Ian Equitties slouched past Slumpy. “George Floyd, Black home ownership almost as low as when discrimination was legal, Black unemployment rate twice the average,” Ian muttered. Next, Climie Chanj drifted in, “Atmospheric carbon dioxide almost 50% higher than eons-old averages. Last time it was this high, trees were growing near the South Pole!” What a sorry-looking trio!
Suddenly, a brilliant shaft of sunlight flooded the room silhouetting the most beautiful sight any of them had ever laid eyes on. “Hello boys,” Hope Blossoms smiled. “Why so glum?” One after another Slumpy, Ian, and Climie poured their hearts out. “Cry in your beer if you must, but let me show you a better use of your time,” she winked.
Hope told the boys about the Energy District getting organized in Iowa County. Like the Soil and Water Conservation Districts begun during the Great Depression, energy districts’ two-pronged goal is to grow the local economy while fostering environmental stewardship. It’s done by working collaboratively with individuals, local businesses and organizations to increase energy efficiency and promote local, clean sources of energy production. Local wealth is retained, local energy and efficiency businesses grow, and air pollution is reduced. (Visit DriftlessConservancy.org for more info.)
On the national level Hope recommended that they urge their congressional representatives to enact H.R. 763, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. Fossil fuel producers would pay a fee on the CO2 their products release into the air. Those collected fees are shared by us all in the form of dividends sent to our homes. The poorest 2/3s of households are projected to benefit the most. At the same time clean energy sources become increasingly more competitive, and that drives down the use of dirty fossil fuels. CO2 emissions stabilize, and we enjoy cleaner air.
“Both of these paths help the little guy at the bottom of the economic heap. In turn they create opportunities to lessen troublesome social inequities. At the same time, fossil fuel use is reduced which lowers the threats from climate disruption. So finish your beers then pitch in and help build a better world right here, where we’re all forever…Earthbound.”