I grew up in the 70’s when America was leading the world in green technology and environmentalism. The ozone layer was disappearing, and we solved the problem by leading the world in eliminating CFC’s.
Jimmy Carter had a program under which homeowners would get a tax deduction for installing solar hearting panels on their roof. While in college I actually had a summer job selling these systems. They were very popular! And our President led by example as well: Carter installed solar heating panels on the roof of the White House.
Under Carter, America started to move to smaller, more fuel-efficient cars, and lead-free gasoline was introduced to work together with catalytic converters to lower the pollution caused by automobile exhaust.
Then Ronald Reagan was elected. Almost on the first day, he ripped out the solar panels on the White House and set about getting America back into the fossil fuel camp. SUV’s were introduced, and the size of American cars swung to the other end of the size spectrum.
When I graduated college, I got my first job as European Sales Representative for Allied Signal, an American company that made catalysts for automobiles. The US was 15 years ahead of Europe in clean-car technology, and we sold our catalysts to Mercedes, BMW, Porsche, Renault, Peugeot and FIAT. I must say it was a wonderful feeling to be respected as an American by my colleagues and customers: respected for the technology that only America could have pioneered.
Sadly, those days are gone. America is now “Number 1” among advanced countries only in areas like gun violence, obesity, military spending and of course the denial of Climate Change.
Bernie Sanders has a plan to take America back to our rightful place as a pioneer and an innovator in clean technology. Under Bernie’s leadership, the US will lead the world once again in stewarding the planet. America can and will become the “indispensible nation” not just in terms of military security but also in climate security. The world needs radical change in terms of our relationship with the planet and our environment; the world is counting on America not just to develop the technologies we need, but also to once more provide a shining example of what can be achieved when American ingenuity is combined with sensible public policy. #FeelTheBern – Bernie2016!