New Video – Young People on Climate: We’re Not Asking

February 14, 2019



The Green New Deal resolution introduced last week by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) states that fighting climate change requires “a new national, social, industrial, and economic mobilization on a scale not seen since World War II.”

The world’s leading climate scientists agree. In 2015, for instance, they called for a sweeping mobilization — “a radical transition (deep decarbonization now and going forward),” as they described it — to avoid catastrophic impacts of climate change. And last October, the world’s nations unanimously agreed with our top scientists that preserving a livable climate requires “system changes” across the economy that “are unprecedented in terms of scale.”

Judging by their initial reactions to the Green New Deal resolution, President Donald Trump, Republican leaders, and other longtime opponents of climate action seem to have decided that the best way to block such an economy-wide mobilization is to try to paint it as “socialism.” On Friday, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) went so far as to claim the Green New Deal begins with “socialism” but “ends with the Gestapo.” Major media outlets, like Axios, have already begun parroting the GOP line of attack.

But the Green New Deal’s mobilization isn’t socialism any more than America’s remarkable undertaking to win WWII.

Yes, the WWII effort was massive and sustained and impacted every facet of American life — from energy, transportation, and manufacturing to infrastructure and agriculture. But that did not require “socialism.” In fact, under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, “labor, business, government, education, and the military” all worked together “by democratic collaboration” to mobilize America for the war effort, as Lt. Col. Thomas Morgan explained in a 1994 article in the journal Army History.

Climate change action requires a similarly massive and sustained marshaling of resources across every sector of the economy, regardless of the fact that the president doesn’t understand either the science or the urgency. And just like the WWII effort, it will not require socialism.


17 Responses to “New Video – Young People on Climate: We’re Not Asking”

  1. Keith McClary Says:

    “But the Green New Deal’s mobilization isn’t socialism any more than America’s remarkable undertaking to win WWII.”

    Or the interstate Highway system.

  2. jimbills Says:

    Well, I for one would welcome our new teenaged overlords. It’s not like the old have done a bang up job.

    Good video. I personally think food production, followed by water shortages creating regional warfare, are the key problems humanity faces in the coming century. Rising seas, extreme weather, flooding, and wildfires are just the icing.

    On the Green New Deal, here is the actual resolution. You can decide:

    Click to access Resolution%20on%20a%20Green%20New%20Deal.pdf

    It is essentially a series of suggestions, not actual legislation. And still the right is freaking about it, and portraying it using the same tactics they use to deny climate change.

    My own thought is that it’s not enough, but even a series of suggestions that don’t go far enough and aren’t binding is too much for our current government and populace. The use of WWII terminology is used, and this faces two major issues: one, the enemy in WWII was recognized by all sides, and the threat was urgent, and two, we’re in a period of prosperity rather than one of hardship. The Great Depression allowed the New Deal. It wouldn’t have been possible without it. I’m afraid we’re going to have to get kicked in the teeth a few times first.

    Interestingly in the news today also, was how Hannity’s program refused to advertise the following short film for consideration:

    It took Pearl Harbor to put an end to that nonsense.

    So, it looks like Trump is going to pull the national emergency lever on the wall. Pelosi today suggested some future Democratic President could then do the same thing with gun violence. I’d say, why not do that for an actual global, and not just national, emergency, and one that would directly affect billions?

    • dumboldguy Says:

      The premise of the terrific book “Beautiful Country Burn Again: Democracy, Rebellion, and Revolution” (Ben Fountain, 2018) is that the country has faced two existential crises since its founding—The Civil War ~ 80 years after the American Revolution, and the Great Depression and WW2 ~80 years later. Now, another ~80 years down the road we are again faced with the need to “burn” the “old order” and undergo another “reinvention” of our society.

      I too don’t see it happening until we “get kicked in the teeth a few times first”, and agree that “food production, PRECEDED by water shortages, will create regional warfare, and these are the key problems humanity faces in the coming 50 years. We pay little attention to the Third Pole and where that’s going to happen first—-the Himalayas, and the 1/3 of the world’s population in China, India, Pakistan, and SE Asia that are at risk there.

    • J4Zonian Says:

      I do agree with most of that but have 2 minor quibbles that may be major.

      Before WWII we were far from united on who the enemy was. For corporations, whatever made them money was good, and Germany was a major trade partner. Many other public figures were either vocally or surreptitiously Nazi sympathizers; many more were isolationist, so rabidly anti-communist they may or may not have been fascist sympathizers, or were otherwise against intervention. Even after the war started we were far from a united country on the issue, and many profiteers had questionable motives, sensibilities and sympathies.

      Second, this certainly is a period of not only hardship, but increasing hardship and hopelessness for most people in the US. It’s not Great Depression level hardship yet, but without a Green New Deal it will without any doubt only get worse until a combination of fascism and ecological destruction ends civilization. I’ve often put our crisis in terms of the 3 Cs–Climate Catastrophe and the larger ecological crisis, the failure of the US Constitution and the rule of law, and the power Corporations have over our media, government and lives. All 3 are founded in our psychological condition and we can’t solve any without substantial work on the other 2. While I think this is a useful way of looking at both the problems and solutions, it may also be worthwhile to think of it as 2 problems–Ecological Failure and Fascism–which in the end are 1 problem–our relationships.

