A Review of Ashley Dawson, People’s Power: Reclaiming the Energy Commons (OR Books, 2020)
I don’t mind admitting, when my wife and I purchased a solar array two years ago, I basked a bit in my climate virtue. True enough, the tax incentives were a factor. And the idea of being self-sufficient through some looming, dystopian collapse was vaguely reassuring. But I must also admit I had not considered the resources and energy, the extraction and exploitation, that made my shiny, virtuous “clean energy” possible.
With California and Oregon on fire as Climate Week opened in New York on September 21 “climate arsonist” Donald Trump took to the virtual floor of the UN General Assembly and slammed China for its environmental record while ignoring his own efforts to save the coal industry and boost fossil fuel consumption – actions that earned him that sobriquet from Joe Biden.
System Change Not Climate Change readers and viewers will want to take a look at the interviews referenced here from PCI.
Introducing “The Great Unraveling?”, a series of interviews with some of the world’s foremost experts on a broad range of environmental and societal challenges, culminating with a powerful discussion on what these converging and accelerating crises mean, and how we can respond.
In last week’s vice presidential debate between Sen. Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence, Harris reiterated Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s rejection of a fracking ban, despite her earlier call for one when she was a presidential candidate (CBS News, 10/7/20):
“I will repeat, and the American people know, that Joe Biden will not ban fracking. That is a fact,” Harris said.
It is a pleasure to close today’s conference which has shown once again that it is our Party that is coming up with big ideas.
And we’re not talking about ideas and policies dreamed up by corporate lobbyists and think tanks or the wonks of Westminster, but plans and policies rooted in the experience and understanding of our members and our movement; drawing on the ingenuity of each individual working together as part of a collective endeavour with a common goal.
Our best hope now is an immediate return to the flow. CO2 emissions have to be brought close to zero: some sources of energy that do not produce any emissions bathe the Earth in an untapped glow. The sun strikes the planet with more energy in a single hour than humans consume in a year.
The global economy is facing numerous structural challenges. With the looming fourth economic revolution characterised by even more technological development and mechanisation, the future of productive labour is bleak. Most unskilled and semi-skilled workers are likely to lose their jobs. Even some skilled workers are not spared from this emerging catastrophe, as numerous job categories – such as brick-layers – are increasingly becoming redundant.