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Clear-eyed critics and frontline activists say the “historic” Inflation Reduction Act is a “ransom note” from the fossil fuel industry holding our planet hostage.


While many environmental advocates celebrate the Senate Democrats’ climate deal this week, frontline activists and more critical voices continue to note that the legislation, whatever its promises and upsides, remains an inadequate response to the global emergency that will likely further harm communities already affected by fossil fuel pollution.

The Senate approved the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in a party-line vote Sunday and it is expected to pass the Democratic-controlled House as soon as Friday.

Writing for Jacobin in the wake of the Senate vote, Branko Marcetic called for being “clear-eyed” about the package, adding that “the urge to smooth over the IRA’s serious flaws was understandable when its prospects of passing sat on a knife edge. But after passing the Senate, it’s now overcome its biggest hurdle.”

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Capitalism’s Unplanned Obsolescence

By Pedro Domínguez Gento

After centuries of atrocities against people including wars, massacres, slavery, exploitation, the destruction of the environment, pollution of ecosystems, extinction of flora and fauna, etc., this insensitive and insatiable system has brought us to the current critical situation, including pandemics. And if it were not for the environmental problems, more and more unsustainable, it would continue doing barbarities indefinitely, because people are easy to deceive (this is the only way to explain why the extreme right that caused the Second World War and 60 million deaths is growing again), but Nature cannot be deceived because it works with physics and chemical laws absolutely indifferent to publicity and lies of the great political, economic, religious, media leaders…

Corporate and state capitalism is reaching its expiration date, unplanned obsolescence, for at least three different reasons:

Climate emergency: the COP26 declared that during this decade we have to reduce greenhouse gases and therefore fossil fuels by 45% if we want to limit the global rise in temperatures to 35F, so that extreme climatic phenomena do not prove to be excessively destructive and we can withstand them.

However, the real commitments of governments are insufficient (some still subsidize airplanes, automobiles, mass tourism, weapons and want to expand airports, ports, roads, etc.) and lead us towards rises of 36F and 38F over the coming decades, with the danger that some phenomena such as melting Arctic ice, tundra and glaciers are self-sustaining and can irreversibly accelerate global warming. And if global temperatures rise this much, in Spain we will have summers with days of 122F and 140F, as in the Sahara .Are the governments, the owners of the big companies and the citizens aware that this is absolutely unsustainable and threatens the survival of millions of species, including our own?

Decline of natural resources: some strategic minerals are being depleted at a rapid rate, for example mercury of which we have already extracted 92%, silver 79%, gold 75%, tin 75%, arsenic 75%,  lead 72%, copper 59%, oil 48%, etc., and this is already beginning to generate serious problems before they are exhausted. Oil, in particular, still has half of its reserves left, but those of easy extraction have run out and every year it is more complicated and more expensive to continue extracting it, so that its production has passed peak oil 4 and is declining, especially diesel, fuel for heavy machinery… With the decline and depletion of natural resources, how long can a system based on continuous growth and abundant and cheap oil last?

System collapse: in the long run this system is unsustainable, but the question now is what will world leaders do in the short and medium term? In principle, they do not seem to want to solve the problems because for the moment they are doing well, they are getting richer and more powerful, the opposite of what is happening to the great majority of people. And they continue to do more of the same: speculation and financial bubbles, disconnection of the financial world and the real economy, privatization of public services and even pensions, automation of processes and reduction of human labor, growing unemployment especially among young people, maintenance of long working hours, lengthening of the retirement age, etc. etc.. They are so much carried away by the historical inertia that they are repeating the “solutions” that they already applied to the biggest previous crisis, the 1929 crash and the world depression of the 30’s; making those at the bottom pay for the crisis, hardening repression, encouraging extreme right-wing groups/parties/governments, specialists in lying and provoking, promoting a new arms escalation with NATO destroying oil countries, plundering them and besieging Russians, Chinese and others. We already know how that crisis ended and now it could be much worse because they have 13,000 thermonuclear missiles, much more destructive than the bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki… How would this civilization be left if World War III broke out? Would anyone survive?

Today there are already 7,921 billion human beings but the main problem is not overpopulation but over consumption. As Ghandi said, “the Earth has enough resources to sustain all mankind but not enough to satisfy the greed of a few”. In other words, there are not enough resources and regenerative capacity of the biosphere for our economy, consumption and waste to continue to grow ad infinitum; this insane pretension of capitalists and their economists is completely impossible and leads us humans and millions of species to the dustbin of history!

However, there are solutions to all problems and we have known them for a long time, but they all involve overcoming this system. Solutions such as those proposed by the 11,000 scientists generalizing savings, efficiency and renewable energies, eliminating fossil fuel subsidies, helping poor countries to abandon them, protecting and restoring ecosystems, consuming more plant-based food and less animal-based food, stabilizing the world population while respecting human rights and on and on.

