New New Deal
In the last two years, we’ve watched wildfires sweep through our state and devastate communities. The smoke alone has become a national health issue. We must acknowledge the relationship between these massive fires and climate change. For our health and our safety, Californians must demand legislation, at all levels of government, that eliminates our structurally engrained dependence on fossil fuels and carbon emissions. Fortunately, an opportunity has presented itself at the national level via Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The purpose of this letter is to spur readers to learn about her Green New Deal proposal and contact elected officials to demand change.
I support Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s resolution to create a House Select Committee for a Green New Deal in Congress because its scope matches the urgency of the task at hand. United Nations climate scientists tell us we have just 12 years to move our country off fossil fuels, to avoid catastrophic climate disaster. We need a Green New Deal to create millions of green jobs, move our country off fossil fuels, and protect working people of all backgrounds. Climate change impacts every part of our lives, and we should demand that our representatives support each other to deliver solutions that recognize it.
Face It: We’re Screwed
The current state of our country presents a challenging opportunity to integrate an autocratic president and a democratic citizenry. No problem for dictatorship countries where dissidence is forbidden; dissidents are imprisoned, tortured and/or murdered, and the only recourse “the people” have is to violently rebel. No problem for truly democratic countries where dissidence is allowed and dissenters are able to voice their dissatisfaction and disagreement in peaceful protest marches and demonstrations. In our current autocratic democracy, the president “deals” with opponents through fear-inducing and fear-based sanctions, tariffs, border walls, firings, censure, criticism, judgment, blame, threats, untruths and unilateral decisions and behaviors that only create a false “oneness” through separatist and exclusionary one-sidedness—rather than achieve a true unifying relationship between parties. Yet we, “the American people,” may have some hope of unitedness through real legislative representation, governmental checks and balances, and a nonpartisan investigation of the presidency. That all may mitigate the rising and deplorable occurrences of civil rights violations, hate crimes, gun violence and mass murders.
In last week’s news story, “Paradise Glossed,” we errantly reported that PG&E had been found liable for the 2017 Tubbs fire. PG&E has been found liable for 11 of the 16 wildfires fires that broke out in California in late 2017, but no determination has yet been made as to the cause of the Tubbs fire. We regret the error.