did you know there is a bill (HR763) now sitting in Congress that will lower carbon emissions by 40% over the next 10 years – is revenue neutral, doesn’t create another Washington bureaucracy and is supported by economists and conservatives alike? Third, volunteer with a local chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby, a nonprofit nonpartisan org. focused on reducing global warming and creating a clean green economy. As a senior citizen, a registered Republican and a lifelong resident of Southern California, I’ve been extremely fortunate – and want to pass that good fortune on to the next generations.

Tom Seigner, Westlake Village, Chapter Leader, Conejo Valley, Citizens Climate lobby.

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