Tuesday, July 7, 2020


JULY 9, 2020
Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace, Justice, and Ecology
      The United Nations created the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in the late 1980s to study the effects of CO2 in the atmosphere.  The Panel published its first report in the early 1990s, and has published six reports.  The last one in 2018, called a “block-buster” by one reviewer, stated in the strongest terms yet the danger to the human experiment (and to all species) caused by the steadily increasing global temperature.   The reports—contributed to by thousands of scientists around the world—has inspired many books and articles, so many in a constant flow a bibliography bringing them all together has not yet been published.  
       Inevitably, people noticed a connection between the 1930s national organization against the drought and economic depression, the New Deal of President Roosevelt and the Democratic Party, and the need for something like it against global warming—hence the Green New Deal.   On January 3, 2019, the House of Representatives passed Resolution 109, introduced by Ms. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, calling on the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal, and then on July 9 passed Resolution 52 demanding the government begin a national mobilization to halt the climate emergency.   
     At last, after 30 years of intensive study by the world’s and its own scientists, the US began the process of reanimating the New Deal in a what must be a larger than WWII scale mobilization.
     The following books and events provide some of the substance of the new World War against warming.  As in 1941, each of us is called to concentrate and sacrifice. 
CONTENTS (entries in bold are reviewed)
Selection of Published Books in Chronological Order 2008-2020
New Economics Foundation.  A Green New Deal: Joined-Up Policies to Solve the Triple Crunch of the Credit Crisis, Climate Change, and High Oil Prices.
Edward Barbier.  Rethinking the Economic Recovery: A Global Green New Deal.  UNEP, April.
Philipp Schepelmann et al.  A Green New Deal for Europe: Towards Green Modernisation in the Face of Crisis.
Katy Nicholson, ed.  Toward a Transatlantic Green New Deal: Tackling the Climate and Economic Crises.  Worldwatch Institute.
Enric Ruiz-Geli and Jeremy Rifkin.  A Green New Deal: From Geopolitics to Biosphere Politics.
Bernie Sanders, Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In. A        comprehensive founding text for the movement to stop and reverse rising global temperature and to achieve it equitably for all.
(Also see Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka, Green Party Campaign.  “The Green New Deal.”  Stein was the presidential candidate, Baraka the vice-presidential.) 
Platform - www.gp.org - Green Party
“These values guide us in countering and changing a system that extols exploitation, unsustainable ... “     Approved by the Green National Committee, August 2016.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.  Global Warming of 1.5Degrees C:  An IPCC Special Report.  Geneva: World Meteorological Organization, 2018.  “Summary for Policy-makers.” 
Global Warming of 1.5 ºC – IPCC www.ipcc.ch › ...   An IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels.

Greg Carlock and Emily Mangan.  A Green New Deal: A Progressive Vision for Environmental Sustainability and Economic Stability. 

(“House Resolution 109, 116th Congress , 1st Session H. H. Res. 109, Introduced January 3, 2019, by Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal.”  https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-resolution/109
House Resolution 52, Introduced July 9, 2019, by Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and others, Expressing the sense of Congress that there is a climate emergency which demands a massive-scale mobilization to halt, reverse, and address its consequences and causes.” https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/116/hconres52/text
Also see Stan Cox, The Green New Deal and Beyond, for the texts.
Two main goals:  1) stop the warming, 2) accomplish it fairly to all.
See the excellent 7-minute film produced by The Intercept and Naomi Klein, A Message from the Future with Alexandria  Ocasio-Cortez.” It tells the story of the GND in retrospect. “ (xxxhttps://theintercept.com/2019/04/17/green-new-deal-short-film-alexandria-ocasio-cortez/?utm_source=The+Intercept+Newsletter&utm_campaign=dc60b6ce22-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_04_17_GND&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e00a5122d3-dc60b6ce22-131867277  ). 
Naomi Klein, On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal
Kate Aronoff, et al., A Planet to Win: Why We Need a Green New Deal, with Foreword  by Naomi Klein.
Ann Pettifor. The Case for the Green New Deal
Jeremy Rifkin. The Green New Deal: Why the Fossil Fuel Civilization Will Collapse by 2028, and the Bold Economic Plan to Save Life on Earth.
Greta Thunberg.  No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference. Penguin, 2019. 
Bill McKibben.  Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? 

Stan Cox.  The Green New Deal and Beyond: Ending the Climate Emergency While We Still Can
Meagan Day and Micah Utricht, Bigger than Bernie: How We Go from the Sanders Campaign to Democratic Socialism
2021 (more to be discovered from the past, more to come)

GND TEXTS 2016-2020
Edward B. Barbier.  A Global Green New Deal: Rethinking the Economic Recovery.   UNEP.  Cambridge UP, 2010.  https://www.cbd.int/development/doc/UNEP-global-green-new-deal.pdf
I haven’t read this book (a UNEP report), but the Executive Summary makes me think our CBF missed an opportunity a decade ago.to connect the New Deal of the ‘thirties and ‘forties and the Green New Deal of today.  Check it out:

Reviewed by Dick Bennett.
     Bernie Sanders opens Our Revolution with a dedication to his family and all of his supporters.  To them, to his readers he declares:  “Don’t give up.  The struggle must continue.”
     His first book, Outsider in the House (1997) (updated as Outsider in the White House, 2015) recounted his history and reveals his character, which unfolded before us during the campaign.    What he says and what he does have been and are the same.  He lost some elections because of it, but he stayed his course.   He even called himself a socialist during the Cold War.  To Bernie it is the social organization of affirmative government designed to make life better for humans and all species.   No wonder young people like him.
      Now in Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In he declares those values as he imagines them becoming future reality, if all who share his values work together as they did during his campaign.
     The book is divided into two parts.  One, “Running for President.”   It’s a quick summary of Outsider in the White House and his campaign for president, and a good reminder of the man. Two, “An Agenda for a New America: How We Transform Our Country” explains that domestic agenda in ten chapters.  His basic position on each will be clear to all who followed his campaign (single payer health care for all etc.), and here each is clearly explained both by subject and method.  One position that wasn’t as well explained during the campaign as the others—climate change--, because the debate interviewers never asked about it, he provides in “Combatting Climate Change.” 
      In all, the domestic goal of affirmative government for all the citizens is forcefully asserted.  In Outsider Bernie is quoted as saying: “’We’ve got to create a progressive agenda and rally people around that agenda.’”  He accomplished both.   Our Revolution is intended to keep that momentum going.
     His “Conclusion” is a call to his supporters to continue “our revolution,” “the fight for economic, social, racial, and environmental justice.  The fight to defeat the greed of the billionaire class.”  It’s a call to all Bernies to “change our culture.”  And on his final page Bernie presents two lists of the “objective problems” we face:  “a rigged economy, a corrupt campaign finance system, a broken criminal justice system, and the extraordinary threat of climate change”; “greed, consumerism, oligarchy, poverty, war, racism, and environmental degradation.”  But the greater problem is the establishment propaganda system that “tells us every day, in a million different ways, that real change is unthinkable and impossible.”   In his last paragraphs he draws from Barack Obama’s first campaign to urge us to believe “Yes. We can.”  
     As you see, one major absence in his revolution is foreign policy: he does not include in his agenda US militarism and empire.   He does mention “the importance of developing a foreign policy that values diplomacy over war” (p. 2, and includes ‘war’ among our problems his last page, 447), but it is not in Part Two, his “Agenda for a New America” (nor was it during his campaign).  I suppose the general public acceptance of the Pentagon budget and military dominance of the planet is simply too overwhelming.  Who can blame him?  All presidents have promoted expansion.  I cannot believe, however, he agrees with the US national security warfare imperial state as it exists today.  And although he was better than the other candidates of the two major parties (Jill Stein and the Greens presented a peace platform), for me his reticence on the subject is a major weakness in his progressive revolution.   While we work for the success of his domestic policies, we must simultaneously work to ensure his commitment to diplomacy over war.  And then we will have fully a candidate for a future to believe in.    1-19-17

