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.
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.
“One commonly hears,” Noam Chomksy wrote thirteen years ago, “that carping critics [on the Left] complain about what is wrong, but do not present solutions. There is an accurate translation for that charge: ‘they present solutions and I don’t like them.’”
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 simple yellow protest signs were stenciled “Green Jobs for All.” Speaker after speaker stepped into the middle of the office floor, marked with a U.S. House of Representatives seal. Representative-Elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, fresh off her election win, gave the protesters high fives.
That was the scene in November when the youth climate justice organization Sunrise Movement held a sit-in at the office of Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who was soon to be the Speaker of the House.
Most Americans had never heard of the “Green New Deal” at the time.
John Bellamy Foster with Vaios Triantafyllou, truthout.org, February 12, 2019
A professor of sociology at the University of Oregon, John Bellamy Foster is also the editor of the socialist magazine Monthly Review. He has written widely on capitalism, Marxism and ecological crises. In this interview, Foster discusses why a Green New Deal is just an entry point to an ecological revolution, and why any economic-social system that hopes to address the climate crisis must transcend capitalism. The interview that follows has been lightly edited for clarity and length.
The first hand of the Green New Deal has been dealt. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., on Thursday unveiled a five-page, nonbinding resolution that frames a 10-year “national, social, industrial, and economic mobilization” to confront the climate crisis.