And by consuming less, in rich countries, we can even live better. For example, with regard to the climate emergency, we must reduce by half fossil fuels, which account for almost 90% of the energy we use, and we can do this perfectly well because right now there are people who maintain a good standard of living and quality of life by consuming much less energy and resources than the average of their fellow citizens. And they are equally or happier because, after covering basic needs, well-being and happiness no longer grow with consumption, and may even decrease due to the negative impacts of consumerism on health and the environment.

Inevitably we are going to decrease because we have exceeded the fundamental limits of the biosphere and this is unsustainable. We were warned because the authors of The Limits to Growth predicted it 50 years ago and numerous subsequent studies have corroborated it. The question now is how we decrease, if by the hard way, continuing as we are going until the uncontrollable collapse explodes uncontrollably, or by the good way, organizing and empowering ourselves as conscious people and leading it in a scientific, democratic, cooperative and in solidarity with one another.

This decade will be crucial, if we lose it uselessly as the previous ones, perhaps we will not be able to recover the climate balance, nor will we have enough resources for change or simply we will have burst in a new global deflagration… But the future is not written and if we do not let ourselves be deceived or lead like sheep to the slaughter, if we organize and fight, we can overcome this obsolete system and evolve towards a much better one…


Tlaib Calls On Biden To Confront ‘Corporate Greed’ And Pursue Executive Action On Climate Change

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) on Thursday called on President Biden to take executive action on climate change as the Democrats signature climate and social spending bill sits stalled in the U.S. Senate.

COP26 Conference: Capitalists Don’t Cop to Climate Corruption

Over the 12 days of the climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, fossil fuel companies extracted a billion barrels of oil from the ground. As diplomats tap-danced around the climate crisis, capitalists guaranteed that even more Earth-warming carbon would clog the atmosphere. Beneath their fake show of unity and pathetically inadequate (and unenforceable) pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions, the bosses did what bosses do.  The COP26 conference was driven by the capitalist law of maximum profit and by the inter-imperialist rivalry heading toward global war. The only thing that unites the world’s ruling classes is their need to build racism, sexism, nationalism, and fascism to prepare for that war. Only communist revolution, led by Progressive Labor Party (PLP), can save a habitable planet by putting science and workers’ needs first.

Climate change and racist inequality

Though all workers are hurt by climate change, poor Black, Latin and Asian working-class areas suffer the most. An unprecedented drought in Madagascar has left more than one million people at risk of famine (U.N.,10/21). Rising sea levels in the Indian Ocean could erase the Maldive Islands within three generations (, 11/15/17). In the state of Bahia in northeastern Brazil, dried-out rivers are wiping out crops, drinking water, and farmers’ jobs (Yale Environment 360, 11/10). In September, Hurricane Ida swept through New York City and killed 11 workers trapped in illegal basement apartments in working-class  Asian neighborhoods—victims of both climate change and their landlords’ greed.  And let’s not forget Hurricane Katrina, which in 2005 killed nearly 2,000 workers in New Orleans, 52 percent of them Black.

By far the worst is yet to come. By 2050, more than a billion workers could become climate refugees (, 9/9/20).

[Read On]

The Big Scary “S” Word and Climate Change

A Virtual Discussion with the filmmaker and activists on socialism, climate change and the fight for a Green New Deal 

Wednesday, June 9 at 8 ET / 7pm CT / 6pm MT / 5pm PT  

After you sign up, look for an email with information for joining the call on June 9.


Join the Democratic Socialists of America Fund, Dissent magazine, DSA’s Ecosocialist Working Group and Green New Deal Campaign Committee, Sunrise Movement, Verso, Haymarket, Lux magazine, and In These Times for the second installment in a series of virtual events inspired by the film The Big Scary “S” Word. This month’s discussion will focus on climate change and the fight for a Green New Deal.

The Big Scary “S” Word, a new documentary feature from director Yael Bridges examining the past, present, and future of socialism in the United States, connects the dots between many of our social and economic crises and focuses on American socialists’ responses.  

On June 9, the filmmaker will join us to show a clip from the film and answer questions about the movie. The panelists will discuss and respond to your questions about how we get where we need to go now to combat climate change and fight for a Green New Deal.

Yael Bridge is an Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker. She produced Left on Purpose, winner of the Audience Award at DOC NYC. She was also the director of productions at Inequality Media, making viral videos that tackled complex political issues and gained over 100 million views in 2016. She holds an MFA in documentary film and video from Stanford University and an MA in media studies from the New School. She resides in Oakland, where she works as a filmmaker and film educator.

