While much has been made of last week’s video depicting Green New Deal activists’ contentious visit with Senator Dianne Feinstein, in my opinion the most important video about climate last week came from the head of a union talking about immediate impact on workers.
As the author of a DNC #GreenNewDeal & fossil fuel ban A YEAR AGO, I can tell you both of them failed in large part due to these concerns.
Should Senator Feinstein have been more diplomatic with the GND kids before offering one an internship rather than arguing? Absolutely. When I got married the best advice was from Dear Abby, who said that when in-laws lecture you, say “you’ve given me a lot to think about.” Diplomacy helps.
That said, I’m telling you the path forward on climate action is to LISTEN. The UN report says irreversible damage in 12 years. Some workers say the Green New Deal transition eviscerates their livelihoods in 2–5 years. So they need to come TOGETHER and LISTEN to each other.
And rather than attacking the unions — go to the communities and ask the workers what they see as a path forward. Engage them for solutions to their own situations. We are all in this TOGETHER and need buy-in from all stakeholders — from indigenous to industrial — to succeed.
A twitter flame war is so much more engaging than the ACTUAL WORK that some of us have been doing for years…
But I’m telling you as one with political scars from the climate and money fight, we need to talk urgently and respectfully or we are doomed. #ThereIsNoPlanetB
My suggestion: Senator Feinstein and Green New Deal proponents should convene these listening sessions with all stakeholders — including Green New Deal proponents — and youth and elders from all affected communities. It is critical that people from all communities be at the table. And as Hillary Clinton learned the hard way, telling people they would lose a lot of jobs in coal country landed flat EVEN THOUGH her next sentence was about a transition to clean energy (which BTW many workers see as “union busting”).
We have to figure out a way to work together.
Last (for now) — let me add this piece here that I wrote in June 2018, where I urged the DNC to reject all donations from the fossil fuel industry. It remains my view that being clean and green on climate and in politics is both an aspiration and a necessity.