Saturday, July 29, 2017

Yes to What?

Having just finished Naomi Klein's newest "No Is Not Enough", I am left wondering. The book is mainly a promotion of the Leap Manifesto, a document produced by Canadian activists, academics and politicos to be a model platform for political parties of the left. As such it is optimistic and rousing, mixing abstract principles and values (such as "caring") with concrete policy proposals (democratic control of energy production).

When I say optimistic I mean the vision is one of continued prosperity and minor disruption. Workers are transitioned out of dirty dirty jobs into good paying clean ones, migrants are welcomed into communities, people become more satisfied seeking "quality of life" and are less consumptive. All through a peaceful leap of consciousness.

But I'm pretty sure we are facing some major disruption. Since the first Earth Day, since the first showing of Inconvenient Truth, since Silent Spring first hit the stands, Westerners, especially Americans, have only increased their per capita consumption of every and anything. I could break out the stats of the trajectory (Hansen et al just published a call for goal of .5 C warming) and the impossible time-line for meeting that goal unless their is a major economic contraction leading to major re-distribution. The "Haves" are not going to give up peacefully,right? When have they ever gone silently into the night when all their toys have been taken away?

And all those "stranded assets" will be disruptive to the financial system. And without investment those new "green jobs" will be a mere drop in a very leaky bucket. Naomi seems to think if you and I run for office we can vote in socialism ( or some expanded welfare state) but I'm pretty sure that "create innovative ownership structures, democratically run..." are fighting words to lots of Montanans. I'm not saying don't try it; just don't try to make it sound like a walk in the park.

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