Friday, April 10, 2020


4 Books and 2 Essays,
April 10, 2020
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
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 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 argues that economic change is wholly possible, based on the understanding that finance, the economy and the ecosystem are all tightly bound together. The GND demands total decarbonization and a commitment to an economy based on fairness and social justice. It proposes a radical new understanding of the international monetary system. Pettifor offers a roadmap for financial reform both nationally and globally, taking the economy back from the 1%. This is a radical, urgent manifesto that we must act on now.
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
Wages of debt
. (11-28-19) Elon Musk’s new Cybertruck would appear to be the perfect design for America’s contemporary dystopia.   Source    

A Planet to Win: Why We Need a Green New Deal
by Kate AronoffAlyssa BattistoniDaniel Aldana Cohen, and Thea Riofrancos.   Foreword by Naomi Klein.   Verso, 2019.  Publisher’s summary:
In the twenty-first century, all politics are climate politics.
The age of climate gradualism is over, as unprecedented disasters are exacerbated by inequalities of race and class. We need profound, radical change. A Green New Deal can tackle the climate emergency and rampant inequality at the same time. Cutting carbon emissions while winning immediate gains for the many is the only way to build a movement strong enough to defeat big oil, big business, and the super-rich—starting right now.

A Planet to Win explores the political potential and concrete first steps of a Green New Deal. It calls for dismantling the fossil fuel industry, building beautiful landscapes of renewable energy, and guaranteeing climate-friendly work, no-carbon housing, and free public transit. And it shows how a Green New Deal in the United States can strengthen climate justice movements worldwide.

We don't make politics under conditions of our own choosing, and no one would choose this crisis. But crises also present opportunities. We stand on the brink of disaster—but also at the cusp of wondrous, transformative change.
A Planet to Win comes at the perfect moment, challenging us to find hope and build a more just world in the face of catastrophe. The authors outline transformative solutions to the climate crisis that are economically viable and politically possible—if we organize and fight to win.”  – Varshini Prakash, Executive Director, Sunrise Movement   MORE

Naomi Klein.  On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal. Simon and Schuster, 2019.
#1 international and New York Times bestselling author Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine and This Changes Everything, makes the case for a Green New Deal—explaining how bold climate action can be a blueprint for a just and thriving society.
Publisher’s summary:

For more than twenty years, Naomi Klein has been the foremost chronicler of the economic war waged on both people and planet—and an unapologetic champion of a sweeping environmental agenda with justice at its center. In lucid, elegant dispatches from the frontlines of contemporary natural disaster, she pens surging, indispensable essays for a wide public: prescient advisories and dire warnings of what future awaits us if we refuse to act, as well as hopeful glimpses of a far better future. On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal gathers for the first time more than a decade of her impassioned writing, and pairs it with new material on the staggeringly high stakes of our immediate political and economic choices.

These long-form essays show Klein at her most prophetic and philosophical, investigating the climate crisis not only as a profound political challenge but as a spiritual and imaginative one, as well. Delving into topics ranging from the clash between ecological time and our culture of “perpetual now,” to the soaring history of humans changing and evolving rapidly in the face of grave threats, to rising white supremacy and fortressed borders as a form of “climate barbarism,” this is a rousing call to action for a planet on the brink.

With reports spanning from the ghostly Great Barrier Reef, to the annual smoke-choked skies of the Pacific Northwest, to post-hurricane Puerto Rico, to a Vatican attempting an unprecedented “ecological conversion,” Klein makes the case that we will rise to the existential challenge of climate change only if we are willing to transform the systems that produced this crisis.

An expansive, far-ranging exploration that sees the battle for a greener world as indistinguishable from the fight for our lives, On Fire captures the burning urgency of the climate crisis, as well as the fiery energy of a rising political movement demanding a catalytic Green New Deal.

Jeremy Rifkin.  Why the Fossil Fuel Civilization Will Collapse by 2028, and the Bold Economic Plan to Save Life on Earth
St. Martin's Press/Macmillan, 2019.

