Climate change is scary. And it’s not just climate change. Our society, our economy, is based on continually expanding consumption. Inequality of income and wealth have been accelerating for years. And the folks in power are have no complaints about it. Why should they? They’re winning.
It’s hard for me to imagine how we turn it around. How can we reorganize our economy to avoid the devastation that the rising seas and the growing severity of storms will bring?
The Green New Deal
First year Congressional representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) (AOC) introduced H. Res. 109, the proposed Green New Deal, in February. Sen. Edward Markey (D. Mass) introduced a companion bill, S. Res. 59, the same day. The legislation would recognize that the federal government has a duty to enact a Green New Deal to transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030 in accordance with inclusive, democratic principles. It’s a statement of intent rather than an implementation of specific policies. But it’s a start.
AOC and the Intercept recently released a video in which she imagines that we enacted the Green New Deal. Looking back from about 2030, she describes how we united to save the planet, because we had to. Because Exxon Mobil and the fossil fuel industry folks have known since 1977 what a danger their products posed, but they kept it to themselves rather than disrupt their profit stream. And because the October 2018 report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change told the world that we must act within 12 years in order to prevent catastrophic harm to the environment and vulnerable populations, we had to act fast.
Kudos to the Intercept, Molly Crabapple, who created the illustrations, and Avi Lewis, who co-wrote the script.
“We can be whatever we have the courage to see.”
So let’s get started.