Senator Bernie Sanders and Mark Jacobson
The debate facing our world today is not whether we need to address climate change. That debate is far, far behind us. The issue is how to address climate change – as quickly and effectively as possible.
Virtually the entire scientific community – more than 99% of peer-reviewed studies – has concluded that climate change is real. It is caused by human activity. And the impacts are devastating.
According to a study published Monday by the National Academy of Science, climate change is already causing severe weather events like prolonged droughts, record-high temperatures, and rising sea levels because of melting Artic sea ice. And while everyone will be affected by climate change, the people who had least to do with causing the problem will be impacted the most, including low income families and communities of color across America.
That is why we must aggressively transition our energy system away from fossil fuels and toward clean, renewable energy solutions like energy efficiency, solar, wind and geothermal energy, and electric vehicles.
Here’s the good news: the global community is moving in the right direction. Solar panels cost 80% less today than they did in 2008. The solar industry has grown every year for the past decade. In fact, nearly one fifth of the world’s electricity today comes from clean, renewable resources like the sun and wind.
No matter what agenda President Trump and his administration of climate deniers push, it is clear that jobs in clean energy like wind and solar are growing much more rapidly than jobs in the coal, oil and gas sectors. The number of workers maintaining wind turbines in the US is set to more than double between 2014 and 2024, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Around the world, more than 9.4 million people already work in the renewable energy sector. These are the jobs of the future.