We joined our community members as other communities did all over the U.S. to hear about the Green New Deal. If FDR could have a New Deal then we certainly can save our planet by making sure we have a ‘Green’ New Deal. “The Green New Deal is a 10 year plan introduced by Rep. Ocasio-Cortes and Sen. Markey to mobilize every aspect of American society toward 100% clean and renewable energy, guarantee a good job to all members of our society, and create economic prosperity for all.”
A video of Sunrise, known as the youth movement to stop climate change began the evening. Unless we transition off of fossil fuels in 12 years we will have catastrophic consequences. The U.S. ranks number one in Green House gas emissions.
And what do we hear about it from our national media sources? Not much. MSNBC leads the pack in relaying environmental issues and they’re only broadcasting it 7% of their airtime. It’s shameful, deceiving and wrong.
It’s why Terrence Daniels, an Environment and Tech activist was invited to speak to us re: the role Social Media can play in dispersing the facts since our national and local news media are not. We have what we need with renewables without using fossil fuel, just substitute with sunshine and our oceans. Daniels stressed the need for us to demand the Green New Deal and make our elected officials focus on these issues. This planet focus has to be crucial in every election as we strive for fresh air and clean water.
We heard from other speakers including Cathy Van Maren, Jeannette Dean, Peter Gorski, Nick Nichols and Lewis Kuhlman. We heard about the power of the people’s understanding since there has been a deception of the people, a buy out of politicians and a consolidation of government which all have been made possible by the leading companies who own the fossil fuel industry. The Kochs paid for a $120 million campaign for Climate Change denial.
Take a look also at the chart below of spending in the last election:
The Koch brothers who made most of their money from fossil fuels put 750 million dollars into the elections of state and local candidates. Talk about buying influence into our energy policies and job market.
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know it’s all about the bottomline: the companies’s profit. It’s necessary to educate the public that wind and solar energy are not only better for our health (access to nature, good food) but also will cost a lot less than the fossil fuels and will provide jobs. At the same time the expansion and utilization of these energy sources can be profitable to these same companies while creating new jobs for everyone. HELLO. Within our own state if we build the facilities to harvest solar and wind energy, these can provide thousands of jobs and also refill the pockets of the wealthy. Now this is a language the wealthy can understand. In Wisconsin we have 4 x the amount of electricity we need within the state. We don’t need to import fossil fuels.
Planning has to include those generally ignored – indigents, migrants, women and youth who are underpaid and who all need affordable health insurance and education. It can’t just be lip service like the GI Bill with a promise of a home/ education without enormous student debt. These were supposed to be for everybody but were refused to minorities.
What do we want and the Green New Deal can provide?
A little good news is the promising passing of a resolution for the City of La Crosse going carbon free by 2050 according to Lewis Kuhlman, the city’s enviro planner. May all communities be successful.
We need to vote for candidates who are willing to save the planet. We need energy democracy followed by economic democracy. We need to demand this. We can do this. We have to do this. Decarbonization, jobs, and justice.
*Special thanks for the community meeting space to the People’s Food Co-op and the important role Sierra Club has in protecting our planet, this place we call home.