What a Bernie Sanders Presidency Would Look Like: The possibilities of an “organizer-in-chief.”

WE HAVE A DECADE TO TRANSFORM THE U.S. ECONOMY TO STAVE OFF CLIMATE CATASTROPHE, and Bernie Sanders has the only agenda to do so and the only mobilization strategy to get it done. No plan for a better future is worthwhile if environmental crisis renders our future unimaginably bleak.
As Naomi Klein notes, this planetary emergency “entered mainstream consciousness” in the 1980s as the Right and big business launched an “ideological war … on the very idea of the collective sphere.” To take the collective action needed to phase out fossil fuels, our next president must build a foreign policy of radical cooperation alongside a new domestic politics of inclusion—or else witness a racist, nationalist, far-right politics expand its divisive power.
Sanders is the only presidential candidate who has put forward a genuine Green New Deal, a plan to radically remake the economy to serve ordinary people rather than just “greening” the economic system that threatens to end human society as we know it. His Green New Deal would dismantle the fossil fuel industry and put a renewable energy system under democratic control, working with governments around the world to achieve what the science demands.
Sanders’ proposals go beyond piecemeal liberal solutions by targeting the unjust economic system that fuels climate change and pushing an agenda that simultaneously empowers workers and saves the planet. This agenda would help millions of workers join unions, give workers an ownership stake in major corporations, provide universal healthcare and tuition-free higher education, build millions of affordable homes and protect (rather than target) immigrants.   MORE   http://inthesetimes.com/features/Bernie-Sanders-presidency-climate-mobilization.html
Neoliberalism has divided us across borders and atomized our personal lives, leading us to blame ourselves for problems caused by a rigged system. This moment demands a new politics that unites us to confront our shared enemies and transform our society. Sanders consistently argues, “Beating Trump is not good enough.” This is an understatement. The world quite literally depends upon a political revolution. And only Sanders has a plan for that. 

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.  Global Warming of 1.5Degrees C:  An IPCC Special Report.  Geneva: World Meteorological Organization, 2018.  “Summary for Policy-makers.”  This is part of the 6th “Assessment,” which made a powerful impact.  The IPCC has published reports since the early 1990s.  Google for commentary.
www.ipcc.ch › ...   An IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty.

Greg Carlock and Emily Mangan.  A Green New Deal: A Progressive Vision for Environmental Sustainability and Economic Stability.
The popularity of progressive policies has been rising steadily since the 2016 Presidential Election season and has increasingly moved the Democratic Party in a more progressive direction. Mounting concern over economic inequality, injustice, and the threats of climate change are leading an increasing number of progressive candidates to call for more dramatic action. They propose an equitable transition to a 21st century economy and clean energy revolution that guarantees clean air and water, modernizes national infrastructure, and creates high-quality jobs.
FIRST  A Green New Deal is necessary to meet the scale and urgency of environmental challenges facing the United States, based on the best available research.
SECOND  A Green New Deal can bring job growth and economic opportunity, with particular focus on historically disadvantaged and vulnerable communities.
THIRD  A Green New Deal is popular among American voters and can mobilize them in 2018.
FOURTH  A Green New Deal can be executed in a way that is environmentally just and distributes benefits equitably.
FINALLY  A Green New Deal is financially feasible and necessary.  MORE

(“House Resolution 109, 116th Congress , 1st Session H. H. Res. 109, Introduced January 3, 2019, by Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal.”  https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-resolution/109
“House Resolution 52, Introduced July 9, 2019, by Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and others, Expressing the sense of Congress that there is a climate emergency which demands a massive-scale mobilization to halt, reverse, and address its consequences and causes.” https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/116/hconres52/text
Also see Stan Cox, The Green New Deal and Beyond for the texts.
Two main goals:  1) stop the warming, 2) accomplish it fairly to all.
See the excellent 7-minute film produced by The Intercept and Naomi Klein, A Message from the Future with Alexandria  Ocasio-Cortez.” It tells the story of the GND in retrospect. “ (xxxhttps://theintercept.com/2019/04/17/green-new-deal-short-film-alexandria-ocasio-cortez/?utm_source=The+Intercept+Newsletter&utm_campaign=dc60b6ce22-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_04_17_GND&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e00a5122d3-dc60b6ce22-131867277  ). 

     The book begins with metaphor and narrative—the story of Greta Thunberg, at the end of which (p. 16) we are told she is the most recent and maybe most inspiring spark of the climate strikers, who are “the wildfire.”   She and they are on fire against the causes of a planet ON FIRE.   (The chief metaphor of fire, assumes additional meanings as her story progresses; for example chapter 11, “Season of Smoke,” fires ravage the planet, and we “wildfires” become “backfires.” “This book [is] made up of long-form reporting, think pieces, and public talks written over the span of a decade” about the stories, the explanations that “underpin Western culture,” for centuries  told by the those who dominated land and the people. The result of that culture has been  “…trillions for endless wars, bank bailouts, and subsidies for fossil fuels,” but little for “climate transition.”
     But at last an alternative “bold vision” is gaining traction—labeled the Green New Deal (arising from the years of experiments of the New Deal), and Naomi Klein has become both its chronicler and its advocate. 
      How all these 17 anecdotes, think pieces, and lectures in support of a Green New Deal cohere she explains in the remaining pages of the Introduction.  Essentially all arise from her claim that capitalism, but especially US capitalism, has produced catastrophic climate change.  It is incapable of doing otherwise, and we must find an alternative economic system, and quickly.   --Dick  1-5-19

