What if we fought climate change with the same commitment we fight wars? The Green Party’s Jill Stein and Al Gore have long argued for a World War II-scale mobilization to fight climate change, and on Wednesday, two senators introduced a bill — the Climate Change Adapt America Bond Act — that’s the most concrete realization of this concept yet.
Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) propose issuing up to $200 million worth of infrastructure bonds to raise funds for climate change adaptation efforts like seawall construction, desalination, and drought resilience programs. The bill would leverage public interest to fend off the climate menace, modeled after the U.S. War Bonds program from World War II.
A bit like “We Can Do It,” no?
Not all observers are pleased with the bill’s focus on adaptation efforts. Margaret Klein Salamon, director of advocacy group The Climate Mobilization, called it “a defeatist strategy — as if war bonds were sold to Americans so they could better adapt to Nazi rule rather than actually attempt to win the war.”
Salamon also pointed to the scale of the proposal, noting that the $200 million figure pales in comparison to the $185 billion worth of war bonds purchased during World War II. Adjusting for inflation, that’s over $2 trillion today.