Green Capitalism Aglow

There seem to have been quite a number of past iterations of Ocasio-Cortez & Co.’s #GreenNewDeal, as she now indicates, and offers her ‘Submitted’ One (text version is here).  This is Senator Markey’s Resolution (pdf) with ten cosponsors.

But here’s the main thing: the GND doesn’t confront the fossil fuel industry, but enables it instead.

Ecosocialists first came on my radar while covering the Rio 2012 sustainability conference.  Indigenous groups from Mexico, Central and South America had caravanned to the global elite conference, but weren’t allowed inside, so they held their own remarkable side conferences.  The Bolivian 2010 Peoples Agreement of Cochabamba was presented (as well as other heady Indigenous documents); it was the day I’d first understood the true evils of capitalism.  From their metaphorical second cousins the Indigenous Environmental Network:

“The primary goal of the AOC-Markey Green New Deal (GND) Resolution is to “achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions”. We reject net-zero emissions language (as well as carbon neutral and zero-carbon) because it implies the use of carbon accounting that includes various types of carbon pricing systems, offsets and/or Payments for Ecological Services (PES). The use of this language opens up space and opportunity for fossil fuel industries to continue the business-as-usual practices of extraction, transport and combustion. In addition, the industry’s most responsible for climate change – fossil fuel industries – obtain more profits through the use of market mechanisms built into carbon pricing systems that include offsets and PES. This language is the opposite of what we have been demanding. It appears that the policy-makers who use this language are failing to listen to us. First and foremost, if we are to stop climate change, we must create a plan to keep fossil fuels in the ground that includes cutting off subsidies and tax breaks.

Further, net zero emissions and carbon neutrality inherently imply that the reduction of carbon and other greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions can be met through carbon market systems and other techno-fixes. In addition, the language in the AOC-Markley resolution includes financing for green infrastructure which is undefined in the document. Geoengineering technologies such as Carbon Capture Sequestration (CCS), Carbon Capture Use and Storage (CCUS) and Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) are examples of techno-fixes that can be claimed as producing net zero emissions as well as building green infrastructure. However, these techno-fixes are expensive, unproven, unjust and do not address the root causes of climate change nor support environmental justice. BECCS opens the door for biomass energy, afforestation and more forest offset systems such as REDD+. Carbon trading allows polluters to buy and sell permits to pollute instead of cutting air pollution at source. Carbon trading privatizes the air that we breathe. It turns the atmosphere into the private property of polluters.”

And of course biofuels are ‘renewable’, but horrid false promises in any event.  Read why at biofuelwatch.org.uk

Also see: ‘Geoengineering and Environmental Capitalism; Extractive Industries in the Era of Climate Change’, Linda Schneider, scienceforthepeople.org

Also ‘The Green New Deal Must Take on the Fossil Fuel Industry; Greenpeace’s Janet Redman says the Green New Deal proposal from Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Markey is a step towards unprecedented climate action, but that it must mandate a phase-out of oil, gas, and coal’, February 7, 2019 TRNN

It’s not clear how much of a step toward climate action is, yes, even most dissenters indicate they’re grateful for the conversation.  To me, the climate emergency was at least a decade ago, but now that the world’s oceans are heating up more and more with catastrophic results, both polar icecaps are melting, and the Thwaites glacier is full of holes from the warm ocean, the carbon PPM and global mean temps may not be the most severe danger to the biosphere as ocean levels rise.  Myself, I’d rather boatloads of dollars would go to Climate Change Deep Adaptation.  Also, while the GND is US-centric, climate chaos is a global issue, even while Amerika is responsible for 20% of the earth’s high carbon footprint.

From the text of her GND, this wtf?:

“Whereas, climate change constitutes a direct threat to the national security of the United States—

(1) by impacting the economic, environmental, and social stability of countries and communities around the world; and

(2) by acting as a threat multiplier”

What in the world can you be imagining?

You’ll likely remember the joyous accolades that Ocasio-Cortez had received from progressives for having a peace plan.  Under: A Peace Economy?  That can’t have been all there as, can it?  But she did vote for The Nato Support Act, (and Nato’s sister-in-chief Afrisom) as did Ro Khanna, whose issues under his FP and Nat Sec tab sure as shit prove that hypocritical as all giddy-up.  ‘Diplomacy First’ and ‘Only Congress can declare war’.  But there’s a reason that within her Proposal to Make a Plan in 2020 so that it can be a major campaign theme for Democrats, and while the Proposal acknowledges that Amerika was responsible for ‘20% of global greenhouse gas emissions’ through 2014, exactly like Bill McKibben (and his funders) and Naomi Klein, never addressed the fact that ‘U.S. Military Is World’s Biggest Polluter’, Whitney Webb, mintpress news via ecowatch.

May I offer that Seargant Dow Jones will love this Deal?  Both McKibben and Klein are quite bullish on it.  Not one word on wars and the military save for financial costs, and ‘repairing America’s image around the world’.  Good luck with that.

