I think AOC is right on GND IDPol.
Three prominent voices (in my world anyhow) have recently voiced opposition against AOC for integrating solutions to racial disparities into the Green New Deal.
Arendt does a great piece of writing here as usual:
And Jimmy Dore and Tim Pool have a nice discussion echoing similar thoughts here:
I often respect the words and writing of these three, but happen to disagree very strongly with them on this issue.
If you are unfamiliar with this debate, here is a little summary. AOC (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) presents her GND (Green New Deal) proposal. As part of that proposal she includes addressing racial disparities. She points out that the original New Deal was racist/had racist outcomes and she wants to avoid that with the GND. Jimmy, Tim and Arendt feel that identity politics should be left out of the GND. For various reasons, but generally speaking that it will make it more divisive and harder to pass the GND. Please do read and watch the above links to get a more full understanding of their viewpoints.
Again, I disagree with them, and I would like to tell you why.
First, a list of things that I think we agree on:
ACC (anthropogenic climate change) is real, it is fast upon us and it will have devastating impacts.
We may already be past the tipping point with ACC already, and if we aren't we are very close to it. Feedback loops are starting to kick in already and even if we stopped all greenhouse gas emissions tomorrow it might already be too late.
If we can rein in the worst effects of ACC it will be a herculean task. Lifestyles will need to change dramatically. Modes of transportation, eating habits, living habits, farming and agriculture systems will all be up for discussion for change. Lots of people will need to make lifestyle changes even knowing that ACC is so far along that their efforts may be futile.
Every individual and every nation will have to be a part of the solution. We will need total buy in.
The GND is only in rough draft or "proposal" form right now. AOC's didn't write the first version, the Green Party has a version as part of their platform. Others have made proposals as well.
As to why I disagree on the GND containing ID Pol, please humor me with your imagination:
Imagine if you will if ACC or some other similar global catastrophic event had hit us during a different time in human history. Lets step back in history. Imagine the timeframe is the 1830's. A Green New Deal was proposed and people gathered around to hear the pitch about why they needed to get involved and support it. The eloquent presenter made a great case about how important it was to save the world and how everybody must participate to the fullest extent or humanity would come screeching to a halt. After the great presentation there was a moment for the audience to ask questions. A hand shot up in the back row. "Yes, you in the back, what is your question?"
The black slave who had had his hand up asked "after we save the world for generations to come, will you still own me? will you be able to beat and torture and rape me and my family members? Will I still live in bondage? Will my children be taken away from me to be sold into bondage for generations to come?"
The eloquent presenter was about to answer when another man shouted out his question.
This question came from a Lakota. He asked, "after we have saved the world for generations to come, will you let us hunt buffalo again? or do you plan to steal more of our land? are you going to round us up and hunt us down killing our children, raping our women, leaving the survivors to starve and freeze to death in the cold of winter? Will our children and grandchildren be taken by force and made to worship your god and speak your language? Please answer this so that we may decide if we want to help you."
Or maybe ACC came upon us mid 20th century. Maybe in the middle of WWII the fighting came to a halt and a great presentation was made about saving the world for generations to come. And a hand shot up from the side,
"when we get done saving the world for generations to come, will we still be herded onto rail cars and sent to our deaths?" asked the Jewish lady. "Will we be buried in giant pits by the hundreds, or once we have saved the world for generations to come will things be different?"
Another hand shot up, "after we have saved the world for generations to come do you still plan on dropping a giant bomb upon us? scorching and killing 50,000 people in the blink of an eye? Will our children suffer birth defects and cancer for all of their lives? Please answer this so that we may decide if we want to help you."
The eloquent presenter did his best to answer these questions, but the questioners were not satisfied. Their heads hung low and they went away unimpressed.
I hope you are seeing my point here. The notion of saving our world for generations to come is very appealing if you live a comfortable life. But the notion that we all make great strides to save this planet only to continue to live with such injustices? Save the planet so Michael Brown can lay dead and cold in the middle of the street? Save the planet so that Ira Hayes can lay dead in a ditch? Save the planet so that children in Flint can continue to be poisoned?
GND or not, if we are going to save this world for generations to come there will have to be lifestyle changes made. Carbon intensive hobbies may need to be given up. Flights to visit loved ones may need to be curtailed. Hamburgers may need to be forgone. Food may need to come from the garden. I personally am ready and willing to make big changes. To make sacrifices. To give up comforts.
If we go to all of the trouble to save this planet to be inhabitable for future generations but we still have
unarmed black men gunned down in the street,
blacks incarcerated at disproportionate and alarming rates,
immigrants having their children stolen away from them,
POC being victims of predatory lending practices,
children growing up drinking toxic water,
and a whole myriad of other racial disparity issues,
THEN WAS IT EVEN WORTH IT?
If we are going to save this planet then lets do it right and do it so everyone benefits. Anything less would be an injustice. Saving the planet so that the same old entitled pricks can keep abusing the same people that they have been abusing for the last 500 years just isn't worth the trouble.
And thats why I disagree with the aforementioned. I won't be part of throwing life preservers to comfortable white folk while throwing bricks to minorities. And I think AOC gets that. If she is going to put herself out there in such a bold way then I think we can conclude that she wants a total reboot of our system. Rather than infer that she is trying to undo her own proposal by overreaching, why not conclude that she wants not only a planet that is healthy for some humans, but a planet that is healthy for ALL humans. And if we get to bickering amongst ourselves and undermine her (or any others) serious attempts at mitigating climate change, well then I guess we as a species don't deserve to be around much longer.