The environment belongs to all the people and future generations. It must be protected. Those who currently hold the deeds to property should not be allowed to abuse their own land, water and air, making others suffer. Those harm the environment should be required to pay for restoring it, if it can be restored.
Before the government moves to create further laws to stop businesses and individuals from polluting, we need to ask ourselves what the government itself is currently doing to hasten the destruction of the planet. The U.S. dedicates about half its budget to warfare. Destroying infrastructure around the world, depleting resources in the process, our main objective anywhere we go is to take control of fossil fuel operations. In addition to the billions spent on war every year, the U.S. government subsidizes the industry to keep gas prices low. How can green energy compete against this kind of favoritism that the government has toward fossil fuels?
We can try to pass more laws and regulations against those who pollute the environment, but the laws we have now are not enforced against the worst offenders. Fracking in the U.S. is exempt from the Clean Air and Clean Water Act. Without government support and subsidy, fracking is not a financially viable venture. It’s dirty; it destroys property. If frackers were forced to take responsibility for the toxic waste produced extracting gas, there would be no profit for them. If oil companies actually had to clean up their spills instead of just awarding owners compensation for the loss of income and property, oil industry profits would greatly diminish.
The U.S. government is heavily invested in promoting global trade–encouraging multi-national corporations to ship raw materials far distances to be made into cheap products by cheap labor and shipping those product around the world–instead of allowing local economies the chance to flourish. We don’t need more cheap goods from China and Mexico. Our landfills are overflowing. We need high quality products made locally that will last and that can be repaired, not just thrown away. The amount of pollution from global trade is estimated to be one of the largest contributors to CO2 emissions. Fossil fuel intensive agriculture, such as growing corn for cattle feed and ethanol, is subsidized by the U.S. government, while it would be better to turn cattle out to graze and grow hemp for biofuel.
The Federal Reserve has the privilege of deciding who gets new money that is created in the U.S.. A lot of it is given to the fossil fuel industry at low or no interest. If we phased out the Federal Reserve, a National Bank would decide where to loan new money. No new money should be created to loan to private corporations of any kind or to individuals. New U.S. dollars should only be put in circulation to pay for public infrastructure and public works.
We have a money spigot on full bast for the fossil fuel industry. Just turn that spigot off. To start cleaning up the mess, tax all fossil fuel products and by-products, such as plastics, to raise money from those who have helped make the mess.