A few excerpts from Kenn Orphan’s ‘Greenwashing the Climate Catastrophe’, Feb. 8, 2019, counterpunch.org

“With this in mind political solutions, like the Green New Deal, are being trotted out by democratic socialist and neoliberal politicians that merely cloak the problem, never identifying the root of it all: Capitalism. In fact, many of these policies are weak on protecting nature and are simply designed to keep capitalism afloat. At its core this is a system that is incapable of even beginning to address climate change or biospheric degeneration. Its principles are based upon the exploitation of the environment for the material gain of the ruling class, kept alive through institutions of repression and corporate state violence. Under this rubric environmental causes may be soothed for some; but the poor and working class are continually battered and raped by industry and the corrupt governments that house and protect them. Indigenous peoples, who face the worst exploitation, continually see their lands desecrated and denuded by state policing factions at the behest of powerful corporations. And militarism, which is of course wedded to capitalism, ensures that all of this exploitation can continue and expand virtually unopposed by bourgeois society.”

Orphan offers several quotes including these:

“One might think that if someone were conscious enough to recognise that global ecology was compromised and that pollutants were destroying fresh water, and the land, and that global warming was quite possibly going to make huge swatches of land non arable — you might think that person would look for solutions in a political frame. After all it was global capital that had brought mankind to this historic precipice. But instead, many if not nearly all the people I speak with, frame things in terms of personal responsibility. Stop driving big diesel SUVs, stop flying to Cabo for vacation, stop eating meat, etc-. But these same people tend to not criticize capitalism. Or, rather, they ask for a small non crony green capitalism. I guess this would mean green exploitation and green wars? For war is the engine of global capitalism today. Cutting across this are the various threads of the overpopulation theme. A convenient ideological adjustment that shifts blame to the poorest inhabitants of the planet.”

– John Steppling, Trust Nothing, 2019

From the text of the GND proposal’s plan:

[(N) promoting the international exchange of technology, expertise, products, funding, and services, with the aim of making the United States the international leader on climate action, and to help other countries achieve a Green New Deal]

“Modern business must have its finger continuously on the public pulse. It must understand the changes in the public mind and be prepared to interpret itself fairly and eloquently to changing opinion.”

― Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda, 1928

‘Corporations See a Different Kind of “Green” in Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal”; Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal” initiative was unveiled on Thursday and quickly became the target of disingenuous ridicule from both sides of the aisle. But as Whitney Webb highlights in this Dec 18, 2018 piece, there are very serious reasons to be concerned’, Whitney Webb, mintpressnews, Feb. 8, 2018

“For instance, Ocasio-Cortez’s version states that her plan will be funded:

…in the same ways that we paid for the 2008 bank bailout and extended quantitative easing programs, the same ways we paid for World War II and many other wars. The Federal Reserve can extend credit to power these projects and investments, new public banks can be created (as in WWII) to extend credit, and a combination of various taxation tools (including taxes on carbon and other emissions and progressive wealth taxes) can be employed.”

In other words, Ocasio-Cortez suggests funding the plan with credit from the private bank – and Wall Street controlled – Federal Reserve Bank, taxpayer funds, and the aforementioned cap-and-trade scheme that would enrich the country’s ruling class even more.

In contrast, the Green New Deal of the Green Party proposes funding its plan to take the U.S. economy to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030 by cutting U.S. military spending in half and closing all foreign U.S. military bases, which would free up at least $500 billion a year and still leave the U.S. with a defense budget three times larger than the next largest defense spender, China.”

 ‘Sorry Democrats, the Green Party Came Up With the Green New Deal! by Andrew Stewart, November 29, 2018, counterpunch.org, but back to W. Webb:

“The emphasis on including experts and insiders from “business” and “industry” appears several times in the plan, such as in the following excerpts:

The select committee shall have the authority to investigate, study, make findings, convene experts and leaders from industry, academia, local communities, labor, finance, technology and any other industry or group that the select committee deems to be a relevant resource.” [emphasis added]

“The plan shall […] be driven by the federal government, in collaboration, co-creation and partnership with business, labor, state and local governments, tribal nations, research institutions [corporate-funded?] and civil society groups and communities.” [emphasis added]

Webb had also reminded reader of ‘The political fraud of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal”, Will Morrow, 23 November 2018 wsws.org  He takes an anti-capitalist look at it, although this section Webb had mentioned seems to have been removed from the final submission (likely too bold an affront to ‘guaranteed good, high paying jobs’)

“Several of her proposals are explicitly aimed at promoting the interests of different sections of capital, including the call to “promote opportunities” for “entrepreneurship,” and “promote economic security, labor market flexibility and entrepreneurism.”

Labor market flexibility”—that is, the ability of corporations to fire and hire at will. Such is the character of Ocasio-Cortez’s great left-wing reform!”

But if you’d read it when it was published, you may have chuckled over this section:

“The original “New Deal,” which included massive public works infrastructure projects, was introduced by Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930s amid the Great Depression. Its purpose was to stave off a socialist revolution in America. It was a response to a militant upsurge of strikes and violent class battles, led by socialists who were inspired by the 1917 Russian Revolution that had occurred less than two decades before.

American capitalism could afford to make such concessions because of its economic dominance. The past forty years have been characterized by the continued decline of American capitalism on a world stage relative to its major rivals. The ruling class has responded to this crisis with a social counterrevolution to claw back all gains won by workers. This has been carried out under both Democratic and Republican administrations and with the assistance of the trade unions.”

