THOM HARTMANN – Former Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis (1916-1939) famously said: “We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we cannot have both.”
JULIA CONLEY – “As fires rage in the West, fueled by fossil fuel pollution, today’s ruling in Montana is a game-changer that marks a turning point in this generation’s efforts to save the planet,” said one attorney representing 16 young plaintiffs.
C.J. POLUCHRONIOU – The Green New Deal project proposed by progressive activists and lawmakers carries special weight for sustainability in the Gulf Coast.
JEFF COHEN and NORMAN SOLOMON – The Progressive Caucus leadership approach that gave up leverage for Build Back Better is akin to the one that just endorsed Shontel Brown against Nina Turner. Progressives around the country should take note and not forget: We can’t depend on the Congressional Progressive Caucus to provide the kind of leadership we need. It must come from the grassroots.
CANDACE BERND – Climate activists living under the constant blare of air raid sirens in Ukraine say they donâ€™t want the United Statesâ€™ fracked gas exports, and donâ€™t want frontline communities along the U.S. Gulf Coast living with the impacts of so-called liquefied natural gas (LNG) infrastructure to become sacrifice zones in their name. Instead, they say, they want a dramatic, wartime mobilization for a transition to clean energy.
REBECCA SOLNIT – Itâ€™s easy to despair at the climate crisis, or to decide itâ€™s already too late â€“ but itâ€™s not. Hereâ€™s how to keep the fight alive.
NICK ENGELFRIED – Simply teaching kids about the science of the climate crisis isnâ€™t enough. To prevent feelings of disempowerment, they need to see how they can make a meaningful impact.
JESSICA CORBETT – Dozens of youth activists with the Sunrise Movement were arrested by Secret Service agents on Monday, June 28, while blockading all 10 entrances of the White House to demand that President Joe Biden and federal lawmakers deliver an infrastructure package that invests in job creation and combats the climate emergency.
WINSLOW MYERS – Are we wholly defined merely by our opinions? The great Sufic poet Rumi said: â€œOut beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. Iâ€™ll meet you there.â€ Kate Johnson, a Buddhist teacher, writes: â€œThe Buddha said that friendship is the whole of holy life. To accomplish it, we need only overcome our fear of reaching out to one another.â€
ROOTSACTION.ORG – On December 16, the progressive activist group RootsAction.org announced the launch of â€œNo Honeymoonâ€ — a sustained campaign that will mobilize grassroots pressure on Joe Biden from across the country. The groupâ€™s NoHoneymoon.org website invites activists â€œto join with RootsAction to push back against the destructive forces of corporate power, racial injustice, extreme income inequality, environmental assault and the military-industrial complex.â€
NORMAN SOLOMON – Corporate Democrats got the presidential nominee they wanted, along with control over huge campaign ad budgets and nationwide messaging to implement â€œmoderateâ€ strategies. But, as the Washington Post noted, Joe Bidenâ€™s victory â€œcame with no coattails down ballot.â€ Democratic losses left just a razor-thin cushion in the House, and the party failed to win a Senate majority. Now, corporate Democrats are scapegoating progressives.
ROBERT C. kOEHLER – Joe Biden, in blatant defiance of the wishes of Donald Trump and the Republican Party, has won the vote and claimed the presidency. He will now, as he told the nation in his acceptance speech, begin attempting to â€œrestore the soul of Americaâ€ and â€œmarshal the forces of decency,â€ which sounds great but means virtually nothing unless the words are linked to a clear and courageous agenda.
GEORGE LAKEY – The point of claiming a stolen election is not to set the stage for a coup, but to add to the right’s list of grievances for building political power in the future.
NICK ENGELFRIED – After a devastating wildfire season on the West Coast, climate activists are busy mobilizing mutual aid, young voters and a just recovery.
ANDREW BACEVICH – Free of charge, Joe, here is an action plan that will get you from Election Night through your first two weeks in office. Follow this plan and by your 100th day in the White House observers will be comparing you to at least one President Roosevelt, if not both.
GEORGE LAKEY – A big-city, mainstream editorial board is talking â€œsystem change.â€ We activists need to be able to answer such an invitation not with piecemeal policies, but with a system alternative â€” one that delivers what the pandemic has shown that we need.
