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The Spectator

The student news site of Lake Forest Academy

The Spectator

Biden launched the American Climate Corps

Protests about the current issue on climate change.
Photo by Creative Commons
Protests about the current issue on climate change.

During President Biden’s first week of office, he delivered an executive order of wanting the government to implement a “civilian climate corps.” His idea of a climate corps stemmed from progressive environmental activist groups, which spread their ideas of the U.S. needing workers equipped to tackle climate change and begin to build a sustainable economy. The corps was also modeled off of an initiative put in place after the Great Depression, designed to give people more work opportunities. While the climate corps will address climate issues and work towards sustainable goals, it will also offer employment opportunities by paying the participants.  

On Wednesday, September 15th, the Biden-Harris administration officially launched the American Climate Corps. 

The official website of the White House states, “The American Climate Corps will mobilize a new, diverse generation of more than 20,000 Americans – putting them to work conserving and restoring our lands and waters, bolstering community resilience, deploying clean energy, implementing energy efficient technologies, and advancing environmental justice.” 

The corps has different goals within its program, like referenced above. One of them is to provide the next generation with jobs (that do not require prior experience in projects) which will work to reduce storm surges and flooding, protect forests, deliver sufficient energy to reduce energy bills for families, and much more.

According to an NPR article covering this topic, “the White House says that the American Climate Corps is designed to attract participants from disadvantaged communities disproportionately impacted by the changing climate.” 

With this, Biden hopes to promote inclusivity within this corps compared to other American Corps implemented throughout history that have been unjust in mainly employing young white males. 

The federal government is also working to launch a recruitment site where potential participants can learn about the corps and apply. President Biden is working to implement education awards from completing national service work in order to pay for post-secondary education or lower student debt after joining the corps. So far, California, Maine, Colorado, Michigan, and Washington have already implemented successful in-state climate corps programs. Meanwhile, Arizona, Utah, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Maryland are all in the process. 

While the public, especially environmental activist groups, were pleased that the Biden-Harris administration is taking climate action with this new plan, President Biden is still criticized for some of his previous decisions regarding the environmental movement. 

Kevin Hagen, the Environmental Science teacher at LFA, commented, “In many ways, the Biden administration is doing the most that has ever been done for climate. But in many more ways, they haven’t done nearly enough.” 

He faced backlash for his decision in allowing the Willow drilling project in Alaska that would threaten the habitats of already endangered wildlife in that area and sadly continues to approve oil and gas projects. 

Hagen continues with, “I am sure that the American Climate Corps will do a lot of good and bring jobs and economic opportunity to places that will or are feeling the worst effects of climate change. But, is it enough?  Why aren’t we doing more?” 

In order to help save our planet, our climate demands extreme attention due to the destruction humans have caused. One change or new policy will never be enough to put a roadblock in the way of global warming. However, multiple policies and a conscious effort to put our planet first, above all else, is what will lead us to progress. With Biden’s new American Climate Corps, we could be taking one step in the right direction towards environmental progress!

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Emma Swanson, Managing Editor of Social Justice

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