Publisher’s summary:
An urgent plan to confront climate change, transform the American economy, and create a green post-fossil fuel culture.
A new vision for America’s future is quickly gaining momentum. Facing a global emergency, a younger generation is spearheading a national conversation around a Green New Deal and setting the agenda for a bold political movement with the potential to revolutionize society. Millennials, the largest voting bloc in the country, are now leading on the issue of climate change.
While the Green New Deal has become a lightning rod in the political sphere, there is a parallel movement emerging within the business community that will shake the very foundation of the global economy in coming years. Key sectors of the economy are fast-decoupling from fossil fuels in favor of ever cheaper solar and wind energies and the new business opportunities and employment that accompany them. New studies are sounding the alarm that trillions of dollars in stranded fossil fuel assets could create a carbon bubble likely to burst by 2028, causing the collapse of the fossil fuel civilization. The marketplace is speaking, and governments will need to adapt if they are to survive and prosper.
In The Green New DealNew York Times bestselling author and renowned economic theorist Jeremy Rifkin delivers the political narrative and economic plan for the Green New Deal that we need at this critical moment in history. The concurrence of a stranded fossil fuel assets bubble and a green political vision opens up the possibility of a massive shift to a post-carbon ecological era, in time to prevent a temperature rise that will tip us over the edge into runaway climate change. With twenty-five years of experience implementing Green New Deal–style transitions for both the European Union and the People’s Republic of China, Rifkin offers his vision for how to transform the global economy and save life on Earth.
·         Book Excerpt
·         Reviews
·         About the Author
·         From the Publisher
We are facing a global emergency.
 Our scientists tell us that human-induced climate change brought on by the burning of fossil fuels has taken the human race and our fellow species into the sixth mass extinction...
"[Jeremy Rifkin] is a principal architect of the European Union’s long-term economic vision, Smart Europe, and a key advisor to China's Third Industrial Revolution vision...The European Commission is calling for a climate-neutral Europe by 2050. His new book, The Green New Deal, is essentially an attempt to rouse the United States from its slumber within a collapsing 20th century fossil fuel era." —Forbes
“The futurist and prolific author is the kind of thinker popular among chief executives and the TED Talk crowd. So it’s not surprising that ‘The Green New Deal’ takes a stance quite different from that of typical Green New Deal supporters... he’s interested in building factories, farms, and vehicles in a fossil-free world, asserting that ‘the Green New Deal is all about infrastructure.’ He’s best at articulating the huge financial risk the oil, coal, and natural gas industries face from stranded assets - all the pipelines, ocean drilling platforms, ports, mining equipment and power plants that will soon be obsolete... there is an unmistakable sense that with disaster comes opportunity. Will we seize this moment to become a more just, more equitable, more resilient world.” —The New York Times Book Review

"[In The Green New Deal], economic theorist Jeremy Rifkin, whose work has inspired climate legislation in China and in various countries in the European Union (E.U.), is well positioned to advocate for this new political vision. In The Green New … More…
JEREMY RIFKIN, one of the most popular social thinkers of our time, is the bestselling author of 20 books including The Zero Marginal Cost SocietyThe Third Industrial RevolutionThe Empathic CivilizationThe European DreamThe Age of AccessThe Hydrogen Economy, and The End of Work. His books have been translated into more than 35 languages. Rifkin is an advisor to the European Union, the People’s Republic of China, and heads of state around the world. He has taught at the Wharton School's Executive Education Program at the University of Pennsylvania since 1995 and is the president of the Foundation on Economic Trends in Washington, DC.

