A Green New Deal Builds Local Support as the Right Goes Bonkers

by on February 13, 2019 · 24 comments

in Environment, San Diego

By Doug Porter / Words & Deeds / February 12, 2019

Socialism, Flintstone cars, and cow farts. Oh. my! *

The introduction of HR 109, Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal supporting the vision of a more just and sustainable path for the country has shifted the conversation about climate change simply by pointing out the need for a comprehensive approach.

Assemblyman Todd Gloria announced introduction of Assembly Joint Resolution (AJR 7) urging Congress to pass a Green New Deal. If passed by the California State Legislature, this will put California officially on the record in support of the recently introduced federal legislation.

The San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council was first in the nation among its type of local coalitions to pass a resolution supporting a “Green New Deal with strong labor provisions in concert with our environmental and community partners.”

Community activists with SanDiego350 and other groups visited the local offices of Representatives Davis, Peters, Vargas, and Hunter during the first week of February to drop off petitions urging them to sign on in support of a Green New Deal. Only Congressman Mike Levin (D-49) has endorsed the resolution.

The Sunrise Movement, the grassroots organization who put the idea of a Green New Deal into the national spotlight, is asking voters to contact representatives and senators to be co-sponsors of the resolution.

What the New Green Deal is: a non-binding document outlining an ambitious plan for a “ten-year national mobilization” on “a scale not seen since World War II and the New Deal era.” It seeks to achieve net-zero carbon emissions through funding and investments in community-led projects, repairs and upgrades to infrastructure, and a vast expansion in clean and renewable energy to meet a hundred per cent of national demand.

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who along with Senator Ed Markey, introduced the resolution explained her goals on social media over the weekend.

Via Politico:

Think of the nonbinding resolution introduced last week as a “request for proposals,” Ocasio-Cortez explained in a series of tweets on Sunday. Tying together a host a issues like the Flint water crisis and battery technology investments, Ocasio-Cortez called for a range of ideas to achieve the goals she and Sen. Ed Markey laid out last week.

“For far too long, ideas like a carbon tax or cap-and-trade were touted as the premier solutions to climate change,” she tweeted Sunday. “While those things could be *part* of a solution, the GND resolution says they are inadequate as the whole answer.” She added: “We’ve defined the scope and where we want to go. Now let’s assess + collab on projects.”

Support or ambivalence on resolution is becoming a litmus test for Democrats seeking the 2020 Presidential nomination. And the GOP’s attack machine is already fully engaged in trying to distort the facts of the matter.

Dirty energy advocates know the first and most important part of attacking an idea is to simply lie about its content–early and often.

The President stuck to this script at his rally in El Paso on Monday.

From CNN:

Trump brushed off policy proposals from Democrats, saying the push from progressive lawmakers “all has to do with 2020 and the election”

“But I really don’t like their policies of taking away your car, taking away your airplane flights, of ‘let’s hop a train to California,’ or ‘you’re not allowed to own cows anymore!’ ” he added, referring to the resolution championed by New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other Democrats.

*Judge Jeanie at Fox says ‘but what about cow farts?’

The right wing narrative includes wrapping up the Green New Deal with what appears to be the likely centerpiece of ‘right-thinking’ GOP campaigns in 2020, namely drumming up fear of SOCIALISM, their catch-all phrase for any government program not lining the pockets of wealthy donors.

At the Federalist, the publication that passes for deep thought on the right these days, we’re told “everyone will need to retrofit their cars with Flintstones-style foot holes or pedals for cycling” and “when you’re foraging for food, your savings will be worthless.”

All I have to say to anybody who wants to play these games is “Show me your plan.” What? You don’t have one? Then SOTFU.

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Avatar Sam February 13, 2019 at 8:09 pm

If the left keeps coming up with these totally unrealistic, pie in the sky ideas, they will absolutely hand Trump a second term. Nobody can sell these ideas to any of the red states. We need to bring politics back toward the center and work together rather than retreating further to the extremes.

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Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie February 14, 2019 at 10:39 am

The same was said in the historic context about FDR when he proposed the New Deal, the CCC, etc.

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Avatar Sam February 14, 2019 at 3:07 pm

The difference with FDR was that he was already President and was able to parlay the power of the bully pulpit to effect change.

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Avatar retired botanist February 14, 2019 at 11:00 am

Pie in the sky ideas? Extremes? Haha, the extreme we’re experiencing right now is the amalgamation of corporate America in a corrupt, two party system! The center? The center of what?

