From the video transcript:
“-As a young person, I have come to know a world where climate change is not just a theory to accept or deny,
but it is a global threat that we are already seeing the effects of. -It's called the Green New Deal, a platform pushed by some Democrats designed to tackle climate change while stimulating the economy.So, what exactly is it? The term Green New Deal, a throwback to President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal reforms and infrastructure programs, has been around for years.”
Bloomberg BNEF Brief: The 'Green New Deal' Unveiled by Ocasio-Cortez
From the The 'Green New Deal' Unveiled by Ocasio-Cortez:
"Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez released a sweeping package of environmental measures... [that] envisions shifting away from fossil fuels and other sources of emissions that cause global warming within 10 years."
From the video transcript:
"Hello. I'm Robert Costa. And this is the Washington Week Extra. Several Democrats unveiled a Green New Deal last week modeled on President Roosevelt's New Deal but aimed at addressing climate change. What is it exactly and what does it mean for the Democratic Party? Joining me tonight to discuss it, Julie Hirschfeld Davis, congressional correspondent for The New York Times; Abby Phillip, White House correspondent for CNN; Garrett Haake, Washington correspondent for MSNBC; and John Bresnahan, Capitol bureau chief for POLITICO. New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts rolled out the Green New Deal. It is a nonbinding resolution, grand in scope, meant to dramatically cut greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.over the next decade while also creating jobs and increasing worker rights."
The Green New Deal Interview with Alexandria Ocasio Cortez by MSNBC
From the video transcript:
“America prides itself in doing big things- stretching a railroad across the continent, storming the beaches of Normandy , landing a man on the moon, building highways in the infrastructure for the internet. Our politics today seem incapable of producing change on that scale. We face a civilizational challenge right now. The clock is ticking. If we don't radically transform our economy away from fossil fuels in the next decade we are courting climate catastrophe. We are facing a national crisis this is about American lives. The green New Deal is a vision for reinventing American society around a new vision of a carbon-free economy that works for everyone. Is it a fantasy or the beginnings of a new historical pivot? The answer is unfolding right now before our eyes this is all in America a very new deal with Alexandria Ocasio Cortez.”
In the first video, (Washington Post) the announcer says, "decreasing the use of carbon in agriculture" - duh??? People are so uneducated about regenerative farming methods that they don't realize that, yes, plowing "uses" the carbon in the soil, but regenerative, sustainable farming actually increases the "use" of carbon in an effort to sequester it in the soil. I believe I'm quoting Joel Salatin when I suggest that farms should be carbon hogs. I personally am always on the look out for cheap but safe carbon sources such as dead leaves and chipped tree trimmings from clearing local phone lines where I can be reasonably sure the pollution load is minimal or absent.
So we need to keep getting the word out to the non-farming community as to what sustainable agriculture actually looks like.
I don't like the term "degrowth." I think half of anyone reading will automatically dismiss anything that sounds regressionist, which is how the whole idea seems to me.
I think that the Green New Deal has been brought up because it harkens back to positivity in government and nation-building, which a term like "degrowth" certainly does not.
I think looking at it from a different perspective, a permacultural perspective, would be a good idea. Does nature "degrow?" It does not. It dies off. We have already established that deliberately doing this with society, with people, is off the table.
We live in a world of increasing automation and life cost under the current system. You work a bit harder this year to try and have it better than the last, only to find that you've bumped yourself up a tax bracket, and instead of getting money back from the government, you owe a thousand dollars you don't have.
This is part of it that I haven't seen addressed by either platform. Why are we taxing income? Why tax productivity, something we want to encourage?
I like the parts that talk about shifting tax burden to waste. A lot of the taxation ideas seem backwards, though. I agree on a minimum universal income. That could be calculated to an individual's needs, and allotted them from the time of their birth. No applying for child benefits, everyone gets to live without the burden of worrying about feeding, clothing, and sheltering themselves. They can, instead, focus on how to contribute to society by fulfilling themselves, and I would bet money I don't have that it would have a net benefit effect on productivity overall.
Would it happen instantly? Of course not. I have co-workers in their 40s and 50s who are on the bigoted side of the "why should we teach our children acceptance of the OTHER (ethnicities, ideologies, sexual preference or identities, you name it, there's someone against it)" argument. I am having to go to a (paid) day-long seminar on inclusion and equity to "learn" what I explained in a rant to a coworker in about 15 seconds.
In a finite system, degrowth might make sense. But humanity isn't a finite system. The Earth well may be, but it is only where we originated. So if you think humanity shouldn't die out, forgotten, an evolutionary dead-end, or a planet of infinitely regressed, infinitely introspective agrarian and pastoral navel-gazers, an approach more constructive and far-reaching than "degrowth" is the thing to look for, I think.
