Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 9 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 4/30/19

Is "Green Growth" Malignant? Two Critics of the Green New Deal

By Don Fitz and Stan Cox  Posted by Roger Copple (about the submitter)     (# of views)   7 comments
Author 81476
Message Roger Copple
- Advertisement -

Earth - Following a Polar Ice Melt
Earth - Following a Polar Ice Melt
(Image by Kevin M. Gill)
  Details   DMCA

Here is the link to the podcast interview: http://knyo.libsyn.com/is-green-growth-malignant-don-fitz-and-stan-cox-discuss-problems-with-the-green-new-deal

(Article changed on April 30, 2019 at 05:48)

(Article changed on April 30, 2019 at 06:25)

- Advertisement -

(Article changed on May 3, 2019 at 16:00)

 

- Advertisement -

Rate It | View Ratings

Roger Copple Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

I have submitted almost all of my political articles to www.OpEdNews.com because I like how, after you create a free writer's account, you can revise your articles after they have been submitted and even after they have been published for a (more...)
 

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact EditorContact Editor
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Veganism: Why Doctors Don't Recommend It

Integrating Karl Marx and Abraham Maslow

Bring Back the U.S. Peace Movement

Terrorism is the Symptom; Imperialism is the Cause

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

1 people are discussing this page, with 7 comments


Roger Copple

Become a Fan
Author 81476

(Member since Sep 7, 2012), 8 fans, 78 articles, 2 quicklinks, 194 comments, 2 diaries
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


  New Content

I started taking notes of the first 7 minutes: In early February 2019, freshman New York Congressperson Alexandria Ocasio Cortez introduced House Resolution 109 titled "Recognizing the Duty of the Federal Government to Create a Green New Deal." 89 other Democratic Congresspeople have signed on to co-sponsor the bill.

House Resolution 109 calls for significant growth in U.S. manufacturing, a gigantic expansion of our productive economy which requires resource extraction and habitat loss leading to mass extinction of organisms, the destruction of unique ecosystems, and the depletion of non-renewable resources. There is a problem with the overproduction of everything, not just the bad things--things are being produced to fall apart more rapidly.

Cortez did not write the Green New Deal, nor did the Green Party. In the early 2000s it was developed by international financial policies such as that of the International Monetary Fund and other groups. The Green New Deal originated in Europe as a way to expand capitalism and expand the production of "environmental" things.


Submitted on Tuesday, Apr 30, 2019 at 9:25:00 AM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (1+)
Help
 

Roger Copple

Become a Fan
Author 81476

(Member since Sep 7, 2012), 8 fans, 78 articles, 2 quicklinks, 194 comments, 2 diaries
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


  New Content
Here are notes from 7-10:27 minutes into the interview of Don Fitz: In 2008, the Green New Deal (GND) was written as a UN plan. The Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (AOC) version is a Green capitalist model.

The GND is a form of neoliberalism, which means that you don't solve problems by the government doing things, or by people working collectively to solve problems. Instead, with neoliberalism, you turn everything over to private corporations: You don't improve public schools--you encourage charter schools. You don't improve the post office--you destroy the post office by helping UPS and other similar corporations.

AOC's plan is to basically privatize--to turn everything over to the market to improve the environment, which is ridiculous. The economy is massive, and the GND will make it more massive.

Submitted on Wednesday, May 1, 2019 at 11:26:47 AM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (0+)
Help
 

Roger Copple

Become a Fan
Author 81476

(Member since Sep 7, 2012), 8 fans, 78 articles, 2 quicklinks, 194 comments, 2 diaries
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


  New Content

(10:27--13:24) Interviewer's response: A lot of people would disagree with you since a lot of this particular GND is about expanding government-run entitlements and social programs.

Fitz continues: Yes, it does include some of these, but when you are talking about how these things are going to happen, all of these things are going to be privatized. If you read different versions of the GND (such as the one by the Green Party), it basically says we're going to expand energy, but without nuclear power. But when you read people who are part of the Democratic Party, one of the big problems is that when they talk about clean energy or renewable energy, what's included in that is nuclear power, waste incineration, medical incineration, wood burning, dams--all of these things are incredibly environmentally destructive.

Basically what we need to do to deal with energy is to realize that there needs to be a lot less production. We need to be productive for necessities and things that last. We need to produce things that people actually need in order to have a better life. The GND never says, "We will use less energy." It says, "We will use Green energy."

Interviewer (Dan Young) remarks: So the idea is that you (Don Fitz) have a different GND that would be about providing a better life for everyone, or a decent, if materially stripped-down life for everyone. How would you do that while decreasing energy and reducing our environmental footprint?

Fitz responded: Well, the first thing I would do is advocate a shorter work week because the GND talks about the need to create more jobs. Unions need to be part of this because everytime there is a shorter work week what happens is--It's called "Capitalism intensifying the labor process." This means you are forced to work harder-to produce more stuff in a briefer amount of time. We need a shorter work with zero intensification of labor. That will not happen because of businesses having a good heart. That will happen through strong unions fighting for that.


