On Tuesday, June 4, at 2 p.m. Pacific Time, three judges of the Ninth Circuit will hear arguments by the Trump Administration seeking to stop the Juliana v. United States lawsuit brought by a group of young people claiming a constitutional right to "a climate system capable of sustaining human life" and asserting that the United States government is violating that right.
THE GREEN NEW Deal resolution introduced into Congress by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey is a manifesto that has changed the terms of the debate over the country’s future. Cutting through the Trump administration’s denials about who is responsible for the extreme weather we already face, it unites the issues of climate change with that of eroding workers’ rights, racism and growing inequality. (At the end of March, the Senate voted against the GND in what has been called a ceremonial stunt.)
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s landmark October 2018 report declared that preventing runaway global warming will require “far-reaching transitions in energy, land … and industrial systems” for which there is “no documented historic precedent.” Oxford University climate scientist and report author Myles Allen explained, “It’s telling us we need to … turn the world economy on a dime.”
Ashley is correct that addressing the climate crisis requires a radical transformation of the economic system, including more state-led planning. However, insisting that we must immediately end economic growth, let alone capitalism, is a political dead end. Fortunately, a green transformation can coincide with sustainable, egalitarian growth.
From time to time, SCNCC endorses statements made by other groups that advance the principles we support. The statement by the Ecosocialist Working Group (EWG) of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) is one such statement. We hope EWG's statement will gain wide support within DSA and that DSA will adopt its demands and EWG's firm stance against cooptation and watering down of the Green New Deal by the Democratic Party. Like the EWG, we see the Green New Deal as an arena for class struggle, not as a legislative initiative that we will support no matter what direction it takes.
The Green New Deal (GND) is now part of the national conversation. But for decades, social movements have been doing the on-the-ground work to resist fossil capitalism and envision a different future. Such grassroots social mobilization — but at a massive scale — is vital to ensuring the GND catalyzes transformative social change.
The following is a slightly edited version of remarks delivered by 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg to attendees at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Friday, January 25, 2018.