Evidence has shown time and again that locally-implemented and citizen-driven community improvement partnerships, innovative resource management programs, and neighborhood sustainability initiatives can indeed begin sparking millions of "one small steps" that will help jump-start more comprehensive and measurable long-term progress on important national challenges like climate change, global and community sustainability, and environmental quality of life. Action to support local, county and state governments on grassroots sustainability challenges is legislation that everyone can agree on in January 2023.
Let's face it, it is going to take a long time for partisan politicians to come to an agreement one way or another on their proposed "monolithic approaches" for the U.S. response to global environmental challenges. That's not to say that sweeping change on sustainability-related economic and regulatory policy cannot ever be a justifiable approach to global climate change (as long as it is carefully calibrated to the realities of our economy, our sense of individual liberty, the need for environmental justice and the imperative that we innovate to maintain local quality of life.)
But all that is going to take time, and we can't wait to get started at the grassroots. So, in the meantime, let's foster an independent approach to policy and legislation in this area can start the ball rolling on America's sustainability response right now using tools we can all agree on.
Starting in January 2023, lets help local communities facilitate and inspire citizen action and productive consumer behavior at the grassroots in ways that can produce immediate and measurably-positive environmental impacts we will all see and feel in our everyday lives right away.
Mind you, many of these piecemeal programs won't be politically sexy or particularly groundbreaking in the eyes of partisans, pundits, and celebrity activists. But these are the kinds of proven (and do-able) federal investments that we can and should make in early 2023.
One other thing as we contemplate significant legislation and cultural intervention to address climate change: Independents by their nature are much better about not "throwing out the baby with the bath water" than partisans are. We can be decisive in addressing global challenges like climate change, but we must also be smart and empathetic about accounting for all affected parties as we go. For example, we know that agriculture (both farming and ranching) has been in the cross-hairs of some pro-sustainability partisan activists on this issue for some time now.
We need to make sure that as we contemplate any sweeping new approaches to sustainability through federal legislation and policy development that we think first before implementation about how we will also address the practical implications and continuing economic viability of our vital food producers at all levels of the chain of production. This goes especially for the many smaller scale family farms and ranch operations (many of which operate in our district) that have been responsibly operating for decades.
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