The United States is about to embark on an experiment inspired by one of the New Deal’s most popular programs. On Wednesday, the Biden administration authorized the creation of the American Climate Corps through an executive order. The program would hire 20,000 young people in its first year, putting them to work installing wind and solar projects, making homes more energy-efficient, and restoring ecosystems like coastal wetlands to protect towns from flooding.
The idea has been in the works for years. It was first announced in President Joe Biden’s early days in the White House in January 2021, tucked into a single paragraph in an executive order on tackling the climate crisis. At the time, it was called the Civilian Climate Corps — a reference to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps, launched in 1933 to help the country survive the Great Depression, which was responsible for building hundreds of parks, including Great Smoky Mountains National Park, as well as many hiking trails and lodges you can find across the country today. Early versions of Biden’s trademark climate law that... Read more