      You may be right about needing things to get worse before we have the political power to take the necessary steps at the necessary speed, but that’s not certain. There’s an increasing general awareness and an increasingly vocal and determined movement to force those changes. It’s happening both inside and outside electoral politics and is international. Knowledge of impending catastrophe may create unprecedented potential and action for this unprecedented crisis.

  3. jimbills Says:

    And on Ocasio-Cortez, if you haven’t seen it, this is worth several views:

    The lady is flat out dynamite.

  4. indy222 Says:

    Alas, our past experiences with getting economically “kicked in the teeth” is to cut back first on the money to improve energy efficiency. I’m not optimistic about getting out of this, even after a few more teeth get knocked out.

    Teenagers take over? Yes, couldn’t be worse than having the invested old guard to took us to this awful place, including my generation.

  5. funslinger62 Says:

    Mad props to Greta. She might have just saved us from ourselves. Her school strike for climate action is growing rapidly. And those in power are feeling the heat. I wish us all the best of luck moving forward.

  6. Sir Charles Says:

    Tens of thousands of teenagers planned to skip school today to gather in public places across Europe to protest climate change. The event, being billed as a general strike, is part of a movement that has spread across the European Union and is expanding globally.

    => ‘We Don’t Have Time Anymore’: In Face of Climate Change, Young People Across Europe Are Protesting for Their Future

  7. The younger generation is the one that will have to bear the brunt of the older generations inaction. Enough is enough, we need to act now! Good post addressing some valid arguments

  8. dolphinwrite Says:

    Let’s talk about climate change. Back in the 70s, the scientists were concerned with a global freeze. Then, in the 90s, they changed their opinions and believed the globe would warm up to unsustainable conditions. Later, they changed the title to climate change. Whatever the discussions, this could be a great opportunity for learning. What exactly does affect our climate? In other words, what are the factors that cause the weather to change?
    First of all, unbeknownst to many students and young people, the distance of the Earth from the sun is only a part. It’s the tilt of the Earth that creates the seasons, for as many know, when it’s summer in North America, it’s winter in Australia, our distance from the sun playing less a part. Second, we know both the sun and Earth goes through cycles, and how much do we understand what is happening underneath the tectonic plates, for our own planet heats itself to some degree?
    As one who was interested in flying, having taken a few lessons, but reading those books out of interest (It’s expensive to obtain a license, then affording a plane.), we learned about the rotation of the Earth, the heating of the planet surface which is different in cities than in jungles, the gravitational pull, the magnetic forces, the terrain, the ocean changes and levels of temperatures (Yes, ocean water has levels of temperatures.), and the effect of plants on the Earth (Plants love carbon emission, breathing those gasses in, which then causes them to provide more oxygen. The warmer it is, the more the plants grow, and the more they take in carbon atoms and give us more breathable air.).
    I know I am no scientist, but driving across vast expanses of land, having flown long distances and travelled on the ocean, also doing many calculations. Once, I was watching a lady smoking in a restaurant (This was years back.), and I was fascinated that there was no way to predict which direction wisps of smoke would move even in that small room. The more I’ve considered our planet, affected by the space around, and most probably by our sun, the more I am fascinated at how complex our world is, but also how it seems to change and adapt.
    Since climate change has become such a huge topic in the media, what a wonderful time for young minds to delve into the many components of our planet, how seasons change, and how much more there is to understand which could be a career unto itself.
    One thing I am certain of is when I was young, I thought I knew more than I did. As I get older, the more I know, the more I realize I don’t know. I seem to be getting less intelligent with the passing of years. But I think it’s more that there’s much more to this thing called life than I could ever understand, even if I could live several more lives. But I would find it fascinating.

    • greenman3610 Says:

      you need to get caught up. Your science denial is pitifully out of date. I corrected the “1970s cooling” myth about a decade ago.

      as far as the “changed the name to climate change”, see here

      after you’ve done some research and gotten up to speed, feel free to
      come back.

      • dolphinwrite Says:

        Nice try. I’ve learned to think for myself. I understand rhetoric, shared beliefs, and when there’s a trend in thinking. I like that in America, people can wonder, question, research, and think for themselves. And yes, there will be those who use catch phrases. I get it. I think it would be an excellent idea for shows on television to show how many factors are involved in the climate (both Earthy and Spatial), just how complex our planet and this universe is, for it might create a stir for students to want to enter the fields of science. Thanks for your inputs. I will continue, as I’ve done since a child, to think for myself. I encourage others to do the same.

        • J4Zonian Says:

          To think one needs facts, and the ability to distinguish between thinking for oneself and narcissistic Dunning-Kruger arrogance.

        • dumboldguy Says:

          You’ve learned to THINK? For YOURSELF? ROTFLMAO!

          You “know you are no scientist, but driving across vast expanses of land, having flown long distances and traveled on the ocean, also doing many calculations….” Led to WHAT?.

          You are nothing but a science-ignorant believer in climate change denial—do as Peter suggests and get educated—-your science IS out of date, but what’s really pitiful is your arrogant cluelessness.

          • dolphinwrite Says:

            Is name calling the method of educated, honest discussions? Insults and attacks? I think not. In every discussions, I’ve discovered the truly honest speaker rarely resorts to name calling, certain of their position. Remember, I don’t need people to agree with me. Absolutely not. I would that each person thinks and reasons for themselves, but listens carefully to what is presented. And if they still cannot arrive at a decision, that’s okay too, for each person should be convinced for themselves. But to the one who resorts to name calling and insults, the clarity of uncertainty is demonstrated.

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