The Green New Deal will need to be subject to constant vigilance and pressure—from experts who understand exactly what it will take, and from social movements that have decades of experience bearing the brunt of false climate solutions.
When I think back on this crisis in the years to come, two images will stay with me. One is of ordinary Italians singing to one another across balconies in solidarity with neighbors in isolation and caregivers on the frontlines. The other is that of the Indian police hosing down migrant workers and their children with bleach for ‘daring’ to walk cross country once their workplaces closed during lock down and no public transport was available for them to get home.
Joanna Bozuwa, J Mijin Cha, Daniel Aldana Cohen, Billy Fleming, Jim Goodwin, Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, Daniel M Kammen, Julian Brave NoiseCat, Mark Paul, Raj Patel, Thea Riofrancos, Medium, March 24, 2020
We are seeing today what appear to be the beginnings of an ecological revolution, a new historical moment unlike any humanity has experienced.1 As Naomi Klein suggests in her new book On Fire, not only is the planet burning, but a revolutionary climate movement is rising up and is now on fire in response.2 Here
Bill McKibben, climate justice activist and founder of 350.org, professor of environmental studies, best-selling author, and journalist, needs little introduction. He has made enormous contributions to the public awareness of the need to prevent climate emergency.
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.)
Climate change is the most visible, most threatening expression of a larger, planetary ecological crisis, the result of an economic system (capitalism) with an inherent growth and profit dynamic which ensures that the exploitation of natural resources (both renewable and non-renewable) exceeds the carrying capacity of nature. You have read the almost-daily scientific reports, each more alarming than the ones before, on the scope of the crisis. I won’t belabour the point.