We Need to Think Much, Much Bigger

Conference in Bridgeport Sunday, April 28

by Stanley Heller

I go to conferences about climate all the time and mostly people talk about working on very small scale projects.  We should all be supportive of new ideas, for efficiency, recycling, green production,  and the like, but face it we don’t have the time to plant good green seeds and hope a good collection of crops will replace the bad.  In 11 years if we don’t cut back carbon dioxide production in half we’re screwed.  And if it’s not cutback to zero by 2050 we’re screwed.  It’s not me whose saying that, but the conservative consensus of U.N. scientists called the IPCC.

The best writer that I can think of on this subject is Richard Smith.  He does not see fuel taxes, divestment or even “leave the oil in the soil” as solutions.  Read closely his latest piece,  A Radical Direction for the Environmental Movement.  Among others things he says:

  • Radically suppress fossil fuel consumption in the industrialized nations across the economy, from energy generation to transportation, manufacturing, agriculture, and services.
  • “Contract and converge” production around a globally sustainable and hopefully happy average that can provide a dignified living standard for all the world’s peoples.
  • Revolutionize the production of goods and services to minimize resource consumption and to produce things that are durable, rebuildable, recyclable, and shareable—instead of disposable.
  • Steer investments into things society does need, like renewable energy, organic farming, public transportation, public water systems, environmental remediation, public health, and quality schools.
  • Devise a rational and systematic approach to handling and eliminating waste and toxics as far as possible.
  • Provide equivalent jobs for all those workers displaced by the shutting down of harmful industries. Not only is this a moral imperative, but it is also required to gain support of those workers for the huge structural changes we need to save the humans.

By an amazing coincidence Smith will be speaking in Connecticut on April 28.  (Well, not so amazing.  I helped arrange the conference.)  Come hear him and the other speakers at the conference called “The Green New Deal and Other Ideas on Avoiding Climate Catastrophe”  and make plans in these  breakout sessions: 1) An Ecosocialist World and How to Get There, 2) Influencing Environmental Groups in CT and Beyond and 3) What does this Mean for Bridgeport?.   Details at www.pepeace.org and on this Facebook page

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