Co-sponsors of the House GND:

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez (for herself, Mr. Hastings, Ms. Tlaib, Mr. Serrano, Mrs. Carolyn B. Maloney of New York, Mr. Vargas, Mr. Espaillat, Mr. Lynch, Ms. Velázquez, Mr. Blumenauer, Mr. Brendan F. Boyle of Pennsylvania, Mr. Castro of Texas, Ms. Clarke of New York, Ms. Jayapal, Mr. Khanna, Mr. Ted Lieu of California, Ms. Pressley, Mr. Welch, Mr. Engel, Mr. Neguse, Mr. Nadler, Mr. McGovern, Mr. Pocan, Mr. Takano, Ms. Norton, Mr. Raskin, Mr. Connolly, Mr. Lowenthal, Ms. Matsui, Mr. Thompson of California, Mr. Levin of California, Ms. Pingree, Mr. Quigley, Mr. Huffman, Mrs. Watson Coleman, Mr. García of Illinois, Mr. Higgins of New York, Ms. Haaland, Ms. Meng, Mr. Carbajal, Mr. Cicilline, Mr. Cohen, Ms. Clark of Massachusetts, Ms. Judy Chu of California, Ms. Mucarsel-Powell, Mr. Moulton, Mr. Grijalva, Mr. Meeks, Mr. Sablan, Ms. Lee of California, Ms. Bonamici, Mr. Sean Patrick Maloney of New York, Ms. Schakowsky, Ms. DeLauro, Mr. Levin of Michigan, Ms. McCollum, Mr. DeSaulnier, Mr. Courtney, Mr. Larson of Connecticut, Ms. Escobar, Mr. Schiff, Mr. Keating, Mr. DeFazio, Ms. Eshoo, Mrs. Trahan, Mr. Gomez, Mr. Kennedy, and Ms. Waters.

John Podesta and Van Jones have endorsed it, as well.

From marketwatch.com, Feb 8: As vague as it is, the Green New Deal could have a real impact on Corporate America. Here’s why, Nuclear power looked like a loser in the Democratic plan, but it may have gotten a reprieve

“If you start to see some more of these ground shifts in politics — veering toward renewables, veering toward addressing climate change — it’s definitely bullish for these renewable energy companies and power providers,” Price told MarketWatch.

“This isn’t a near-term catalyst for us by any means, but for some of those slow-money, long-time-horizon guys, the biofuels space and the renewables space are definitely interesting places to look,” he also said.

Nuclear power initially looked like a Green New Deal loser, as a fact sheet for the plan that was circulated by Ocasio-Cortez’s office reportedly called for transitioning away from such plants.”

Yes, one iteration of her proposal had called for ‘transitioning away from nuclear power by 2030 ‘if no other viable alternatives are available’.

And of course biofuels are ‘renewable’, but horrid false promises in any event.  Read why at biofuelwatch.org.uk

An earlier iteration of her/their Proposal had called for ‘zero-emission cars’, i.e. electric cars, as with Bill McKibben in his crazy ‘let’s blame Trump for scrapping President Obama’s automobile mileage standards’ rant: ‘The Trump administration knows the planet is going to boil. It doesn’t care’, Bill McKibben, theguardian.com, Oct. 2018

“The Trump years are a fantasy land where we pretend we can go on living precisely as in the past, unwilling even to substitute electric SUVs for our gas guzzlers, and able to somehow insist that the rest of the world stay locked in place as well. It’s impractical, it’s unfair, and when it ends up with camps for kids in the desert it’s downright evil.”

Her final proposal uses this baffling, perhaps obfuscating language:

(H) overhauling transportation systems in the United States to remove pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector as much as is technologically feasible, including through investment in—

(i) zero-emission vehicle infrastructure and manufacturing;

(ii) clean, affordable, and accessible public transit; and

(iii) high-speed rail

Ah, here it is on Ocasio’s Issues page:

‘By encouraging the electrification of vehicles, sustainable home heating, distributed rooftop solar generation, and the conversion of the power grid to zero-emissions energy sources, Alexandria believes we can be 100% free of fossil fuels by 2035.’  Good luck with that.

In any event, the carbon footprint of electric cars depends on the source of the electricity generated: nuclear, coal, wind, solar, etc.

Now I’ve lost my links to various electrical power generation sources, and similarly, the environmental impact of batteries, which would likely hold true for solar energy as well, but believe it or not, the WEF has some of the dirty downsides of EV batteries.

And from wired.com: ‘Tesla’s Electric Cars Aren’t as Green as You Might Think’

In the end, I expect that the wag who’d noted that the GND is a mirror: something for everyone…depending on what they see in it.  For me, most of the language is frothy but fuzzy, and the devil will be in the details of any legislation offered in a year or three.

(E) upgrading all existing buildings in the United States and building new buildings to achieve maximum energy efficiency, water efficiency, safety, affordability, comfort, and durability, including through electrification’

Small wonder Nanci Pelosi had called it a Green Dream and will choose the members of the Select Committee on Climate Change.

