Rob Quarters
For We Are Many Podcast

The climate of our beloved planet is in peril. If we don’t take “radical” action, then our hopes of remaining a living species on this rock are rapidly slipping away. We’re already averaging approximately 1.4 degrees above pre industrial times. The Paris Climate Accord wants to keep the warming under 1.5-2 degrees, but their plan is insufficient. In order to reach this goal, we need something heavier hitting than the Paris Accord. Something bigger than the “Green New Deal” proposed by AOC. It’s too little, too late.

The Green Party has included the Green New Deal as part of the party platform since 2010. In 2020, one of the key authors of the Green New Deal, Howie Hawkins of Syracuse, New York, became their presidential candidate. He has been lining out and writing up the Green New Deal since the early 2000s.

The Green New Deal is an Eco-Socialist Program intended to cut emissions down to ZERO by 2030. It’s not impossible – but it won’t be cheap. (I’ll do another piece later about how we’ll pay for the Green New Deal, but I’m going to keep this piece focused on what the GND is, and what it will do.)

The EcoSocialist Green New Deal is made up of two programs: an Economic Bill of Rights, and the Green Economy Restructuring Program. We’ll start with the latter: the Green Economy Reconstruction Program will not only build a 100% clean energy system by 2030….it will also reconstruct all economic sectors for ecological sustainability. The Green Economy Restructuring Program will be implemented through a plan of public investments lasting ten to twenty years, depending on the sector.

The Economic Bill of Rights will happen through recurring programs and legislation. This idea isn’t new; FDR called for a “second bill of rights” before his death in 1945. Due to the abundant failures of Capitalism to recognize the severity of the compounding crises of climate change and COVID-19, the time is well overdue to implement this.

So, what exactly is Ecosocialism? Ecosocialism provides us with a framework for understanding the totality of capitalism as well as a transformative vision of the future. Ecosocialists understand that social injustice and environmental degradation are the outcome of a worldwide system of production driven by the pursuit of profit: Capitalism.

The liberation of people and the planet are completely and totally intertwined. They are dependent on the dismantling of our exploitative capitalist production process and the remaking of society to serve the needs of people and planet, not profit.

The Ecosocialist Green New Deal will require the following things to be fully implemented:

  • An Interstate Renewable Energy System, that includes:
  • Publicly Owned Utilities
  • The Nationalization of “Big Oil”
  • Interstate High Speed Rail
  • Green Buildings and Energy Efficient Infrastructure, with
  • Heat Pumps
  • Solar Roofs
  • Interstate, Publicly Owned High Speed Internet
  • Green Manufacturing
  • Agricultural and Rural Reconstruction
  • Zero-Waste Recycling
  • Peace Agenda (NO MORE WARS)
  • Finally, a GLOBAL Green New Deal!

However, it cannot be realized without the Economic Bill of Rights. This will include a bunch of pro-labor legislation, and will include a Federal Jobs Guarantee, a Basic Income Guarantee, and a housing guarantee.

Other aspects of it include Universal Rent Control, with Public Housing Initiatives. There would be a focus on Regional Transit Systems, and electric cars. To guarantee economic independence for all Americans, Medicare For All would be implemented as a stop-gap. It would be built out into a fully functioning National Health Service, with upgraded facilities being built to serve rural and otherwise underserved communities.

Lifelong Free Education is another keynote point in the policy. From child care and Pre-K, all the way through trade schools, universities, and graduate schools, etc. It would include a Student Loan Fund to serve as a form of student debt relief.

Finally, the right to a secure retirement would be guaranteed. I think most of us would agree with these actions. Now, let’s organize in a big way behind them. Even if you disagree with “reformism,” try to look at the bigger picture: we have the ability to drastically improve the quality of life for everyone. We just gotta get the right people in office in numbers that can’t be ignored.

I write this piece today in hope that we can effectively organize behind the Ecosocialist Green New Deal so we can change the narrative on it, and we can point to the importance of its success. Keep an eye out in the next week for our climate change piece!

We’re running out of time.

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