Can’t tell you the # of times I’ve heard, when referring to someone outside the two party system, or a concept that isn’t based in a self-centered party perspective, “Well, if you vote for X, you’re just handing the election to Y (Y being the apparently ‘more evil’ one)” To wit, Ralph Nader, Ross Perot, Bernie Sanders…

Until we can equitably embrace another party or individual (with respect to campaign spending, electoral college, etc.) the political system will remain completely broken, careening in 4 and 8 year cycles of stalemates, vetoes and corruption! We’ve had at least 30 years of the center of nothing!

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Avatar Sam February 14, 2019 at 3:05 pm

Ralph Nader = George W Bush
Bernie Sanders = Donald Trump

Enough said.

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Avatar Ol OB Hippie February 14, 2019 at 12:26 pm

Sam – I’m worried about you. You could seriously be in deep denial of the climate crisis; and it’s only partially your fault; the other part is because of right-wing politicians and their sycophants have created a narrative that says ‘hey, see it’s snowing, everything is okay.’ But it ain’t brother. The planet is in serious trouble and us humans need to do something.

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Avatar Sam February 14, 2019 at 3:01 pm

I’m more worried about your political naiveté Ol Hippy! I’m well aware of climate change and I’ll probably be around to experience a lot more of the coming damage than you will. If you can’t sell the idea to more than 55% of the country then the idea is not achievable and therefore a waste of time. We need to support politicians who can sell to the middle, not the extremes. Its too bad the hippies sold out their ideals and bought vacation houses instead of standing by their beliefs of taking care of everyone, but I digress…

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Avatar retired botanist February 14, 2019 at 4:49 pm

Whaaat? Ok, Sam, what exactly IS the middle, in your view? Is it some kind of measured acceleration of fossil fuel extraction? Is it another iteration of what was, in 2018, a 300+ page IRS instruction booklet (for those of us still using pen and paper and making less than 30K /yr. Oh wait. Just buy Turbo Tax? Uh, not in my budget)? Or perhaps its a minor reduction of the 20% of my 1k SS income that is spent on health insurance premiums and pharma “coverage”, even though I’m Medicare age? And who rents for < 1k?
I would sincerely like to know what you think is the MIDDLE for the millions of us who have fallen below the poverty level? It certainly can't be any kind of improvement on "socialized" programs because, after all, they're Socialism. Wow, your assumptions that we're out here buying vacation homes are really pretty offensive. :/

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Avatar Sam February 14, 2019 at 5:19 pm

Didn’t mean to offend but the boomers, overall, were not good stewards of the planet, social security, medicare, civil rights, income inequality, etc.

So now there is a choice, either vote toward the middle and compromise with the right for lasting legislation or vote with either of the two extreme parties on the left or right and get nothing accomplished at all. I choose compromise to at least get the ball rolling.

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Avatar retired botanist February 15, 2019 at 6:43 am

Oh, so now its the Boomers’ fault? You repeat ‘voting for the middle’ but still haven’t defined just what that is. Is that represented by some sort of hybrid between a Betsy de Vos and a Nancy Pelosi? Or perhaps a mashup of a Mitch McConnell and a Chuck Schumer?

Compared to my parents’ generation (one was a Republican, the other a Democrat- both would be horrified at the state of politics today), the Boomers have not been a generation of Party sychophants. In fact, they are basically the first generation to actually explore voting as Independents, Green Party, Libertarians and so on. Moreover, I would say that the Boomers are the LARGEST generation to care about the environment, civil rights, income inequality, and global peace…

So, going back to my first premise, before the Boomer-bashing and vacation home-buying: As long as one perpetuates and endorses unrestricted campaign funding, corporate lobbying, a rigged electoral college (which has twice now overruled the popular vote) and, essentially, the denial of people outside the two-party system who wish to seek public office, one is just spinning in place, accomplishing nothing and damaging daily. The “middle” you steer toward wants those components of the system kept in place.

But make no mistake, lest you think spinning in place is safe, your ‘rolling ball” is hurtling downhill… out of control.

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Avatar Vern February 15, 2019 at 7:37 am

“Corporate socialism is where we socialize losses and privatize gains. Companies that have failed in the marketplace stick the taxpayers with their losses, but when they make money they get to keep it, and secondly, huge amounts of capital are given to companies by taxpayers,” David Cay Johnston, a specialist in economics and tax issues.

“Many of the regulations are written by businesses that want to insulate themselves from the rigors of the competitive market,” said Johnston. “They have unequal access. If you are a member of Congress, you have to think about who is going to either fund you or your opponent. You don’t have much time to think about what’s in the public interest.”

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Avatar retired botanist February 15, 2019 at 9:00 am

Yep, there it is!
“…You don’t have much time to think about what’s in the public interest.” And here I thought Congress was supposed to represent the public- how foolish of me!

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Avatar Sam February 15, 2019 at 9:07 am

Not foolish, just naive. You have to understand the nuances of the rules before you can break them.