            2 ESSAYS
BILLY FLEMING.   “Design and the Green New Deal.”  Places (April 2019).
“In the American context, that means designers should be lining up behind the Green New Deal, which is the only movement of people working fast enough and thinking big enough to address the climate crisis. “
[A version of this article was presented by Mr. Fleming at the Pryor Center.  –D]
by B Fleming - ‎2019 - ‎ ‎Related articles
In the great political projects of our generation, we will achieve more than we ever could through apolitical stewardship. The Green New Deal is a generational investment in planning and design that will radically transform the landscape of the United States. It is the biggest design idea in a century.
“On Fire This Time” by John Bellamy Foster .  Monthly Review
We are seeing today what appear to be the beginnings of an ecological revolution, a new historical moment unlike any humanity has experienced.1 As Naomi Klein suggests in her new book On Fire, not only is the planet burning, but a revolutionary climate movement is rising up and is now on fire in response.2 Here is a brief chronology of the last year, focusing on climate actions in Europe and North America—though it should be stressed that the whole world is now objectively (and subjectively) on fire this time3:
o    August 2018: 15-year-old Greta Thunberg begins her school strike outside the Swedish Parliament.
o    October 8, 2018: The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) releases Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC pointing to the need for “systems transitions…unprecedented in terms of scale.”4
o    October 17, 2018: Extinction Rebellion activists occupy UK Greenpeace headquarters demanding the staging of mass civil disobedience to address the climate emergency.
o    November 6, 2018: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Democrat) is elected as a Congressional Representative on a platform that includes a Green New Deal.5
o    November 13, 2018: Members of the Sunrise Movement occupy House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Congressional office; newly elected Representative Ocasio-Cortez joins them.
o    November 17, 2018: Extinction Rebellion activists block five bridges over the Thames in London.
o    December 10, 2018: Sunrise Movement activists flood key Democratic Party Congressional offices demanding the creation of a Select Committee for a Green New Deal.
o    December 19, 2018: Members of Congress in support of a Select Committee for a Green New Deal rises to forty.
o    January 25, 2019: Thunberg tells World Economic Forum: “Our house is on fire.… I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is.”6
o    February 7, 2019: Representative Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Edward Markey introduce the Green New Deal Resolution in Congress.7
o    March 15, 2019: Nearly 2,100 youth-led climate strikes occur in 125 countries with 1.6 million participating (100,000 in Milan, 40,000 in Paris, 150,000 in Montreal).8
o    April 15–19, 2019: Extinction Rebellion shuts down large parts of central London.
o    April 23, 2019: Speaking to both Houses of Parliament, Thunberg states: “Did you hear what I just said? Is my English okay? Is the microphone on? Because I am beginning to wonder.”9
o    April 25, 2019: Extinction Rebellion protesters blockade the London Stock Exchange, gluing themselves across its entrances.
o    May 1, 2019: UK Parliament declares a Climate Emergency shortly after similar declarations by Scotland and Wales.
o    August 22, 2019: Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders unveils the most comprehensive Green New Deal plan to date, proposing a public investment of $16.3 trillion over ten years.10
o    September 12, 2019: The number of Congressional cosponsors of the Green New Deal Resolution reaches 107.11
o    September 20, 2019: Four million people join the global climate strike, staging more than 2,500 events in 150 countries. 1.4 million protest in Germany alone.12
o    September 23, 2019: Thunberg tells the United Nations: “People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”13
o    September 25, 2019: IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere is released, indicating that many low-lying megacities and small islands, especially in tropical regions, will experience “extreme sea level events” every year by 2050.14
The outpouring of climate change protests over the last year were largely in response to the IPCC’s October 2018 report, which declares that carbon dioxide emissions need to peak in 2020, drop by 45 percent by 2030, and reach zero net emissions by 2050 for the world to have a reasonable chance of avoiding a catastrophic 1.5ºC increase in global average temperature.15 Untold numbers of people have suddenly become aware that, in order to pull back from the edge of the cliff, it is necessary to initiate socioeconomic change on a scale commensurate with that of the Earth System crisis that humanity is facing. This has resulted in System Change Not Climate Change, the name of the leading U.S. ecosocialist movement, becoming the mantra of the entire global grassroots climate movement.16
The meteoric rise of Thunberg and the student climate strike movement, the Sunrise Movement, Extinction Rebellion, and the Green New Deal, all within the brief span of a year, coupled with the actual protests and strikes of millions of climate change activists, the vast majority of them young, has meant a massive transformation of the environmental struggle in the advanced capitalist states. Virtually overnight, the struggle has shifted from its previous more generic climate action framework toward the more radical climate justice and ecosocialist wings of the movement.17 The climate action movement has been largely reformist, merely seeking to nudge business-as-usual in a climate-conscious direction. The 400,000-person climate march in New York in 2014, organized by the People’s Climate Movement, proceeded to 34th Street and 11th Avenue, a nondestination, rather than to the United Nations where climate negotiators were meeting, with the result that it had more the character of a parade than a protest.18
In contrast, climate justice organizations such as Extinction Rebellion, the Sunrise Movement, and the Climate Justice Alliance are known for their direct action. The new movement is younger, bolder, more diverse, and more revolutionary in its outlook.19 In the present struggle for the planet, there is a growing recognition that the social and ecological relations of production must be transformed. Only a transformation that is revolutionary in terms of scale and tempo can pull humanity out of the trap that capitalism has imposed. As Thunberg told the UN Climate Change Conference on December 15, 2018, “If the solutions within this system are so impossible to find then maybe we should change the system itself.”20   MORE
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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)