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Climate Change Platform

Climate Change Platform

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Published by Shira Schoenberg

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Published by: Shira Schoenberg on Jul 08, 2013
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07/08/2013

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STATEMENT OF VALUESMassachusetts Democrats believe in and work for the common good. We know that thestrength of our democracy is dependent on the engagement of thoughtful citizens. That iswhy our party is organized around the basic notion that individuals working together canmake a positive impact on their community. Massachusetts Democrats believe thatgovernment plays a vital role in the lives of individuals and communities. We recognize thatinvestment in these priorities benefits sustainable economic growth and family-sustaining jobs.PREAMBLE- We want health care to be a basic human right;- We want everyone to be able to work for a living wage and have the right to organize;- We want a high-quality education to be accessible to every person;- We want to play an active role in addressing climate change;- We want everyone to have a clean and healthy environment, including open spaces;- We want to promote clean energy technologies, conservation and efficiency;- We want safe and crime-free communities;- We want all persons to be treated as equals;- We want equal treatment for women in the workplace and support efforts to recruit moreDemocratic women candidates;- We want immigration policies which are fair and sensible, and which neither allow for theexploitation of immigrants nor turn away those with needed skills;- We want a transparent and ethical government;- We want taxes to be reasonable and expenditures to be fairly distributed;- We want roads, bridges, and public transportation to be safe and reliable;- We want affordable, high-quality housing to be available to all who need it;- We want strong national defense, security at home and abroad, and oppose wastefulmilitary spending and spending precious resources and lives defending corporate interestsabroad. We pledge to support veterans and all who have put themselves in harm’s way onour behalf;- We want strong diplomacy and support nonviolent conflict resolution as a first resort in ourdomestic and foreign relations and call for a reduced military budget that allows forinvestment in human needs;- We want voter equality and access to government for all; and- We respect and embrace the values of people across the spectrum of beliefs. - See moreat: http://www.massdems.org/platform/#sthash.6n87Fopo.dpuf
 
 
ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT1.Massachusetts Democrats believe in safeguarding the health of our citizens, protectingnatural ecosystems, and catalyzing green economic growth. We believe that peoplehave the right to clean air, clean water, clean soil and a safe and healthy environment.We believe that promoting clean-energy technologies, energy conservation, andenergy efficiency is critically important in lowering energy costs, enhancing energysecurity and reliability, growing green jobs, and reaping environmental benefits.Massachusetts Democrats Support:- Preserving our natural resources and protecting and expanding our open spaces;- Protecting our air and water;- Environmental justice for low income and minority communities;- Providing clean, reliable, and renewable energy, and investing in the development of thesetechnologies;- Energy conservation and energy efficiency;- Protecting our wildlife and natural habitats and prioritizing the preservation of open spacesand urban wilds by all means necessary, including state and municipal acquisition;- Reducing waste and increasing recycling in all of our communities, and increasing accessto recycling and safe disposal facilities for hazardous materials;- Smart Growth development;(Does this contradict the statements above?)- Increasing investments and promotion of public transportation throughout theCommonwealth;- Water and waste water infrastructure improvements;- Promoting strategies to quickly stabilize atmospheric CO2 based on the recommendationsof the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, currently set at a maximum of 350parts per million;-Near-term transitioningof public pensions, trusts and other financial instruments awayfrom producers of non-renewable energy sources in favor of green and renewable energyproducers; and
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Policies which accurately reflect the cost of producing and burning carbon-based fuels.
 
CLIMATE CRISISMassachusetts Democrats recognize that climate change is real and is already causing disruption and destructionto our property and our lives. The melting of polar ice caps, increased numbers and severity of storms, increaseddrought and flooding are all changes we cannot ignore. We understand that these changes are a direct result of human activity, primarily green house gas emissions from burning fossil fuels including coal, oil and naturalgas. We understand that the resulting Climate Crisis requires prioritized attention and action on the scaleequivalent to a major war. It is urgent that the we take immediate action at all levels of government.Massachusetts Democrats Support:1. Remembering and acting upon the reality that we have the resources in the public and privatesectors to address climate change successfully if we are prompt, smart, and shift our resources towardsmart policies.2. Providing local, state, national, and international leadership in addressing climate change.3. Changing the economy to a sustainable economy rather than an economy structured around the presumption of growth and presumed increases in population and consumption.4.Preparing for the anticipated impacts of climate change, including flooding, storms, speciesmigration, heat waves, etc., and communicating with the public forthrightly about the realities of thoseimpacts and the requirements of mitigation.5.Reducing as soon as possible and ultimately eliminating fossil fuel consumption. This meansrejection of tar sands oil, including the Keystone XL and Northeast pipelines; rejection of fracking; andno approvals for additional coal and gas capacity. .6.Disinvesting taxpayer funds from programs and policies that subsidize oil production.7.Putting a price on carbon using a tax, a cap and trade system, or some other mechanism.8.Investing in wind, solar and other renewable energy sources to replace fossil fuels.9.Accelerating weatherization and other programs that will help individuals and businessesreduce the net amount of carbon entering the atmosphere, through methods that create local jobswhenever possible, do not bloat bureaucracy, and do not merely subsidize or prop existing state vendors, but instead foster market creativity and innovation.10.Encouraging voluntary behavior changes that reduce the impacts of climate change and/or improve the ability to cope effectively.11.Updating and upgrading infrastructure projects of all types, including transportation systems,with commitments to minimize climate change and its impacts.12.Upgrading the MA public transportation system so that by 2060, 90% of the population in andnear Boston can travel to destinations without using personal fossil-fueled vehicles. Alternativetransportation methods include public transportation, bicycles and other person-powered vehicles, and public personally-driven electric vehicles.13.Recognizing that the party with the strongest grass-roots organization will be in the best position to develop and implement the needed institutional, social and political changes required to copewith the climate change.14.Creating a Climate Action Committee as part of the State Committee, and a Climate ChangeCaucus as a subcommittee. The purpose of the CAC shall be to foster collaboration of towns and people, formulation of actions to perform, and oversight to see that they are completed well. TheCaucus shall be an ad hoc subcommittee consisting of as many as two representatives from each DTC.It shall be a think tank and action arm of the CAC.

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