Climate change represents an existential crisis for our state, our country, and our planet. It’s an economic issue, it’s a justice issue, it’s a national security issue, it’s a healthcare issue. Our state can foster innovation to move us away from fossil fuels, and by investing in green tech and infrastructure we can not only bring revenue to the state but also ensure that our children grow up in a healthy world.
I will focus on issues of environmental justice. More affluent neighborhoods have more green space, and pollution levels are higher in communities of color. We can take steps to reverse this trend by investing in urban conservation, building pollinator pockets, and promoting urban farming which sequesters more carbon dioxide than grass lawns while providing food.
We have to address our role on the global stage as well. Illinois is the single biggest contributor to the growing dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. We have a responsibility to address this, and make polluters like Monsanto and “big farm-a” pay their share for cleanup and mitigation.