The Korea Times
“How to put an end to America’s peculiar institution of death: fossil fuels”
April 27, 2019
Emanuel Pastreich (with Jonathan Mintram)
senses palpable excitement among progressives in the United States now that a
group of Democrats, led by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is pressing for a
“Green New Deal” that will “transform” the economy and lead
the country and the Earth in an environmentally sound direction.
Their ideas are certainly better than the full-throttle push for fossil
fuels of the Trump administration, or the fracking rampage of the Obama
administration. But if we assess the economic and security issues for the U.S.
today in a scientific manner, we must come to the distasteful conclusion that
this “Green New Deal” has been overinflated and is sadly insufficient
for the task at hand.
Of course, the progressive media have highlighted for educated
upper-middle class readers the corruption of politics and of media by big oil, but it has
not even started to scratch the surface of the twisted economic system we live
in that forces us to use plastic, gasoline or coal at every turn in our daily
lives, while we are fed vague tales of foreboding, and polar bears, that offer
no options for action other than waiting for the next election or carrying a
Something is so deeply wrong in the U.S. that we can no longer ignore it.
It is like feeling sick after eating spoiled food. You can try to ignore the
pain in your stomach, but eventually you are going to have to throw up if you
want to get it out of your system.
We must face the truth, and recognize that despite the impressive photo
ops for the “Green New Deal,” its content is not aimed at immediately
ending the use of fossil fuels, or even at giving citizens the means to move
their communities to renewable energy on their own. To date, we have not seen a
serious effort to refute Naomi Wolf’s questions about the
gaping holes in the Green New Deal, big enough to guide a supertanker through.
If we adhere to the current system, it will be massive corporations and
investment banks that will make best use of such legislation, if it is ever
passed, to fund pet projects, or even to promote dangerous geo-engineering.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her Democrats friends remain dependent on
corporate money (if not directly, then through foundations and NGOs) and they
refuse to work with more aggressive organizations because they are not loyal to
the Democratic Party.
But there is another political response out there. We have seen in the
protests of Extinction Rebellion, taking place in London and around the world,
the emergence of an honest political stance about climate change that addresses
the issue head-on and that assumes that unless politics is grounded in action
and in the pursuit of truth, it is not politics at all.
Extinction Rebellion focuses on the climate catastrophe, the massive
crisis of our age, and makes human extinction the central issue for its global
campaign. Extinction Rebellion is not about flattering politicians, or about
schmoozing with corporate CEOs and lobbyists. This political movement is not
concerned about hurting people’s feelings and it is not trying to tone down its
message to meet requirements for coverage in the corporate media.
The priority for Extinction Rebellion is shutting down the carbon-based
economy immediately and bringing major cities around the world to a standstill
in order to do so.
Extinction rebellion demands that carbon emissions be reduced to zero
within six years through a complete remaking of the global economy, and through
the creation of a new culture in which consumption is dramatically reduced and
basic economic and social values redefined. It would be accurate to describe
such policy demands as revolutionary.
Unlike the feckless Democratic Party, Extinction Rebellion features a
section on its webpage “The Truth” that pulls no punches
regarding the likelihood of extinction for our children and the destruction of
oceans, forests, the Arctic and Antarctic, and humanity itself, that lies
before us in the decades ahead
Although Extinction Rebellion’s approach is dismissed by many as extreme,
it is, in fact, the only rational political movement out there, the only major
one that promotes policies on the basis of scientific evidence, not hopeful
thinking. Its legitimacy is increased by the abject failure since the Kyoto
Protocols of politicians, intellectuals, and that pathetic institution known as
the media, to tell the bitter truth about the mushrooming catastrophe best
known by the understatement “climate change.”
In effect, Extinction Rebellion is saying what should have been said 20
years ago: this entire culture, seeped in petroleum from the beginnings of the
consumption economy in the 1950s, must end.
All of us are guilty. Every time we check our email, every time we take a
hot shower, every time we drive to the market or fly to see relatives, we are
hammering another nail into the coffin of humanity, into the coffins of our
children and grandchildren, not to mention into the innumerable unmarked
coffins of other species.
The Peculiar Institution
We are struggling to come to terms with the need for radical action, as
opposed to the “progressive” approach that we have been brainwashed
to embrace by media sources like “Common Dreams” or
“Truthout,” or dishonest intellectuals like Robert Reich, who refuse
to acknowledge the scale of the crisis, or its dire implications for humanity.
