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Green New Deal

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Soaring beyond the Green New Deal

 

 

By Don Fitz

May 24, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — When Stan Cox was writing his book, The Green New Deal and Beyond: Ending the Climate Emergency While We Still Can, he scripted these prophetic words: “The oft-predicted national decline in use of fossil fuels is nowhere to be seen, and it is unlikely to occur on its own, at least until the next economic meltdown.” He became one of those few people who dare predict the future; but it was unfortunate for humanity that his prediction came true. Between the time that Cox foresaw the conditions under which fossil fuel usage would go down and his book appeared in print, the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe, production crashed in country after country, and CO2 emissions dropped even more than they did during the 2008 financial crisis.

Workers’ power + renewable electrification of the whole economy: For a Red-Green New Deal in transport

 

 

By Asbjørn Wahl

May 14,2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Project — The transport sector represents one of the most serious challenges when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions, which are increasing faster than from any other sector in society – and at an ever-increasing pace (over 120 per cent globally over the last 30 years – and still increasing in all parts of the world). In Europe, transport is the largest climate problem, accounting for 27 per cent of its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2017. It is also the only sector that has emissions above 1990 levels (Transport & Environment, 2018).

Take the plant, save the planet (PDF pamphlet)

 

 

By Socialist Interventions

March 26, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Project — On November 26, 2018, General Motors announced a number of plant closures in North America, the largest of which was in Oshawa, Ontario. The Oshawa facility, once the largest auto complex on the continent, was to end all its assembly operations by the end of 2019.

The issue is not simply a matter of bringing the environmental movement and the labour movement together; each must be transformed if the sum is to be more than the currently limited parts. The environmental movement must raise itself to a new level by concretely engaging the working class and the labour movement must escape what for it has become an existential crisis. The threats and opportunities of the environmental crisis offer a chance for labour revival, but only if this incorporates a renewed approach to organizing, struggle, radical politics, and the maximization of informed membership participation.

A Green New Deal for South African workers?

 

 

By Carilee Osborne

February 24, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Africa is a Country — Speaking recently on a proposal for significant economic reform, Matthews Parks, Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) Parliamentary Coordinator, made the following extraordinary statement: “Both environmental and economic denialism are dangerous and should not be entertained. We think we can and must tackle climate change and unemployment simultaneously. All it requires is creativity, political will, planning and resources.”

Climate change, the Green New Deal and the struggle for climate justice

 

 

By Martin Hart-Landsberg

February 6, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Reports from the Economic Front — Most calls for a Green New Deal correctly emphasize that it must include a meaningful commitment to climate justice.  That is because climate change—for reasons of racism and capitalist profit-making—disproportionately punishes frontline communities, especially communities of color and low-income.

Political chess game: Socialists, Sanders and the Green New Deal

 

 

By Paul Le Blanc

February 4, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Politics is like a multi-dimensional chess game. I am reminded of that as I look at and think about the current Democratic Party primary campaign.

The “liberal” capitalist elite

The quite powerful “liberal” wing of the corporate-capitalist elite dominating the Democratic Party (and which will never be willing to give up control) is obviously very much opposed to Bernie Sanders’ campaign against "the billionaires" and for a social-democratic power shift that would take some of the wealth and power from the rich and give it to the rest of us. 

This wing of the elite also hates Donald Trump, whose egocentric, bigoted and bullying policies and mode of functioning damage and jeopardize the long-term stability of the system. If they cannot tame him, they would like to remove him. 

For a Green New Deal with people’s power

 

 

By Mike Treen

January 14, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Today for the first time in half a century there is a wave of revolt sweeping the world that seems pregnant with revolutionary possibilities that may finally allow working people to help lead humanity and the planet we exist on out of the hell-hole that capitalism has created for us.

I lived through the 1960s and 70s during a similar period of challenge and change. It filled me with hope for the future of humanity. Progressive change seemed inevitable. Working people expanded their rights and living standards. Access to health care, education and welfare became expanded. Women, Maori, Gays and other oppressed peoples found their voices to challenge discrimination and seek liberation.

The institutions working people could use to empower themselves like the trade unions seemed to get stronger, active and more democratic. Parties that claimed to represent us became more progressive in their outlook. 

Internationally the ruling elites were frightened. In response, they launched a full-scale ideological, political, and social counter-revolution that swept away or corrupted many of the gains that had been made. Led by the then UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and US President Ronald Reagan, the right-wing wave swept the world.

Socialist convergence and the Green New Deal: Notes on the actuality of revolution

 

 

By Paul Le Blanc

December 6, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — It is possible and necessary to build a powerful mass socialist movement in the United States by 2030 that could be in a position to provide an effective challenge to capitalism and transition to a socialist democracy. Both the objective possibility and the objective need exist. Revolutionary socialists have an opportunity to make it so – if we are willing to be serious, not just analytically and rhetorically, but in practice.

We must move beyond commentary and aspirations to actualities. We have limited time. At present we are woefully unprepared – we must change that. The growth of socialist consciousness in the political mainstream of our country, and the conception of the Green New Deal as a response to the socio-economic and environmental crises of our time, provide the basis for changing what must be changed.