Submitted on Wednesday, May 1, 2019 at 1:29:58 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (0+)
Help
 

Roger Copple

Become a Fan
Author 81476

(Member since Sep 7, 2012), 8 fans, 78 articles, 2 quicklinks, 194 comments, 2 diaries
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


  New Content

(13:24-16:41) The other thing that we need a government for is for intervening a lot to deal with production standards. We have some safety standards, but every administration likes to weaken and water them down. We need to have standards where everything is produced to its maximum life expectancy. It is ridiculous for people to go out and get a new car every 5 years. Cars should last well over 200,000 miles. And the other thing the government needs to do in cooperation with communities is to stop producing the things we do not need. Every community in the U.S. can be turned into a social community where people have the things they need without driving a car. Cars should not be used for more than 20 percent of the trips we make. What happens in our automobile economy is that everyone in the family over 18 needs a car to get by.

We need to bring back having local stores where people buy things within walking or bicycling distance. So there needs to be a massive urban redesign. The GND does not want urban redesign of existing buildings. It wants to build new buildings. It doesn't advocate fewer cars on the road. It wants to have more cars on the road that are run by electricity, as if that is an improvement. And that's no improvement. You could come up with example after example of how the GND contradicts the direction the economy really needs to go in order to have a better quality of life while using less energy.

(15:24) Interviewer: It seems like the [GND] document is a wish list.

Fitz: Basically that wish list is a good wish list, it's just that the GND won't get us there.

Interviewer: And the underlying way they are going to get us there is a massive increase in production which is unclear if it is even possible to achieve. Even if they can meet their carbon reduction goals, it will have a major impact on other issues like the loss of arable land, loss of water, the depletion of resources.

Fitz: Well everything you said about environmental destruction is absolutely true because whether you produce gasoline-powered cars or electric cars--it takes massive amounts of water to produce the component parts of the car. We already have rivers in the U.S. and other parts of the world that now don't even reach the ocean or the sea because the water is taken out. The idea that you can double or triple or increase a thousand-fold the amount of car production and not influence water is not taking important matters into account. 16:41


Submitted on Wednesday, May 1, 2019 at 2:56:14 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (0+)
Help
 

Roger Copple

Become a Fan
Author 81476

(Member since Sep 7, 2012), 8 fans, 78 articles, 2 quicklinks, 194 comments, 2 diaries
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


  New Content

(16:41-22:10) The other thing about increasing production is that everytime you increase production, you increase species extinction. Climate change is a real crisis, but so is species extinction. When you destroy the species of the earth, it is only a matter of time before humans are extinguished.

There are some articles that say that you can go to a completely carbon-free economy in 10 or 15 years. If that is your goal, you will have to maintain the current class distinctions inside of the U.S. and maintain the class distinctions between the rich countries and the poor countries of the world. Because if you were to double the production in the U.S. just to eliminate the class distinctions, that would be enormous. The U.S. with 5 percent of the world's population has 20 percent of the world's consumption. If you are going to bring up the levels of of consumption in Latin America, Africa, and Asia to the U.S. level of consumption, you are going to multiply production by a factor of 5. Well, they [the GND advocates] do not take these things into account.

What happens if we were to get rid of fossil fuel production? The U.S. and Europe would immediately go into the Sahara Desert to blanket the whole thing with sun farms. Any countries that live there would find the that the red, white, and blue army for oil production marches out and the Green army for solar production marches in. The same thing with wind production.

With the GND, since it is done in a neoliberal framework which wants to have corporations making money out of all of this, it is inevitable that, were it to be carried out, it would just help the U.S. military to be used for a different purpose than what it is now being used for today. As I read about the GND, it is always expressing that we need to build things up just like we did during WWII or with the space race. They want to upgrade or replace every building in the U.S. for state-of-the-art energy, but there is nothing that uses more energy than cement and steel. These are incredibly energy-intensive productions. So when you start talking about large quantities of new buildings, you really have problems. This will increase [the use of] fossil fuels enormously.

They want to expand mass transportation. Buses and trains are less destructive than cars, but they should not be a major part of the solution. The major part of the solution should be redesigning cities, not rebuilding them. I live in St. Louis. There are little places all over St. Louis that used to be storefronts 50-75 years ago that have been converted for some other use. Those buildings could be converted with minimum environmental impact to be used as grocery stores again.

Ninety percent of Americans should be able to walk or ride a bicycle to a grocery store. Americans should lead the world, but not in producing more stuff, but lead the world in saying we can show how we can reduce inequality in this country, and how we can improve people's lives while producing fewer things and better things that last a longer time--all of which must be compatible with the environment. 22:10


Submitted on Wednesday, May 1, 2019 at 5:35:57 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (0+)
Help
 

Roger Copple

Become a Fan
Author 81476

(Member since Sep 7, 2012), 8 fans, 78 articles, 2 quicklinks, 194 comments, 2 diaries
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


  New Content

(22:10-32:12) Interviewer Dan Young: Do you have hope that there could be the political and social will for Americans to reduce overall resource usage?