We are struggling to acknowledge that the Paris Accords, commonly held up
by the progressives as a breakthrough ― from which Trump foolishly walked away
― was never intended as a solution to the impending crisis, but rather as a
face-saving political ploy.
Survival demands that we reduce fossil fuels to zero, starting tomorrow,
not that we slowly increase renewables to 40 percent by 2030. At this point in
the game, donating to progressive causes and waiting for the next election
would be a suicidal.
Nothing less is required than ending this culture of consumption,
overturning the assumption that production, consumption and growth are
necessities, and asserting that every aspect of our consumption has a direct
impact on our planet.
Equally important, we must make sure that our youth are not misled into
accepting dangerous half-measures and bad policies that are being promoted by
the very banks and corporations that benefit from the fossil-fuel economy,
whether carbon trading, hybrid cars, geo-engineering or next-generation nuclear
The response of citizens to the inaction of all institutions in the U.S.
on climate change (local and central government, corporations, NGOs and
educational organizations) must be massive and immediate. We recognize,
painfully, that the watchdogs we counted on have become lapdogs in search of
ample funding, and are incapable of taking on the fossil fuel powers, no matter
how green their rhetoric may sound.
We must engage in governance ourselves.
350.ORG is a major NGO that provides critical information for the policy
debate on climate change. It sent out an email to members on April 23, 2019
“On Friday, presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren announced a bold
climate commitment: if elected, she would sign an executive order on Day One
halting all fossil fuel drilling on our public lands.”
350.ORG praised Warren’s words as an “incredible step,” but
although Warren may be a step ahead of the other candidates running for
president, from the perspective of a species facing extinction her call sounds
Halt all drilling on public lands? That step is so obvious that we should
demand that a candidate who does not support such a policy pull out of the race
immediately. A real demand would be a permanent halt to all drilling for oil in
the U.S. and in the world. A more substantial, and more convincing, demand
would be to make the use of petroleum illegal within a year.
There is a helpful precedent for such an action (nationally and
internationally) in the 1987 Montreal Protocol which banned internationally the
use of chlorofluorocarbons that were destroying the ozone layer. We need a
“London Protocol” that bans the use of petroleum, coal and natural
gas because of the damage to the atmosphere caused by their production and
their consumption. Such an international agreement with parallel national bans
makes perfect sense and it would be the first step towards forcing a rapid end
to their use globally for the generation of energy.
The political mythology employed by Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders is
that we are confronting conservatives with different values, men who are greedy
and whose limited perspective must be overcome gradually through a political
But the reality is that we are confronting not “conservatives”
but rather a massive criminal enterprise that has seized control of our
economy, and our culture, and that is destroying, using illegal and immortal
tactics, what few institutions remain to regulate its actions.
The apt analogy for how vested interests have made us addicted to fossil
fuels, and encourage us to remain addicted to them, can be found in the morally
corrupt use of slavery to drive the American economy in the 19th century.
Slavery exploited unpaid labor without limit to power the economy and to
increase profits for southern planters and for the northern banks that financed
them. In a sense, slavery provided seemingly cheap energy to power
manufacturing and agriculture at a horrendous price that was hidden from view.
The human qualities of the African Americans who served as
“slaves” were denied by a false legal system reinforced by fraudulent
science that “proved” racial inferiority. Altogether, slavery debased
the politics and the culture of the U.S., creating a society in which
criminality was set on a pedestal and worshipped as a unique culture. But the
genteel families of the southern states leaned over backwards to avoid seeing
The term coined to describe this horrific system was the “peculiar
institution,” an expression that suggested the south had some distinctive
habits that set it apart. But the “peculiar institution” was only a
dishonest manner of referring to a criminal system of exploitation that no
healthy society could support.
The response of many progressives (abolitionists) in the 1850s was to
fight tooth and nail to keep slavery from spreading to newly admitted states,
and to try, through reform, to reduce the cruelty shown to slaves in the south
― and to permit them freedom if they escaped to the free states. But the basic
assumption among most reformist “abolitionists” was that slavery was
a bad policy that should be slowly reformed.
Similarly, the political debate today in the U.S. is about how to increase
the use of wind and solar power, how to make renewable energy financially
attractive to corporations, and how to end the extreme policies of the Trump
administration of subsidizing coal while taxing renewable energy.