     The Introduction, “We are the Wildfire,” begins with Greta Thunberg and the failure of many world governments to accept the overwhelming scientific evidence against fossil fuels and to obey their obligation under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change  (that all signed), and to lead the way on emission reduction.  To the contrary, countries like the US and Australia increased FF production and use.  This failure and consequent climate crisis she traces to the economic system of limitless consumption, ecological depletion, brutal expropriation of lands and resources, and global inequality.
     In response, resistance--by the UN, scientists, IPCC, a “People’s Emergency,” blockades, Indigenous people, divestments, carbon taxes, 2014 People’s Climate March, student strikes, the Extinction Rebellion, Sunrise Movement--has led to an outline proposal for the GREEN NEW DEAL stated in her subtitle.
    She then concentrates on fourteen events during the past decade (2010-2019) that elaborate the failure and the resistance leading to the GND: for example,  “A Hole in the World” (2010, the BP oil spill), “Capitalism vs. the Climate” (2011, the subtitle of her earlier book This Changes Everything), “When Science Says That Political Revolution Is Our Only Hope” (2013, from just getting the facts to engaging them politically), “The Leap Years” (2016, the Canadian “Leap Manifesto” she helped to write), “Hot Take on a Hot Planet”  (2016, Trump v. climate justice), “Season of Smoke” (2017, fires ravaging the planet).
   On the basis of this experience, she writes three concluding chapters to advocate a GND—that we must engage in climate politics, we must not lose our commitment to the human potential and to affirmative government, and “Epilogue: The Capsule Case for a Green New Deal.”
      She ends with hope and resolution.  We are not alone in resisting the catastrophic economic system: “…there are tens of thousands of people, and a great many organizations, who have been preparing for a Green New Deal.”   And her son Toma “reminds us [she and her husband] daily that failure is not an option.”
I hope to see you today, but even more I hope you read this book.  Let me know what you think.

Notes by Dick Bennett
Foreword by Naomi Klein
The purpose of AO-C’s Resolution was to provide a rough plan to move to zero CO2 emissions quickly via “big and bold ideas” to arouse the leaders, the people having begun decades ago, going back to the New Deal of the 1930s.  We will be sustained by the dream of transformation of our society away from the ecological collapse and economic inequality caused by US capitalism.
     The nation is in revolt against the “coastal, drought-ravaged, and wild-fire-scorched” destruction of communities around our country.  All politics have become climate politics (3).   We have learned that “capitalism is incompatible with environmental sustainability” (5); that an economic system in which “a tiny number of people direct most major investment to maximize profits” for a few  and “shape government action” to ensure it, is an unjust system (4).
    But we have also learned through the New Deal of the 1930s ”what concerted public action can do” to transform the country for the enhancement of life for most people.   Economic inequality is wrong not only because of the suffering it causes the majority of the public but because it perpetuates the elitist 1% status quo (7).
   The huge subject necessitated focusing mainly on the 2020s, and some subjects had to be omitted (food systems, refugees) in order to “explore a handful of core climate battlegrounds with fresh eyes”:  ending fossil extraction, converting private utilities to public, supporting organized labor and guaranteed green jobs, connecting clean energy to housing, transit, and recreation, and “strengthen…egalitarian climate action around the world” (8). 
     The climate calamity is coming, but we can prevent the worst from happening if we act now on all fronts to realize the vision of a “radical Green New Deal.”   (My italics: The authors add this qualifier so often I am tempted to use the acronym RGND.)   The RGND “is the most ambitious and exciting plan we’ve ever seen in mainstream politics.  We want to help articulate its vision—and flesh out some details” (9).   Read this inspiring Introduction to GND of only 34pp.

Chapter 1 “Bury the Fossils”
     This chapter is about carbon, its heat, its causers, consequences, and its cure. 
       The opening pages of the chapter declare the cause and cure: ”…ninety greenhouse-gas-producing companies…have been responsible for two-thirds of planet-warming emissions…half of those …in the last thirty years” (36).  Projected new oil and gas development in the US could unlock carbon equivalent to the lifetime emission of 1,000 coal-fired power plants.  And the ff companies are unceasingly “hunting for new reserves and new ways to extract from them.”  Their owners’ plan is to “burn every last drop.” The consequence will be the deaths of perhaps billions of people and erasure of human civilization, not to mention all the other species already extinct or facing extinction.  The CEOs and investors know and choose this behavior for private profit. 
     What to do?  The People know.  They  must now delay no longer.   We must name and shame these criminal (60) fossil fuel CEOs and private utility executives and investors, these enemies of life, these killers of millions.  Then the  people must seize control of our profit-driven energy system and dismantle it.    We must use supply-side methods--ban fracking, phase out subsidies, tax carbon, and demand methods-- pass pro-renewable regulations and government procurement.  But above all we must meet fossil political power head-on by restricting supply in every way possible and as severely as possible (44-50), particularly by public ownership: buying the companies, making them public (53).   
Chapter 2 “Strike for Sunshine”
     This chapter is about climate justice, a just transition, jobs for all, workers’ rights, New Deal public works, remaking everything, with equity of care, recreation for all, building a new world on scale of WWII mobilization—but it will exact struggle.
Chapter 3, “Rebuilding the World” (for climate justice) (RGND)
     From New Deal to GND, changing the energy system, the grid; transforming housing (118), transportation (129), recreation (133); for all, equity.
Chapter 4, “”Recharging Internationalism” (139-169)
Replacing fossil fuels with renewables might simply move capitalists to as acquisitive an exploitation of minerals essential to solar and wind.  “The greatest obstacle to global climate justice” is the US.   So “…the way forward on global climate action isn’t just through more international negotiations—it also requires tackling the places where the institutions of the global economy meet the climate crisis” (140; e.g. Chile’s lithium).     “An effective Green New Deal is an internationalist one” (169).
Conclusion: Freedom to Live
Summary of the [R]GND’s vision of the future from “eco-apartheid” of right-wing nationalism to the egalitarian internationalism of “eco-socialism”: “rapid decarbonization, safeguards against extreme weather, and a long-term shift from the hyperprivatized consumption of things to the collective enjoyment of public services, pleasures, and time….” (172).  You have to imagine a better world before you will work for it.  Bernie and RGND showed the way.  (And we have only a decade to make a difference.  –D)
Dick Bennett     6-11-20

The Case for the Green New Deal by Ann Pettifor.  Verso, 2019.