(cross-posted from Café Babylon)

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Comments

Outsourcing Is Treason's picture

I agree with AOC on this.

The carbon footprint of an EV does NOT depend on the source of the electricity used to charge its battery.

The fossil fuel that is burned to generate electricity is solely the carbon footprint of whoever burns it, period.

If you burn it you own it.

Saying otherwise is just doing the propaganda work of the petroleum industry, and helps them market little gas-burning doomsday machines to the masses.

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"Please clap." -- Jeb Bush

wendy davis's picture

@Outsourcing Is Treason

understand your position as stated. have you read any of the links? it's not an either/or argument, it's just...what it is.

on edit: my apologies; i should have said a large part of the carbon footprint is dependent on the source of electricity generated. there are many more parts of the carbon footprint including the batteries, mining for the required minerals and rare earth elements, and waste disposal of batteries, etc. and my point was that it's not a panacea for transportation, including high speed rail...especially done by way of the funding she's laid out, and at the mass quantities needed for what, 330 million USians? how many EVs per family?

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wendy davis's picture

@Outsourcing Is Treason

that Just Because EVs don't have the horrid, choking tailpipe exhaust, many magically believe
that they are Carbon Free, 'eco-friendly', breezing by the downsides, as many websites with the EV fever do.

crikey, even the WEF (at which this year's forum had fleets of them to shuttle us elites around)notes:

"Firstly, producing an electric vehicle contributes, on average, twice as much to global warming potential and uses double the amount of energy than producing a combustion engine car. This is mainly because of its battery. Battery production uses a lot of energy, from the extraction of raw materials to the electricity consumed in manufacture. The bigger the electric car and its range, the more battery cells are needed to power it, and consequently the more carbon produced.

Secondly, once in use, an electric vehicle is only as green as the electricity that feeds its battery. A coal-powered battery is dirtier than a solar-powered battery. Governments can help by speeding up their transition to greener energy.

Thirdly, while an electric vehicle has a higher carbon footprint at the beginning of its lifecycle, it is typically cleaner once in use. Over time, it can catch up on the combustion engine car. The point at which an electric vehicle’s lifetime emissions break even with a combustion engine car also depends on the car’s mileage.

Battery production causes more environmental damage than carbon emissions alone. Consider dust, fumes, wastewater and other environmental impacts from cobalt mining in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; water shortages and toxic spills from lithium mining in Latin America, which can alter ecosystems and hurt local communities; a heavily polluted river due to nickel mining in Russia; or air pollution in northeastern China, as mentioned above.

Securing access to key raw materials. More than 60% of cobalt, for example, is sourced from one country, the Democratic Republic of the Congo." (hello africom, astroturfing chaos so it can save african nations...from the ensuing chaos, much as in eritrea, south sudan, etc.)

but all this may be the reason that ocasio's plan didn't make it into her/their final plan's submission. maybe her eco-advisor robert hocket threw an elbow into the idea?

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Pricknick's picture

capitalism.
As long as capitalism survives, we don't.
Carbon taxes are just a way of saying how one does business. When some entity makes billions, they can afford the taxes. They'll just add those (that they pay) on to the consumer plus markup of course.
Does anybody really think that the consumer will change their ways in a meaningful way?
I've got a bridge.

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

wendy davis's picture

@Pricknick

you may enjoy reading kamran nayeri's essay below. g'night, thanks for reading and commenting, Pricknick (what is a Pricknick, i've always meant to ask?)

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wendy davis's picture

but i was delighted to run into an actual ecosocialist a bit earlier.

Challenges posed by the ‘Green New Deal’, kamran nayeri, socialistaction.org, jan. 16, 2019

“The ecological and social crises the world faces today are actually two aspects of the crisis of the anthropocentric industrial capitalist civilization.

To resolve the crisis, humanity must chart a course towards an ecocentric socialist future. Thus, all attempts to reform the present day civilization to address various aspects of the ecosocial crisis are bound to fail if they are not part of an ongoing and deepening struggle waged by working people ourselves—armed with an action program and a strategy to build a self-organized and self-mobilized movement—to achieve an ecocentric socialist society.”
[snip]
“I need not remind the reader that this “strategy” has a decades-old track record of failure, as can be verified by the dissolution of all progressive movements in the United States that followed a similar course. Just consider the history of the labor, Black, and women’s liberation movements over the past several decades and how such once-powerful movements have been reduced to a shadow of their former selves, a price they paid for being in the Big Tent of the Democratic Party, attempting “to push it to the left” instead of building self-organized and self-mobilized anti-capitalist movements and a fighting labor party to pursue their respective demands.”
[snip]
“The political course proposed by Ocasio Cortez, and following her the Sunrise Movement, and now Franklin, is the exact opposite. It mis-educates and confuses any radicalizing youth or working person by suggesting that working through the capitalist Democratic Party, not building our own bottom-up anti-capitalist organization, and eventually a revolutionary labor party based on our own transformed mass organizations, such as unions, is the way to fighting the systemic climate crisis.”
[snip]
“The Green New Deal is neither new nor a radical idea. In fact, in all its varieties it is some form of Green Capitalism, which has been criticized by revolutionary ecosocialists, including in the System Change Not Climate Change network.” (no longer true, as he demonstrates via Franklin earlier)
[snip]
“A key difference between a liberal and a working-class revolutionary is this: The former sees power emanating from the “voter” while the latter sees it coming from the self-organized and self-mobilized working people.