But this political argument only makes sense if one closes one’s eyes to
the fact that fossil-fuel companies are engaging in a massive criminal effort
to make us dependent on fossil fuels, a source of energy that not only creates
enormous profits, but that is destroying the environment and condemning much of
humanity to death. In other words, one must first deceive oneself for the
argument to make sense.
We do not find different perspectives or philosophies among the lobbyists
and the politicians who support fossil fuels, or the CEOs and billionaires who
derive their wealth from them. We simply are looking at a morally bankrupt
drive for profit, a massive criminal conspiracy that seeks to destroy our
planet for the sake of profits.
Extinction Rebellion wants to seize control of the economic system itself
and to leave behind the middlemen, the class of educated people who make their
living writing articles describing long-term progressive responses, lobbying
congressmen with softball proposals that appeal to corporate profits,
suggesting that wind power can be “competitive” with coal, and
playing down the threat of ecological collapse in the United Nations reports so
as to be sure that their research institutes continue to receive funding from
organizations dependent on corporations and banks that have an interest in
Our John Brown moment
If we are looking for a moment in the battle against slavery that
parallels Extinction Rebellion’s decision to mobilize on a massive scale
against fossil fuels, the most apposite example is the actions of John Brown
and his followers to rebel against slavery. Just as Extinction Rebellion
decided to move beyond “progressive” arguments for the elimination of
fossil fuels in light of the threat of human extinction, John Brown and his
followers declared that because the government promoted the immoral practice of
slavery it had no legitimacy.
John Brown was dismissed by most as the leader of a rebellion and vilified
as a rebel and a lunatic by southerners for a century afterwards. But one need
only read Brown’s writings to see that his actions were impeccably supported by
logic and informed by moral insight. When Brown launched his raid on the
federal armory at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, in October 1859, the intention was
to end the institution of slavery by establishing a new government that would
forsake the entire corrupt economic system. Brown’s forces were quickly
overwhelmed. He was then tried, found guilty of treason (the first such
conviction in American history) and hanged.
Those who derived their wealth from slavery (the Democratic Party)
condemned Brown’s action as a dastardly attack on their way of life. Most
progressives in the North (the Republican Party) distanced themselves from the
incident, stating they would not interfere in the affairs of slave states.
But let us look at the opening of the “Provisional Constitution and
Ordinances” that Brown drafted:
“Whereas slavery, throughout its entire existence in the United
States, is none other than the most barbarous, unprovoked and unjustifiable war
of one portion of its citizens against another portion, the only conditions of
which are perpetual imprisonment and hopeless servitude, or absolute
extermination, in utter disregard and violation of those eternal and
self-evident truths set forth in our Declaration of Independence. Therefore,
we, citizens of the United States, and the oppressed people who, by a recent
decision of the Supreme Court, are declared to have no rights which the white
man is bound to respect, together with all other people degraded by the laws
thereof, do, for the time being, ordain and establish for ourselves the
following Provisional Constitution and Ordinances, the better to protect our
persons, property, lives, and liberties, and to govern our actions.”
Let us revise this text so that it describes the current crisis and our
addiction to petroleum and coal:
“Whereas forcing on us the use of fossil fuels is none other than the
most barbarous, unprovoked and unjustifiable war of a small portion of citizens
against the great majority, creating conditions of perpetual imprisonment in a
catastrophic system that will render the Earth uninhabitable, leading to
extinction, in utter disregard and violation of those eternal and self-evident
truths set forth in our Declaration of Independence.
Therefore, we, citizens of the United States, as an oppressed people who
have been declared by the Supreme Court to have no rights to resist that the
fossil-fuel industry come together with others degraded by the laws thereof,
do, for the time being, ordain and establish for ourselves the following
Provisional Constitution and Ordinances, the better to protect our persons,
property, lives, and liberties, and to govern our actions so as free ourselves
from the death march of a fossil-fuel-driven economy.”
The moral authority is the same.
Extinction Rebellion takes a non-violent position, which Brown did not.
Yet the analogy still holds for Extinction Rebellion in that its members take
actions that entail the risk of imprisonment, violence and death.
Turning the tables on
Extinction Rebellion makes a demand for a solution, as opposed to the weak
reform proposals floated by Democrats that assume from the start that we must
compromise with a powerful “conservative” element as part of the
In a sense, Extinction Rebellion harkens back to Frederick Douglass’s warning
in the struggle against slavery: “Power concedes nothing without a demand.