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Avatar retired botanist February 15, 2019 at 10:49 am

Well, the hits keep coming! In case it wasn’t clear, I was being facetious. In case it was clear, I have been voting since 1972 and have been engaged with all levels of politics, from local community action, to municipal, state, and federal governments. I understand both the rules and all their “nuances”, as you call them. I have exercised civil disobedience many times in support of issues I feel strongly about.
I do not feel, as a voting citizen, that in the past 2 decades I have been effectively represented in Congress. At this point, I’d rather read the legislative bills myself and vote on them. These are not the days of Paul Revere where constituents need someone to ride a horse to Washington to represent them…
What’s interesting is that your responses are so typical of people who, in the face of lacking any substance to their view, try to grab an upper hand in discourse with phrases like “You don’t know what you’re talking about” or “You’re Naive”. You have now referenced two of us as being “naive” because we don’t view government the way you do. Yet we still haven’t heard your version of how endorsing and shoring up the exclusive, two party political system is going to ‘get that ball rolling”…I’ve been hearing “next time, it’ll be better” for twenty years!

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Avatar Sam February 15, 2019 at 1:09 pm

“…I’ve been hearing “next time, it’ll be better” for twenty years!”

And yet you feel that voting for irrelevant candidates, who have no chance of winning, is somehow going to get you a seat at the table? I applaud your commitment to the cause but perhaps you are wasting your talents getting behind the wrong candidates. Be pragmatic and come help the rest of us who are desparately trying to hold on to the notion of normalcy.

Governing from the extremes only guarantees extreme leadership. Think Germany in the late 30’s

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Avatar retired botanist February 15, 2019 at 1:36 pm

Who said I vote for irrelevant candidates?! You have no idea who I have voted for since 1972. Just because I advocate a regulated, multiple party political system is not to say I have or have not voted for anyone irrelevant! And even your choice of the adjective ‘irrelevant’…And what’s a “wrong” candidate? Would that be Hilary or Trump? Or were they both “wrong”, and if so, then what? Always only two choices..presumably you agree with that much?

Clearly, we’re not going anywhere useful with this dialogue. But it has helped to confirm my view that many people are in serious denial, or too afraid to embrace real change. So we’ll just see if its going “to be better” under your preferred system in 2020.

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Avatar Gary Huber February 15, 2019 at 9:38 pm

Pardon me while I spend the next 10 years retrofitting all of the combine harvesters in the Midwest with solar panels…

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Avatar retired botanist February 16, 2019 at 5:55 am

Gary, you sound just like Tom Cotton from Arkansas:
“… it was “remarkable” how many Democratic presidential candidates “you had leap onto a proposal that was going to confiscate every privately owned vehicle in America within a decade, and ban air travel so we could all drive or ride around on high-speed light rail, supposedly powered by unicorn tears.”

How’s that working for you? Check back with me when you can’t afford the gasoline for your harvester, or actually when there ISN’T any gasoline for your harvester…

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Avatar Gary Huber February 16, 2019 at 1:11 pm

On the other hand, if they can make nuclear reactors for submarines, why not for combine harvesters? :^)

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Avatar retired botanist February 16, 2019 at 2:38 pm

Haha, not even gonna rise to that bait! (even tho my Dad was a submarine Captain in the old diesel days) :-)

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Avatar Gary Huber February 18, 2019 at 10:41 am

“Dag-nabbit, Mabel, another meltdown in the South 40!”

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Avatar Vern February 16, 2019 at 9:36 am

That’s a job creator right there. Great idea!

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Avatar retired botanist February 16, 2019 at 10:14 am

Haha, true that! :)

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Avatar NK February 17, 2019 at 12:23 am

I would like to return to Sam’s original comment and it’s relevance to the GND Resolution (not legislation – a resolution to begin the work). Unfortunately, climate science has been suppressed and now requires a local and national mobilization. What is your solution for climate change that, absent a mobilization, will be irreversible and existentially unsustainable within my two granddaughter’s lifetimes? All I can do is to implore that those who are ‘slow-movers’ turn to the best minds in our country, many of whom are here in SD: talk to Dr. Ram, Dr. Keeling and others at Scripps Institute; talk to those in our military who are at the forefront of the issue. Begin by reading the book, ‘Drawdown’ and others. This transition is complicated, it’s daunting, but it is doable. I recently read that one small piece of our previous energy/resource system, the interstate highway, cost $500 billion in today’s dollars, and took 35 years to complete – sounds impossible too, but it wasn’t. My children, granddaughters, past students, and all the world’s children deserve a public trust doctrine that allows them to transition to a sustainable future with planning and mobilizing, not ongoing disruption, pain, and chaos. ‘We have not inherited the earth from our ancestors, we have borrowed it from our children’ – not from our political parties.

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