Rate This Topic

Average: 0/5

Plan Summary and Outline

A RENEWABLE DEAL for the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A Political Policy Program to Obtain a Sustainable, Ecologically Restorative, Just and Comfortable Future Producing Zero Net Carbon Emissions by 2050 A.D.

by Richard Lance Christie

(Updated 03 Nov 2008)

The Renewable Deal describes a systematic application of Best Available Technology, Best Available Management Practices, and public policies which together would restore and maintain “ecological integrity” in human technological civilization. These technologies, practices, and policies are formatted in the Renewable Deal as “planks” of a political “platform.” The supporting materials for each plank provide detailed implementation information. 

The “Great Work” before us is adapting to and abating global climate change and the inevitable end of the cheap fossil fuel era. The Renewable Deal is a “blueprint” for accomplishing that Great Work. As Al Gore said in his acceptance speech when receiving an Oscar for An Inconvenient Truth: “We need to solve the climate crisis. It’s not a political issue, it’s a moral issue. We have everything we need to get started with the possible exception of the will to act. That’s a renewable resource. Let’s renew it.”

 The renewable deal is as good for business and commercial interests in the long term as it is good for all citizens and for restoring the integrity of the environment. After all, without air that is fit to breathe and employees who are well enough to work consistently, relatively stable weather patterns, and sustainable, affordable sources of energy, how can businesses survive and thrive? 

I hope that a U.S. political party adopts the Renewable Deal and develops it into an analogue to Newt Gingrich’s “Contract With America.” The renewable deal is a hopeful progressive vision of how we can attain national environmental, economic and health security. As of a Gallup poll the week of May 15, 2006, 58 percent of American voters report they think our country is “headed in the wrong direction” and only 39 percent thought we are headed in the right direction. The percentage saying the country is going in the wrong direction has been increasing during this decade: by April 2007 66 percent of U.S. citizens said so. By late October, 2008, those saying the country is headed in the wrong direction topped 86 percent of poll respondents.  

Implementing the planks of the Renewable Deal would head the country in a positive direction. A political party campaigning for the Renewable Deal platform would refute the idea that the party did not stand for anything, had a dearth of ideas, or has no pro-active plan to address the looming environmental, financial, and public health crises this nation and world confronts.

Plank One, Energy Systems

Adopt national energy policy to achieve national energy independence utilizing renewable energy resources, with zero net carbon emissions from energy production and traction fuel use by 2050.

(1): Implement a national energy initiative to install wind and other renewable energy systems as the mainstay of the national energy production portfolio.

(2): Convert the U.S. vehicular fleet to gas-electric hybrid technology as the first step towards national energy independence.

(3): Develop a hydrogen infrastructure to replace petroleum as the next mobile energy source with hydrogen generated by renewable energy sources hydrolyzing water into hydrogen and oxygen.

(4): Improve agricultural energy resource efficiency (see Plank Two) and promoting regional production of food consumed.

Plank Two, Food Production:

Adopt available sustainable, non-polluting, ecologically restorative, productive, profitable agricultural Best Available Management Practices and Best Available Technology nationwide.

(1): Undertake a national program to install organic farming cultural techniques to replace petrochemical-input farming.

(2): Apply Best Available Management Practices to domestic livestock management in order to achieve restoration of the ecological integrity of rangelands while increasing range livestock carrying capacity

Plank Three, Health and Safety:

Install the precautionary principle as the standard for any new chemical or drug product introduced to the market.

(1): Enforce current U.S. law requiring that all existing chemicals on the market be evaluated for health and environmental impact, and removed from the market if they prove to be harmful to human or environmental health.

Plank Four, Water Supply:

Institute a national program to reverse the declining quantity and quality of fresh water supplies.

(1): Improve agricultural water use efficiency.

(2): Improve municipal and industrial water use efficiency.

(3): Pursue a program of desalinization research and development, and install desalinization facilities to provide municipal and industrial water where the cost of alternative fresh water supplies is higher, taking both production and environmental costs into account.

Plank Five, Ecological Restoration:

Make the preservation and restoration of ecological integrity the primary value in public land planning and management.

(1): Order the enforcement of existing USFS and BLM regulations which require that all public lands planning use maintenance or restoration of organic integrity as the central land use planning principle in their management plans.

(2): Apply Best Available Management Practice to rangeland grazing [see Plank Two (2)].

Plank Six, Health Care:

Make the national health care system of the United States as cost-effective as that of twelve other industrialized nations.

(1): Institute a single-payer national health care system with certain rationing provisions based on the probability of long-term benefit versus cost.

(2): Institute a system equivalent to that already used in the EEU, Japan, and India for medical recognition and use of herbal and traditional remedies.

Plank Seven, Ecological Economics:

Base all governmental economic policy and measures on the discipline of “ecological economics.”

Plank Eight, Education:

Fund pre-school, grade school, and higher education for the able and willing so that all citizens can fully deliver their skills to society through improvement by education of their capability to produce value through their working lifetimes.

Plank Nine, Federal Spending and Taxation:

Balance the federal budget by instituting fair tax policies adequate to fund federal government liabilities and commitments.

Plank Nine (1): Immediately undo Bush's tax cuts for those above the 80th percentile income bracket. This would restore most of the income tax revenue losses equating to the 2004 federal budget deficit of $412 billion .

Plank Nine (2): Shift to primary dependence on a value-added tax as in the European Economic Union.

Plank Nine (3): Keep an income tax, but establish the income threshold at which a taxpayer would be subject to income tax at median gross household income.

Plank Nine (4): Realize the idea behind the 1986 tax reform bill signed by President Ronald Reagan: not to lower tax rates but to eliminate loopholes by taxing all forms of income at the same rate.

 Plank 10:  Election Financing

Institute public funding of federal elections, based on the successful model developed by states such as Maine and Arizona.

 Plank 11:  Capital Productivity

Maximize capital productivity through sizing enterprises in the range where productivity as a function of capitalization is highest, and having these enterprises be worker-owned rather than passive investor-owned.