Protect the Environment and Defend Biodiversity
Clean Energy and Environmental Protection
The U.S. is one of the greatest contributors to climate change yet lags behind the industrialized world in fighting to reverse it. Lead the international community in clean energy innovation and combating climate change. Decentralize our energy system with renewable technologies like rooftop solar, wind and geothermal to satisfy energy needs on the local and building level. Promote energy efficient building codes, net metering and ambitious renewable portfolio standards.
Make all new energy capacity clean and renewable, ending coal, oil, gas and nuclear developments. Replace fossil fuel subsidies with investments in renewable energy and use a carbon tax to incentivize the adoption of green energy. Join other developed countries in accelerating the transition from internal combustion to electric vehicles. Ban offshore oil drilling and fracking, which releases more
greenhouse gases than coal due to its methane content. Reduce deforestation and desertification.
Expand and improve public transportation and high speed rail to make commuting faster and cheaper, take cars off the road and reduce vehicle pollution. Raise clean air and clean water standards to save thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars in annual medical costs. Preserve public lands and prevent resource exploitation in national parks such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
We share the planet with a wondrous variety of other animals, insects, plants and microorganisms. Through hundreds of thousands of years, a great variety of life forms have adapted to sharing the planet. As children, we grow up with images and tales of animals, which teach us compassion, loyalty, prowess, community and many other important values. At some point in our development, our money-driven society pressures us to see animals as possessions to be traded and exploited, and we lose our emotional connection not only to other animals but to the natural world as well.
There are many factors contributing to the cruel treatment and extinction of species such as overfishing, displacement of wild habitat for agriculture and farm animals, cultural habits and beliefs about unsubstantiated medicinal benefits, and “trophy” hunting. We have the responsibility to safeguard animal welfare. Even if we leave aside philosophical reasons about the value of all life forms and animal sentience, our own species benefits immensely from the diversity of life on the planet.
We now know that farm animals feel a wide range of emotions: pleasure and sadness, excitement and resentment, depression, fear and pain. They are far more aware and intelligent than we imagined. Yet factory farms condemn animals to a life of agonizing pain in order to squeeze more profit out of them. Animals spend their whole lives in cages so small they cannot turn around and often are not able or allowed to sleep. The animals try so hard to escape that they give themselves physical deformities. End the barbaric practice of factory farming and switch to free range animal farming.
As a movement striving for a just and sustainable society, we uphold animal welfare. Encourage children to appreciate the interrelationship of life and the compassionate treatment of all living things. When people learn to empathize with other species from a young age, it becomes much easier for them to empathize with each other.
Food production is entirely reliant on the health of the natural environment. The federal government has a key role to play in working with the states to promote the sustainable production of food, to mitigate and adapt to climate change and to reduce food waste. Keeping control of farm and ranch land in the hands of family-run proprietorships leads to fair and competitive agricultural markets which in turn support healthy socioeconomic conditions in rural communities.
Encourage local food production and sustainable farming practices. Eliminate food deserts and ensure the universal availability of nutritious food to everyone. Ban the use of carcinogenic food colorings, additives and hormones. Eliminate agricultural subsidies that amount to corporate welfare for big agribusiness.
Promote vertical farming, which eliminates the need for fertilizers, pesticides and the expensive and polluting transportation of food to cities. Vertical farming also frees up agricultural lands, eliminates toxic runoff and water contamination, and protects pollinators.
Promote new farmers and farming opportunities, high-level farm conservation and investment in clean energy and renewable products. Encourage equitable access to healthy, preferably organic food, protect the bee population by cutting down on pesticides, develop strategies to address climate change and its effect on farming, and provide for improved care and welfare of animals. Encourage crop rotation and other practices that avoid the desertification of arable lands.