America's Green New Deal initiative is running into pushback from those who denounce it as "radical." We've come to understand radical to mean something reckless, scary even dangerous. It actually can mean something progressive, restorative or profound.
The GND couples progressivism to reverse inequality with environmental action to tame climate change. In the OECD, the league of developed nations, the US is the undisputed champ when it comes to inequality. On climate change, the Trump nation is doubling down on fossil energy of all descriptions virtually anywhere resources are to be found by whatever means is most profitable. (Sounds a bit like Canada, eh?)
GND only looks revolutionary because of the horrible conditions that exist across the United States.
A few days ago I posted a quote from former law professor turned environmental activist, Gus Speth, who observes that our ability to tackle climate change isn't a function of our scientific prowess:
"The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed and apathy, and to deal with these we need a cultural and spiritual transformation. And we scientists don’t know how to do that."
He's right. Right now it does come down to selfishness, greed and apathy and we too are in the grip of those things up here north of the 49th.
It's pure selfishness, greed and apathy that will keep Canada from meeting the call for all nations to slash greenhouse gas emissions by half by 2030. Our government is in court right now in a pissing contest with a gaggle of recalcitrant provinces over a minuscule carbon tax. These are governments that would douse themselves in gasoline and light a match before they would entertain the idea of 50 by 2030. Ain't gonna happen, not a hope, not even if our last chance to avert runaway global warming depends on it and it does.
We're also going to need something radical to counter the triumph of selfishness, greed and apathy in Canada. We are selfish. We don't give a tinker's dam for the rest of the world, especially those people in countries most vulnerable to the ravages of climate change. We are greedy. We want every goddamned barrel possible of climate busting bitumen in the holds of tankers flooding world markets overseas. And we, you and me, the people of Canada are disgracefully apathetic about what these governments are doing in our name.
Science has done its part. Now it has run into a wall. That wall is us. We need a Green New Deal, a radical plan, to tear down that wall.