Ocasio Cortez is a liberal, not a revolutionary. She has no program, strategy, or set of tactics informed by them to help mobilize independent working-class action to transcend the anthropocentric industrial capitalist civilization in the direction of an ecocentric socialist future.

But let me ask Franklin why humanity is in such a predicament if not for decades upon decades of reformist betrayal? Is it not time perhaps to confront liberalism and reformism in the labor, climate justice, and (eco)socialist movements?”

nayeri apparently writes from sebastapol, CA

g'night.

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Big Al's picture

and other crucial societal issues like they addressed healthcare, with the ACA. And which no doubt will continue, because we aren't going to get a true nationalized non-profit health care system unless the citizens revolt. It sure won't happen within this current political system.

Like the quote from Bernays. One of my first thoughts when writing an essay about the democratic party "GND" (as opposed to the Green Party's GND) was to pull out my copy of Propaganda and find something from Bernays exactly as you've done. So thanks for that.

“Modern business must have its finger continuously on the public pulse. It must understand the changes in the public mind and be prepared to interpret itself fairly and eloquently to changing opinion.”
― Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda, 1928

One of the primary factors AOC, Bernie and Tulsi supporters like to bring out is that they're talking about things no others are. It doesn't occur to them it could be by design. This entire rollout of "AOC's" GND is very peculiar and definitely shows signs of a political psy-op primarily because of the fantasy of it all, i.e., there isn't a snowball's chance in hell anything of the scope of the Green Party's GND can be enacted via this duopoly political system. And other things like the rollout including FAQ's that listed "unwilling to work" and the subsequent lies and non-answers, and the plan to do this in ten years are such obvious indicators of planted obfuscators it's clear this is another fucking game put on by the ruling elite that controls the duopoly. AOC is just a tool, a pawn in the larger game.

Hopefully they've overplayed their hand by letting the cat out of the bag, but considering the sad state of American citizenry, probably not.

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wendy davis's picture

@Big Al

sheen on the D party, where all good grassroots social movements go to die. as to 'a snowball's chance in hell of passing', i wonder if any pieces will even be offered as legislation in another year, such as the one i pasted in above:

'E) upgrading all existing buildings in the United States and building new buildings to achieve maximum energy efficiency, water efficiency, safety, affordability, comfort, and durability, including through electrification’ (whatever all that may imply)

but think of the costs in billions and trillions, if it's even feasible to accomplish retroactively.

and just below it in the text is:

(F) spurring massive growth in clean manufacturing in the United States and removing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from manufacturing and industry as much as is technologically feasible, including by expanding renewable energy manufacturing and investing in existing manufacturing and industry' what does that mean? can factories be non-polluting?

yeah, i was tickled that kenn orphan had stuck that bernay's quote in. but speaking of propaganda, this tweet did make me laugh:

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@Big Al the DSA is a fake.
AOC was praising Pelosi during the shut down.

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wendy davis's picture

@Battle of Blair Mountain

thanks, battle of blair mountain, even though your comment was to big al.

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smiley7's picture

@Battle of Blair Mountain
to congress seems to tell more truth than most; if that's fake, guess we will see.

In the meantime, i've an armchair and a beer, too.

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wendy davis's picture

@smiley7

meant that ocasio2018 keeps backtracking on her initial positions, deleting earlier tweets that might be called into question now...and when she runs for the presidency. but perhaps i shouldn't have been trying to read his/her mind. ; )

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smiley7's picture

@wendy davis

the green conversation; sense that our collective fears are 'too little, too late.'

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wendy davis's picture

@smiley7

your position, but i may do an essay on the suggestions by the author of 'deep adaptaion'.

myself, those dissenter who preface their dissent w/ "while i'm/we're thankful for the conversation actually believe/hope that their voices will be heard somehow. if any of this pipe dream is offered as legislation, 'aye' votes will mean that the private bidness sector stands to make a hella lotta money. Green Capitalism.

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smiley7's picture

@wendy davis
needs; more good science, the better, in hopes that any future legislation will be the best it can be; in the meantime we need messengers in the Capitol spreading the alarm and for this i am grateful for all politicians who brave the spotlight and shout impending climate disaster to the MSM.

This will be a tough battle, needing us all.

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Big Al's picture

@Battle of Blair Mountain I don't know, man. Like is it real or is it Memorex? Hey, a 29 year old minority female democratic party politician comes out of nowhere and right away proposes this "Green New Deal", a basically planet altering proposal which isn't her proposal if anyone with a brain has been paying attention, but she gets top billing on all oligarchy owned media while gray haired old white men stand beside her, photo shoots and Forrest Gump like appearances in anything the oligarchy's media considers important, the complete attention of the entire political system, and Edward Bernays rolling with laughter in his grave?
Nah, couldn't be. AOC is Mongo. That's all.

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EyeRound's picture

criticisms in mind as this process moves forward--assuming it does move forward.

Thank you for putting this information together, WD!

