Kentucky Needs the Green New Deal's Just Transition
I love my old Kentucky home. That’s why this conversation is so important.
The Green New Deal does not just call for moving to net-zero carbon emissions while leaving rural, carbon heavy workers behind. That may save our planet, but coal dependent communities in Kentucky would suffer. That would be unjust. Of course, Kentucky’s economy is already suffering. That’s why the #GreenNewDeal calls for a “just transition.”
This story from Grist shows what the beginnings of a “just transition” might look like.
Here are two takeaways:
1: Energy efficiency jobs already beat coal in KY job numbers.
2: Rural KY’s energy costs are too high, and we can change that.
When people call it unrealistic, impractical, a “green dream or whatever,” what they really mean is that things are going well for them and they are not interested in being creative and trying to find real solutions.
I love Eastern Kentucky with all my heart. I have seen places like it all over America. Cities that used to thrive with loads of industry and good jobs now suffer with joblessness, poverty, hunger, addiction, crumbling infrastructure, and more.
I believe we can address climate change while revitalizing our failed economy, an economy that has made a few people very wealthy and left so many folks behind.
Kentucky is filled with smart, bold, and creative people. We have the resources to change things. What we lack is the political will. It’s time to change that!!!
<Related article: RIP Coal. Long Live Coal Country, https://grist.org/article/coal-just-isnt-the-future-meet-the-kentucky-miners-picking-up-a-new-trade/?fbclid=IwAR0A-WmpZ6EsnAdkvRWNMbl6MWF2eMc0GFsjGrDwIPFxqXQkyNx9SQtxz-Q>