The other day, I talked to a friend about Millenials and Gen Z, and how much more anxiety we have than earlier generations. Well, with a pandemic, high unemployment rate, and increasing struggles (financial and competitive) to go to college, that’s no surprise! And on top of all that, we’re also all worried about social matters and our environment. It’s not easy being young on Earth.
Thankfully for us, there seems to be a new initiative to help us and the planet at the same time through a reboot of the CCC. This program was initially called the Civilian Conservation Corps, which employed 3 million young men over nine years; the corps was disrupted by World War II. However, while the CCC was active, they helped with disaster relief, fought wildfires, built roads, trails, dams, and bridges all over the United States. The corp also planted trees, helped protect topsoil, and even created state parks.
President Biden wants to spend $10 billion from his American Jobs Plan to create the Civilian Climate Corps. This reinstatement of the CCC would hire thousands of young people (open to all ages this time!) to mitigate the impact of the climate crisis, strengthen the land’s natural defenses, and maintain biodiversity. The corps would also work on helping the country to transition to renewable energy, implement new restoration projects, and strengthen communities against natural disasters.
Corps members are expected to be paid $15 an hour and receive health care. They will also receive child care, transportation, and housing support while part of the CCC. Members will also be eligible for higher education grants that can be used for tuition assistance or loan repayment. Hopefully, with Biden’s hopes that the CCC will “mobilize the next generation of conservation and resilience workers and maximize the creation of accessible training opportunities and good jobs,” these promises will be fulfilled.
The Civilian Climate Corps is expected to have bipartisan support with the promise of more American jobs while also supporting the environment. In fact, 65% of Americans support a new CCC. What’s more, amidst the heat waves that has been scorching the country, many are pushing for a more substantial proposal from the government. After all, Roosevelt poured a great deal more money into the original CCC, which enabled the corps to employ approximately 300,000 people per year. Biden’s proposal would only employ 20,000.
Sunrise Movement, a political organization fighting for climate justice, blockaded the White House in late June, demanding the official creation of a “fully-funded” CCC. The group was joined by New York Representative Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez. This new corps would be a step in the right direction for the United States. However, we can only hope that the U.S. government will listen to its people and pass the legislation that would create a new organization that would give its young people and their planet a chance for a better future.
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Photo by Milk-Tea on Unsplash