The Real Green New Deal and Our National Well-Being
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As we approach Earth Day, April 22, 2019, we might want to update ourselves on the progress we have made in addressing the ongoing climate crisis, the number one existential threat to our children, their children and everyone else who will be challenged by it for the next several millennia. In a few words – there’s so much to do and so little time to do it!
At the local and state levels, citizen activist organizations have taken the lead, followed in some cases by local and state governments, which have seen their way clear to joining with those groups fighting against the impending impact of the climatic changes that are already overtaking infrastructure in their communities. Those struggles are sometimes well rewarded, as communities and a few states have determined to set goals for transitioning to 100% renewable energy by 2035 to 2050.
Green Party of Pennsylvania
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 2, 2019
Neal Gale, 267-825-4190 and [email protected]
Chris Robinson, 215-843-4256 and [email protected]
Whether or not these goals are achieved locally, statewide or even on a national basis, the earth will continue on. We observe Earth Day as if we are the presumed keepers of planetary balance and well-being. Some scientists have even designated a new geological era, the Anthropocene, as an indication that we humans now possess the awesome power to sway the rest of nature. And of course we do, to some extent -- our impact over the past 250 years has been unrelenting and disastrous.
But the Earth doesn’t care. She will get through it all, no matter how bad things become, and for however long it takes to re-balance herself, which she will do, with or without us humans helping out. Earth Day is just another twenty-four hours to the Great Mother.
This may all seem somewhat dour, and perhaps it is. But in spite of the pessimistic picture I have sketched, I am overall optimistic. I see promise in the Green Party’s Real Green New Deal (Real GND)1, and I imagine it being adopted as a standard, below which we will not allow ourselves to fall. Because of the urgency I feel regarding the potential good the Green Party’s Real GND can do, I am compelled to warn us off the GND Resolution (HR 109) introduced by the Democrats this year. It does not point to the same results, and we shouldn’t allow ourselves to be fooled.
The Green Party has been developing the Real GND since the early two thousands, beginning with the European Green Party and continuing with the Green Party of the US, as a vision to change the course of this crisis -- while recognizing that it is not just about the environment. The dramatic and geologically recent alteration of the global climate has occurred as a result of the emergence of industrial capitalism, beginning at the outset of the eighteenth century, and our increasing reliance on the use of extracted, fossil fuels, ever since.
Additionally, that economic transition has effected all aspects of our society, transforming our way of life, in terms of the abuse of our natural resources, the structural imbalance of our economic model and the institutionalized social injustices required to support these interlocking systems. In this manner, those in power have maintained their hegemony at the cost of our planet’s stability and the well-being of the vast majority of people around the globe. These are the concerns addressed by the Green Party as expressed in its vision of the Real GND.
This vision includes an encompassing reformation of our economic model, in line with the understandings of forward-thinking economists2 who have been espousing modern monetary theory for decades, explaining how sovereign governments actually spend money. The Real GND programs outlined, including the enactment of a Full-Employment Program, will be paid for in the same way all federal programs are funded; the government passes a spending bill and then keystrokes “money” into the bank accounts of the appropriate recipients. The government does not (nor has it ever) required tax “revenues” to support spending. There are no actual, fiscal restraints on its spending. It has always been a question of political will. Who and what will the current federal spending bill favor?
This is one of the fundamental distinctions between the Green Party’s Real GND and the Democrats’. The Democrats, as one of the two political parties making up the corporate-sponsored duopoly, are not looking to take the necessary steps to alter Congress’ political will. They are part of that agenda, regardless of their GND trappings. Built into the words of their HR 109 are back doors3, allowing for the continued extraction, sales and consumption of carbon based fuels, and of course, no mention of the nuclear power industry. There’s just too much money and power driving the existing political process to allow for significant change. As noted above, without an actual, far-reaching structural change in our economic model -- with its abuse of planetary resources, inevitable economic imbalance and social injustices -- those things will all remain intact. Not to mention the climate crisis.
In light of this, perhaps we can observe on Earth Day 2019 our connection to, and reliance on the planetary systems that sustain all life; a day set aside to reflect on how we fit into the natural order, and how effectively we have disrupted it. My hope is that this Earth Day will mark the beginning of a unified call for real action on the part of all of our friends, relations, sisters and brothers: a call to transition our economic, social and environmental institutions along the lines of the Green Party’s Real Green New Deal. This must be nothing short of a re-visioning of the purpose of those institutions, aligning them with the evolution of our collective thinking. This moment calls for nothing less. The stakes are far too high.
Neal Gale is chair of the Green Party of Montgomery County, PA, and he ran as a Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate from PA in 2018. The Green Party is an independent political party that stands in opposition to the two corporate parties. GPPA candidates promote public policy based on the Green Party four pillars: grassroots democracy, nonviolence, ecological wisdom, and social justice/equal opportunity. For further information about GPPA, please visit www.gpofpa.org. Follow GPPA on social media: Facebook, Green Party of Pennsylvania and Twitter, @GreenPartyofPA.
1 Green Party’s Green New Deal: https://www.gp.org/green_new_deal
2See L. Randall Wray, Warren Mosler, Stephanie Kelton and others, regarding modern monetary theory (MMT).
3From the proposed House Resolution 109, introduced by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on February 7, 2019:
- (H) overhauling transportation systems in the United States to remove pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector as much as is technologically feasible, including through investment in—
- (F) spurring massive growth in clean manufacturing in the United States and removing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from manufacturing and industry as much as is technologically feasible, including by expanding renewable energy manufacturing and investing in existing manufacturing and industry;
- (G) working collaboratively with farmers and ranchers in the United States to remove pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector as much as is technologically feasible, including—
- (i) by eliminating pollution and greenhouse gas emissions as much as technologically feasible;
- (iv) by ensuring that any infrastructure bill considered by Congress addresses climate change;
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