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Only Bernie’s Green New Deal Answers Greta’s Call for Action

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/10/09/only-bernies-green-new-deal-answers-gretas-call-action

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The corporation’s nightmare. Perhaps the masses only real hope.

Bernie Sanders - 2020.


Alas, I think Bernie’s candidacy is down for the count.

Heralding, as it were, the twilight of hope.

Which isn’t to say I was harboring much hope.

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“Only Bernie’s Green New Deal Answers Greta’s Call for Action”

“Only one major U.S. politician has put forth a serious, urgent and comprehensive Green New Deal proposal: Sen. Bernie Sanders.”

Finally! Someone said this. Thank you, Christopher Cook.

I think it would be helpful if Greta would, too. Is there a reason she hasn’t, or did I miss it?


As far as I can discern, this Green New Deal is a stop gap measure - one intended to turn the capitalist enterprise green. In other words, and bluntly, it does not recognize “Limits to Growth”.

Nor does it advocate a rising carbon tax (or did I miss that ?).

And especially, I don’t see any mention of legal standing for the environment, “Rights for Nature”, as described in 1972 by Professor of Law Christopher Stone in his seminal “Should Trees Have Standing ?”.

As a former small business founder and owner, and as a stock broker for just under a year, I am familiar with capitalism. It is unclear to me if de-growth is possible without collapsing the economy as we know it. It may not be an exaggeration to say this western economic model is ALL about lending lots of people money - the 2007/08 sub-prime crisis writ even larger (World Bank, International Monetary Fund…).

And that is what we need - less of all frivolous consumer products, and a laser focus on removing an awful lot of CO2 from the atmosphere and oceans.

I see ZERO mention of these aspects by our prominent economists.

Here then is the rock and the hard place we are caught between, as I see it.

My mantra - Enough & NOT More.

PS: If Greta wins the Nobel Peace Prize this Friday, expect a speech of epochal proportion from our young climate crisis fighter.


Well, we all need hope -

Right now I’m re-reading a 2017 book by physicist and mountaineer Mark Bowen, about other physicists and and ice core driller named Brice Koci, now deceased (The Telescope in the Ice - {neutrino telescope under the South Pole}). It has been said that ‘physicists are more interesting than physics’, and I would enlarge that to include all people. We try so hard - some never make it past childhood, others die in our endless wars and conflicts, and eventually we all die - or just wear out.

People trying - that helps keep me going.


Read Naomi Klein’s “On Fire” book about the Green New Deal. Early on she makes the point that like the original “New Deal” it is more of a frame of mind than a detailed plan. FDR went in firing with all guns and shooting from the hip. This Green New Deal needs to be like that one on steroids. Its decidedly NOT a stop gap measure (in her mind at least). Everything is going to be on the table - including reversing mass consumption and evolving out of Capitalism. Maybe even the total elimination of plastic drinking straws! (humor)


I don’t know (I’m far, far from being an expert), but maybe it must (?) - unless there is a great shift in technology that we can begin using (now) and doesn’t create new environmental problems. Obviously, what we’re doing can’t be sustained. At least Bernie grasps the urgency of our situation and (begins) to address it.

I like that Greta doesn’t mince her words and she shares those words. It will be interesting to see what happens this Friday.


I should read that one, being a Canadian. I saw it at the bookstore, and I am familiar with Naomi going way back, when she used to write for the national newspaper here, The Globe & Mail, on globalization.

I know she is the real deal, and in her mind this is our best way forward. I’ll go along with that - and ‘shooting from the hip’ a la FDR - that’s more accurate I think.

The world is so complicated now, and so intertwined, I don’t suppose any living human can make an accurate prediction about what will work - so we just take our best shot.

I do think we are all in for some unintended consequences though, and I would guess, in my own mind, I am just trying to prepare for the worst. Maybe it will be easier than that - I surely hope so.

You know, I carry around my own steel fork, to avoid the plastic ones. It seems trivial, but it makes me feel better - better fork - no damn plastic.

Thanks for your reply - we’re all going to need to be nice to each other whenever we can I think in the times ahead - we might even become civil, instead of civilized - like an Apache (long story).

I’m still reading his book - very impressive - a man with a good heart and common sense to boot !

That is THE key to this whole thing I believe, but so few have come to believe this - in their gut, which then enables real action.

We are pretty good at rising to a challenge, look at the Moon Shot.

We could use a leader like JFK - we surely could !

Maybe Greta ? It feels awful putting so much on a young woman, but then - there is no one else in sight that I can see with her combination of talents ?

Nice chatting - Ciao from Calgary ~

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Good Lord, what’s with the despair? This is American politics: statements made months in advance about what can or can’t happen have little value. Bernie’s campaign is, in fact, going strong. He’s very much within striking distance of victory – as is true of both Biden and Warren. This will play out complexly over the coming months. If you want Bernie to win, do something to increase his chances of victory. Snivelling into a handkerchief is, to say the least, premature; stand and fight!

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Good article, right down the line. Lefter-than-thou critics who complain that Bernie’s Green New Deal wouldn’t banish global capitalism utterly overnight seem to me to be stuck in some kind of bizarre intellectual theater of irrelevance. We have to start where we are, and any first step, or any first 500 steps, will of course not take us all the way to where we need to be: does that make it delusional, futile, to start, for Christ’s sake? If we want a better world, we should stop complaining about the lack of Utopias on the menu and do something material to get Bernie elected (donate, canvass, phone bank). Then work in the mass movement that will be the only hope of getting his ambitious Green New Deal implemented. And then push for the next step, and the next, and the next. What we don’t need: yet another essay or online comment explaining how the best plan going is delusional because it isn’t perfect.

I heartily agree with both Bernie Sanders and Greta Thundberg that we need to replace fossil fuel with renewable energy. That will mean lots of PV solar panels, quite a few wind turbines, and some batteries to add to our dam and pond combinations to store some energy from times when supply exceeds demand to use when demand exceeds supply. If we find that we must buy much fossil fuel to buy peace from the too big to fail fossil fuel firms, we do NOT need to extract all that fossil fuel, most of it we can simply hold as mineral rights. We also need to pension off a lot of older workers and call their pensions part of the cost of switching from fossil fuel to renewable energy, and we need to retrain for different jobs a lot of not so old workers so they can earn a living with renewable energy or with transporting energy as electric power until they can be pensioned off at a respectable age.

I’ll kindly remind you that the d-party would rather lose to Trump than win with Bernie.

And who said I wasn’t fighting? It just isn’t for Democrats.

We might want to check in with those workers first, before ‘we’ pension them off or otherwise decide on their futures, don’t you think Grace ?

The key to global warming are the greenhouse gases and their rate of increase, and eventually, decrease.

Alternate forms are up for evaluation and trial and error. They all require materials, often hard to get or rare forms, and they are all subject to the Limits to Growth on a finite planet, unless we tap the resources off the planet.

The Green Revolution was a “progress trap”, in the thinking of Ronald Wright, author of “A Short History of Progress”.

I don’t wish to discourage you, but none of this switch to alternates is free of impact.