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"If Environment Were a Bank,' Says Bernie Sanders, 'It Would Have Been Saved Already'

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/08/30/if-environment-were-bank-says-bernie-sanders-it-would-have-been-saved-already

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Great headline from Bernie.
There would be no banks if there were no environment .
Earth First . No ,not that Earth First .
The one where we show daily gratitude for the planet allowing us to sit on its face and excrete waste.


Yep, cuts right to the chase. “How can we afford it?”

How can we not?


Woooooo! This is what I hear in recordings of things like Bernie talks, after every line like this. What we expect from our so-called leaders: good lines so we can go Woooooo! One of the things ruining local activism for me, the mandatory mobbishness.

Back in the days of Occupy, assemblies were accused of being mobs, but those assemblies were genuine, heartfelt experiments in real-time democracy/anarchy. We didn’t clap or go Woooooo, because that would make it harder to hear what people were saying, and because people were saying stuff we were interested in hearing. Because it was real dialectics, right out there in the sunshine and everything! We held up our hands and quivered 'em like Quakers to express appreciation. Those were special times, before the duopoly crushed us.

Out here in California, if you gather with original inhabitants, applause is replaced with a sinking, profound “Ohhhhh…” To me it sounds like the listener is impressed with something beautiful for the first time. Just a couple of suggestions, perhaps, to make gatherings a little less insufferably trite.


If we had bigger leaders, and more of them, crowd size wouldn’t matter so much.
And I dislike the chanting. For me it feels embarrassing and sounds childish and desperate.
A protest song may be okay.


Thanks for not reacting angrily to my frustration with getting herded about. Protest songs are definitely okay. We don’t have enough protest singers. One of them from Occupy days, David Rovics, is still going strong and coming up with better stuff all the time.

“Give peace a chance” is a great song, but was too chanty for me. Still is, but I defer to the masses on this one.

I forgot to mention my favorite, from the Prince Myshkins, this version covered by Holly Near and Emma’s Revolution: Ministry of Oil. Myshkins’ tunes are too complicated for mass-protest sing-along, though. That’s okay. Sometimes you have time for a musical break at a demonstration or march.

Possibly the all-time masterpiece of sing-along protest is Country Joe’s. (“Give me an F!”)

Heard Country Joe do his song along with “I think I’m gonna die rag” outside of Ft. Lewis, WA. in 1971. The “FTA” protest meet.
I’ll give Myshkin a listen. Could it be one of the many campaign background songs?

Something to remember, wow!

We can spend trillions on useless defense weapons (toys) for the MIC but certainly not on useful projects like decent schools where teachers don’t have to spend the own money to buy supplies, offering free lunches to children whose parents can’t afford the lunch fees, and on and on…


Saying stuff like that is going to win Bernie more love from the left.

Also, more hate from the establishment. The DNC squashed him like a bug 3 years ago. But here he is, back for a second beat down. Damn, this is painful to watch.

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Is CD aware of what the DNC did this morning in Iowa to the state’s plans of " remote caucusing " and " remote voting ", etc. Monkeywrenching perhaps? A new wrinkle or kink enters the picture, for sure.
There is almost zero voter fraud in Iowa but using the web evidently there invites hacking and all sorts of whatnot mischievousness ( Russian, one supposes ).
Whatever you think of direct democracy v. representative democracy and voting in primaries v. caucuses: this move by the DNC doesn’t help the Sanders campaign or progressives’ messaging, imo.
Concerning Sen. Sanders comment about the Environment/Green New Deal I’m reminded of the old saw said about The Big Swamp on The Potomac, " the one thing you absolutely cannot do in Washington, D. C. is tell the truth. "

Methinks the last thing the DNC wants is to help the Sanders Campaign.

For Gandolf…

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One in the same of course. Thanks

I’m hoping, that we’re learning anarchy from each other, as opposed to getting our hopes up, only to be dashed from above? Feel-good mass protests, euphamism & heartening platitudes aside. My worst failing is taking comfort from my specious assumptions and treasured obliviousness. Whistleblowers can be silenced, journalists blacklisted, protesters imprisoned. Solidarity is fleeting and useless if we go along to get along?

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I have a question regarding personal carbon footprint. Commenters here often speak of various ways that they reduce their carbon footprint (being Vegan, driving electric scooters/riding bikes for transportation, never flying, etc…). But it seems to me that carbon footprint is a balance between how much carbon you put into the air and how much you remove.

Is there a difference in carbon footprint (or harm to the environment generally) between a person who flies 10,000 miles a year and buys carbon offsets that take out an equivalent amount versus a person who doesn’t fly at all?

note: I am talking about immediate verified carbon offsets that you can now purchase online


Yes, it makes a difference how much carbon you spew. Offsets are total bullshit, and you know it. Aviation emissions are particularly terrible – far beyond current accounting – because they’re deposited up there near the tropopause where they do the most harm. Just stop flying: tantamount to strangling your grandchildren, except then at least you’d be getting it over with.

Does that answer your question, or am I putting it too mildly?


Plant trees, Man. Lots and lots of tress.

I believe I read that the figure we’d need to hit on tree planting to offset carbon emissions is 1 trillion.

I can’t speak for buying carbon offsets to balance personal activities, but I can speak briefly on the infrastructure side: there are huge gaps in the data. The type of development, the traffic it brings, and where development occurs are difficult to offset. For example, where I live, there are new LEED certified compact neighborhoods featuring solar roofs and ADA compliant walkable infrastructure. The problem: these neighborhoods are being developed farther and farther away from the freeway and, due to their compactness, aren’t really bus friendly. The county has planned major road expansions, which will likely induce more single occupant drivers to commute downtown since these neighborhoods are also a decent distance away from the nearest Park & Ride. Also, their compact design makes them less friendly to drive through, taking more time.

While we can guesstimate the offsets for a particular building project, or employ methods to reduce its carbon footprint during construction and over time via what is used to build it, it’s much more difficult to get at a proportional offset for larger developments. It really really depends on how you look at them. It’s one reason why, here in California, where CEQA requires proportional mitigation, local governments are writing what’s called statements of overriding consideration for a lot of development: we just don’t have adequate data to know what a proportional offset would look like in most cases.