Month 6, Day 8: Oh, Say Can You C.C.C.?

Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor under Bill Clinton, has an excellent idea.

Dear President Obama,

This is just a short note to express my enthusiastic approval for Robert Reich’s recent proposal that you create a new version of the Civilian Conservation Corps focused on cleanup of the Gulf of Mexico. Reich points out that there aren’t enough summer jobs for young people, and suggests that you “send them to the Gulf to clean up beaches and wetlands, and send the bill to BP.”

It’s a great idea. The original Civilian Conservation Corps did tremendously important service to the country, revitalizing parts of our nation that had been devastated by drought and erosion. A new CCC could begin work on the affected coastal areas of Louisiana and Florida, doing the physically and emotionally grueling work of cleaning up after what seems likely to be the world’s worst oil spill.

Needless to say, there are plenty of other places where such an organization could accomplish wonders. Our ecological infrastructure is seriously frayed, and there are countless areas where the hard work of conservation needs to be carried out. This would have the added benefit of educating the participants about the importance of the natural systems that sustain all of us, thereby increasing the number of people who take environmental issues seriously.

Secretary Reich’s proposal is a good one and merits your consideration. Recognize, though, that it cannot be the sole solution to our nation’s combined climate and energy crises. We will never escape these devastating catastrophes until we shut down the last oil well and the last coal mine. Ultimately, we must end our use of fossil fuels, or it will certainly end us.

Yours Sincerely,

Warren Senders

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