The low-hanging fruit in energy conservation is the power we use to move around 2-ton protective cages. Driverless cars will crash 90% less, and so they will not need the cages. Cars will be able to weigh half or less of what they weigh now. That means half the carbon. Support this new technology with federal research dollars! Lighter cars also mean more electric cars, because they can have longer ranges.
Enact a fee on GHG emissions starting at $15 a ton of CO2 or CO2 equivalent steadily by $10 a year until we achieve 90-100% reduction from current levels. Rebate all the fees back to American households on an equitable basis. According to economists this will assure that the bottom two-thirds of Americans will come out equal or ahead of the increased costs. This plan will increase jobs and grow the economy while saving our biosphere.
Create a green building mandate for any significant building going on in the future. Whether it's using solar/wind power, using green material wherever possible, have the architecture of the future in this country adhere to strong environmental standards. Confer with architecture and environmental committees to see how all significant building projects can be as environmentally conscious as possible.
Perhaps the biggest threat facing the country is climate change, yet we spend >$700 billion/yr on the military & little money fighting climate change. A 1 MW wind turbines to power ~250 homes costs ~$1.5 million. We could produce enough power for all US homes for ~$790 billion. I propose that we should assign $100 billion/yr from the military budget for ten years and dedicate it to fund wind, solar power and other alternative energy sources.
Legislate 1 woman/ 1 child (human cap and trade). We must bring down human population to a sustainable 1.5 billion rather than the current 7.5 billion and rising. Over-population is the root cause of climate change, resource depletion, species extinction, and global conflict. Every environmental problem we now suffer is a symptom of this root cause.
Instead of continuing to accrue huge mountains of landfill garbage disposal surrounding urban areas, mulch it into biodegradable refuse and transport it by rail to the west, and spread it out over the land to replenish and replace the missing topsoil that has disappeared and regenerate farmable land masses where the topsoil has been severely depleted by over farming or by windstorms.