Marquita Bradshaw is a single mom who grew up in South Memphis. She is an alumna of the University of Memphis. After graduating, she worked in grassroots organizing around a military landfill. While doing that work, she learned from her parents, Doris and Ken, the relational organizing model that secured her Senate nomination. Marquita’s career and service have spanned labor, environment, education reform, tax reform, trade policy, and social justice work. After making history in the state of Tennessee as the first black woman nominated for a statewide position, Marquita formed Sowing Justice, a non-profit dedicated to increasing civic engagement in communities experiencing environmental racism and injustice.

Rep. Ruth Buffalo is a citizen of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation. She is originally from Mandaree. Ruth has served in various capacities focused on building healthy and safe communities. Ruth was elected into the North Dakota House of Representatives in 2018 and proudly serves the people of District 27 in south Fargo. 

Rep. Jeanné Kapela serves in the Hawai’i State House of Representatives, where she is the Vice Chair for the Committee on Education. Before holding elected office, Jeanné served her community as a board of directors member for the Kona Coffee Farmers Association and Kona Coffee Cultural Festival. She has also worked as a service provider for survivors of sexual exploitation. She is the first woman and Native Hawaiian to represent her district. Jeanné is committed to strengthening racial, gender, and economic justice throughout Hawai’i and pursuing Green New Deal policies that uplift people and our planet.

 Javier Miranda is a Venezuelan-American and is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America. He lives in a small apartment in St. Paul with a broke-ass car. He installs solar panels for a living, and hopes to see a world free of borders.

Thea Riofrancos is an associate professor of political science at Providence College, an Andrew Carnegie Fellow (2020-2022), and a Radcliffe Institute Fellow (2020-2021). Her research focuses on resource extraction, renewable energy, climate change, green technology, social movements, and the left in Latin America. These themes are explored in her book, Resource Radicals: From Petro-Nationalism to Post-Extractivism in Ecuador (Duke University Press, 2020) and her co-authored book, A Planet to Win: Why We Need a Green New Deal (Verso Books, 2019). She is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America and serves on the organization’s Green New Deal Campaign Committee.

 Ashik Siddique is an organizer with Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America, and serves on DSA’s Ecosocialist Working Group steering committee.

This event could go as late as 9:30pm Eastern.

[Register Here]

More opportunities for working with and supporting sponsors of this event:

Learn more about and donate to The Democratic Socialists of America Fund.

Subscribe to Dissent. 

See the trailer and learn more about upcoming film screenings of The Big Scary “S” Word.

Get involved with DSA’s Ecosocialist Working Group and Green New Deal Campaign.

Join the Sunrise Movement.

Read Verso books and attend their events.

Read Haymarket books and attend their events.

Subscribe to Lux.

Subscribe to In These Times.

In a World on Fire, Is Nonviolence Still an Option? (+4 more)


“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” John F. Kennedy, March 13, 1962

Over the past few years, advocates of nonviolence (such as myself) have been losing the debate in the climate movement. After decades of a well-funded and organized movement that has tried every nonviolent strategy, yet failed to pressure power structures away from the path of climate catastrophe, the promise of nonviolent success rests mainly on faith. 

Adding to the lack of efficacy is a startling rise in draconian consequences for peaceful activism, including dozens of states that have proposed laws legalizing vehicular homicide of activists marching on a public street. As proponents of nonviolence are increasingly ridiculed as “peace police” and booed out of movement spaces, Kennedy’s warning grows more urgent. 


We Don’t Need Prisons to Make Us Safer



To the statement that prisons provide safety, we should ask, “Safety for whom? And from what?”

The United States now has 2.3 million people behind bars of some form or another. These are not 2.3 million isolated individuals—their imprisonment sends reverberations into their families and communities. On any given day, 2.7 million children have a parent in prison. Incarcerating that parent removes a source of financial and emotional support for both children and adult family members. For families who are already in economically precarious situations, removing a parent can plunge them into poverty, reduce their safety, and make them more vulnerable to arrest and incarceration.

This is not to say that we don’t need interventions when harm and violence happen. But prisons have proven again and again to be an ineffective intervention. First, we must remember that incarceration is a form of punishment and incapacitation that happens after harm has occurred, not before. We must also remember that incarceration addresses only certain types of harm. People who sell drugs on the street risk arrest and imprisonment. But the same rarely applies to wealthy people like the Sackler family, who earned billions from OxyContin, the addictive painkiller launched in 1996 that spawned today’s opioid crisis. Likewise, board members and corporate executives responsible for oil spills and other environmental disasters or for precipitating economic crises rarely face handcuffs and jail time.


Addressing Child Poverty Beyond the Pandemic

To Decarbonize the Economy Equitably, Start With Schools

The Significance of Uncle Tom in the 21st Century

Will Biden’s Central American Plan Slow Migration (or Speed It Up)? (+1 more)

By Aviva Chomsky

Joe Biden speaking with supporters at a town hall hosted by the Iowa Asian and Latino Coalition at Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 33 in Des Moines, Iowa, August 2019.