Publisher’s summary:
Top of Form
Bottom of Form
What is the Green New Deal and how can we afford it?
To protect the future of life on earth, we need to do more than just reimagine the economy—we have to change everything. One of the seminal thinkers of the program that helped ignite the US Green New Deal campaign, Ann Pettifor explains how we can afford what we can do, and what we need to do, before it is too late.
 The Case for the Green New Deal succinctly explains what the GND is, where the idea came from, why it’s necessary, and how to make it happen. As an economist and expert in monetary theory, Pettifor is uniquely well placed to describe how the GND can be funded.” – Morning Star
DICK’S SUMMARY OF CHAP. 6, THE FINAL CHAPTER, “The Green New Deal: Transforming Our World”
     The original proposal by AO-C has one big idea to defend US democracy by subordinating the financial system to the needs of society and the ecosystem.  As the saying goes on Facebook, her message went viral
     Immediately articles and books were written, talks and forums presented, asking how we can harness of the power of the people to transform US capitalism into an economy that serves humans and nature.  Longtime, active members of OMNI’s CBF are familiar with the many transition arguments.  We have read books by Christians, Marxists, Native Americans, and many other perspectives, small and large.  The GND vision is large.   The book commentaries tackle the how.
     Ann Pettifor, a world-class economist, in her book The Case for the Green New Deal explains the nuts-and-bolts of the process on a national level.
     First, the tax-paying People must understand their immense potential power.  At present that power is greatly misdirected and misapplied in the US and many countries to guarantee the globalized, deregulated private financial sector.
     But that power could be converted to guarantee and endorse public needs.
*Reconceive public debt as a public good.  Public debt now serves the unregulated 1% by generating income and leveraging additional finance for them.  Public debt in contrast, by which the nation borrows from itself (its taxpayers safe collateral) would enrich the citizens as a whole.
*At present the wealthy have scooped up the enormous quantities of the world’s savings (such as asset management funds, pension funds, and insurance companies).  Black Rock, e.g., held in 2019 about $6 trillion.  These vast sums cannot be safely deposited in traditional banks, so they are loaned out in a process called “repo.”  Then these assets are used as collateral to invest in speculation markets.  And these markets are built on government debt (borrowing from banks, subsidies to companies).   The government could use its citizens’ money by borrowing it and investing in infrastructure and a good health system.
      This citizen power is now suppressed by the active machinations of the moneyed class, including the constant successful propaganda in favor of that financial system and against “socialism.”   But the people can convert the subsidies to companies to regulate the financial sector to the interests of society/humanity and nature/ecosystem.
      This conversion could be accomplished rapidly.  The obstacle is not only the enormous system itself but human imagination: overcoming the long brainwashing that deregulated, profit-first capitalism is the only rational way to organize society.  But the US overcame the lethal power of the tobacco industry.  Europe closed all of its airports in 2010 when a volcano filled the atmosphere with a dust lethal to aircraft engines.   [And covid19 shut down all the airports of the world, without the sky falling.]   The Jubilee 2000 campaign forced the IMF, World Bank, and other powerful institutions to cancel $100 billion of the debts of 35 low-income countries.   Also, remarkable infrastructures can be built quickly with government financing: note the British railroads during the 19th century, the New Deal’s Rural Electrification, and the internet.
     The GND demands, and we must and can: 1) force the top 20 percent  of the world’s big emitters of CO2 to “radically reduce their carbon use”; 2) establish “carbon equity” between N and S; and 3) build a just social and economic world “based upon altruism, cooperation, and collective responsibility.”
   We can make “the structural change to the global financial and economic system” to counter “the gravest crisis humanity has ever faced.”

No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference.  Penguin, 2019 (2nd ed.).  2019 ANTHOLOGY OF 2018-19 SPEECHES (Sept. to Sept.), 16 chapters, no Index.
Publisher’s SummaryFROM
The history-making, ground-breaking speeches of Greta Thunberg, the young activist who has become the voice of a generation
'Everything needs to change. And it has to start today'
In August 2018 a fifteen-year-old Swedish girl, Greta Thunberg, decided not to go to school one day. Her actions ended up sparking a global movement for action against the climate crisis, inspiring millions of pupils to go on strike for our planet, forcing governments to listen, and earning her a Nobel Peace Prize nomination.
This book brings you Greta in her own words, for the first time. Collecting her speeches that have made history across Europe, from the UN to mass street protests, No One Is Too Small to Make A Difference is a rallying cry for why we must all wake up and fight to protect the living planet, no matter how powerless we feel. Our future depends upon it.

INDEX to 2nd ed. by Dick   (The following entries provide a sample from  chapters 1 and 14-16, small pages.)  I wanted to show especially how densely packed her thinking is at age 15-16 with the key terms of the struggle against the economic system and global warming, and how keenly she perceived the two main concepts directing the struggle: 1) stop C02 emissions, 2) justly to all.
(Indexes: a good index is quick way to know main themes of a book, to know what’s on author’s mind (AND what’s omitted), to compare one book to another, to turn a book into action.)
Business as usual, 98
action now, 87
Canada, 100
catastrophe, catastrophic change, 4
centigrade, 2 C global temperature rise, 2
centigrade, 1.5 C global temperature rise, 103
change, le changement, 108, passim
chain reactions, irreversible, 97
children, 4, 104
climate change, passim (it’s not merely change)
climate justice, 91 (see equity)
CO2 budget, 98, 103 (see emissions)
crisis/emergency, acute crisis, climate crisis, ecological crisis, 3, 4, 102, 105, passim
cutting emissions, 97
D-Day, 93
demonstrations, 105
dreams, 85-6, fairy tales, and truth 86
emergency/crisis, 85, 87, 104
emissions, 97 (see CO2)
emissions budget, 90
equity, 89, 91, 104 (see climate justice) (see :science)
extinction (mass, of species 96)
failure of adults, betrayal of youth, 98-9
fairy tales, 85-6,
feedback loops, 104
feel-good stories, of fixes 86
fifty per cent chance/risk, 89, 97
gigatons of emissions, 92
grassroots, bottom up, 105
greenhouse gas emissions, 1
influencers, 3 (see leaders)
infrastructure, 91
IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), 98, 103
IPCC’s SR15 report, p. 108, chapter 2,  2018, 77, 90
Martin Luther King, Jr., 94
leaders, adults,  political, 101 (see power)
march, for the climate, the planet, 101 (strike)
Montreal, 100
newspapers, 3
Paris Agreement, 1, 91, 92 (and USA)
Paris target, 2
party politics, 2, 3, 93, 102
politics, 2, 101
power, people in power, 101 (see influencers)
science, scientists 1, 101, 102, 103, passim
science/reality, 87
science and equity, 89
school strike, 2
solutions to safeguard all, 85
solutions by stopping e.g. emissions,   88
strike, climate strike, 2-3, 100, 101, 102, 104 , 105 (see march), passim
Sweden, 2
Sweden, carbon footprint 2
tipping points, 104
united behind science, 94, 101, united science, and 1.5 degree C limit, 90
UN Climate Action Summit, 101
UN General Assembly denounced 96
urgency, 85, 97
USA, 91 (#1 carbon polluter, #1 producer of oil)
Week for Future (strikes), 105
words, empty words, 2, 101
zero emissions, 91

An idea of great importance to Greta (she derives it from the IPCC’s SR15 report, 2018,  p. 108, chapter 2, which she states many times) is the “420 gigatonnes of CO2 left to emit on 1 January 2018 to have  67 per cent chance of staying below a 1.5degree C global temperature rise.  Now that figure is already down to less than 360 gigatonnes.”  I asked Art to clarify. 