MARIE SOLIS – Naomi Klein explains how governments and the global elite will exploit a pandemic.
MEDEA BENJAMIN – Remembering some of the gains in the difficult year of 2019 can help inspire us for the critical struggles ahead.
YOTAM MAROM and GEORGE LAKEY – A worried young organizer confronts a movement elder who believes that now â€” in the midst of deep crisis â€” is our best chance to make big progressive change.
JEFF COHEN – In the old George Carlin joke, the TV sportscaster announces: â€œHereâ€™s a partial score from the West Coast â€“ Los Angeles 6.â€ For a brilliant comedian like Carlin â€“ who skewered corporate power, class structure and political/media propaganda â€“ thatâ€™s one of his more innocuous jokes. But itâ€™s sharply relevant today as corporate TV news outlets serve up a series of partial scores. Call it â€œpropaganda by omission.â€
NICK ENGELFRIED – It began as a call to action from a group of youth activists scattered across the globe, and soon became what is shaping up to be the largest planet-wide protest for the climate the world has ever seen. The Global Climate Strike is the result of a whole new generation taking bold action and could be the turning point for grassroots resistance to fossil fuels.
ROBERT C. KOEHLER – A serious part of a new consciousness concerning climate change must be addressing what it means to live as part of one global community that is in peril from the consequences of exploitative human behavior. This is not a mere moral abstraction, something to do because itâ€™s right and good. We will disappear as a species if we donâ€™t â€” no matter how much money we have.
MATHEW LAWRENCE – Driven by a step-change and expansion in public policy, investment, and democratic ownership, a UK green new deal can rescue our collective futures from climate catastrophe and create the conditions for universal human flourishing. It can start in our town of 2030.
GEORGE LAKEY – From grassroots movements to presidential hopefuls, the importance of creating visionary plans for change is no longer being ignored.
KATE ARONOFF – ï»¿It isn’t hyperbole to say that fossil-fuel executives are mass murderers. We should put them on trial for crimes against humanity.
JAKE JOHNSON – The Congressional Progressive Caucus asserts that “very few in Congress are questioning how the U.S. can afford to spend $7.5 trillion on the military.”
ROBERT F. DODGE, M.D. – On April 22, we marked the 49th anniversary of the first Earth Day. This comes 50 years after the Santa Barbara oil spills which were instrumental in the declaration of the first Earth Day. The fate of our planet remains threatened by two inextricably connected threats, that of climate change and nuclear war. We cannot pretend to be concerned about our environment if we are not simultaneously concerned about the destruction of the planet by nuclear war.
GEORGE LAKEY – The growth of white supremacy and fascism has been noticeable in a number of countries lately, prompting the question: What can we learn from each other? Each country might find â€œbest practicesâ€ elsewhere that could be applied at home, in addition to learning from its own past successes.
HARVEY WASSERMAN – The Democratic Party has nowhere to go but left. The faux mantra from bloviating experts, petulant pundits, and high-priced consultants has been droning on since the coming of Ronald Reagan: the Democrats must forever tack right to attract â€œswingâ€ conservatives in the â€œmainstream middleâ€ between the two parties. But in the Age of Trump, such voters are all but extinct. The middle ground has cratered. The swing constituency (if it ever existed) has disappeared into the abyss. What matters now is excitement, commitment, clarity, and REAL CHANGE … none of which can come with a corporate/compromised agenda.
KATE ARONOFF – Democratic socialism will be defined by what its most public adherentsâ€”people like Sanders, Tlaib, and Ocasio-Cortezâ€”are able to accomplish once they have the opportunity. At least in the short term, turning their ambitious bills into law will mean prying open the Overton window in policy debates to accommodate what might elsewhere be considered fairly basic social-democratic demands. But with just 12 years left to prevent a total climate catastrophe, time is a luxury that progressives simply donâ€™t have.
NORMAN SOLOMON – In his first term, President Franklin Roosevelt denounced â€œthe economic royalists.â€ He drew the line against the heartless rich: â€œThey are unanimous in their hate for me — and I welcome their hatred.â€ What a different Democratic president we have today.