I believe the most important challenge facing this country and, in fact, the world is Climate Change.
As I shared in my biography, I was first made conscious of environmental issues by a second-grade lesson in ‘green-house gases.’ My father was a stickler about recycling and carefully disposing of harmful chemicals. Our family was actively protecting the environment well before most of our neighbors even considered the impact of human activity on the environment.
After several upper division classes at UCSD, and exposure to the work at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, it became very clear to me that human activities have at least exacerbated the problem and have more likely been the single most important factor in producing Climate Change in our lifetimes. I’m not alone, 97% of the published Climate Scientists agree.
If I am elected, I will promote a legislative agenda that propels us into the development of new, renewable sorts of energy production that will reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. It is clear that we can do this cost effectively, while simultaneously training/retraining workers for this emerging market. As a result of incentives offered during the Obama administration, alternative energy is now mainstream and economical. In fact, last year, my solar system actually produced 35% more energy than we consumed and will pay for itself in less than six years and then begin generating income.
In addition to mitigating climate change and its undeniable impacts on sea level, agriculture, storm activity and ocean ecology, decreasing greenhouse gas emissions helps to reduce healthcare costs related to the treatment of respiratory diseases like asthma and COPD, as well as countless other ailments resulting from a decrease of atmospheric ozone and an increase in atmospheric toxins.
And finally, an important result of prudent ecological stewardship will be the reduction of America’s dependence on foreign oil. As we decrease our dependence on foreign oil, we will reduce and eventually eliminate the requirement to protect the oil supply chain, eliminating the costly conflicts that requires.