Art Hobson   7-6-20
10:09 AM (4 hours ago)
Once humankind emits CO2 to the atmosphere, it remains there for many centuries (unlike methane, CH4, which clears out within about a century).  Thus, you can think of the atmosphere as sort of a warehouse for the permanent storage of CO2.  This warehouse warms the planet, and the amount of warming energy received per year is proportional to the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere (natural plus human-caused).  It’s possible to roughly predict how much warming you’ll get from any given amount of “stored” CO2, i.e. any given amount of total emissions.  Greta’s figures apparently show that in Jan 2018, the additional total emissions that would (with 2/3 probability) bring temperatures to 1.5 Celsius degrees above pre-industrial levels was 420 billion tonnes of CO2.  For comparison, global emissions in 2017 were 33 billion tonnes, of which the USA emitted 5 billion tonnes.  

I’m not sure what Greta means by “the US budget is gone within 8.5 years.”  I’m guessing this means the fair amount of US emissions for all future time is something like 5 billion tonnes per year times 8.5 years = 42.5 billion tonnes total (about 10% of the total 420 billion total tonnes of CO2).   Thus, for the US to do its part in staying under the 1.5 degree limit, we must reduce our present emissions down to zero over a couple of decades or so—a large order.   

Here’s one thought I’ve had about this recently:  Due to Covid, US annual emissions will actually DECLINE this year, for one of the few times in recent history.  The decline will be significant:  I think more than 5%, probably 10% or more.  Environmentalists must insist that we continue this declining trend until it reaches zero.  EVERY year should see (for example) a 5% decline, even in prosperous years.   INCREASING emissions have always been the norm for the US.  Starting now, this needs to turn into DECREASING emission.  This must be maintained until we reach ZERO emissions.  This won’t solve the problem because too much CO2 will then remain in the atmosphere, but at least we will have stopped making things even worse.   

Another thought:  It’s important to see CO2 emissions the way Greta sees it.  The real limitation is a limit on total emissions, regardless of the annual emission rate.  The ultimate conclusion is that we really must eventually get emissions down to zero.  Getting emissions to 20% of present levels, for example, would still bring eventual disaster.   The goal must be zero fossil fuels, zero net destruction of forests (which also contributes significantly to CO2 increase).   

Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? By Bill McKibben, presenter Dick Bennett (August 4,  2019).
“An Opening Note on Hope”
McKibben was bleak in his 1989 book The End of Nature, and he was bleaker in 2009’s  Eaarth.  The passing years have vindicated his earlier gloom and justify climatologists naming our era the Anthropocene. In Falter, the false optimism of such books as Enlightenment Now by Steven Pinker is exposed.  For “the way power and wealth are currently distributed on our planet” by capitalism has failed to cope with the climate crisis and is “uniquely ill –prepared to cope with the emerging challenges.”
 Yet “resistance to these dangers is at least possible,” as his own life has demonstrated.  We do “have the tools to stand up to entrenched power” of fossil fuel capitalism.  Anyway, “a writer doesn’t owe a reader hope—the only obligation is honesty,” and “engagement, not despair.”
 In the Epilogue, he attacks the idea by a handful of the 1% and their misguided followers of preparing to move to another planet.  One inch of earth is more hospitable to life than all of Mars or Jupiter.
 We are wrecking the earth, “killing vast numbers of ourselves and wiping out entire swaths of other life.”   “But we can also not do that.”  We can put solar panels on every building, we can replace ourselves by robots or not.  He suspects we will not make the choices to “accept with grace our humanity.”   “…we are faltering now, and the human game has…begun to play itself out.”  “But we could make those [human] choices.  We have the tools (nonviolence chief among them) to allow us to stand up to the powerful and the reckless, and we have the fundamental idea of human solidarity”
       The clue to unlock this huge project is in his definition of “the human game—the sum total of culture and commerce and politics; of religion and sport and social life; of dance and music; of dinner and art and cancer and sex and Instagram; of love and loss; of everything that comprises the experience of our species” (8).  The book is Bill McKibben’s compendiously rich celebration of our species, warts and all, and simultaneously its requiem.    
 But I am watching what I am writing: wrangling over McKibben’s plusses and minuses, when his deepest point about our future is: “…we are faltering now; and the human game has indeed begun to play itself out.  That’s what the relentless rise in temperature tells us.”   But we could end our planetary experience not, as do our leaders reckless for growth and power, but “lightly, carefully, gracefully” (Eaarth 212)—with solar panels on all roofs, nonviolently, and our idea of human solidarity and love.
I recommend the purchase and reading of McKibben’s guidebooks to the Anthropocene.   He calls to us all urgently to be engaged in politics.  
Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? By Bill McKibben.
Dick on McKibben and the GND 7-8-20
     Almost a year after my brief talk on Falter (8-4-20), I have read several books on the Green New Deal (GND), and my present notes are written with the GND in mind.   As I said in my talk, McKibben’s Eaarth is a restatement of The End of Nature, and Falter restates them, but now with awareness of the GND movement, of which he is a major spokesman and organizer.
       Immediately following a description of the astounding mobilization of the US to eventually defeat the Axis powers, he discusses glowingly the GND.  “If (as the proposal for a Green New Deal envisions) we did something like that again, in the name of stopping climate change instead of fascism, we wouldn’t have to kill a soul. In fact, we’d be saving great numbers of lives that would otherwise be lost not just from global warming but from breathing in the smoke of fossil fuel combustion.  (The latest global data show that meeting the boldest climate targets set at the Paris talks would save 150 million lives, or roughly twice the number who died in World War II.)  And we wouldn’t have to do it in mortal competition with the rest of the globe; this is a chance for cooperation on a new scale….” (214).   “…by early 2019 pollsters reported that 80 percent of Democrats and 60% of Republicans backed the idea [of a Congressional committee in a GND], or at least the slogan” (222).
     Nonviolence is its central principle for change; it is “one of the signal inventions of our time,” because it confronts “power and money and justice” and can change “hearts as well as minds” (200-221).  He meant serious, non-violent, mass protest, including civil disobedience, the success of which had been proven in the long delay of the Keystone Pipeline.   N-V can mobilize the large numbers of citizens needed to pressure leaders in the White House and the states to build the solar factories and wind turbines and batteries to “defeat climate change,” as we did at the beginning of WWII, within months building the “world’s largest industrial plant under a single roof” and “churning out a B-24 Liberator bomber every hour.”  Energy transition is easy compared to that, and, like WWII, not a question of technical knowhow or economic feasibility, but of political will (212-213).
       That is, struggle.   And the strike is one of its most powerful instruments for changing entrenched power.  The adult child Greta Thunberg understood that with instant clarity when she walked out of her classroom, sat down at Sweden’s Parliament, and advocated striking in speech after speech.  

