If you’ve been paying attention to the Republican debates, you’ve likely noticed that the environment doesn’t come up a lot — and when it does, it’s discussed like we can either have jobs or environmental regulations, but not both. Save a tree, kill a job seems to be the Republican doctrine on the environment. During the debate in Wisconsin last night, Jeb Bush said he would repeal the Clean Power Plan — which would move the country away from coal and toward renewable energy — “because the economic costs of this far exceed the social benefit.”
The good news? Bush is wrong. The bad news? He could be our next president.
According to a new study, moving toward renewable energy would actually be a boon to the economy — and it would create jobs. A lot of them. ThinkProgress reports:
The report, from NextGen Climate America, showed that investment in efficiency, renewable sources of electricity, and fuel switching — such as moving from fossil fuel-powered cars to electric vehicles — would add a million jobs by 2030, and roughly 2 million jobs by 2050, while increasing GDP by $290 billion and improving household income. The researchers looked at scenarios that would reduce emissions by 80 percent below 1990 levels.
“While addressing climate change is one of our greatest challenges, it is one of our greatest opportunities to build the economy,” said Tom Steyer, NextGen co-founder, billionaire climate activist, and Center for American Progress board member, on a call with reporters Monday.
The construction industry, in particular, could see a huge bump in jobs — to the tune of 1.2 million more in 2050 than under the business-as-usual scenario. That’s because it will take a lot of people to build the wind farms, install the solar panels, and retrofit the buildings needed to reduce America’s dependence on fossil fuels.
Hear that, GOP? You can save the planet and create jobs at the same time. They aren’t mutually exclusive! Seriously, the data is there! See for yourself! Oh, and while I’ve got your attention, climate change is real, please stop calling ob-gyns “abortionists,” and separating conjoined twins doesn’t make you qualified to be president.
Somehow, I doubt they are listening.