Robert Reich: The Solutions To The Climate Crisis No One Is Talking About – OpEd


In light of the latest IPCC report on climate change, it’s crucial we remember these four steps to avoiding a climate catastrophe.

First, create green jobs. Investing in renewable energy could create millions of family sustaining, union jobs and build the infrastructure we need for marginalized communities to access clean water and air.

Second, stop dirty energy. A massive investment in renewable energy jobs isn’t enough to combat the climate crisis. If we are going to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, we must tackle the problem at its source: Stop digging up and burning more oil, gas, and coal.

Third, kick fossil fuel companies out of our politics. For decades, companies like Exxon, Chevron, Shell, and BP have been polluting our democracy by pouring billions of dollars into our politics and bankrolling elected officials to enact policies that protect their profits. The oil and gas industry spent over $103 million on the 2016 federal elections alone.

Fourth, require the fossil fuel companies that have profited from environmental injustice to compensate the communities they’ve harmed. As if buying off our democracy wasn’t enough, these corporations have also deliberately misled the public for years on the amount of damage their products have been causing. If these solutions sound drastic to you, it’s because they are. They have to be if we have any hope of keeping our planet habitable. The climate crisis is not a far-off apocalyptic nightmare — it is our present day.

Robert Reich

Robert B. Reich is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies, and writes at Reich served as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, for which Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century. He has written fifteen books, including the best sellers "Aftershock", "The Work of Nations," and"Beyond Outrage," and, his most recent, "The Common Good," which is available in bookstores now. He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, chairman of Common Cause, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and co-creator of the award-winning documentary, "Inequality For All." He's co-creator of the Netflix original documentary "Saving Capitalism," which is streaming now.

5 thoughts on “Robert Reich: The Solutions To The Climate Crisis No One Is Talking About – OpEd

  • August 10, 2021 at 10:27 am

    What about the rest of the world? China, India, Mexico. Major polluters.

    If the US achieved zero emissions, and those other guys won’t, what happens?

  • August 10, 2021 at 3:04 pm

    This article fails to mention two of the leading contributors to climate change – refrigerants and factory farming. Eliminating fossil fuels is not enough – we must also stop production of all HCFCs and CFCs and dramatically reduce the consumption of animal products. The scale of harm caused by the animal products industry is comparable to that of the oil industry, yet it is almost always left out of the discussion when people talk about trying to save the planet.

  • August 10, 2021 at 3:09 pm

    This totally sensible suggestion seems to me as being one of the best initiatives to move us in a more life affirming direction. The only addition is that we should take at least 25% of the military budget (especially in arms production or purchases section) and throw that on the “butter side” of the equation.

  • August 11, 2021 at 8:48 am

    This is not a solution as much as it is a list of wishful thinking.
    Even assuming green jobs can generate enough gross energy to not only improve the living standards of American populace,but also to surpass that of the shale revolution and entince the US Imperium on the value of green energy,to break the power of fossil fuel lobbying is another matter altogether.

    It will require an enormous amount of political manouvering not seen in America since the day of the Great Depression,and not just a bunch of popular protests to ‘save democracy’.This plan needs a FDR,or a Victoria to push it through

  • August 11, 2021 at 10:45 am

    Reprinted below is an AP report from 1989 on the consensus of United Nations on climate change. I report; you decide ….

    “UNITED NATIONS (AP) A senior U.N. environmental official says entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000.”



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