Beyond climate change, there’s the Anthropocene. Humans have altered the planet to such an extent that it has entered a new age. The Anthropocene and the unprecedented changes it brings call for a new way to think about how humans relate to the planet.
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Less of What We Don't Need
Stories about Less of What We Don't Need.
The idea of a “Green New Deal” has been raised in response to the threat of climate and ecological catastrophe. Two such proposals are analyzed here and counter-posed to the program of revolutionary libertarian ecosocialism.
According to the climate scientists, industrial civilization has at most a dozen years until global warming is irreversible. This will cause (and is already causing) extremes of weather, accelerating extermination of species, droughts and floods, loss of useable water, vast storms, rising sea levels which will destroy islands and coastal cities, raging wildfires, loss of crops, and, overall, environmental conditions in which neither humans nor other organisms evolved to exist.
In a recent podcast, Daniel Young of KNYO community radio in Northern California interviewed Green Social Thought's Don Fitz and Stan Cox about the Green New Deal.
Abandoned by their country, residents refuse to accept the idea that they will never recover.
"Amazon, Google, and Microsoft have all struck lucrative arrangements—collectively worth billions of dollars—to provide automation, cloud, and AI services to some of the world’s biggest oil companies, and they are actively pursuing more. These deals, many of which were made just last year, at what may be the height of public awareness of the threats posed by climate change, are explicitly aimed at streamlining, improving, and rendering oil and gas extraction operations more profitable."
Our insatiable yearning for more has left us with less of the one thing upon which our entire lives depend: the natural world
We are at the precipice of ecological collapse. There are no two ways about it. And despite what you hear, it is about far more than just catastrophic climate change. In a nutshell, our current biological predicament is the result of overuse of natural resources beyond their capacity to regenerate, the creation and mass production of never-before-known (often toxic) substances, and the accumulation of massive amounts of waste and pollution.
The recent release of the proposed Green New Deal is a template, an outline identifying some of the most crucial issues facing the nation regarding climate change and a wish list of measures to address those issues.
But there are plenty of legitimate criticisms too, and progressives would be wise not to let their desire to see pro-environmental legislation enacted at last blind them to the very real problems with Ocasio-Cortez and a legislative blueprint that could very easily become as much of a giveaway to multinational corporations as the Affordable Care Act was to insurance companies.
There are a lot of things to like about the recent resolution for the Green New Deal. The commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the acknowledgment of the catastrophic events that will occur if the world does not act soon- these are all healthy signs. Like Bernie Sanders’ 2016 campaign which removed many stigmas about socialism, raising public consciousness about the structural changes needed to lessen the impacts of global warming are to be commended.
However, there are very serious problems with the language of the resolution, as well as the underlying assumptions, biases, and ideology which pervades the text.
Researchers have calculated minimum levels of energy use needed to live a decent life, but what about maximum levels? Includes many charts comparing current energy use across countries, as well as various sufficiency scenarios that have been developed.
How adjusting energy demand to supply would make switching to renewable energy much more realistic than it is today. From a website that's deliberately low-tech to show how to minimize energy use.