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wendy davis's picture

@EyeRound

and yes, 'assuming it does move forward' in a year or two or three...when there's a D president and Ds control both houses. love your avatar, by the way, eyeround; the source of the crone at the spinning wheel, please, and your screen name as well?

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econoclast's picture

Wendy,

Thank you for posting this important information and warning about the Green New Deal. Thanks especially for the long quotes from the Indigenous Envivironmental Network, and for the link to them. I am supporting their work. I trust nothing coming out of Washington D.C.

And thank you for your courage in confronting the Power of Capital here. This is the enemy and we ignore your quotation of propagandist Edward Bernays at our peril. As the Network warns us, we should expect the Power of Capital to commodify and financialize everything it touches. As one of Capital's Nobel-winning economists claimed, even love is for sale.

I live in Oregon, a heavily forested state (my county is 3/4 forest). Recently a Portland think tank issued a report to the Oregon legislature showing that official accounting rules at all levels of government — international, federal, state, and local — seriously underestimate the carbon emissions from logging. These rules, it turns out, were written by the logging industry during the 2001 UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakesh, Morocco, part of the rules governing emissions trading. The intentional error is so serious that official agency accounting shows logging to be a minor carbon emitter, whereas a full and honest accounting shows the logging sector produces about a third of the carbon emissions in my state, more than the usual leading sectors transportation and residential. Reports on this fraud can be found at the Center for a Sustainable Economy (https://sustainable-economy.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Oregon-Forest...) and at the Ecosystems Climate Alliance (www.wetlands.org/publications/de-constructing-lulucf-and-its-perversities/). An independent study at Oregon State University confirms these figures. A lay report on the latter study can be found at High Country News (www.hcn.org/issues/50.11/climate-change-timber-is-oregons-biggest-carbon...).

The position of the Indigenous Environment Network is to leave fossil fuels in the ground and otherwise confront the industry by removing subsidies, tax-breaks and weak regulations, and to oppose the fraudulant "clean" energy sources biomass and nuclear. I will add that we also should keep the trees in the forest, as forests are the lungs of the earth. Achieving these radical measures will produce much pain in this overconsuming society. But collapse is already happening and the collapse is already producing much pain. Our choice is to passively become buried by the collapse or do what we can to steer it in the direction of survival and justice, avoiding tipping points that will prevent any action whatsoever.

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wendy davis's picture

@econoclast

line to pieces. but almost all of the commons have already been commodified, privatized, and sold to the highest bidder...back to the days of the feudal lords, as i understand it and them.

i've taken a hella lot of heat (and ridicule) over my long years of blogging by noting i) that non-coopted indigenous see capital for what it is, and ii) that their narratives on solutions and needs are clear-sighted and clear-headed. and i include the zapatistas (who'd rebelled the day NAFTA took effect over the issue of food and seed sovereignty) and their form of grass-roots democracy in that. some of my links to the indigenous declarations at rio 2012 are not longer 'in service', and i sure do wish they were, specifically the mayan Teotihuacan one.

i'll need to read your links later, but how tragic that cutting down forests (the lungs of the planet) was dismissed as negligible. not that boldonaro gives a good goddam, but same thing in brazil, and he'll probably be considered REDD-ready, and the indigenous there are simply terrified, small wonder.

i'm unconvinced that 'the big emergency' low-balled by ' October 2018 report entitled “Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 ºC” by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the November 2018 Fourth National Climate Assessment report' is a scream for help, in that the earth's biosphere is past 'saving' by now, but i do hear your position, as 'hope dies last'. me, i'm a bit more philosophical by now, i reckon.

this is street art from athens, greece 2017: 'hope dies last', although the title isn't featured, but it's always pierced my heart.

thanks for coming, econoclast (brand-busting is important, imo), and for such an excellent comment. oh, and iirc, it was whitney webb's piece, she'd said that big oil had helped write the (non-binding) cop 15,17?
aspirational targets. i'll look at your links as soon as i can, and i may try to add some of the text from the Teotihuacan statement at Rio2012 sustainability conference below.

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wendy davis's picture

@econoclast

boot up for me, but a fascinating article and graphics from high country news (based in paonia, CO, at least in the old days).

may i ask about the image in your avatar photo? i'd had some wrong guesses earlier. but oh, so familiar.

on late edit: jezum crow: henry david thoreau.

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econoclast's picture

@wendy davis the image is henry george
sorry the pdfs don't work for you; i tried again and they worked for me
i don't know how to fix that

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wendy davis's picture

@econoclast

thanks for the correction; i'd never heard of him; thanks for the introduction. ah, the versions of firefox i need to have with Easy Copy are old ones, so it creates hell w/ pdf's. i did put some of the indigenous groups' (anti-capitalist permeating them) statements at rio 2012, though, at the bottom of the comment stream.

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enhydra lutris's picture

dialogue several years (decades?) ago. Maybe the world's, or, make that probably the world's. It happened across the board, but not all at once. Take emissions - suddenly there was a great focus on "cap-and-trade" versus "carbon tax" as the solution toward reining in emissions. They're the same solution. The idea is to artificially create an artificial "market based" solution. Simply using governmental fiat isn't even considered, and not just in this matter, but in all matters. Everything must be done through market based solutions, possibly with a public-private partnership or two.