It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly
submit to and you have found the exact measure of injustice and wrong which
will be imposed upon them, and these will continue until they are resisted with
either words, or blows, or both.”
Douglass’s words suggest that is not enough to make abstract suggestions
about the long-term negative impact of fossil fuels. Rather we must make
demands that are uncompromising and concrete about what must be done now. We
must insist that this entire criminal and lethal energy system be dismantled
John Brown changed the rules of the game when he referred to slavery not
as a “peculiar institution” but rather as a criminal action, a
“war” on the population. We too must take control of the discourse on
energy and start to define the terms of discourse. Carbon emissions are not
little inconveniences to be traded away, but rather a direct threat to our survival.
In other words, rather than responding quickly to the latest atrocity
committed by the right wing, we must proactively present to as many people as
possible of an entirely new culture and economy that must be implemented in
toto now. We cannot support a piecemeal attempt to achieve change while
depending on billionaires like Bill Gates and others who are deeply invested in the current economic system, or on
Democratic politicians who have a long history of supporting fossil-fuel
There are numerous “conservative” politicians in the U.S.
Congress who make statements in committee that dismiss the threat of climate
change and even assert that climate change is a fraud. They are funded by the
fossil-fuel industry and they frequently call in expert witnesses who have been
cultivated by fossil-fuel conglomerates like Koch Industries to provide
evidence in support of the claim that fossil fuels are safe. Their research is
largely fraudulent and their claims fly in the face of scientific evidence.
The current response of progressive politicians is to bemoan the
ignorance, the selfishness, and the short-sightedness of these
“conservative” politicians, their “foolish” experts and
their “stupid” followers. This attitude is similar to that of Republicans
who wanted to limit the use of slavery to the southern states in the 1850s,
rather than abolish it.
The issue of climate change is not one of opinions, or of interests, but
of law and scientifically verified truth.
What does the law say?
The law is quite explicit. If a congressman gives testimony in committee,
or brings in an expert to give testimony, that suggests that climate change is
a fiction or that is not a serious threat, that act is not the expression of a
conservative perspective, but is rather the presentation of false testimony.
Such actions, according to the law, form a felony offense. At the minimum, the
congressman should be forced to resign from his or her office for doing so, and
he or she should face jail time. Any expert presenting such false evidence should
face similar charges.
And yet there is not a single Democrat with the guts to bring such an
entirely logical and perfectly legal charge against the congressmen and expert
witnesses who engage in such blatantly criminal activity on Capitol Hill. The
fact that this criminal practice has gone on for decades is not an excuse, just
as the fact that slavery was practiced for hundreds of years was not an excuse
for its immorality.
If no one in the Congress, if no one among the insider lawyers, lobbyists,
consultants and staff who run it, is willing to take such a moral and legal
stance, the people must rise up and demand that such criminal activities be
punished and the perpetrators should be banned. If enough people protest,
politicians will feel the pressure and change their behavior.
Some might say that taking such a hard line would be the equivalent of
demanding that hundreds of congressmen, thousands of staffers and lobbyists,
resign from office and face prison for their actions. If we want to survive as
a species, we should not shy away from such a scenario. We should be ready to
embrace it. If the process requires us to press criminal charges against
numerous Democrats as well, so be it.
For that matter, if we find that all the members of Congress are engaged
in such criminal actions, at some level or another, it is not only our right,
but our moral responsibility, to demand that they all step down and that we be
allowed to hold elections that are free from the interference of any
organizations linked to these immoral fossil fuel interests.
It is currently accepted practice for congressmen to take contributions
from fossil-fuel corporations, and from investment banks that promote fossil
fuels. But the promotion of fossil fuels over the last 70 years, often with
federal subsidies for refineries and highway systems, was a criminal conspiracy
from the start, not a democratic process that represented the will of the
people. Whether it was the purchase and
destruction of public transport by General Motors, Standard Oil and Phillips
Petroleum (operating through front organizations) to increase the dependence of
our citizens on the dangerous chemical compound petroleum, or the restructuring
of the U.S. military so as to be deeply dependent on petroleum and to be
employed primarily to secure supplies of petroleum, there has been a series of
policy decisions made that must be recognized as criminal in nature.
