Climate change is a tricky business. Scientists consistently (and rightly) remind us that you can’t pin any individual storm or drought or hurricane on climate change – there are too many variables, and climate change is just one of them (albeit a rapidly growing one).
March 2010 marked Massachusetts' highest unemployment rate in 34 years. In a state where jobs are needed now, protecting our natural resources from climate impacts can put people to work across multiple economic sectors. Increasing average temperatures and precipitation levels in Massachusetts are leading to more storms and flooding, rising sea levels, degraded wildlands, and threats to our health.
The challenges posed by unemployment and climate change create a powerful opportunity to revitalize our economy while restoring the backbone of our wellbeing: our natural heritage. Safeguarding our natural resources — our forests, rivers, prairies and other wildlands — in a warming world will protect and create jobs across the country today, while investing in our country's future.
The economy is in deep decline, and America needs jobs.
When people talk about creating “green jobs,” they’re often referring to work in the renewable energy sector. There are also green jobs in the woods, improving water quality, restoring habitat, and muting the effects of climate change. Research has shown that for every $1 million invested on restoration, between 13 — 29 jobs would be created or retained and over $2.1 million in total economic activity generated.
Addressing climate change means reducing emissions and protecting people and resources from impacts already under way. Significant dedicated funding is required to keep our economy, health and resources resilient in a warming world. Investing 5% of total allowance value in natural resource adaptation projects will create jobs across the country that protect the resources upon which our economy, health and culture rely. These types of projects include: stream bed repair, removing invasive species, coastline restoration and installing culverts.
Global warming poses an unprecedented threat to the survival of the natural world and the fish and wildlife Americans cherish. With the Senate poised to take on a comprehensive energy and climate bill, we have a historic opportunity to revive the rural economy and create new American jobs while securing clean air and water for future generations by restoring our lands and waterways. In order to protect our communities and economy, climate and energy legislation must dedicate 5% of total allowance value to safeguarding our natural resources from changing climates.
As the Congress considers proposals to revive the economy by putting people to work rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure, the time has come to use existing authorities to create jobs that protect America’s green infrastructure from crumbling in the face of global warming. Green Jobs Restoring the Land will stimulate the economy and return significant economic benefits, especially in rural communities.