by Jeremy Brecher
As our country is devastated by more and more severe droughts, floods, fires, and superstorms, the public is demanding regulation of the greenhouse gasses that cause climate change. The corporations that profit from coal, oil, and gas fear such regulation will reduce their profits and the value of their investments. They and their political mouthpieces have a solution, however: persuade the public that regulation of greenhouse gasses will destroy American jobs. The truth? Climate change is destroying American jobs right now — but climate protection will produce millions of new jobs. Here’s why.
Climate change is causing extreme weather. The giant reinsurance company Munich Re, which has gathered the world’s most comprehensive database of natural disasters, concludes that worldwide, (more…)
[by Brendan Smith]
In 2006, Neil Young told the Los Angeles Times that the silence of young songwriters during the Bush era compelled him to retake the stage as a protest singer: “I was waiting for someone to come along, some young singer 18 to 22 years old, to write these songs and stand up. I waited a long time. Then I decided that maybe the generation that has to do this is still the ’60s generation.”
Hats off to the Godfather of Grunge for stepping into the breach during the Bush years but it’s time for him to exit stage left and let a new generation take over. Whether it’s Occupy’s resurgence as an army of first-responders distributing food, clothing, and even bike-powered electricity or the Rolling Jubilee that has pooled enough funds to buy and then cancel over $10 million in homeowners debt — this is not your father’s protest movement. (more…)
[by Jeremy Brecher and Brendan Smith]
Do you want your college tuition or tax dollars invested to increase droughts, storms, forest fires, and crop failures — and an unending series of Katrinas and Sandys? Or do you want them used to lower greenhouse gases on your campus and in your community? That is the stark choice both students and taxpayers will soon be facing.
In a stunning article in Rolling Stone, Bill McKibben explains that the amount of carbon already contained in coal, oil, and gas reserves currently owned by companies and countries worldwide is five times what climate scientists say is safe to burn. Yet those companies spend hundreds of billions of dollar a year mining, drilling, and prospecting for the fossil fuels that are destroying our future. Worse yet, they are spending hundreds of millions of dollars persuading politicians and the public not to transition to a climate-safe economy. As writer Naomi Klein said of the fossil-fuel industry, “Wrecking the planet is their business model. It’s what they do.” (more…)
[By Jeremy Brecher; Original published in TIDAL: Occupy Theory, Occupy Strategy]
The 1% possesses the lion’s share of the world’s wealth; they dominate the world’s political systems; they command armies of heavily armed cops and soldiers; their views are propagated by another army of media and academic flacks. Yet we know that social movements and popular upheavals ranging from abolitionism to the American civil rights movement, from the Women’s Liberation Movement to Polish Solidarity, from the Latin American democratization movements to Occupy Wall Street have changed societies. How can they have such powerful effects when they are made up of people who appear — and feel — so powerless within existing institutions and when they are opposed by such massive concentrations of power?
There’s a big hint in Bertolt Brecht’s From A German War Primer:
General, your tank is a strong vehicle.
It breaks down a forest and crushes a hundred people.
But it has one fault: it needs a driver. (more…)