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  • Suzanne Reed

Make a just recovery to Covid-19 the bridge to carbon neutrality

We remain in the throes of the COVID-19 crisis. That does not diminish the urgency of tackling the climate change crisis and does create an opportunity to address the inequities pervasive throughout our social and economic systems.

Covid-19 has brought into focus long-standing gaps in the safety net, the heath care system, worker protections, access to information, and a vast array of economic and social disparities. Persistent denial has only made matters worse. Our long-standing failure to address marginalized community health, food insecurity, education, resource scarcity, and access to information has hampered our pandemic response and further endangered the very people who are on the frontline doing essential work to benefit all of us.

Sadly, it has taken the murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement for several younger generations to learn that the gaps are not the result of neglect, but of a long history of racial abuse and discrimination.

As vast sums of money are being poured into individual, government, and business relief, we need to structure economic recovery infusions to spur a just transition to carbon neutrality. Five principles to be applied in any future federal funding are being advanced by The People's Bailout. They have launched an advocacy movement directed at Congress to:

  1. Make health for all people, with no exceptions, the top priority.

  2. Provide economic relief directly to the people.

  3. Prioritize relief for rescue workers and communities, not corporate executives.

  4. Make a down payment on a regenerative economy while preventing future crises.

  5. Protect our democratic process while we protect each other

These same principles can and should be applied at the local, regional, and state level. The bridge to combating climate change and centuries of inequities is there for us to travel. Let's get started.

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