Republicans and Democrats Can Not Lead the Climate Change Charge
Today, people realize that there is a correlation between human activity and what happens in our environment. If we dump into rivers, we will pollute it for residents. If we put chemicals in food, it can appear later in consumers. Americans are not nearly as uninformed and unintelligent as our policy choices here in the US make us appear to be. People know not to make trash, not to poison, not to deny the obvious, but we still find ourselves in positions where we do this to ourselves because of how we have allowed our society to form; that needs to change. With a Trump Presidency, rather than the establishment being controlled by corporations, they became them. Now that our “leaders” are so obviously entangled with the corporate system running the United States and following someone who is hopeful that he can defund agencies like the EPA. We have been on a similar path for years but only now do we realize how dire the situation we find ourselves in and how quickly we need to address the situation unfolding in front of us.
In retaliation to these sorts of policies, on Earth Day, April 22nd 2017, the March for Science happened across the world in 600+ cities, with over 300+ partners and hosted by a multitude of people from many walks of life. The focus of these marches and rallies was to increase the role of science in policy making; something that we have obviously been lacking in years past. We need to educate. Grow. Build for a better tomorrow. It isn’t coming the way we are going today. The following weekend for Trump's 100th Day in office, on April 29th 2017, the Climate Change Movement culminated into many cities also bringing again thousands to the Washington D.C. and cities around the US all with a communal message in mind.
Set up Communication - get each other’s information so that people are aware when future events or other important information is being slid through Congress/etc.
Educate – The Biggest tool we have been missing prior to now. How to change things, who to vote out; what is important, what is a distraction. If people don’t know how they are being oppressed, or that there is a way to change it, how else will they change it?
Groundwork – Get petitions signed; inform on local candidates, legislation, initiatives; spread the message – get the activists elected! Many of these events were held by Independent Progressive movements like the People's Climate Movement or the Green Party, and these are the only types who have shown they can actually lead the charge on issues like this.
The Republicans and Democrats have proven after years of inaction that they do not look at legislation the same way that we do. The corrupt parties are willing to take millions from special interest organizations instead of acting to fix the issues plaguing the populace they represent. There is no difference between a Republican and a Democrat when all you get is a corporate candidate. We the American people still lose. We cannot expect to just try and talk to the politician and hope that they will be willing to support that issue then hope that they are not already in the pocket of the organization who is arbitrating the issue.
For that reason, helping Activists to run for office is a cornerstone of what is needed from the progressive movement if we are to successfully lobby these ideas into Congress. On the 29th during the Climate Change Events going on across the country, one such Candidate who will be running Green in Iowa 2018. Daniel Clark happened to be speaking at a Rally in Omaha Nebraska hosted by the Nebraska Green Party. Daniel was there speaking alongside Nebraska Green Party Organizer Jennifer Allen with her three activist children discussing Standing Rock, Native Advocate Leo Yankton, and Green Party VP Candidate for the 2016 Cycle, Ajamu Baraka.
Clark exemplifies what it means to run a local campaign for the people: on the side of the people over the corporations, running against the duopoly as an avid activist, and a former Bernie Delegate during the Democratic Primaries. During the event, he discussed some of the easy ways that we could change what seem like mundane things that would drastically change the amount of energy and resources we consume, as well as the easy ways we could attempting to curtail the overconsumption in our society. Something that became quite prevalent in listening to all the speeches regarding the extreme nature of our consumption is that we if not addicted to the action, are addicted to consumption. We buy things we shouldn’t because it’s cheap. Because it’s easy. Because it looks nice. But like we learned with politics, easier does not equate to better. We as Americans decided to get lazy, get misinformed, get sensationalized news, and get caught up in hysteria so we allow someone else to make the decision for us. Giving up that power may have made our lives easier, but now we just have a further uphill battle and even more reason and necessity to help candidates who understand the system and work for the people against the corporate interests who will perpetuate the decaying quality of life and spending power of the workforce in the US. We don’t have to live with that, especially if the only thing stopping us is “How do we pay for it?” We’ve seen years of a growing national budget without any taxes to justify that level of spending. We know that the amount of money is not important, it is a number; we are monetarily sovereign so we create at-will to justify federal spending. So why not invest in renewable energy? So why not invest in infrastructure or create jobs in Michigan replacing Flint’s water systems? We have the money, we have the resources to rebuild it, we have unemployed people in Michigan, with just over 5% unemployment according to BLS, who would happily take the jobs; so it’s non-inflationary.
What’s the problem? We grew complacent, let go of our control, and allowed the corporate sector, through the government take control of the situation; to oppress the people who originally built the system to protect themselves. We can still fight back against the people and the system who has continually taken money from lobbying special interests. The past few years, the Center for Responsive Politics has reported over $3Billion in Lobbying spending every year, with us still being on track to continue that trend in 2017. Corporations would not invest that kind of money into the political system unless it made business sense to them and they had some sort of return in mind. We need to ignore the distractions to getting what we want when it comes to converting to a Green Economy, because we have the capability to do whatever we would like to do as a monetarily sovereign nation.
What can we do then? Educate, Communicate, and Replace. Educate the populace on the issues, the concepts of monetary sovereignty, and on the implications of allowing our decaying system to continue. Communicate what we can do day to day to change it. Replace the corrupt, incompetent, and non-functioning politicians looking for personal gain in public service.
For the first time in a long time, people who would not have otherwise been doing so are mobilized, going to rallies and marches, and actively protesting government action domestically and abroad. The one benefit of a Trump presidency is that the people who would have fallen asleep with another 4 years of Blue will at least themselves do research into the necessity of third party inclusion and protesting the corrupt bargain we have gotten from the Corporate Duopoly. Both Republicans and Democrats have proven that they will not take the torch without it proving to be them feigning for support. The Climate is far too important to leave to people we know have proven to us they will not “change” no matter how much we “hope” it to be so. It all starts with informing others. Electing Activists. Education. We together, need to be the Change.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. Michigan Local Area Unemployment Statistics. March 2017. https://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LASST260000000000003.
Center of Responsive Politics. Lobbying Database. 1 May 2017. https://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/.
March for Science. We Marched, Now We Act. 22 April 2017. https://satellites.marchforscience.com/.
Thrush, Glenn and Coral Davenport. The New York Times. 15 March 2017. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/15/us/politics/budget-epa-state-department-cuts.html?_r=0.
Nebraska Green Party https://nebraskagreens.org/
People’s Climate Movement https://peoplesclimate.org/