Basic Position: The environment must be protected and restored. An
emergency program to this effect must be designed and implemented.
Overview: Many people don't remember how bad it was in the 1960's just to get up in the morning and try to breath the air. The creation of the EPA by President Nixon was the first real recognition by the national government of the importance of the environment. But the Bill Clinton and George Bush administrations have put us into reverse on environmental policy. Now we are slipping back towards disaster.
We are heading towards losing the most basic necessities of life: clean water, clean air, sufficient food, and the blanket of protection the Earth has afforded life for a billion years: a safe temperature and protection from dangerous forms of solar radiation.
The current American farming system, while seeming to be fantastically productive, is really on critical care. It requires petroleum for creating fertilizer and poisons (pesticides), for mechanization of plowing, planting and harvesting. The end of the petroleum era, which will happen in the next few decades if not sooner, will result in a crash in farming and then in famine. We need a plan now for transitioning to sustainable agricultural practices. We need to count how many people can really be fed on a sustainable basis. We need a program to reach that size of population before famine reaches it for us.
We need to protect our forests, rivers, farmland, and oceans for future generations. In Congress I would advocate creating sustainable sources of energy as a national security matter. I would fight for a crash program to change the way our country creates and uses energy.
I am totally against nuclear power, including power from fission, and will argue the details with anyone.
I am a supporter of a strong Endangered Species Act and would vote to appropriate money to identify and protect endangered species more rapidly.
I would increase penalties (including jail stays) for corporations (and their managers and stockholders) that harm people or the environment with toxic substances. In particular I believe there should be no limits on liability for corporations or their stockholders when it comes to paying their victims' medical bills.
The environment should be treated as a national security matter. There can be no security for Americans in a deteriorating environment.