Sorry, but this is too great not to feature, and too long to put into my own words. Schadenfreude Rules! Sorry in advance for typos, but I need to rustle up some dinner.
Gack, ever since I’d been introduced to Saint Bill McKibben, lord of the eco-warrior empty spectacle, by Michael Donnely in 2013, and had penned ‘Tweeting While the World Burns or: Elites Against the XL Pipeline’ at My.Firedoglake, let’s say I’ve been (ahem) a major detractor, to put it mildly. Hard to imagine that 350.org is funded by the Rockefeller and Tides Foundations, isn’t it?
“Call me a crank. Call me an egalitarian ideologue. Hell, call me Ishmael if you’d like, but is this what democracy looks like to you? Do hand-picked celebrity protests help or hurt the eco-movement, especially if they’re staged a few days in advance of ones for everyday people? You be the judge.” [big snip concerning epic alternative media Praise for the Spectacle, as well as for Saint Obama and his ‘moral core’]
“When I read Michael Donnelly’s (another crank) piece at Counterpunch: ‘Tweeting as the World Burns’. Suffice it to say that I don’t agree with some of what he wrote, but some of it sure set off my bullshit meter again, and some…sent smoke comin’ out of my eyes and ears, starting with some of the tweets from the heroes of the story:
“Bucket list item checked off: share a paddy wagon with Julian Bond. This is a broad movement,” Bill McKibben tweeted after his misdemeanor arrest for protesting the Keystone Pipeline outside the White House, February 13, 2013
“It’s always good to get arrested with a Kennedy” posted Pete Nichols, who flew in from California for the rally. When informed about the Tar Sands-derived fuel in his and many of the other protesters’ mode of transportation, he frivolously responded, “I actually teleported. New Waterkeeper project. ssshhhh…btw…..tar sand oil makes terrible jet fuel and even worse martinis.”
And the whole time they were doing their little bucket-list catch-and-releases,Obama was out of town. And they knew it!
Anyhoo, when I came upon ‘Beyond Democrat Dead-ends: What Real Climate Action Looks Like’ by Carol Dansereau, Counterpunch, June 2 this mornin’, I fairly crowed with gleeful shadenfreude. And yeah, I’m gonna (ahem) borrow more of her essay than is strictly within ‘fair use rules’, and hope she’ll be glad of it, not mad of it.
“The global warming situation is absolutely crazy. Millions of people are already experiencing drought, famine, floods, wildfires, superstorms and other climate disasters. As a species, we are teetering on the edge of full-blown catastrophe, with extinction a distinct possibility. Yet, we can’t seem to put in place obvious solutions that are sitting right there in front of us.
Even crazier, environmentalists repeatedly praise Democrats for phony climate action plans that don’t come close to what’s needed.
Take the “100 by ‘50” legislation recently introduced by Oregon Senator Merkley and other Democrats. Environmental leaders lined up to celebrate this as the blueprint that will get us beyond global warming, even though it’s nothing of the sort. Some environmentalists used their endorsements to denounce Republicans for being funded by the fossil fuel industry, deftly ignoring the funding received by Democrats from that same industry. The message was clear: when we put Democrats back in power and pass a bill like “100 by ‘50”, we’ll be on our way to solving the climate crisis.
This is pure hogwash. The Democrats have kept us running in circles as the climate crisis has deepened. And although this new bill purports to get us to 100% clean and renewable energy by 2050—hence the catchy title—it almost certainly won’t do that. Yes, it is “the most ambitious piece of climate legislation Congress has ever seen”. But that’s only because prior offerings were so pathetic that “100 by ’50” seems ambitious in comparison.
“100 by ‘50”: Beyond the Sound Bites
According to 350.org founder Bill McKibben, “(i)nstead of making changes around the margins”, the “100 by ’50” legislation would finally commit America to “wholesale energy transformation.” If only this were true.”
Now what he’d actually said was this:
““100 is an important number. Instead of making changes around the margins, this bill would finally commit America to the wholesale energy transformation that technology has made possible and affordable, and that an eroding climate makes utterly essential,” said Bill McKibben, 350.org co-founder. “This bill won’t pass Congress immediately–the fossil fuel industry will see to that–but it will change the debate in fundamental ways.”
But back to Dansereau; she critiques the claims of the bill with hooeys and phooeys under these headings:
Continuing Fossil Fuel Production. Let’s start with the fossil fuel side of things. To address global warming, we must keep most of the remaining oil, gas and coal in the ground. The “100 by ’50” legislation doesn’t do that.” with a long etc. full of hyperlinked evidence.
Inadequate Promotion of Alternatives. (which section she rightfully adds a ‘big whoop!’
The Same Old Same Old
What Will a Real Climate Action Plan Look Like? (this is the recap of the longer plan):
* It will be a concrete plan that accurately identifies what we need to accomplish and details what we’ll do when.
* It will be composed of mandates instead of incentives.
* It will take the energy industry and other relevant industries into public ownership under democratic management.
* And it will establish an Economic Bill of Rights.
Is It Possible?
Can we develop such a plan and make the radical system changes that are needed? Absolutely! To begin, we need to stop being diverted by weak proposals put forth by Democrats. And we need to unite, like never before, with other social justice movements.
The 1% forces we’re up against are powerful. But ultimately working people are more powerful, because without our cooperation goods aren’t produced, people and products aren’t transported, and services aren’t rendered. Society doesn’t work unless we do.
Should we rally around another dead-end Democratic Party climate plan? Hell no! It’s time to start acting like we live in a democracy, developing and implementing a real plan that averts climate catastrophe and creates the world we want.
It’s hard not to love her optimism and enthusiasm, as well as her understaning that only public ownership of the energy sector will make any difference. In a similar vein, here is ‘Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris agreement: The socialist solution to climate change’ 3 June 2017, wsws.org