It’s Time to Build a Civilian Climate Corps

This article from Columbia Climate School produced by Steve Cohen

During the New Deal’s first winter, the nation’s cities were filled with unemployed men desperate for work. In one of FDR’s most popular initiatives, a Civilian Conservation Corps was created, initially employing 400,000 unemployed workers on projects designed to build and maintain America’s parks. According to the National Park Service’s website:

“The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), established by Congress on March 31, 1933, provided jobs for young, unemployed men during the Great Depression. Over its 9-year lifespan, the CCC employed about 3 million men nationwide. The CCC made valuable contributions to forest management, flood control, conservation projects, and the development of state and national parks, forests, and historic sites. In return, the men received the benefits of education and training, a small paycheck, and the dignity of honest work… The CCC sought to provide the maximum opportunity for labor at a minimum cost for materials and equipment. With little more than strong backs, shovels, and picks, the CCC built roads, trails, culverts, and structures. When building structures, the CCC utilized native materials, such as the local sandstone, which they quarried themselves with star drills, sledge hammers, muscle, and sweat.”

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