Challenges posed by the ‘Green New Deal’

By KAMRAN NAYERI The fanfare about the UN Conference of Parties (COP) 24 in Katowice, located in a coal-mining region in Poland, that the diplomats from some 200 countries have “struck a deal after an all-night bargaining session” that may advance the fight against the unfolding catastrophic climate (The New York Times, Dec. 15, 2018)…

Climate activists debate how to reach zero emissions in time

By CHRISTINE MARIE In early December, the Global Carbon Project published statistics showing that global emissions of CO2 rose 2% in 2018 to a record high. As Sean Sweeney and John Trent from Trade Unionists for Energy Democracy summarized in a Dec. 31 article, “When ‘Green’ Doesn’t ‘Grow,’ “ the market-focused approach to climate protection…

COP24: During the disaster, the comedy continues

By DANIEL TANURO Dec. 19—The Twenty-Fourth United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP24) has just concluded in Katowice, Poland. Instead of responding to the clear message of the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report to take urgent measures to keep warming below 1.5° C above pre-industrial levels, the Conference struggled to set the…

California governor signs legislation to bail out utility that sparked deadly fires

By MARC ROME In October, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported that the effects of climate change are already happening, making natural events like wildfires more intense. A month later, the Camp Fire, fueled by Diablo winds and drought conditions, incinerated Paradise, Calif., killing 88 people with nearly 800 unaccounted for.…

We can beat the climate destroyers

By BRUCE LESNICK Humanity faces a multi-faceted crisis. Endless wars of imperial aggression, both overt and covert—from Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Afghanistan to Yemen, Palestine, and Central and South America. These conflagrations compel those at the bottom of the economic pyramid to fight and die to protect the wealth and privileges of those at the…

Books: Where science and socialism intersect

By BARRY WEISLEDER I strongly recommend the latest book by Ian Angus, “A Redder Shade of Green.” This anthology, published by Monthly Review Press (New York, 2017, 198 pages), contains well-written articles, very accessible to non-experts, that first appeared between 2009 and 2017. They summarize the latest scientific findings on the state of the environment and provide…

Oregon water crisis: A product of climate change

By ANN MONTAGUE — SALEM, Ore. — People in Oregon are usually proud of their natural resources. All school children know that in 1966 Governor Tom McCall took on the real estate barons with public pressure behind him, and all Oregon beaches were legally declared public property with unfettered access for all. So those of…

Husky refinery fire: No to hydrogen fluoride

By LUCAS ALAN DIETSCHE — SUPERIOR, Wis. — On April 26, around 10 a.m., on the same day as the anniversary of the explosion at Chernobyl, the Husky Refinery here exploded and caught fire. For nine hours, toxic fumes blew 30 miles to the south. Eleven workers were injured but soon recovered. Most of this…

No to Ottawa’s purchase of Trans-Mountain pipeline

By BARRY WEISLEDER and GARY PORTER Q: When should workers oppose nationalization of an industry? A: When it is a bail-out of a nature-destroying, Indigenous rights violating, ruthlessly greedy corporation. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision on May 29 to buy the Trans Mountain pipeline is that, and much worse. While the Liberal federal government can’t come…

Kinder Morgan: Should Canadian taxpayers invest in a bailout?

By GARY PORTER On May 29, Canada’s federal government announced that it would purchase the Trans Mountain Pipeline from the American corporation Kinder Morgan—despite opposition from environmentalists and Indigenous people. “The Trans Mountain expansion project is of vital interest to Canada and Canadians,” Bill Morneau, the finance minister, told reporters after a cabinet meeting to…

The militarization of American science

By CLIFF CONNER Following World War II, a think tank named the RAND Corporation took the lead in formulating policies guiding military-industrial Big Science. Some of the titles of books and articles about RAND provide a hint of what it represented in the public imagination: “The Think Tank that Controls America,” “America’s University of Imperialism,”…

Connecticut activists assemble at Climate Justice Teach-in

WEST HARTFORD, Conn.—On Feb. 24, around 170 crowded into the Elmwood Community Center here to hear, as the promotional material described the event, “Experts and activists exploring some of the toughest questions facing the climate movement.” Jacqui Patterson, the director of the national NAACP’s Environmental and Justice Program, told the stories of individual people of…

Union group argues for public ownership of energy systems

By CHRISTINE MARIE As Bill McKibben and other climate leaders keep reminding us, the cost of solar and wind energy keeps dropping. They assure us that if government continues to incentivize private investment with guarantees of profits it would make these renewable sources competitive with fossil fuels and lead to a green capitalism. This thinking…

British Columbia NDP Fails Site C test

By GARY PORTER On Dec. 11, British Columbia’s New Democratic Party Premier John Horgan announced that his government would complete the third massive power dam on the beautiful Peace River in northeastern BC at a cost of $11 billion. Andrew Weaver, leader of the BC Green Party—who signed a “confidence and supply” agreement with the…

Labor and climate groups support Transit Equity Day

By BILL ONASCH On Feb. 5, civil rights, trade union, student, church, and environmental activists in communities across North America will come together in a variety of events to call attention to a looming crisis in public transit. The diversity of these groups indicates that they recognize not only the urgent need to save what…

Bonn talks underway; scientists see grim future for climate

By MICHAEL SCHREIBER At the same time that Donald Trump was gallivanting around Asia, with objectives that included arming Japan with U.S. missiles and cajoling China into the plan to isolate North Korea, other heads of state were in Bonn, Germany, for the 23rd annual “Conference of the Parties” (COP23) UN-sponsored climate talks. The two…

Disaster capitalism rages in Puerto Rico

By KEITH LESLIE “The only thing we need now is a hurricane.” These were the words of a financial advisor in Puerto Rico this summer, anticipating the business opportunities the devastation of a hurricane would produce. This framework—which understands disaster as an opportunity for profit—is not unusual. As Naomi Klein showed in her famous book,…