April 18, 2021


Here's What a Civilian Climate Corps Might Look Like: An influential policy group's proposal shows how we could put 1.5 million Americans to work. (ALEXANDER C. KAUFMAN, 4/18/21, MoJo)

It's December 2025, the end of a difficult year. Just a few months earlier, a massive hurricane destroyed dozens of homes in your town, even killed a few of your neighbors. Your house was fine, but you lost power for weeks. The waterfront park where you liked to eat lunch between shifts as a cashier is underwater. Trees are still down, and mudslides cover several roads, making it basically impossible to pick up the extra money you made driving an Uber.  Despair starts to eclipse the guilt you feel for surviving the storm.

Then one day you're scrolling your social media feed and see an update from one of your friends. She's replanting native trees in the park and helping restore the wetland that once absorbed storm surge before developers drained it to build some beachfront McMansions. She's earning a better wage than you are and receiving on-the-job training from a local union. You text her, asking how she got the gig. She sends you a link to the Civilian Climate Corps homepage. 

That federal program does not yet exist. But that's how Becca Ellison, the policy manager at the climate group Evergreen Action, envisions the concept that's quickly gaining traction in Washington, D.C. 

Last month, the Biden administration asked Congress to provide $10 billion as part of its $2 trillion infrastructure package to get a Civilian Climate Corps off the ground. On Wednesday, Evergreen released a 20-page report outlining for the first time how the federal government could feasibly create such a program.

This would be a fine option in a restored regime of universal National Service, along with policing, teaching, health care and the like.

Posted by at April 18, 2021 9:23 AM