We now know that corporations like Exxon and
Shell that provide petroleum were fully aware of the phenomenon of global
warming, and of the dangerous impact of their toxic product on the environment,
from at least the 1980s, if not earlier. They hid such scientific results and
instead hired experts and public relations firms to present misleading and dishonest
information to the public through advertising, through doctored academic
research and through lobbying while they were fully aware of the scale of the
threat. Yet the best that progressive Democrats can do is to grumble about the
selfishness of these corporations, and ask struggling citizens for
contributions to their campaigns for the next election, or for the election
Ask yourself, what would happen to you if you sold a product that was
extremely dangerous to the environment and that killed hundreds of thousands,
if not millions, of people globally, and that was likely to lead to the deaths
of billions due to global warming? What if you had known since the 1980s about
the dangers of your product and had hidden that information, using your tainted
wealth to bribe politicians and to promote fake science experts who lied to
Congress in order to defend your illegal activities?
Your fate would be quite certain. You would be jailed immediately on
conspiracy charges and your entire assets would be seized. You would be
criminally liable to pay for the cost of paying for the clean-up of the damage
you had wrought far beyond what assets you possessed.
So what should we do to the fossil-fuel companies that have behaved in
precisely this manner and the investment banks and other financial institutions
that support them in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence of the danger
of this product? The situation is absolutely identical. Citizens must demand
that these corporations be treated as criminal organizations and that they be
stripped of the right to use those ill-gotten funds to defend themselves. Those
responsible must be jailed immediately and prosecuted for their crimes over the
last four decades. The politicians and lobbyists who assisted them should be
subject to the same treatment.
The assets of corporations like Exxon and Koch Industries, and those of
individuals who own those corporations, should be seized in total for the
purpose of cleaning up the damage and compensating victims around the world.
There is no need to mope about how much money fossil-fuel companies have
to contribute to the election of “conservative” candidates, or how
much harder “progressives” must work to win elections in this unfair
political environment. Once the assets of these fossil-fuel companies have been
seized, once all lobbyists and experts who worked for those companies in their
criminal campaigns are blocked from participation in politics (like the
disenfranchisement of former Confederate leaders during Reconstruction), we
will be in a position to determine what is appropriate policy for the response
to climate change based on scientific consensus and in accord with the
We have the right, and the obligation, to demand that politicians who have
been bought off by fossil-fuel companies, or by banks and by billionaires
linked to fossil-fuel companies, be blocked from testimony to Congress and from
participation in the political process. In many cases, we should demand that
they resign from their positions immediately. The same applies to think-tank
researchers, professors, lawyers, lobbyists and other public personalities who
have been involved in this massive fraud.
The debate in politics must be grounded in unbiased scientific findings,
not in opinions. We have allowed corporations to be treated as people and we
have allowed fraudulent arguments about the climate to be treated as worthy of
attention because they were backed by money. That must all end now. If a small
group of citizens effectively articulates a logical position, that can start to
transform opinion in the U.S. Without the pursuit of truth as a fundamental
principle for politics, however, democracy will be reduced to a farce.
But there is more that we must do. We must condemn advertising in general
as a criminal effort to mislead Americans about the dangers of industrial
society, specifically about the impact of cars, planes and coal and natural gas
dependent industrial production on the environment and on our citizens.
Advertising is employed as a means of bribing the media, and of
undermining its critical role: presenting citizens with the truth. Advertising,
and the public relations industry, has rendered journalism a farcical sideshow
that distracts us at the very moment citizens must mobilize. As long as the
commercial media feeds citizens doctored and distorted information so they
cannot make objective decisions, democratic politics is impossible.
We must actively counter this advertising complex that tries to convince
us that everything is fine, that suggests that ownership of cars is essential
for freedom and that promotes selfishness and self-indulgence, rather than
cooperation. We must do so through direct actions such as creating our own
citizens’ newspapers, holding teach-ins in public spaces where we explain to
citizens exactly how climate catastrophe will destroy our world, and what we
We must also recognize that the underfunding of public education is not
the result of philosophical differences between “liberals” and
“conservatives” but rather an intentional effort to dumb down the
people so they cannot comprehend the scale of the economic and
political?crisis, or find the means to respond.
We must demand that academic research (and journalism as well) be funded
by transparent government grants supported by taxes and that other
self-interested “research” with hidden agendas be eliminated from the
debate on policy in government and among citizens. This is essential for the
response to climate change.
Above all, young people must be trained to think scientifically for
themselves and to understand the hidden forces that threaten humanity ― we must
make sure that they are not seduced by video games, Youtube videos and
pornography into overlooking the danger signs that are all around.
