Challenges

Unemployment: National unemployment rate is 8.9%. Middle class jobs need to be created.

National Debt: One of the largest expenses of our government is defense. Finding a way to spend less on defense and maintain our safety will facilitate reduction of the national debt.

Energy Policy: Our energy policy is fixed on fossil fuels. Our nation spends much of its military budget to acquire access to the natural resources of oil and natural gas around the globe.

Oil: The energy department knows that, technically easily obtainable, oil will run out at some point. The extraction of oil from tar sands and the manufacture of oil from coal liquification are being researched. This is because the government knows that dependence on unstable parts of the globe has inherent risks.

Coal: We are destroying the country side by acquiring coal using mountain top removal. This method destroys mountains, contaminates streams, and pollutes ground water. Energy Saved is Energy Made

Natural Gas: Companies are seeking ways to extract more natural gas within the United States. One of the methods pursued is hydraulic fracturing. This will contaminate ground water and pollute the water table with toxic chemicals.
Climate change: The burning of oil and coal increases the CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere, thus increasing climate change. The effects of climate change will cause global instability, resulting in mass migrations, and both regional and global conflict.

Policy Solutions

Treat climate change prevention and mitigation as a defense matter: End the energy wars. This will greatly reduce funding and subsidies for businesses associated with military endeavors. These businesses are the largest subsidized industry in the world. The projections of our climate if we don't reduce CO2 emmissions, represent a substantial threat to our way of life. It is time we allocate defense funds to attack this matter.

Use defense funds to install photovoltaics on applicable rooftops: Buildings use 70% of our electricity and use 46% of our total energy. Photovoltaics on every applicable rooftop will cut our electricy usage in half. The construction industry will receive jobs for photovoltaic installation. The economic stimulus will trickle back up to the government.

Use of defense funds, greater incentives and no interest loans for retrofit of buildings to green building technologies: Work done on buildings must be made easily affordable. Green building practices can decrease a building's energy use by 25-40%. The construction, architectural and landscaping industry will receive jobs for the retrofit. The economic stimulus will trickle back up to the government.

Expected Results

Safer as a nation: Less costic military intervention around the world will provide a more stable international environment. Our global policy toward other nations can be directed toward other ends than the acquisition of fossil fuel resources.

Strong economy: The economic stimulus and less defense spending would reduce national debt.

Climate change mitigated: The affects that climate change will cause to governments will involve mass migrations of regional areas. Governments may take unilateral measures to alter the climate in an attempt to reduce the average global temperature. These affects will not be taken lightly by other nations and wars may ensue. Climate change will destabilize the political space of the world. Reducing this change will increase stability of global governments.

Web References

NOAA - Global Warming
NOAA - Climate Change
IPCC - Climate Change
USGBC - Green Building
Jobs - BLS
Jobs - Construction
Jobs - OES
Real Cost of Coal
Cost of Coal (water)
Real cost of Oil
Mountain Top Removal Road Show

Book References

World on the Edge: How to Prevent Environmental and Economic Collapse

Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet

The Long Thaw: How Humans Are Changing the Next 100,000 Years of Earth's Climate (Science Essentials)

Dire Predictions: Understanding Global Warming

Early Warming: Crisis and Response in the Climate-Changed North

Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity

Movie References

Last Mountain
Gasland