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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 2/23/21

Fossil Fuel Shock Doctrine: Naomi Klein on Deadly Deregulation & Why Texas Needs the Green New Deal

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Naomi Klein
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Millions of Texans are still suffering after severe winter weather devastated the state's energy and water systems. About 8 million Texans remain under orders to boil water, and 30,000 homes still have no power. Around 70 deaths have now been linked to the winter storms, including at least 12 people who died inside their homes after losing heat. Republican lawmakers in Texas are facing increasing criticism for their handling of the crisis, their decades-long push to deregulate the state's energy system, and their unfounded attacks on renewable energy and the Green New Deal.

Naomi Klein, senior correspondent at The Intercept and a professor at Rutgers University, says Republicans' reaction is "because of panic" over their own culpability. "The Green New Deal is a plan that could solve so many of Texas's problems and the problems across the country, and Republicans have absolutely nothing to offer except for more deregulation, more privatization, more austerity." Klein also discusses the Biden administration's early policies on the climate crisis, the dangers of continued fossil fuel development, and her new book, "How to Change Everything."

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AMY GOODMAN: Today, we'll start in Texas, where millions are still suffering after severe winter weather devastated the state's energy and water systems. About 8 million Texans remain under orders to boil water. About 30,000 homes still have no power. President Biden has declared a major disaster in 77 counties. Around 70 deaths have now been linked to the winter storms, mostly in Texas, including at least 12 people who died inside their homes after losing heat, including an 11-year-old boy named Cristian Pavón, who froze to death in his bed in his family's mobile home in Conroe, Texas. In Sugar Land, Texas, three children and their grandmother died in a fire while trying to stay warm during the blackout.

Republican lawmakers in Texas are facing increasing criticism for their handling of the crisis, as well as their decades-long push to deregulate the state's energy system. Last week, Texas Senator Ted Cruz faced outcry for flying to Cancún, Mexico, to stay at the Ritz-Carlton while millions of Texans were suffering. Cruz initially blamed the trip on his 10- and 12-year-old daughters. On Sunday, protesters brought a mariachi band to play outside his home in Houston.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has used the crisis as a way to attack the Green New Deal by falsely claiming the state's partial reliance on renewable energy was to blame for the blackouts.

GOV. GREG ABBOTT: This shows how the Green New Deal would be a deadly deal for the United States of America. Texas is blessed with multiple sources of energy, such as natural gas and oil and nuclear, as well as solar and wind. But you saw, from what Trace said, and that is, our wind and our solar got shut down, and they were collectively more than 10% of our power grid. And that thrust Texas into a situation where it was lacking power in a statewide basis.

AMY GOODMAN: Meanwhile, New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez responded to Governor Abbott's claim by writing, quote, "The real 'deadly deal' is his failed leadership." Over the weekend, Ocasio-Cortez traveled to Texas to help relief efforts. On Saturday, she volunteered at a food bank in Houston. So far, she's helped raised over $5 million for Texans impacted by the storms.

To talk more about the crisis in Texas, we're joined by Naomi Klein, senior correspondent at The Intercept, professor at Rutgers University, along with Juan Gonza'lez. She has just written a piece in The New York Times headlined "Why Texas Republicans Fear the Green New Deal." And she is author of several books. Her most recent is the one that's coming out tomorrow, How to Change Everything: The Young Human's Guide to Protecting the Planet and Each Other. Her previous books include The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism and This Changes Everything.

Naomi, welcome back to Democracy Now! Talk about the Republican leadership of Texas blaming this catastrophe on what hasn't even happened yet, and that is the Green New Deal.

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5 people are discussing this page, with 6 comments  Post Comment


Art Costa

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Texas like much of the US suffers from brittle centralized infrastructure. No state (perhaps CA) has as many wind turbines as Texas. Obviously that's not the solution when you crank in the toxic waste factor and demand for CO2 to produce such huge industrial renewables.

I would suggest to Ms. Klein a reading of the so-called Real Green New Deal Project (link below) with regards to energy. It is very informative of the specifics of fossil dependency.

Scale and consumption are ignored at our own peril. GND isn't at bottom any "greener" than the euphemistically Green Revolution of the 1970s.

Suggest a reading of E.F. Schumacher's Small is Beautiful and Leopold Kohr, Right Livelihood Foundation for starts.

Here for the Real New Deal Project - an important examination of fossil and renewable energies, and its call for de-growth, not supped up GDP via renewable energies.

Overview | The REAL Green New Deal Project (realgnd.org)

Submitted on Tuesday, Feb 23, 2021 at 4:57:50 PM

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John Zwiebel

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Like Malthus said, "there are too many people in the world". (ok, I'm paraphrasing)

Many want to think there will be some "magic" that will prevent the collapse that is coming. They point at Malthus and declare, "he was wrong!" He was but only because technology changed.

Michael Moore's "Planet of the Humans" tried (and failed for me) -- like the "real GND" -- to tell us that we are coming to an end of fossil fuels and that means catastrophe (something I think I knew when I was in 2nd grade taking the IOWA tests of basic skills that had the headline "World's population nears 3 Billion".

There will be 9B before I die. Technology has always changed to prove Cassandra wrong.

Will it this time?

Submitted on Wednesday, Feb 24, 2021 at 12:56:18 AM

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Art Costa

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Thank you for your cornucopian opinion. Tell your story to the millions of Indian farmers.

Submitted on Wednesday, Feb 24, 2021 at 2:09:27 AM

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Michael Dewey

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"When shall it be said in any country of the world, my poor are happy; neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them; my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars; the aged are not in want, the taxes are not oppressive...when these things can be said, then may that country boast of its constitution and government."~ Thomas Paine"
       -- Tom Paine

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Not by magic the distbrobrution system is working here in Massachusetts. There is not too many people. No State is gonna recover overnight from what just hit Texas. There probably are enough power plants built to switch towards green technology to build bottom towards. At least a rough blue print of need "Grid's" to keep the lights on. Its a good time to export Thanks Giving Dinners to...

Submitted on Wednesday, Feb 24, 2021 at 10:57:39 PM

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If we have to have fewer people, can we get a list of those who will leave or be un-born? For me, God made the world (and everything else). He will end it in his time. Some will live forever, more not.

Submitted on Wednesday, Feb 24, 2021 at 2:29:02 AM

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rickjensen.org/bright-green-lies/

A slightly different view of the Green New Deal!

Submitted on Thursday, Feb 25, 2021 at 12:15:47 AM

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