The Green New Deal and Beyond: Ending the Climate Emergency While We Still Can by Stan Cox..  Foreword by Noam Chomsky.  City Lights, 2020.
Top of Form


A clear and urgent call for the national, social, and individual changes required to prevent catastrophic climate change.
"An iconoclast of the best kind, Stan Cox has an all-too-rare commitment to following arguments wherever they lead, however politically dangerous that turns out to be."—Naomi Klein, author of On Fire: The (Burning) Case for the New Green Deal
"Moving to zero net carbon emissions, and fast, is the point of Stan Cox's important new study, The Green New Deal and Beyond. Cox advocates on behalf of the GND as one step of several we need to take to stabilize the planet."—Noam Chomsky, from the book's foreword
The prospect of a Green New Deal is providing millions of people with a sense of hope. If the legislation passes into law, enacting its plan will begin a national mobilization on a scale not seen in the U.S. since World War II. But will it be enough to prevent climate disaster?
Scientists warn there is little time left to take the actions needed. We are at a critical point, and while the Green New Deal will be a step in the right direction, we need to do more—right now—to avoid catastrophe. In The Green New Deal and Beyond, author and plant scientist Stan Cox explains why we must abolish the use of fossil fuels as soon as possible, and how it can be done. He addresses a host of glaring issues not mentioned in the GND and guides us through visionary, achievable ideas for working toward a solution to the deepening crisis. It's up to each of us, Cox writes, to play key roles in catalyzing the necessary transformation.
"Stan Cox isn't just another member of the chorus speaking truth to power about climate change. He has the courage, intelligence and resolve in this vital book to speak truth to the half-formed plans that are currently being offered as a balm to the crisis. The difficult truth is that we're going to need radical change in the way we all live our lives. With analysis as crystal clear as his prose, Cox explains why. His is a warning well worth heeding, and sharing, while we still have time."—Raj Patel, co-author of A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things: A Guide to Capitalism, Nature, and the Future of the Planet
"A Green New Deal is crucial as our planet rapidly approaches 1.5°C of global heating. Unfortunately, it's no longer enough: we will also need to ration fossil fuel. In this important and readable book, Stan Cox moves the Overton window away from false hope and toward a more realistic path for avoiding climate catastrophe."—Dr. Peter Kalmus, NASA climate scientist and author of Being the Change: Live Well and Spark a Climate Revolution
"Stan Cox makes the rare but much needed point that if the economic system can't tolerate our doing what is necessary to prevent ecological breakdown, then it's the system that needs to be changed. He speaks with clarity and historical grounding about the fact that half measures will still take us off a cliff, yet follows with what can—and must—be done. Be inspired, and support what must happen to create conditions conducive to life. A low-energy society will lead us closer to peace and a healthy, sustainable planet."—Jodie Evans, co-founder of CODEPINK and board chair at Rainforest Action Network
"In The Green New Deal and Beyond, Stan Cox presents a smart, sane, and plausibly optimistic alternative to abandoning all hope."—David Owen, author of Volume Control: Hearing in a Deafening World
"Change is inevitable. The question is who controls the change. Indigenous Peoples' covenant with Mother Earth was the original Green Deal, yet our communities have been laid to waste by the economics of the Wiindigo—the monster of settler colonialism. For too long, we've relinquished control over our future to corporations and governments that have brought us to the present crisis. Across the world, people with vision, hope, and commitment are making plans and building infrastructure for our future. The teachings of Indigenous Peoples are still here, and it's up to the present generation to muster the courage and resources to follow those instructions. Stan Cox reminds us of this historic dialogue and development of the Green New Deal, and helps us find the path back to those instructions."—Winona LaDuke (Anishinaabe), is the author of many books, including All Our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life and LaDuke Chronicles
"A searing and provocative critique of our growth-based oil economy. Stan Cox suggests remedies that should ignite lively discussion and intense debate, which is sorely needed. A must-read for those who care about our shared planetary future."—Mary Evelyn Tucker, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, co-author, Journey of the Universe
"If we as a species are going to survive climate change, we need a plan that is urgent, imaginative, and actionable. On most days, that struggle can feel hopeless. But reading Stan Cox and The Green New Deal and Beyond—analysis that's both innovative and pragmatic—it's hard not to feel like we just might have a fighting chance. An invaluable contribution to what must become an unprecedented international revolution."—Will Potter, author of Green Is the New Red: An Insider's Account of a Social Movement Under Siege
"Stan Cox brought us back to the 99 steps of our pre-apocalypse—and these are the steps we feel that we walk every hour—but he leads us through it all with such clarity and common sense, you never catch him trying to be persuasive. He just teaches completely, leaving us knowing what the Earth wants us to know, as fossil fuel is stopped, as millions of us take the necessary step."—Reverend Billy Talen, author of The Earth Wants YOU

Dick’s Notes on Cox’s The Green New Deal and Beyond
Chapter One, Growth and Limits: 1933-2016
Chapter Two, “What the Hell Happened?”: 2016-2020
Chapter Three, the Road to Cornucopia Isn’t Paved
Chapter Four, Off-Ramp Ahead
Chapter 5, Justice for the Whole Earth

Chomsky weighs the strengths and weaknesses of the GND
     The climate’s “threat of destruction of organized human life. . .unique in human history” differs from the time 65 million years ago when an asteroid hit the Earth, in that “we can make a choice.”  Chomsky weaves these two themes deftly toward his qualified endorsement of the Green New Deal.
     We are proceeding “toward a catastrophe of unimaginable proportions.  We are approaching perilously close to the global temperatures of 120,000 years ago.” The Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organization declared in 2019: “’It’s more urgent than ever to proceed with mitigation.”  We do have a solution: “get rid of fossil fuels,” but we have little time, and “the most powerful state in human history is under the leadership…a gang of criminals” and a President who “calls for cancelling new automotive emission standards.”
     The GND “moves us in the right direction….the general idea is quite right,” for we have the research “explaining exactly how it could work,” especially the increasing government/public support of renewable energy, and the removal of all subsidies to the entire FF fuel industry.  However, our task is harder than that of the New Deal advocates because we lack the strong support from the federal government and from the large-scale labor union movement enjoyed by the Roosevelt New Deal and several years after his death.
      Thus we must face the crisis, and move to zero net carbon emissions quickly, as the 2018 IPCC report explained.  Stan Cox also stresses the elimination of fossil fuels, and he adds what we see in other GND advocacy: it must also break with the social, racial, environmental, and especially economic injustice of US capitalism.
       And GND advocates possess a special understanding that significantly enhances their possibility of success: they are “engaged in unremitting action to implement changes on the ground, to pass legislation.”

