Green Party: Economic Stimulus Must Help Average Americans While Solving Climate Change
The Green Party of the United States said that the economic stimulus package being voted upon by Congress does not do enough to help Americans, and also fails to help the country respond to the accelerating climate crisis. In countries like China and Italy with the worst outcomes, as in large cities in the US and worldwide, air pollution from burning fossil fuels was a factor of increased mortality from COVID-19. A healthy planet prevents future pandemics due to destruction of ecosystems and protects lives as well as world economies from man-made crises.
Green Party of the United States
For Immediate Release:
April 22, 2020
Michael O’Neil, Communications Manager, [email protected], 202-804-2758
Holly Hart, Co-chair, Media Committee, [email protected], 202-804-2758
Craig Seeman, Co-chair, Media Committee, [email protected], 202-804-2758
The latest proposed stimulus bill offered by the Senate, which has been scheduled for a House vote on Thursday morning, neglects funding for state and city governments facing massive revenue shortfalls that will lead to deeper cuts in schools and other public services. The legislation will provide $321 billion for small businesses, $75 billion for hospitals, and $25 billion for coronavirus testing but no new oversight for bailout money, no relief for renters and no funding for food assistance.
“COVID-19 has devastated our communities, but it cannot be used as an excuse to ignore the climate crisis. The economic relief package must protect us from climate change while lifting up workers and the most vulnerable. It must put a sizable amount of money directly into the pockets of people while protecting them against crushing debt. Congress must reject efforts by the Trump administration to bail out companies such as the fossil fuel industry, banks and airlines that have caused the climate crisis,” said Hunter Crow, candidate for Arlington, TX, City Council (District 7).
The Trump administration recently announced that the EPA would not seek to enforce various environmental rules on polluters, despite the fact that air pollution is a major cause of respiratory illnesses that make individuals more endangered by COVID-19.
Green Party leaders said that we cannot afford to win the battle against COVID-19 only to lose the war against global warming, and called on Congress to stop the Trump administration’s regulatory rollbacks. The recent IPCC study warned that the world had only 11 years left to take unprecedented worldwide action to avoid the worst of climate change; many contend that the IPCC was overly optimistic.
“The climate crisis remains the greatest threat to humanity, posing an existential threat to life on our planet and the continuation of civilization as we know it. In recent decades our political and economic leaders have callously threatened the well-being of future generations in their pursuit of ever greater wealth and power. The pandemic crisis may be our last opportunity to reshape our society to focus on improving the well-being of all rather than maximizing the profits and greed of the few,” stated Rich Whitney, candidate for the Jackson County, IL, Board of Supervisors. "The same type of national effort and cooperation that we should be using to address the pandemic is necessary to address the climate crisis."
A recent study of 12 major pandemics since the 14th century found that these, unlike wars, are followed by decades in the doldrums, making a quick fix unlikely. The Greens cited the need to rebuild Main Street, not Wall Street. The country needs to rebuild our communities, infrastructure and buildings to put in place a new clean, sustainable energy economy. Trillions need to be invested in remaking the country. This will be an economic stimulus and begin to respond to the climate crisis.
The climate crisis is already negatively impacting tens of millions of individuals in the U.S. and worldwide, and is rapidly accelerating. Heat waves, massive storms, rising sea levels, floods and droughts will force massive migrations of individuals and cause serious health problems while leading to wars over access to food, water and land. COVID-19 itself is linked to the destruction of habitat for wildlife, forcing species to exist closer together which increases the cross-species transmission of diseases, including to humans.
The Greens said any economic stimulus package must incorporate the goals of a Green New Deal, guaranteeing living wage jobs for all, providing expanded and Improved Medicare for All, and meeting other basic economic needs while transitioning to 100% clean renewable energy by 2030. The trillions of dollars that Congress and the federal Reserve has provided in various grants and subsidies in the last month show that the problem is not the price tag, it is that both the Democrats and Republicans continue to place the needs of the economic elite ahead of average Americans.
“We must ensure the health and economic well-being of all Americans, including small businesses,” said Madelyn Hoffman, U. S. Senate candidate from New Jersey. “The U.S. military-industrial complex is the world's 2nd largest consumer of fossil fuels, it is one of the world's largest polluters and drains more than 1/2 of the annual discretionary
budget. We need to re-direct a good chunk of that budget to create living-wage jobs, ramp up our public health and housing sectors, and pivot away from a fossil-fuels-based energy system. We need to do this while stopping the spread of coronavirus and mitigating all related health risks, and strengthening not weakening our commitment to democracy.”
Climate Change Multiplies the Threats of Infectious Diseases, Ross, Daniel. Truthout, April 19, 2020
Study: Air Pollution May Play Role in Italy’s High Coronavirus Death Rate, Anderer, John. Study Finds, April 7, 2020
The Great Pandemic Awakening, Hovaness, Haig. Green Party of the United States Peace Action Committee, March 20, 2020
Greens: Greenbacks Not Bailouts Cure for National Emergency, Green Party Banking and Monetary Reform Committee, March 16, 2020
A blog list of articles on the issue: https://www.gp.org/coronavirus
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