Dear Mr. President,
Congratulations on making history. Now that you’re hard work on legislation to transform health care is complete, it’s time for jobs. Past time, I guess. So, if we the people are going to be paying to make more jobs, then let’s make that investment in places that matter most. As you already know, and can see from this nice graphic I borrowed from the Alliance for Community Trees (which they first borrowed from the folks at Grist), green industries are a doubly good investment since they create jobs for Americans and help slow down the environmental destruction we’ve become so good at. It sure would be nice if our grandchildren–yours and mine–can eat good food and have water to drink and things like that. That might be even more important than making money.
And, believe it or not, the best place to put our money into green jobs is not in road and bridge repairs or shiny new cars. It’s not even in great things like windmills or bio-energy or better insulating our homes, even though those are super levers in the effort to burn less oil.
Mr. President, the jobs are in the trees. And by spending money on planting and caring for trees and the land, a whole bunch of really neat other things begin to happen too. Our air gets cleaner, for free. Our soils hold on to and clean our precious water much better. Our lands bear fruit. And vegetables too (I know Mrs. Obama will especially like that one). More and more people will grow and eat real food instead of chemicals in disguise. Best of all, our people will begin to spend less time in and on concrete, and discover how much they love nature. They might even remember that we are all part of her–one big family of families living and breathing on one small planet. Then, I think we’ll begin to take better care of her, and of each other. And lots of these troubles we’re trying to fix will become much smaller troubles.
P.S. — I know you have a pretty huge to-do list, being the leader of the free world and all. Thanks for taking political risks to do what is right for all of us.