Humankind has reached a moment of existential crisis. We are already locked in for global warming that will have catastrophic effects and we are on a slippery path to our own extinction. The 2018 Special Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns unequivocally that “without societal transformation and rapid implementation of ambitious greenhouse gas reduction measures, pathways to limiting warming to 1.5°C and achieving sustainable development will be exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, to achieve.”
Yet, the crisis we face exceeds climate breakdown. Deepening inequality, suppressed democracy, precarious jobs, racial and gendered violence, border hostility and endless wars make up the terrain on which climate destabilization will be unleashed. The most vulnerable members of society will be hit hardest, first and suffer most.
The urgency and scale of the crisis we face demands solutions that meet the magnitude of this moment. The ineffectual gradualism and corporate obedience demonstrated by the U.S. government’s climate response has proven to be a dead-end for humanity. We need rapid, systemic transformation that heals the stratification of wealth and power while putting decarbonization and justice at the forefront. The U.S. has the wealth and technology to lead a transition to a sustainable relationship with our environment.
And for the first time, there’s a plan to match the scale of the crisis! The Green New Deal resolution introduced by Representative Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Markey would jump-start the transition we need to avert displacement and suffering for millions. We need a Green New Deal. We demand a Green New Deal and we demand it serves people and the planet—not profit.
Please call or visit your Senators’ office and demand they vote for the Resolution. We can fight climate change together!
Robert Eby, Sustainability Studies Graduate Student/Staff