Feb 262019
 


Leonardo da Vinci Saint John the Baptist 1513-16

 

There are lots of people talking about how they much disagree with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, how silly she is, how dumb and impossible and irresponsible her Green New Deal is, but I think they’re missing a point or two. First of all: what’s the alternative? Who would you trade her for? Hillary? Feinstein? Pelosi? Bernie Sanders? Cory Booker?

Would you rather things stay the same? I can see that from the Hillary Pelosi camp, but not from any other Democrats – nor, obviously, Republicans. Three quarters of America must be dead sick of that cabal, the 50% that are GOP, plus the half of Democrats that would also prefer to vote for someone below 75 years old because 90% are themselves younger than that.

85-year old Dianne Feinstein told a bunch of climate protest kids last week that she’d been in Washington for 30 years and she ‘knows what goes on’. If she can’t see what the problem is with that, then she merely confirms 30 years is far too long in such a spot; Feinstein has been in Washington longer than Ocasio has been alive. Who does she represent that has an actual future left?

Someone wrote the other day that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s way of presenting herself showed she was “savvy beyond her years”, and I thought: you have that upside down. Those older than her couldn’t have presented themselves the way she does, because being 29 years old, born in 1989, she’s the first generation to literally grow up with internet and new media being everywhere. For anyone older, it’s acquired skills.

 

This is simply her time, and she uses it in the same way Donald Trump used the 2016 campaign being his time: they both found a gaping vacuum in power and credibility in their parties, and both jumped in. Even if that would be the only similarity between the two, it would still be an important one.

But of course there’s another one that’s obvious: social media use. Ocasio communicated through ‘new’ media from her days as a toddler, while Trump’s Twitter use is much more instinctive, but both are strong. And if we can agree that such skills are now required for any 2020 candidate, then I got to tell you I don’t see any politician who comes even close to their savvy and effectiveness on social media.

Are these skills one can learn, acquire? Well, anyone can type in a quasi-coherent bunch of characters, but with a billion or two people doing it, you’re going to have to stand out, and do that every single day. I for one am not at all sure that is teachable. You must be provocative up to and beyond the point of being fearless.

There’s a third major similarity between Trump and Ocasio, and that one is connected directly to Ocasio’s Green New Deal: both our protagonists – and antagonists- throw out bold ideas and plans and then wait and see what sticks. In other words, the Wall, and the Green New Deal. And bringing troops home. And creating meaningful employment.

 

 

Now of course you can say Ocasio’s Green New Deal is not realistic and she is clueless and dumb, but that risks taking you right back to what’s behind Door no. 1: Hillary, Pelosi, Bernie. Which is a good choice if you like young Americans invading foreign nations, the one thing Feinstein’s almost 30 years in the Senate can actually guarantee, but a terrible option if you want that kind of thing to stop.

And a terrible option, too, if you are even the slightest bit worried about the climate. The establishment, both Democrat and Republican, are absolutely useless when it comes to that, and they’ve had multiple decades to prove it. And even if that doesn’t rock your boat, you better realize that not only has the time come for Ocasio et al, the time for their, for new, ideas has arrived too.

There will be a version, some version, of the Green New Deal starting in the near future. Those schoolkids ‘confronting’ Feinstein are not smart enough to get it, and they’re being educated in the same school system that has duped all these generations into becoming pawns in a grand chess game, instead of thinking for themselves, but I bet you they are much more likely to vote Ocasio than Feinstein nonetheless.

And yes, those particular kids are too young to vote, and Ocasio’s too young to run, but pray stay with the larger program: Trump is where he is because the GOP had become such an outright failure that Donald could very simply waltz in and take over. The same is true for Ocasio and the Democrats: the incumbents represent the past, and not just because of their ages.

The ideas and policies America has been based on until now have functioned really only to keep the incumbents in their seats. But they have failed the country, whether you talk about climate, species extinction, global politics or the US economy. For all these things they find themselves at or over a dead end. And in comes Ocasio with her version of the Art of the Deal. So what matters (most) for now is that it’s green and it’s new.

Those clueless schoolkids are the vanguard of a new generation of Americans, and they’re going to demand change. Regardless of whether they actually understand the issues (I say they don’t), the climate is set to be a much more prominent election theme. Personally, this doesn’t exactly re-assure me, because the only thing I’ve seen so far is people promising to make money from producing less CO2.

And that’s something I wrote about many times, for instance in December 2016 in Heal the Planet for Profit:

If you ever wondered what the odds are of mankind surviving, let alone ‘defeating’, climate change, look no further than the essay “How To Make A Profit From Defeating Climate Change” the Guardian published this week, written by Michael Bloomberg and Mark Carney. It proves beyond a moonlight shadow of a doubt that the odds are infinitesimally close to absolute zero (Kelvin, no Hobbes).

[..] That these problems originated in the same relentless quest for profit that they now claim will help us get rid of them, is likely a step too far for them; must have been a class they missed. “We destroyed it for profit” apparently does not in their eyes contradict “we’ll fix it for profit too”.

Claiming that we can continue as we were if only we switch energy sources is so in conflict with the most basic of physics, that is: thermodynamics, that those who claim it are either real thick or, perhaps more likely in politicians and business people, lying through their teeth. In either case they’re unfit to build the future, any future. They should be stripped of their jobs and their money and be sent back to school.

 

I’m no fan of Ocasio saying she’s a socialist, since it may be the one step too far in America today that’s also entirely unnecessary. But by the same token I have no patience for those who claim capitalism is so much better than socialism while they’re getting or staying rich off of central bank interference, which for all intents and purposes is the exact opposite of capitalism.

