A new approach: emergency climate mobilization
Faced with a catastrophically failing system, the only rational response is a system overhaul. To protect humanity, we need a massive transformation of our economy and society in a matter of years, not decades. We must rapidly direct our resources toward a singular national purpose: restoring a safe climate for our world.
Only the federal government can spend as much as necessary to save as much life as possible.
A Victory Plan for the Earth
We must get to zero emissions as fast as possible — in ten years or less — using emergency economic planning measures.
A fair shares rationing program for energy use (similar to those used during WWII), as well as vastly improved efficiency, will minimize energy use.
A huge effort to sequester carbon and cool the earth back to safe levels. This includes massive investment in research to improve drawdown methods.
An overhaul of our transport system: high speed electrified railroads, new public transit options, new forms of fuel replacement, and car-free cities.
A move from industrial agriculture to localized, resilient farming with limits on livestock production and a phase-out of factory farming.
A half-earth conservation and ocean-protection program to halt the ongoing mass extinction of species and turn ecosystems into effective carbon sinks.
Mobilization is an emergency restructuring of a modern industrial economy, accomplished at rapid speed. It involves the vast majority of citizens, the utilization of a very high proportion of available resources, and impacts all areas of society. It is nothing less than a government-coordinated social and industrial revolution. Mobilization is what happens when an entire nation enters emergency mode, and the results can be truly staggering.
We had this kind of mobilization during World War II in the United States. The government banned or restricted economic activities that did not contribute to the war effort, and redirected resources toward victory. Women surged into factories and planted 50 million “Victory Gardens” that supplied 40% of America’s vegetables during the war. Scientists and universities pumped out research on behalf of the war effort. This historical precedent can help us re-imagine how quickly and effectively we could move today, if government and society acted with the same "failure is not an option" mentality. But we must go far beyond it.
While we have never faced a threat of this scale, we have also never met a greater opportunity.
A just transition means not only preventing unimaginable suffering from climate and environmental catastrophe, but reinventing our economy to address the social inequities on which an extractive economy is based. We can call on lawmakers to phase out industries that are harmful to human life, and create new pathways for equitable, sustainable livelihoods. We can reinvigorate local economies with new industries that protect the climate while providing dignified, productive work for all.