[Chomsky criticizes the GND that it “does not challenge the fossil-fuel industry.”
     “In fact [writes Chomsky], the term ‘fossil fuels’ appears nowhere in the Congressional GND resolutions, and the GND think tanks are not stressing the elimination of fossil fuels” (xxi).  The first of these two claims is literally true, which Stan Cox helpfully enables us to verify by giving the full texts of House Resolutions 109 and 52 as appendices.  (As Rifkin points out in his chapter 2, the GND has a long history.  It is the new New Deal, which itself was under construction when Roosevelt died and continued developing for three decades (the EPA was created in 1973).   As the 1964 Civil Rights Act was shored up by additional Acts and books and articles, HR 109 was clarified and reinforced by HR 52 seven months later; together they are “the Resolution” so often unspecified.)  
     Chomsky, of course, is literally correct, but Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s HR 109  refers to “reducing” or “removing” “greenhouse gas emissions from human sources,” or “greenhouse gas emissions,” or “gas emissions,” or “emissions” (or producing “zero emissions”) 14 times in her 8+ pages.   And greenhouse gas emissions include notably CO2.  Yes, in order to get such a massive critique of US fossil fuels capitalism accepted by the House, perhaps Ms. Ocasio-Cortez did tone down her language and did not lambast Exxon-Mobil.
       But the reinforcement of HR 109 by HR 52 with Ms. Ocasio-Cortez as first sponsor refers to fossil fuels (ff) three times forcefully: atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases have substantially increased “primarily due to human activities, including burning fossil fuels” (138); “the climate emergency will require…phase-out of oil, gas, and coal to keep fossil fuels in the ground” (142); and the perpetrators of the climate crisis and those who have benefitted by delaying a ff-free economy should be held accountable (143).
      The truth of Chomsky’s other allegation, that “the GND think tanks are not stressing the elimination of fossil fuel,” I’ll hand over to other fact-checkers, but I suspect his fact-checkers stumbled .  Dick]

INTRODUCTION xxiii-xxxi, Notes 145-
      Cox opens with facts about rising temperature from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2018 repeating its warnings of global catastrophe.   (The IPCC’s reports began in early 1990s. OMNI’s Climate Book Forum has been studying the IPCC reports since the Forum began in 2006,)    We must not exceed 1.5 degrees C higher than it was in the pre-fossil fuel era, or “the world will risk widespread ecological destruction and human suffering.” We are 1.2 C higher.  The UN’s 2019 Emissions Gap Report warns world to turn around global greenhouse gas emissions “immediately and start falling.”   Green New Deal advocates are those who 1) understand this emergency and have been pushing a plan for cutting net US emissions to zero, 2) “through a just transition to an economy that runs on non-fossil energy” (xxiii).  (Cox provides the two Congressional resolutions promoting the GND from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in his Appendicies. See Rifkin, Chapter 2.).
       The GND’s visionary achievements are notable (referring to the last two years), as the 2 Resolutions and the numerous books and articles (and Cox’s book) reveal: taxing the fossil fuels, requirein energy companies to buy permits, providing owners incentives to produce or buy solar and wind, reducing consumption, and much more.             
       But more is needed if we are rapidly to eliminate fossil fuels and reverse the widespread ecological damage done by the pursuit of growth.  There is no time for market solutions.  It’s like a “tanker truck…doing a U-turn at 80 miles an hour.”  The market’s response to the development of non-fossil fuel energy will not inevitably be to replace fossil fuels, but might only increase energy capacity (see Chapter Three.)
     What is needed is “a mandatory, impervious cap on the quantity of fossil fuels entering the economy: one that lowers year by year, and is accompanied by…fair-share rationing of energy” (see Chapter Four).  
    GND adherents understand the thoroughly political nature of this 180 degree turn.  Direct political action is necessary; that is, legislation: laws must be passed.
    The IPCC’s 2018 report sets forth the irreversible damage and losses ahead if warming is allowed to rise past 1.5 C and if it rises past 2 degrees.  Our aim therefore must be “immediate, steep annual reductions.”  “There is no time for experimentation”; we must “drive emissions down to zero in time, without fail.”
     “Legislation for direct, rapid, and equitable elimination of fossil fuels, along with ecological renewal that goes beyond climate mitigation, will be keys to achieving the Green New Deal’s vision” (xxix).
     “…we must keep at the center of the public debate the most urgent question of all: What actions must be undertaken to eliminate greenhouse emissions in time?”(xxvii). (my color). 

     The rich nations plundered and looted the poor nations . 113-4.  We can change that imperial injustice and create a fairer world in many ways.  114.
Focus on Land Use 114-18
     IPCC Report 2019 on impacts of land use on climate another blockbuster.  Quarter of greenhouse gas emissions from land misuse, etc. 115.  Some carbon cap programs reduce net emissions and restore ecosystem health, but a main one—cap and trade carbon offsets—is a “shell game.”  116
     Indigenous people, the main victims of carbon offsets, are now seeking and sometimes winning restorative/distributive justice.  117-118.  
     Affluent, hyper-consuming countries have benefitted from their emissions, but now is the time to reverse that inequity.  119.   
      Green New Deal advocates fair energy allocation.  120.
     Since 1992, the affluent emitters have ruled via climate denial.  When the evidence became overwhelming, they adjusted to “soft denial,” pretending half-measures will prevent the calamity.  121
     But what is needed is “ambitious, effective,” national and international political action by all governmental bodies but particularly at the highest national level, if we are to end fossil fuels and stop global temeratures from rising in time to prevent the worst. 
Above all, we must stop growth “now, and through the next decade, maybe two”:  we must free ourselves of fossil fuels and ensure fair shares for all.  123

Bigger than Bernie: How We Go from the Sanders Campaign to Democratic Socialism by Meagan Day and Micah Uetricht.  Verso, 2020.  256 pp. 
 “How can we take all the energy that [Bernie Sanders’s] candidacies have generated to build a movement that is bigger than a presidential candidate, bigger than a few dozen newly elected socialist representatives, and bigger than anything the US Left has seen in decades?”

Publisher’s Review
Top of Form
Bottom of Form
Win or lose, Bernie has reshaped the landscape of American politics. Where does the political revolution go next?
The political ambitions of the movement behind Bernie Sanders have never been limited to winning the White House. Since Bernie first entered the presidential primaries in 2016, his supporters have worked to organize a revolution intended to encourage the active participation of millions of ordinary people in political life. That revolution is already underway, as evidenced by the massive growth of the Democratic Socialists of America, the teachers Bernie motivated to lead strikes across red and blue states, and the rising new generation of radicals in Congress—led by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar—inspired by his example.