Taking on the false ideologies of free trade and military security
If we want to launch a nationwide campaign to address the terrible truth,
rather than the limited messages that the “progressive” media feels
comfortable with, we will need to take on the two big monsters that politicians
tiptoe around: free trade and military security.
The myth that the international trade of goods is a positive for the
citizens of the U.S., and for the world, and that trade should be constantly increased
to help us prosper, has been embraced by both political parties, and by most
intellectuals in the U.S. since World War II.
But the massive promotion of trade means not only that corporations can
move factories abroad ― and threaten workers and communities with the closure
of local factories as a means of obtaining government subsidies, they can offer
cheap products to Americans that made abroad and thereby hide the horrific
impact that such manufacturing has on the local environment and our shared
climate. Every Styrofoam box, every nylon sweater, every plastic toy is not
only poisoning our soil, our rivers and our oceans when it is disposed of, but
its manufacture did tremendous damage to our climate that has been hidden from
us because the manufacturing is in India or Thailand.
Free trade has seized control of our economy, forcing us to buy products
that were made far away, and shipped using tremendous amounts of fossil fuels
(often at a cost of local jobs). The pollution created in the manufacture of
throwaway products has the exact same impact on the climate over there than it
would if the factories were in Kansas or Mississippi. Moreover, transporting
goods over oceans for thousands of kilometers produces tremendous emissions.
Yet a discussion of this terrible consequence of free trade is avoided even by
Moreover, progressive and leftist journals readily accept the deeply
flawed systems of measurement for economics like GDP (gross domestic product),
“consumption,” “growth” and “development.” The
fact that these measurements leave out ecological, social and cultural impact
of economic policies and practices, that they make no account for long-term
degradation of the soil, water and air are rarely pointed out by intellectuals.
Although there have been proposals for alternative systems of measurement, they
are hardly discussed, let alone adopted.
The military has emerged as the massive part of the U.S. domestic economy
that is linked at every level to the exploration for, the production of and the
consumption of fossil fuels. It is also the world’s greatest
polluter and a far larger contributor to climate change than many countries.
The U.S. military is grossly overextended, with hundreds of bases around
the world. More often than not, its primary role has become promoting the
extraction of fossil fuels and other minerals to power the consumption economy
that is destroying our climate. This military has nothing to do with
“defense” or “security.”
The U.S. cannot start to adapt serious climate policy until it undertakes
a revolutionary change in the military’s role. That change must be grounded in
a shift in the definition of security to make mitigation of climate change the
highest security concern. Such a shift will not be easy, but it is
theoretically possible, and, granted the scale of the crisis, it is absolutely critical.
Ironically, even as we move away from weapons, we will need the bravery
and the discipline of warriors as we go forward to confront the fossil fuel
powers. With inspired imagination and steely courage, we can transform the role
and the nature of the military from within and from without so that it focuses
exclusively on climate change.
Ultimately, the Department of Defense must be transformed into a
“Department of Human Security” or even into a “Department of
Climate Change.”All of its corrupt spending on weapons must be eliminated
following a carefully organized plan. Whether that is achieved by an
institutional transformation, or by shutting down the existing system
completely and starting anew, will be decided in the process.
The word “revolution” comes up in the speeches of Democratic and
Republican candidates so frequently these days that it draws nothing but yawns.
But the abject failure of American lawmakers to postulate a long-term
national policy for the response to climate change suggests that U.S politics
is mired in mythology and delusions.
The scientific predictions about how climate change will unfold suggest
that we will not have any money left for fighter planes, or aircraft carriers,
or even for highways and stadiums. We will have to make a greater commitment of
resources to surviving climate change than even the Green Party’s presidential
candidate Jill Stein thought necessary when she proposed a mobilization on the
scale of that for World War II.
Sadly, there is a revolution is taking place right now in the U.S., but it
is happening in all the wrong places. The government is undergoing
revolutionary change as the Trump administration strips departments of
expertise, punishes those with a sense of responsibility and quickly privatizes
functions so that government serves only to increase the wealth of the elite
and can no longer serve our citizens.
We have no time to debate the merits of revolutionary transformations.
They are being undertaken right now by the Trump administration. Revolutionary
shifts like taxation of renewable energy, subsidization for coal and oil and
the removal of science from the policy formation process are taking place right
To suggest that we must wait until the next election, or that we must
compromise our goals and support Democratic candidates who make lukewarm
statements about climate change is to miss the whole point. A reactionary
revolution is already taking place. The only question is what we will do in