Don Fitz: Yes, I think that it is very possible. You asked me earlier where should we start? We can start with a shorter work week. If you ask people, do you want to live with more stuff or less stuff, most Americans will say they want more stuff. It's like an addiction. You get a quick fix for maybe a few minutes or a few hours or a few days, and then you look for something else. But if you offer people the choice: do you want a shorter work week or an accumulation of more objects, many people will choose the shorter work week because people want more free time to be with family and friends. That's the way we need to win people over. We should not have to be frantically working, sometimes with two jobs, working 60 or more hours a week, just so we can barely keep up, and to have enough for medical insurance. We do not have to work ourselves into a frenzy. This is the end of the interview of Don Fitz.

(22:48) This is Dan Young and I'm speaking with Stan Cox. (26:01) How did you come to be a plant breeder and an environmental writer.

Stan Cox: I worked for the U.S. Dept of Agriculture Research Service for 13 years as a research geneticist. During the last few years of that job, the world was waking up to the fact of greenhouse warming. Then I started working for the Land Institute in 2000 and have worked there since then. The Land Institute has had a long tradition of critiquing growth and the ecological overshoot. So when I wasn't working in the greenhouse, I was working on writing. I wrote a book about rationing--the rationing of food, water, medical care, and carbon emission. I was making the case that we not only have to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy, but we will have to live in a world that lives on lower energy levels. We cannot completely replace the bonanza we had with oil, gas, and coal with renewable energy. There will have to be some plan to deal with that and probably the best idea is what's called "tradable energy quotas" that was developed in the UK and debated there in Parliament. It involves capping fossil fuel use (but no cap and trade--nothing like that) and having fair shares of energy for people in business.

It should be obvious to everyone that there is no such thing as infinite growth for any organism, population, or ecosystem. There are ecological limits. The goal of present day economies is infinite growth. In capitalism, if there is no growth, it [the business] cannot function. The GND wants economies to grow as rapidly as possible, and that cannot happen.

The times we have seen deep reductions in greenhouse emissions throughout history has always been times of economic depression or after the fall of the Soviet Union. That's one way to reduce emissions. But we need to do it in an orderly and fair way so that people do not have suffer. The reality we are facing is that we will have to reduce our fossil fuel burning much faster than it is possible for the renewable energy to grow and replace it. 32:12


Submitted on Wednesday, May 1, 2019 at 7:43:09 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (0+)
Help
 

Roger Copple

Become a Fan
Author 81476

(Member since Sep 7, 2012), 8 fans, 78 articles, 2 quicklinks, 194 comments, 2 diaries
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


  New Content

(32:16-48:04) Stan Cox continues: We are facing a reduced energy supply if we are serious about keeping fossil fuels in the ground. 34:11 There are estimates that if we were to generate the same amount of energy with wind and solar that we do now globally, the quantities of copper and other minerals that would be required--it is not clear that there are enough reserves in the ground to support those things. The worst thing about these plans is that they are assuming that the global energy inequality that we see today will still be there.

Interviewer: It seems that there are other problems beyond the use of fossil fuels: The anthropogenic mass extinction caused by habitat destruction, the loss of arable land, the loss of clear drinkable water--these things are not entirely generated by global warming.

Stan Cox: That's an excellent point. We could eliminate our fossil fuel use, but if we run our society on renewable energy, we would still be causing all the problems that you just mentioned and including the imbalance of nitrogen in the atmosphere, water, and soil that we have created through agriculture and industry. There are 9 planetary boundaries like that that we are in danger of crossing, such as fresh water availability. We could still transgress those boundaries using renewable energy. That's why it is growth and not fossil fuels that is the fundamental problem.

Interviewer: What do you like about the GND?

Stan Cox: I'm told that in the discussions that formulated this initial version of the GND, that any talk about "ensuring efficiency for everyone and excess for nobody," that that type of talk was shut out. Ignoring that and allowing reckless growth to continue, they will eventually have to fall back on nuclear power. That's my biggest fear. We do need to promote economic security to the insecure majority and redistribute economic power; we need to eradicate racism and all forms of repression. We have to let go of the dreams of Green growth. 44:19

48:03 If the GND succeeds, we will find that it is not going to stop global warming. If we are going to wage this fight, then we better fight for a transformation that actually has a chance of preventing catastrophic warming. 48:04

For the rest of the podcast, the interviewer, Dan Young, provides an excellent summary of all that has been said.


Submitted on Wednesday, May 1, 2019 at 9:33:32 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (0+)
Help
 

 
Want to post your own comment on this Article? Post Comment