The Pandemic Broke Our Economy. Now We Can Rebuild It Sustainably.

Upwards of 30 million Americans out of work and filing for unemployment. Supply chains shut down. Stocks for oil futures plummeting as demand for fossil fuel-based travel dries up. Airlines bordering on the edge of bankruptcy. Millions of people are without health insurance or paid sick leave. This is the economic reality ushered in by the coronavirus pandemic.

Sign the petition to demand our leaders commit to rebuilding our economy in a more just, equitable, and sustainable way.

While our economy crumbles, our environment is barely hanging on. Deforestation is ravaging our planet, and the current rate of species loss and extinction is unprecedented. The South and North poles alike are losing massive amounts of ice. Climate change continues unabated, with our planet edging ever closer to the 2 degree Celsius tipping point — what scientists call the point of no return. But this information isn't new. Clearly what we had before already wasn't working; but right now, our society's pre-existing problems are on steroids. This should be a wake-up call to every single one of us.

No one would blame you for mourning what feels like the end of the world. But from the loss of one future emerges the hope for another, better one. When something is levelled flat, there's a rare chance to start over. To build something we actually want. To be intentional, wise, and brave.

This is the perfect chance to invest in solar, wind, and other forms of green energy. To expand public transit options and reduce the need for cars. To retrofit homes and work buildings to become eco-friendly and energy-saving. And, just as importantly: to create new, reliable jobs with dignity for millions of Americans — jobs that won't dry up when oil wells run empty. While the coronavirus will eventually be brought to heel, greenhouse gas emissions and escalating climate change might not — unless we take action, fast.

Months from now, when we finally have a widely-available vaccine and it becomes safe for most of us to resume our pre-virus, normal lives, we'll be emerging into a new era. Whole sectors of the economy will be restarting, from transit to clothing production to the food and service industries. CEOs and Republican politicians will want things to just go back to the way they were before — paying dirt-cheap wages with no benefits, subsidizing dirty oil companies, loosening pollution regulations to allow toxic waste to be dumped into minority communities' backyards, pretending coal jobs might one day return. This benefits them, but not us. So we have to stop them before they recommit us to a path that will just keep damning us more and more.

This isn't a new idea. The governments of Britain, Germany, and South Korea are already envisioning this new, better age. Experts on economics, politics, and sustainability have drafted a new Green Stimulus recovery plan and are sharing it with leaders in the U.S.

After the house crumbles down, what do we want to build in its place? Surely we don't want to keep the same rusty pipes, fire-prone electrical wiring, and cracked foundation. We have a rare, golden opportunity that may never come around again. Let's make it count.

Sign the petition to demand that the U.S. Congress passes a green recovery plan to push our economy on the right track — one that will keep us and our planet safe and well cared-for, for generations to come.
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