Real Local RVA’s April 2019 Meeting
“Local Foods, Climate Change and the Green New Deal”
with local foods expert Anthony Flaccavento
Sponsored by C&F Bank
The Green New Deal has been a buzz in the national media lately due to the efforts of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democratic Congresswoman from New York. But did you know Virginia is creating its own version of the Green New Deal that hopes to build a strong local economy from the “bottom up?”
The VA Green New Deal will attempt to tackle some of our biggest problems including:
- Extreme concentration of wealth and stagnant wages for most
- The rise of economic racial injustice
- The economic “externalities” creating health and ecological conflicts
- The acceleration of climate change
- A just and equitable 100% renewables plan that leaves no workers or communities behind. Social justice is central to the Green New Deal.
- Direct large investments and job training programs in renewables, building an energy efficient smart grid, residential and commercial energy efficiency and more. A comprehensive national effort to make buildings energy efficient would save over $1 trillion by 2030.
- Clean water and air for all Virginians – clean water is essential for economic health.
- Investments in local-scale, sustainable agriculture in communities across Virginia. By reducing chemical inputs and encouraging low till/no-till farming we can increase productivity, sequester carbon and grow healthier meat and produce. Transitioning all US cropland to low-till organic methods would be the equivalent of erasing the emissions of 158 million cars!
Anthony spoke to the fact that we’ve separated our economic strategies from considerations of the well-being of people, their communities and the ecosystem for too long. He believes the Green New Deal can reconnect the economy with the people, our health, our communities and our ecosystems. Such an important topic, and we hope you’ll continue to watch and support these efforts as they go forward. Anthony emphasized that clean energy, like good food, must not and need not be “elitist” but will if we don’t have the right policies.
More about Anthony:
Anthony Flaccavento lives just outside of Abingdon, in far southwest Virginia, where he has operated a small commercial organic farm for 25 years. Anthony helped launch the Abingdon Farmers Market, one of the best in the Appalachian region, as well as Appalachian Harvest, a regional food hub selling produce to grocers and supermarkets across Virginia and neighboring states. His consulting business, SCALE, Inc – Sequestering Carbon, Accelerating Local Economies – works with communities across the US and overseas to build more diverse, healthy economies and local food systems. Anthony is the author of Building a Healthy Economy from the Bottom Up: Harnessing Real World Experience for Transformative Change (University Press of Kentucky, 2016), as well as scores of articles, op-eds and other publications. He was the Ninth District Democratic Candidate for Congress in 2018.