It's nonsense, to my mind, to speak of decoupling economics from environmental impact. That's why current systems are a problem, because economics is divorced from the concept of social and environmental responsibility. As soon as the economic system is amended to account for social costs and economic damages, it starts working for people and the planet again, even under a free market system, about which I am almost always skeptical, or at least cautious in my optimism.
So to my way of thinking, what needs to be done is something akin to the traditional green shift, originally talked about by the Green Party of Canada, at least when I heard about it, which talked specifically about taxation of energy and waste.
I think we need to embrace a universal basic income, and a generous one at that. If people had a significant cushion, and programs for retraining, job transitions, from old-economy jobs out of the petroleum industry, and probably insurance, too, to new ones, fixing the robots that take the menial jobs, programming the new tech, doing all the labwork that checks the safety of products being manufactured and sold and the accounting and chain-of-custody paperwork that ensures that the social and environmental outcomes are positive across the board.
I think that to be able to make any real change, we need absolute spending limits for candidates and parties for campaigns. Also, incumbents shouldn't be able to use taxpayers money for the purposes of propaganda. That obviates the utility of lobbyists, streamlining the whole process of governance. I mean, if the only people that you have to listen to are your constituents, most of which ostensibly voted for you, and not those that bought you, there's a lot less conflict right there.
I don't agree with a hard cap on salaries, though I think that a wealth tax on the accumulation of wealth over a generous limit would be a good idea, and a corresponding benefit, like the ability to pass on a larger percentage of wealth to your inheritors based on an equivalent charitable donation, and their names on monuments or infrastructure projects. Let the wealthy trade their wealth for fame and institutional immortality of a sort.
But there needs to be a benefit to performing to an exemplary degree; we need to continue to incentivise exceptionalism. We need people to push themselves. If there's no point in working because you just put yourself into the next tax bracket, and you're worse off than if you'd taken a month off life, we're hobbling ourselves. That's less resources for the able and fortunate to help those who are less able and less fortunate.
To put it another way, that's just more time I have to spend paying off debt that I can't spend doing permaculture and helping to infect minds.
Ultimately, I think party politics should go by the wayside. You see some of that in Europe, in a way, when the only kind of government that can be formed is a coalition government. It's very hard to be immobilised by polarity when there are no poles towards which to gravitate, or there are thousands. And yet they manage it, sort of. They still have their Left and their Right, and the pendulum still swings.
I think politics needs a moral adjustment, especially here in the West. Theocracy is an unreasoning menace to our existence, whatever the religion involved. Religion can be great and supportive and constructive, but there is a dark side to it that we all see, and I think that we can agree that anything that divides us needs to be treated with kid gloves, and kept away from the sharp and stabbies.
I think that the states, for instance, need to remember their own Establishment Clause ("Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."). I think that the only way to make sure that everyone gets to worship, within the bounds of reason in society anywhere, is to ensure that legislation is set up from a secular perspective, respecting the separation of Church and State, but stressing freedom of individual belief and worship, and freedom from prosecution on those or any ideological grounds.
I think that we need to start treating people not as members of faceless groups with labels on them, but as individuals. My freedom and yours each end where they conflict with the other. We can either fight about that, or we can reach an understanding that we are all individuals, and it is at the interlace of our individual rights and freedoms that we must compromise to get any further.
This might all seem a little rambling, but it's actually a description of the overall system as I see it. Our individual rights and freedoms are infringed upon by a lack of social and environmental accounting in economics, with which there is no compromise. Any new approach, in my view, needs to use taxation not as a money-grubbing tool, but rather as incentive or punishment, and applied where either stimulus or hobbling, respectively, are required.
It is unfair to those in developing nations to say that they can't have some measure of what we have, so we have to find cleaner and more socially-responsible ways to achieve what we already have, and more.
The reason we evolved is because of that characteristic of humanity intrinsic to it that pushes boundaries, that seeks to look over the next horizon, that pushes that final frontier. To stop doing that is to stop evolving, to stop being human, and to go backwards, to something less. And I think that would be sad.
I want to see a Sol system filled with O'Neill cylinder-style colonies, a terraformed Venus and Mars, potentially dangerous solar system objects mined, turned into building materials or satellite objects, or artifical moons, industry moved to where permaculture is a necessity, where there is nothing but what you bring with you, so any waste must be the feedstock for another process.
I want to see an Earth that has stopped all industry on-planet, where there is no pollution, where Earth is a reserve for humans and animals to live their best lives, and for those who live off-planet can visit.
We're not going to get there by "degrowing."
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
-Robert A. Heinlein
I heard that at the CA Democratic Party convention last week, organized labor showed up powerful and then panned the Green New Deal because of feared job losses. So if anybody knows union people, talk to them and find out what's with that and what can be clarified to emphasize the potential job growth. Most people never want to embrace change so there's always that problem - what guy in his late 40's wants to change and develop a new set of work skills? But the Green New Deal will certainly offer opportunities as well and that needs to be make clear.
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