In Bigger than Bernie, activist writers Meagan Day and Micah Uetricht give us an intimate map of this emerging movement to remake American politics top to bottom, profiling the grassroots organizers who are building something bigger, and more ambitious, than the career of any one candidate. As participants themselves, Day and Uetricht provide a serious analysis of the prospects for long-term change, offering a strategy for making “political revolution” more than just a campaign slogan. They provide a road map for how to entrench democratic socialism in the halls of power and in our own lives.

Bigger than Bernie offers unmatched insights into the people behind the most unique campaign in modern American history and a clear-eyed sense of how the movement can sustain itself for the long haul.
Bigger Than Bernie offers an important contribution to the urgent debates about rebuilding the American Left. Leading members of the Democratic Socialists of America, Meagan Day and Micah Uetricht link that process to the improbable emergence of Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign and his insistence on ‘Not me, Us.’ Day and Uetricht put flesh on Sanders’s call for a ‘political revolution’ which they see as not only critical to the success of Sanders’ campaign, but the revitalization of class struggle politics and organizing in the US. Buy, read, discuss and debate this book!”  – Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, author of From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation
“Meagan Day and Micah Uetricht are two of the most brilliant and courageous intellectuals organically grounded in the marvelous militancy of the Sanders Movement. This indispensable book is a powerful, pioneering analysis of these new radical times, and a compelling vision of where it all might be going.”– Cornel West, author of Race Matters
“Hannah Arendt said we should ‘think what we are doing.’ And that is what Meagan Day and Micah Uetricht have done here. Their book not only examines all that democratic socialists have achieved in the past few years but also gives an exhilarating account of what we’ll be doing in the coming years. Anyone who thinks, with dread or relief, that the work comes to an end after Election Day in 2020 will think again. As Day and Uetricht show, the fight for democratic socialism has only just begun, and I’m going to keep coming back to them and their book in order to understand where and how it goes in the future.”– Corey Robin, author of The Enigma of Clarence Thomas
Bigger Than Bernie is a comprehensive and necessary read for those longing for a more humane country, and as someone who has been up close in many of our current fights for justice, I can attest to the power of its analysis. The authors champion non-reformist reforms that arise from and propel social movements, and provide an essential roadmap for achieving permanent change. An energizing and instructive account that brings socialism into the present tense.”  – RoseAnn DeMoro, former executive of National Nurses United
“Part history lesson, part guide book; this is a love letter to the everyday people and movements who transformed this country and who continue to declare that our lives have meaning, and our future is worth fighting for. Bigger than Bernie, isn’t about the man who’s spent the majority of his political career on the fringes. It’s about fighters. It’s about thinkers. It’s about love. It’s about US.”  – Phillip Agnew, co-founder of the Dream Defenders
“An indispensable guide to 21st century socialism from the view of clear eyed, sharp witted, smart, funny authors who lay bare the past failures of angry, narrow sectarianism, and offer a bold, dynamic vision for using the Sanders moment to build a stronger left. These authors, like the magazine they write for [Jacobin], give me hope!”  – Jane McAlevey, author of A Collective Bargain
Chapter 5, “Engines of Solidarity,” Dick’s Notes

        The authors establish the context of the European welfare states where socialists, unionists, and class-conscious workers loosened the capitalist grip on essential goods and services.  We can do this too they fervently affirm.
    They clarify the degrees or stages of economic systems (my thumbnail condensation):  right wing neo-liberal capitalism to capitalism to New Deal capitalism to “class struggle social democracy” to social democracies [Europe] to democratic socialism to socialism.  The authors desire socialism (see p. 145), but they work now for what is possible--social democracy: class consciousness, “capitalist societies with a strong social safety net and high progressive taxation” to pay for it, “decommodification” (putting needed goods and services in public hands), and democracy. 
    Throughout their book, Day and Uetricht praise Bernie Sanders for his leadership in bringing the US forward beyond the New Deal and into class struggle social democracy.  “…Sanders has opened up the intellectual and political space to develop a mass movement of people who are conscious of an alternative to the misery they endure under capitalism, and of their own potential to bring that alternative into being” (147).  
     “The most striking feature about the Sanders campaign is how it emphasizes the power that ordinary working people hold, as long as they are conscious and courageous enough to wield it” (152, my italics).  They quote from his 2019 speech: “’Nothing will change unless we have the guts to take on Wall Street, the insurance industry…the military-industrial complex, and the fossil fuel industry.’” (153).
    And they clarify an important difference between FDR and Bernie: Roosevelt “sought to implement major pro-worker reforms,” Bernie called for “mass political activity from below.”
      But both advocated universal social programs and universal progressive taxation, which have advanced with Bernie’s class-struggle politics to Medicare for All, job guarantee, tuition-free public college, and paid parental leave.
     The chapter ends with high praise for Ocasio-Cortez’s GND resolutions’ call for a national mobilization, concluding: “If anyone but the ultra-wealthy on this planet is to avoid the apocalyptic effects of climate change, we will need the Green New Deal.”  We can do it by ”advancing policies that not only make  people’s lives better but that bind us all together in a common project for our mutual salvation” (170).

April 10, 2020
4 Books and 2 Essays,
Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace, Justice, and Ecology

What’s at Stake:  We have learned many things from covid-19 about how to cope with global warming, including: 1) a pandemic requires a global, international, comprehensive response; we can pay for it; and we must act quickly.   2) Just as knowledge of earlier pandemics assists us in dealing with covid-19, knowledge of the New Deal of the 1930s is important to understanding the Green New Deal, which is imagined as a continuation and extension of the earlier response to global calamity and crisis.  Just as the New Deal evolved in struggle, so too the GND.  Get informed and then join in.
Table of Contents #2
Pettifor, The Case for the GND
Aronoff, et al.  A Planet to Win.  Why We Need a GND
Klein, On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a GND
Rifkin, Why the Fossil Fuel Civilization Will Collapse by 2028, and the Bold Economic Plan to Save Life on Earth
2 Essays
Billy Fleming, “Design and the GND”
“On Fire This Time” by John Bellamy Foster

Contents for GND Newsletter #1  
THE GREEN NEW DEAL NEWSLETTER #1, Books and Essays, October 24, 2019
Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace, Justice, and Ecology
Misc. Recent Responses to the Climate Emergency
Recent Books on the Green New Deal
Naomi Klein, On Fire.  2019.
Jeremy Rifkin, The Green New Deal.  2019.
From the New Deal to the Green New Deal
Jeremy Brecher, Jobs in the GND
Public Citizen’s Support for the GND
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Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)

Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)