Tomorrow we’ll most likely know who will be the next President of the United States. Of course, almost everyone has his/her preferred candidate, but regardless of who wins, if our country (and the world) is going to become a healthy, sustainable, peaceful one, there are going to have to be some major changes. In the last couple weeks, notables in their fields have been giving advice and sharing expectations for the next president. Michael Pollan published his famous “Farmer in Chief” letter in the New York Times about the importance of redesigning our food policy. And now, the folks at Worldchanging have gathered the words of wisdom from “the smartest, most interesting people” they know to answer the following:
In 100 words or less, what should the next president do in his first 100 days to address the planet’s most pressing problems?
There are responses from 48 leaders in their fields. Here are a few of my favorites:
From Ted Wolf of Focus the Nation:
“The forty-fourth President of the United States should devote two weeks of the First 100 Days to a round-the-world journey with a stop on every continent. At each stop, he should gather leaders of culture, faith, and civil society at a World Heritage Site and listen to their counsel. He should then convene regional heads of state at a place showcasing sustainability innovation and explain America’s stake in their success. Once home, the President should frame his agenda around efforts to move country and planet beyond carbon, warfare, and absolute poverty. Barnstorming a world without borders, the President can begin America’s journey toward a bright green future.”
From Kenny Ausubel of Bioneers:
The President can:
Engage the country to re-imagine how to live on Earth in ways that honor the web of life, each other and future generations.
Declare a new social contract of interdependence: Taking care of nature means taking care of people, and taking care of people means taking care of nature.
Transform the global economy from a vicious cycle to a virtuous cycle, using a Green Deal to boot up the restoration economy.
Adopt the Presidential Climate Action Plan (PCAP).
Devolve power and money to the cities and states.
Hold a Constitutional Convention to institute the legally enforceable rights of nature and ecosystems.
From Paul Hawken:
1. Establish long term goals for the nation with respect to:
Science and Research
2. Create a Department of Peace.
3. Clean house at the EPA and Department of the Interior.
4. Split off USDA from Department of the Interior as a separate cabinet post and call it Department of Food and Agriculture.
5. Set a ten-year goal for 90% reduction in fossil fuels.
1. Eliminate all subsidies and tax breaks for carbon based fuels.
2. Create $4 trillion of new Energy Bonds wherein we loan money to ourselves to build out a smart grid and move to 100% renewable energy.
My 100 words would be something like:
“Listen. Be a model of compassion, integrity, intelligence, accountability and insight. Promote kindness and tolerance. Find common ground with other nations and establish “third side” thinking about conflicts. Institute measures that protect our natural resources and all beings of the natural world and encourage other countries to do the same. Institute humane education in all settings, especially in every school in the country. Reward policy and systemic choices that help create a humane, just, sustainable, peaceful world. Empower individuals and communities to institute positive change. Encourage bioregional economies. Bring together stakeholders from conflicting “sides” of important issues and charge them with developing creative, positive solutions that benefit all.”
What would your words of wisdom for our next president be?
Image courtesy of Emborg.