The Green New Deal

Georgeann Johnson
Center for Global Justice
Friday, March 22, 2019

March 15th saw over 1 million young people turn out in over 100 different cities around the world. You probably saw TV coverage of some of those young people, out to address Global Warming. YES, young people!!
As Americans, I think our best effort at the moment is to push for the Green New Deal. The GND is getting a lot of attention, and rapidly! I find this to be hopeful as this is coinciding with the scientific news that we have 12 years left to turn our climate catastrophe around. Not 50 years. Not 30 years. But 12 years. As a great polluter, the USA bears great responsibility in leading the way to get off fossil fuels and onto wind and solar energy. Just as the name "New Deal" invokes the memory of FDR, it raises the reality of how fast the USA ramped up the production of planes, tanks, and guns, to go into WWII. It was an incredible feat. It can be done again.
There could be similarities between the original New Deal of the 1930s and the GND. The New Deal was not a single program or piece of legislation – it was a whole era of turmoil in which contesting forces tried to meet a devastating crisis and shape the future of American society. The New Deal was part of a process of social change that included experimentation at a state, regional, and local level; organization among labor, unemployed, rural, urban, elderly, and other grassroots constituencies; and lively debate on future alternatives that went far beyond the policies actually implemented.
In practice the GND will similarly involve competing ideas and programs pushed – in alliance and opposition – by a wide range of constituencies and organizations that support the broad concept but disagree about details. Like the original New Deal, the GND is trying to do something that has never been done before; we will have to learn from experience and experiment and correct the mistakes we will inevitably make along the way.
Right now the GND is a congressional resolution to lay out a grand plan for tackling Climate Change. It calls for the federal government to wean us off fossil fuels and on to alternative energy. The potential of transformative change in the GND's target of net-zero greenhouse emissions is the #1 priority; but inherent in that goal are jobs and social justice. So what is the bottom line in the GND? The bottom line is that it is technologically possible and politically very difficult.

Right now the Sunrise Movement is in the foreground of tackling Climate Change
and therefore relevant to the GND. The Sunrise Movement by having a movement that takes on income inequality and racial discrimination.
Naomi Klein, author of THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING, says:
" the only way that something like this happens is if it is accompanied by a huge grassroots mobilization, where every workplace, every sector, every movement is asking, “What would a Green New Deal mean for us? What would it mean in our workplace? What would it mean for the groups that we represent?” If we are going to succeed, they need to make it their own. So it’s going to take a hell of a lot of grassroots organizing, mobilizing all of these sectors to really believe that the Green New Deal is going to make their lives better, coupled with politicians running at every level of government, including for president, with a promise to enact this on day one."
PAYING FOR IT: Ellen Brown, of Public Banking, believes that we need a mechanism that neither raises taxes, nor adds to the Federal Debt. The ideas behind the current GND were born in Europe 10 years ago where a network of public banks has been discussed on behalf of the GND group of U.K. One such idea would see A GND financed by Europe's public investment banks. In the US a GND proponent envisions funding with a combination of the Federal Reserve and a system of regional and specialised public banks; these could include owned locally by cities. and states. This approach has worked in Germany.

Naomi Klein says: We have never faced a crisis this big and BIG IDEAS are the only ones that can realistically tackle the Climate Crisis.
(At the moment I suggest following the Sunrise Movement. Town Halls, etc.)