Dammed good question about the Green New Deal

 

 

By Don Fitz

November 17, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Hydroelectric power from dams might be the thorniest question that proponents of the Green New Deal (GND) have to grapple with.  Providing more energy than solar and wind combined, dams could well become the backup for energy if it proves impossible to get off of fossil fuels fast enough.  

An August 2019 forum on the GND included representatives from the Sunrise Movement, Renew Missouri and three of us in the Green Party.  Rev. Elston McCowan asked, “What does the Green New Deal say about rivers and dams?” I said “That’s a dammed good question” and went into some of the issues below.  Howie Hawkins and Dario Hunter, both candidates for the Green Party presidential nomination, told of their participation in local efforts to block dam construction. But trying to defeat a single dam begs the question of what policy a political organization has toward them. [1]

What the New Deal can teach us about winning a Green New Deal: Part V—summing up the New Deal experience

 

 

By Martin Hart-Landsberg

 

October 20, 2019  — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Reports from the Economic Front — Growing awareness of our ever-worsening climate crisis has boosted the popularity of movements calling for a Green New Deal.  At present, the Green New Deal is a big tent idea, grounded to some extent by its identification with the original New Deal and emphasis on the need for strong state action to initiate social-system change on a massive scale.  Challenges abound for Green New Deal activists.  Among the many, how to:

 

  • create supportive working relationships between the different movements currently pushing for a Green New Deal
  • develop a sharper, shared vision of the aims of a Green New Deal
  • increase popular support for those aims as well as participation in those movements
  • build sufficient political power to force a change in state policy along lines favorable to the Green New Deal
  • ensure that the resulting trajectory of change strengthens the broader struggle to achieve a socially just and ecologically sustainable political-economy

 

United States: Green Party debates Green New Deal

 

 

By Don Fitz

 

October 11, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Despite the furor over the Green New Deal (GND), many of its supporters have no idea of the wide variety of views on it, especially within the Green Party (GP), where it originated in the United States. From June through August, Missouri Greens held public discussions contrasting at least three distinct GP views to those from the Democratic Party (DP).

 

What the New Deal can teach us about winning a Green New Deal: Part IV—Keeping the pressure on the state

 

 

By Martin Hart-Landsberg

 

September 22, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Reports from the Economic Front — Advocates for a Green New Deal, pointing to ever-worsening and interrelated environmental, economic, and social problems, seek adoption of a complex and multifaceted state-directed program of economic transformation.  Many point to the original New Deal–highlighting the federal government’s acceptance of responsibility for fighting the depression and introduction of new initiatives to stabilize markets, expand relief, create jobs producing public goods and services, and establish a system of social security–to make it easier for people to envision and support another transformative state effort to solve a major societal crisis.

 

What the New Deal can teach us about winning a Green New Deal: Part III—the First New Deal

 

 

By Martin Hart-Landsberg

 

September 22, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Reports from the Economic Front — In Part I and Part II of this series on lessons to be learned from the New Deal I argued that despite the severity of the Great Depression, sustained organizing was required to transform the national political environment and force the federal government to accept direct responsibility for financing relief and job creation programs. In this post, I begin an examination of the evolution and aims of New Deal programs in order to highlight the complex and conflictual nature of a state-directed reform process.

 

What the New Deal can teach us about winning a Green New Deal: Part II—Movement Building

 

 

By Martin Hart-Landsberg

 

August 17, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Reports from the Economic Front — In Part I in this series on lessons to be learned from the New Deal, I described the enormous economic and social costs of the first years of the Great Depression and the reluctance of business and government leaders to pursue policies likely to threaten the status quo.  I did so to demonstrate that we should not assume that simply establishing the seriousness of our current multifaceted crisis, especially one that has yet to directly threaten capitalist profitability, will be enough to win elite consideration of a transformative Green New Deal.

 

I also argued that it was the growth of an increasingly militant political movement openly challenging the legitimacy of the police, courts, and other state institutions that finally transformed the national political environment and pushed Roosevelt to change course and introduce his early New Deal employment and relief programs.  In this post, I examine the driving force of this movement, the movement of unemployed.

 

What the New Deal can teach us about winning a Green New Deal: Part I–Confronting Crisis

 

 

By Martin Hart-Landsberg

 

August 17, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Reports from the Economic Front — The New Deal has recently become a touchstone for many progressive efforts, illustrated by Bernie Sanders’ recent embrace of its aims and accomplishments and the popularity of calls for a Green New Deal.  The reasons are not hard to understand. Once again, growing numbers of people have come to the conclusion that our problems are too big to be solved by individual or local efforts alone, that they are structural and thus innovative and transformative state-led actions will be needed to solve them.

 

The New Deal was indeed a big deal and, given contemporary conditions, it is not surprising that people are looking back to that period for inspiration and hope that meaningful change is possible.  However, inspiration, while important, is not the same as seeking and drawing useful organizing and strategic lessons from a study of the dynamics of that period.

 

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