The Climate Crisis and the Global Green New Deal: The Political Economy of Saving the Planet by Noam Chomsky
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
For someone who has mainly devoted his ecological reading to old carbon-tax discussions and the grandiosity of a total ecological disaster (in many books), I feel as if I'm coming into the Global Green New Deal topic rather late.
You know, because so many other things have been going on. Like social inequality, the rise of fascism, possible nuclear winter, global pandemics... the list is huge. And pressing. And because of all that, when we hear about the need to put our collective political will in gear to fix a problem that is going to affect our children and our children's children HARD, and much harder than we're feeling it now with the rising heat and massive fires, we all tend think... hey... well... yeah, it's bad (when we're not being climate change deniers) but it's FAR AWAY and HARD.
It's going to be even harder when none of us can afford the electric bill for our air conditioner when what we really need is 14 air conditioners for a single apartment. And that's not even bringing up the subject of mass deaths across the world because it's just too hot. Period.
So what, exactly, is THIS book about?
It's a straightforward interview including both Naom Chomsky and Robert Pollin. Pollin is the expert on the topic of getting ourselves into a good position to achieve the ecological goals. Naom Chomsky is just a brilliant man who happens to remember everything he's read and has been at the forefront of two fields: Linguistics and, later in life, politics and current events and how they apply to wonderfully analyzed trends.
Having read and watched many documentaries with Naom Chomsky, I'm something of a huge fan and believe that everyone should pay close attention to all that he says. He breaks things down in ways that are stunningly clear. And he also refuses to shy away from voicing his own opinions while being very clear that they are just opinions. He doesn't conflate analysis with subjectivity.
As for Pollin, I learned a lot of interesting facts about the Global Green New Deal. First of all, it takes its name from FDR's New Deal stance. Mobilizing a HUGE portion of society toward one end. It's possible. It may even be likely at the eleventh hour, when all hope has been lost, that we might even GO THERE. But then, the book does give equal time to the HOPEFULLNESS and logical steps that governments and political movements to pressure those governments would have to take in order to move toward a task that would still take 10 to 30 years to even accomplish, and it also gives time to the absolute absurdity of what we CURRENTLY HAVE.
Some high points:
Dropping oil and logging is not an apocalypse. There is a LOT of financial opportunities in alternative energy. And I'm not just talking about the existing economic giants getting on board, but for all the existing workers who make a living in the old industry. Making money and selling alternative energy is CURRENTLY on par with oil. Careers AND the price in the end-products.
Things have changed from 15 years ago.
Being knowledgeable about the current field is NOT a luxury we can forgo. Living with the fear that everything is going to hell kinda begs the question: WHY are we living with a fear of change when the change is all for our benefit? We all need to drop the old assumptions and look toward re-tooling ourselves en-masse.
It really is a global concern. It affects everyone of every political motive. And yet, like the pandemic, people are turning it into a selling point. It should never have been a bone of contention.
It is POSSIBLE to pull it off. Unfortunately, we need EVERYONE on board.
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