Children Ask the World of Us: Taking Action on Climate Change
WAND has long asserted that children ask the world of us. It’s why Dr. Helen Caldicott founded the organization, why Georgia WAND puts a strong emphasis on environmental justice work, and why President Obama stated in his groundbreaking speech this week that it’s time to take serious action on climate change.
“There’s no single step that can reverse the effects of climate change. But when it comes to the world we leave our children, we owe it to them to do what we can,” he said.
During his speech, Obama unveiled a major plan for policies and regulations that will address climate change. And while he took some major steps in the right direction most notably carbon standards for new and existing power plants, the plan lacks the depth needed to move to a completely clean, safe and renewable energy future.
Here’s what you need to know:
Nuclear Power is Still Part of the Plan
The president said “The United States will continue to promote the safe and secure use of nuclear power worldwide through a variety of bilateral and multilateral engagements,” noting the Vogtle and VC Summer projects underway in the Southeast. Small modular reactors, which have never been successfully built, were also in the mix.
Nuclear is a bad bet when it comes to climate change, safety, non-proliferation and fiscal responsibility. The Voglte project alone is already over budget, behind schedule, facing construction flaws and safety issues, and heavily reliant on ratepayers to finance the project through the Construction Work in Progress fee.
Renewable Energy needs to be a bigger piece of the pie
Obama pushed renewables with creative solutions for bringing more into the mix. Part of the plan includes installing solar panels on government subsidized low-income housing, with the hope of powering 100,000 homes with these panels by 2020. He also mandated that federal facilities get at least 20% of their power from renewable sources. Finally, the President encouraged US residents to divest from dirty energy sources and companies and invest their money in renewable.
Disaster Preparedness is a Must
As climate change continues to cause extreme weather, communities will face rising insurance costs, and more frequent environmental disasters. President Obama’s plan includes governmental agency support for communities as they recover from natural disasters and build resilience to weather what will come in the future.
Courtney Hanson is Public Outreach Director at Georgia WAND. She is an Atlanta activist and writer, working on environmental justice and gender equality. Prior to moving to the south, she worked as a journalist in Chicago, covering education, personalities, community events, women’s issues, homelessness and poverty.