In June 2019, Joe Biden promised wealthy so-called donors that nothing would fundamentally change. At this moment hundreds of millions of people — from those shooting off fireworks to those ranting as though they will soon shoot up public places in their MAGA hats — seem convinced that everything will fundamentally change. Biden was wrong. Everybody else is right. Either everything will change for the better or one or both of the twin dangers of environmental and nuclear apocalypse will change everything for the worse.
Five years ago, an investigation from InsideClimate News confirmed what one might have intuitively suspected: that the leaders of Exxon Mobil were well aware of the science of global warming before it became a public issue. The investigation showed that as far back as the 1970s, Exxon had engaged in research that determined carbon dioxide was heating up the planet, corroborating observations about the effects of fossil fuels on the climate that scientists had been making since the 1890s.
The power shutoffs and unprecedented fires that California has experienced in the last month are going to develop into something more deeply damaging than you might think. This is just the beginning of a long process that will force Californians-and all others in the capitalist world-to confront the unsustainability of how they’ve been living.
With this month’s burning of the Amazon as a result of the actions of the fascist Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, the first world has gotten a glimpse of the horrors that the world’s poor and indigenous people have long been experiencing at the hands of capitalism and colonialism. Because the Amazon’s existence is crucial for preventing climate apocalypse, the world outside of the region’s indigenous community now feels threatened by the consequences of profit-motivated white supremacy.
Chris Hedges talks to Howie Hawkins, who has sought elected office through the Green Party, about the history of third parties in the US whose platforms are often coopted by the two-party system while being denied participation in televised debates.
I suppose we all owe UCLA economist and Hoover Institution senior fellow Lee Ohanian a debt of gratitude for telling us how it is. The “free market” propagandist recently took to the pages of The Hill, a Washington, D.C., journal for political insiders, to explain that the holy laws of economics dictate that humanity must consent to its own extermination. In a piece titled “The Green New Deal is a Pipe Dream,” Ohanian drowned climate activists’ overheated dreams of ecological salvation in the icy waters of bourgeois reality, arguing that the proposed legislation’s advocates are, in fact, nefarious, big-government “command-and-control” zealots—eco-Stalinists—who want “to impose their social and economic preferences on others at an extravagantly high economic cost.”
In the last years of his life, Dr. Martin Luther King spoke against what he called “the triple evils that are interrelated” – economic inequality, racism, and militarism. If King were alive today, he’d be talking about the five evils that are interrelated, adding patriarchy and Ecocide, the destruction of livable ecology. He’d also be noting the dangerous rise of a new national and global fascism linked to the presidency of a malignant racist who glories in accelerating humanity’s environmental self-destruction while the media obsesses over matters of far slighter relevance.
As alarm bells sound over the advancing destruction of the environment, a variety of Green New Deal proposals have appeared in the US and Europe, along with some interesting academic debates about how to fund them. Monetary policy, normally relegated to obscure academic tomes and bureaucratic meetings behind closed doors, has suddenly taken center stage.
The Green New Deal endorsed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and more than 40 other US Representatives has been criticized as imposing a too-heavy burden on the rich and upper-middle-class taxpayers who will have to pay for it, but taxing the rich is not what the Green New Deal resolution proposes. It says funding will come primarily from certain public agencies, including the Federal Reserve and “a new public bank or system of regional and specialized public banks.”
Calls for a Universal Basic Income have been increasing, most recently as part of the Green New Deal introduced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and supported in the last month by at least 40 members of Congress. A Universal Basic Income (UBI) is a monthly payment to all adults with no strings attached, similar to Social Security. Critics say the Green New Deal asks too much of the rich and upper-middle-class taxpayers who will have to pay for it, but taxing the rich is not what the resolution proposes. It says funding would primarily come from the federal government, “using a combination of the Federal Reserve, a new public bank or system of regional and specialized public banks,” and other vehicles.