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

This piece appeared originally in TomDispatch.

Joe Biden entered the White House with some inspiring yet contradictory positions on immigration and Central America. He promised to reverse Donald Trump’s draconian anti-immigrant policies while, through his “Plan to Build Security and Prosperity in Partnership with the People of Central America,” restoring “US leadership in the region” that he claimed Trump had abandoned. For Central Americans, though, such “leadership” has an ominous ring.

Although the second half of his plan’s name does, in fact, echo that of left-wing, grassroots organizations like the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES), its content highlights a version of security and prosperity in that region that’s more Cold War-like than CISPES-like. Instead of solidarity (or even partnership) with Central America, Biden’s plan actually promotes an old economic development model that has long benefited U.S. corporations. It also aims to impose a distinctly militarized version of “security” on the people of that region. In addition, it focuses on enlisting Central American governments and, in particular, their militaries to contain migration through the use of repression.


Gratitude, Simplicity, and Service—3 Community-Centered Values for Addressing Climate Change

By Andreas Karelas

Image credit: Gerd Altmann

Considering how the pandemic has called attention to the harms we’ve caused our planet, it’s fitting that this year’s theme for Earth Day is Restore Our Earth. The theme reminds us to value the home we share with so many other species as well as the opportunities we have to do better by our planet. Andreas Karelas, founder and executive director of RE-volv, is all about the opportunities to act on climate change solutions. One of the ways we can restore our Earth is to take a page or two from this passage of his book, Climate Courage, and adopt the three community-centered values he suggests. Our psychology and mindset toward climate change is just as important to be aware of.


Based on the latest findings of positive psychology research, I suggest that, in order to address climate change, we need to cultivate different values—values that place a greater emphasis on community and less on consumption—and that living according to these values will have the benefits of reducing our impact on the planet and increasing our personal well-being. To do this I’ll describe what I believe to be an effective three-step approach: (1) cultivate gratitude, (2) choose simplicity, and (3) focus on serving others. If we can learn to be more grateful for what we have, simplify our lives, and put more effort into serving others, I think we’ll be well on our way to a happier, more sustainable world.


At Earth Day Climate Summit, Biden Promises 50% Reduction in US Greenhouse Emissions

Deirdre Shesgreen, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden pledged to cut U.S. greenhouse gas pollution in half by 2030 at a virtual climate summit Thursday, outlining an aggressive target that would require sweeping changes to America’s energy and transportation sectors. 

“These steps will set America on a path of a net-zero emissions economy by no later than 2050,” Biden said as the White House opened the two-day summit, attended by 40 leaders from around the world. 

“Scientists tell us that this is the decisive decade, this is the decade we must make decisions that will avoid the worst consequences of a climate crisis,” Biden said. 

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The US Has Pledged to Halve Its Carbon Emissions By 2030

by Charlotte Jeearchive, MIT

Joe Biden
President Joe Biden speaks in the Oval Office of the White House earlier this weekAP

The pledge makes a big statement about the US’s intentions on climate ahead of a meeting of global leaders today

The news: The US will pledge at a summit of 40 global leaders today to halve its carbon emissions from 2005 levels by 2030. This far exceeds an Obama-era pledge in 2014 to get emissions 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025. The hope is that the commitment will help encourage India, China, and other major emitters to sign up to similar targets before the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, set to be held in Glasgow, UK,  in November. “The United States is not waiting, the costs of delay are too great, and our nation is resolved to act now,” the White House said in a statement

The big picture: The world has already warmed up by 1.2 °C since preindustrial times, and it’s getting ever closer to the 1.5 °C threshold that the 2016 Paris agreement aimed to avoid. Climate scientists have been warning for years now that a significant amount of climate damage is already baked in thanks to previous emissions, but there is still a short window to avoid catastrophic global warming. 

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Climate Change in Graphics: The Charts That Show We Must Act Now

Global warming is already happening as carbon emissions keep on rising, with effects from sea level rise to more and more extreme weather events worldwide

By New Scientist

New Scientist Default Image
Buildings and farmlands are seen partially submerged in floodwaters following heavy rainfall in Poyang county of JiangxiREUTERS/China Daily CDIC

Earth is warming. Globally, 2020 was the second-warmest year on record, with a mean temperature 1.2°C above the pre-industrial average. By that measure, this means we are already four-fifths of the way to the 1.5°C “safe” level to which the world committed to try to limit global warming.

The culprits are carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels and land use changes that reduce Earth’s ability to draw down greenhouse gases. The results are already being felt, not just through rising temperatures, but also through loss of ice cover, rising sea levels and more extreme droughts, floods and storms across the globe.

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