Markets and market based solutions are what got us here. One major change we need to work for is to avoid market based solutions and replace them with other mechanisms, even in our discussions and proposals. They are at best a last-resort transitional stop-gap and should be contemplated solely in that light.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

wendy davis's picture

@enhydra lutris

your comment better, most especially: "Simply using governmental fiat isn't even considered, and not just in this matter, but in all matters.", but this as well: "One major change we need to work for is to avoid market based solutions and replace them with other mechanisms, even in our discussions and proposals.

some suggestions?

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arendt's picture

@wendy davis

The goal of neoliberalism is to replace government with markets. That means no taxes, no laws of prohibition or fines. They want a completely lawless, liberarian world with ZERO government. (People deeply underestimate how radical the neoliberal program is. But that's not surprise since the neolibs have been denying their very existence for decades.)

So, in this context, here's what I'm hearing:

"Simply using governmental fiat isn't even considered, and not just in this matter, but in all matters."

Neoliberals have made any law or proposal that has any teeth into something that "interferes with the perfect marketplace and its omniscient solutions". Basically, fiat = law.

"One major change we need to work for is to avoid market based solutions and replace them with other mechanisms, even in our discussions and proposals.

This can be interpreted two ways. The first way is as a call to surrender to abandon government as an alternative to the market and to search for "other mechanisms". I can't believe that is the author's intention. So, the second interpretation is to simply say "cap and trade" is more corporate friendly BS; we need enforced limits and fines - the way we have dealt with polluters for over fifty years.

That's my two cents. I could be wrong.

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wendy davis's picture

@arendt

decode the sea otter's comment. as far as neoliberalism, there are boatloads of defintions.
in whitney webb’s ‘Corporations See a Different Kind of “Green” in Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal’ she’ provided anti-capitalist david harvey’s short definition w/ a long essay by harvey:
“a theory of political economic practices that proposes that human well-being can best be advanced by liberating individual entrepreneurial freedoms and skills within an institutional framework characterized by strong private property rights, free market, and free trade.”

but there are plenty of defintions around, wiki says in brief: Neoliberalism or neo-liberalism is the 20th-century resurgence of 19th-century ideas associated with laissez-faire economic liberalism and free market capitalism. Those ideas include economic liberalization policies such as privatization, austerity, deregulation, free trade and reductions in government spending in order to increase the role of the private sector in the economy and society. hayek, friedman, pinochet.

but afaik, it’s also due to the IMF and world bank structural adjustments forcing such, unless a nation defaults on its loans, as iceland did, iirc, and was the better for it.

but ah, i’d been pinging ‘fiat currency’ post bretton woods (no more gold backing, just trust in its own value?). but aha: i’d bingled bretton woods and found at investopedia:

Creation of Two New Institutions

One of the major items that came about from the Bretton Woods Agreement was the creation of the IMF. It was created to monitor exchange rates and lend reserve currencies to nations. It was formally introduced in December 1945 when 29 members signed the Articles of Agreement. The Bretton Woods Agreement also created the World Bank Group, which was set up to provide financial assistance for countries during the reconstruction post World War I phase.”

and so it began. but you may be exactly right as to sea otter's meaning; he might even return to explain. ; ) g' night, arendt.

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CB's picture

Realistically, there is nothing we can now do to prevent it. We have surpassed the tipping point. It is now just a matter of attempting to ameliorate and deal with the consequences.

China is doing much, much more than the US. In fact, they would have accepted and applauded AOC's #GreenNewDeal. They have been putting 100's of billions into these programs during the last decade and the results are beginning to show. They are proving that these programs are not only successful, they can be profitable.

Nations share green practices at intl meeting
By Zhang Yangfei | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-11-03 18:44

The Annual General Meeting of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development provides a positive platform for countries to share experiences and practices in protecting ecosystems and promoting low carbon and green development, participants said on Saturday.

"It serves as a communicative platform for China and the world in the area of environmental development, a coordinated platform for building up ecological civilization, and an innovative platform for improving a global environmental governance system," Li Ganjie, China's ecology and environment minister, said at the meeting's closing ceremony.
Erik Solheim, UN Environment executive director, said China leads a great number of environmental inspirations in the world with its eco-civilization, and can share with the rest of the world the best practices in protecting ecosystems and curbing pollution.

The policies recommended at the meeting are valuable to global sustainable development and applicable for the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, he added.

Themed "Innovation for a Green New Era" this year, the three-day event brought officials and experts from home and abroad to share thoughts and give policy advice to the Chinese government on how to promote low carbon and green development.

Eight forums and one roundtable also have taken place, focusing on topics that include biodiversity conservation, climate change, green Belt and Road Initiative, green consumption, and marine governance.
...
Some of China's practices that can be valuable to the rest of the world include the development of metro systems, electric vehicles, and economical and effective solar systems, as well as its achievements in fighting deforestation and desertification, such as the greening of Saihanba in Hebei and the Kubuqi desert in Inner Mongolia, he said.