In the same way that Ocasio stands out against her -much- older peers because of her exposure to ‘new media’, she and her actual peers also differ from most because they have grown up surrounded by scary climate stories. That doesn’t mean they understand the issue, and it doesn’t mean the stories are -all- true, but it does mean the issue is much more important to them than to Dianne Feinstein et al.

We cannot see -into- the future. But some things we can see: the next generation of Americans and American politicians will communicate much more than those before them though new media, whatever form these may take.

And since they have grown up with images of a decaying climate situation on top of ever-increasing poverty and an ever-declining American dream, who can blame them for wanting a Green New Deal that can at least alleviate some of the misery they inherit from the generations before them, even if they don’t know exactly from the start what that Green New Deal should look like and be made of?

I would perhaps suppress your first urge a bit to call it a stupid idea and all that. Because it’s not, really, it’s chapter 1 in the Art of the Deal (now available at Amazon at 90% off?!). Think of it as a first step towards something that will come no matter what you think. Or think about how both Trump and Ocasio not only dominate the game from the moment they start playing, they change the very rules of the game.

 

I haven’t read it, but I’m thinking the first principle of the Art of the Deal should be something like this:

You have to present your plans in a way that in and of itself will change the way those same plans are judged.

It’s easy to criticize Ocasio, and it may be justified too. But I don’t think we can gauge that yet, the Green New Deal doesn’t offer sufficient material for it. Still, I think she’s got that first principle down.

One last thing: Tulsi Gabbard is 37, young enough to matter and old enough to run (she is), and a staunch opponent of US regime change projects. Here’s hoping the two girls can find common ground. They would seem just about unbeatable together. And again, look at the alternative: Feinstein, Pelosi, and their appointed heiress, Kamala Harris.

 

“None of you understand. I’m not locked up in here with YOU. You’re locked up in here with ME.”

 

 

 

 

Home Forums The Green New Art of the Deal

This topic contains 7 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  palloy 2 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #45600

    Leonardo da Vinci Saint John the Baptist 1513-16   There are lots of people talking about how they much disagree with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, h
    [See the full post at: The Green New Art of the Deal]

    #45601

    zerosum
    Participant

    “Green New Deal” is a better name than “sustainability”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainability

    Despite the increased popularity of the use of the term “sustainability”, the possibility that human societies will achieve environmental sustainability has been, and continues to be, questioned—in light of environmental degradation, climate change, overconsumption, population growth and societies’ pursuit of unlimited economic growth in a closed system.[15][16]

    Okay.
    There is nobody or organization capable changing any or all of the above forces that are leading to what we all know will happen “unsustainability” and the destruction of ?????

    #45602

    VietnamVet
    Participant

    Sea level rise of 6.6 to 8.9 ft this century is “physically plausible”. The train tunnels under the Hudson River damaged by Hurricane Sandy have not been repaired. Money to build new tunnels so the century old ones can be made safe is stalled. Likewise, the damage from Hurricanes Harvey, Maria and Michael remains unfixed. This is why there is total silence on the consequences of climate change. The costs of the inevitable damage are so enormous that it is cheaper to combat climate change. But the New Green Deal would take oversight and the world’s resources and labor used constructively. The opposite of the greed, conflict and chaos that rules the world today.

    #45603

    toktomi
    Participant

    To my way of thinking, virtually the entirety of global industrial human society is dying, and it is meaningless to contemplate global or national or regional or possibly even local societal alternatives.

    As each day passes and as I continue to read the musings splayed across digital media, I become more awed and confused that nobody seems to understand the meaning of “The End”.

    Stick a fork in it, y’all. It’s about time to move to cover in the trees.

    #45604

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    I remain open to AOC; this is not a stupid human.
    Fresh face, fresh energy, and fresh ideas.
    And precisely because she doesn’t know how the system works; comes at everything from a fresh perspective.
    My only question is; how tough is she really?
    We’ll see…

    #45615

    I hope I opened a few eyes to AOC, because a) the alternative is so much worse, and b) the Green New Push will happen no matter what anyone thinks or wants.

    Update: Jim Kunstler sent a thank you mail for exactly that.

    #45629

    aviehmayer
    Participant

    First of all: what’s the alternative? Who would you trade her for? Hillary? Feinstein? Pelosi? Bernie Sanders? Cory Booker?
    Hummm, Russian collusion or socialism?! As a person who lives in a country that borders Venezuela, I’d go for Russian collusion any day. However, as I’m not from a developed country, it’s just easier to say the underdeveloped peasants did not do it right. Don’t worry honey, AOC won’t be your downfall. Arrogance will.

    #45781

    palloy
    Participant

    To implement the Green New Deal will be hiddeously expensive. That is because it will take a LOT of energy to build/re-build all that crumbling infrastructure. What kind of energy will that be? Is there enough of it lying around un-used at the moment? How about in the future?

    This is where we need to sit down and calculate if there is enough energy available to complete the transition, and when you do that you can easily see that there isn’t a snowball in hell’s chance of it being possible, not even close. So what will happen if this impossible dream is started on? The world will run out of energy and industrial civilisation will implode and collapse.

    The price of oil on the US markets, fell from $80 /barrel to $50 /b during the months of October and November 2018, but that doesn’t indicate that there is plenty of oil. In fact they were selling oil from Strategic Petroleum Reserve at the time, just enough to slowly depress the auction price without making anyone question the situation, and when they stopped, the price started rising again. This was timed to coincide with US’s displeasure with Saudi Arabia over the Khashoggi incident.

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