It is becoming apparent that the US will attempt to deal with the ramifications of global warming and the resulting diminishing of resources with the use of military force. The funds spent on defense offense far outstrip any funding made available for dealing with this existential problem.

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wendy davis's picture

@CB

that we should be putting our energy and even dollars into deep adaptation, i agree. but ah, yes: chinese state capitalism. bully on their oligarchy, i guess, although i didn't click into the china daily piece. but ha: make solar panels while the sun shines. ; )

'...and in inner mongolia'? sorry, i'm slap-happy by now, and need to rest my eyes after one more addition. thank you, CB of the black cat w/ green eyes. capital rules™, even in china.

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CB's picture

@wendy davis @wendy davis
with small scale capitalism. Hundreds of millions of Chinese have been lifted out of poverty in the last two decades.

Regreening the planet looks at the profit that comes from the recovery of ecosystems in Spain, Egypt and India. Restoring ecosystems does not only generate ecological profit but also economic. In Regreening the desert, the makers of VPRO Backlight showed that the greening of deserts is very well possible. They followed the American-Chinese cameraman and ecologist John D. Liu. He filmed how an inhospitable dry mountain area as large as the Netherlands was transformed into a lush green oasis. The greening caused not only ecological recovery but also economic growth of the region. Since then, John D. Liu has traveled the world to inspire people in other countries to follow this example.

(turn on CC for captions)

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wendy davis's picture

@CB

an extra 45 minutes to watch, but as i understand your earlier comment, i may have been wrong in thinking that your implication was that their endeavors were cynical. dinnae have time to watch your videos on gjohnsit's russian sanctions thread, but is seems as though you brought a lot of fresh air to the discussion w/ your counter-narratives. good on ya, CB.

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wendy davis's picture

rather than paste in a messy lot of very long Mayan Teotihuacan statement at Rio2012 sustainability conference, i did dig out this:

'This Is What Indigenous Activism for Mother Earth Looks Like: The Shadow People’s Summit at Rio+20', june 21, 2012, wd, then my.firedoglake, now shadowproof. good videos, photos, other Eco-declarations including from the kara oca document.

as i'd said, the first eco-socialist warriors i'd ever (virtually) ever met.

and from the #GreenNewDeal, more advertising from the Intercept. you might want to read it...so i don't have to. ; ) gawd luv ya, miz klein; just in time.

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Since various people have been criticizing Naomi Klein's viewpoint on the Green New Deal, perhaps we should look at what she has to say. Here is a link to her article in The Intercept, "The Battle Lines Have Been Drawn on The Green New Deal":

https://theintercept.com/2019/02/13/green-new-deal-proposal/

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wendy davis's picture

@out of left field

tweet right above your comment. you can read it so i don't have to. i'd also linked to her tweet saying how much she loves the Green Capitalist Deal. she and mcKibben are two of the Glitteratti who could have made a bit of difference in all of this years ago, but chose not to, never once speaking of the massive carbon footprint of the amerikan military. i'm sure their funders wouldn't have liked it.

but klein has also (as many at Pierre's Intercept Palace, smeared julian assange, and to me, that's another reason i won't read there...unless i find the need to deconstruct an article i've heard about on twitter. heh, such as: hosting an online war propaganda bellingcat workshop. but they also love the psyop white helmets (see the netflix tweet, and various other rubbish.

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wendy davis's picture

Green Capitalism Rears Its Head at Global Climate Action Summit’, by Jonah Raskin, September 21, 2018, counterpunch
it's spit-take funny as raskin channels his inner hunter thompson.

"Full disclosure: I was stoned at the Summit; that might have affected my mood and my perspective, too. Before I arrived at the Moscone Center on Third Street in San Francisco I enjoyed an edible from the Garden Society, a company that manufactures cannabis products. The instructions on the package advised that it might take up to two-hours to have an effect, but the cannabis-laced chocolate that I ate kicked in in less than thirty minutes and lasted five hours."

"It helped that I had a press pass to the event, which was sponsored by the Bank of America, Kaiser Permanente, Google, Facebook and Amazon. When I arrived on Thursday September 13, there were hundreds of demonstrators in the streets, and hundreds of police officers, too. As the woman who issued me my credentials said, “It’s organized chaos this morning.” On Friday cops and protesters were gone, except for bearded, elf-like Bill Callahan from San Rafael who held a sign that said, “Our Greatest Threat is Us,” and who told me, “We don’t have enough respect for our planet. We need to protect it and to live responsibly.

A friend in the city who had offered me a bed for the week, told me as I was leaving his house to go to the Moscone Center, “This whole event is about green capitalism.” I thought about his comment on the N-Judah street car and on the line waiting to get inside the Moscone Center. “Is this event about green capitalism?” I asked Shashi Menon, the CEO of a corporation in Iowa that’s developing biofuels. Menon gave me an unambiguous answer. “Yes, it is,” he said. “We’ll have a better chance to survive catastrophic climate change with green capitalism than with the other kind.”

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wendy davis's picture

i swear i've asked mr. wd four times today, "is it still wednesday???" it's gone on for 72 hours minimum. time warp?

but tonight's closing song's gonna be from self-described 'commie hip-hop rapper' boots riley

(and the coup). sleep well, dream well if you can.

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