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By Howie Hawkins
When a social movement adopts the compromises of legislators, it has forgotten its role, which is to push and challenge the politicians, not to fall in meekly behind them….Whatever politicians may do, let them first feel the full force of citizens who speak for what is right, not for what is winnable….
Why do so many in the climate movement invoke climate science to demand a target of 350 ppm carbon in the atmosphere—and then turn around and support legislation and candidates that fall far short of that demand?
That’s what is happening in New York. A bill that says right in its text that its target is 450 ppm may be enacted in the current legislative session that ends on June 19 with the support of much of the climate movement.Read more
In February, New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey introduced a Green New Deal resolution: a set of proposed economic stimulus programs to address climate change and racial and social economic inequalities. Over the weekend, about 100 people attended a Green New Deal forum at the Albany Public Library.
The Green Party's Howie Hawkins is widely viewed as the first candidate for public office in the United States to promote a Green New Deal during his 2010 gubernatorial campaign in New York. At the forum, Hawkins painted an apocalyptic picture of the near future. He warned based on the amount of carbon being released into the atmosphere "we have six and a half years of carbon budget left" before temperatures rise and arctic ice melts. "At which point, we're basically cooked, literally. What this crisis means is mass extinctions and eco-systems collapse, the end of agriculture that can feed the population we have, widespread poverty, social conflict and wars for what's left. And that's by 2050. With ocean acidification and the destruction of vital plankton, which provide two-thirds of the oxygen in the atmosphere, we're facing basically suffocating to death by the year 2100, according to some scientists."Read more
Now that the GND is getting a lot of attention as a potential prevention program to avoid catastrophic climate change, it is important to note the contributions of the Green Party of the United States (GP) to making the link between the GND, climate change and the U.S. imperial agenda. Howie Hawkins, an ecosocialist, ran for Governor of New York with a GND in his platform starting in 2010, and the two Presidential campaigns of Dr. Jill Stein, which brought the vision of a GND to the attention of millions, made a significant impact. The GP’s GND includes cutting the military budget and ending the imperial U.S. foreign policy which is in utter contradiction to the agendas of both the Republican and Democratic Party leadership.Read more
The United Nations announced a Global Green New Deal in 2008. Former President Barack Obama added one to his platform when he ran for election in 2008, and Green party candidates, such as Jill Stein and Howie Hawkins, did the same.
Howie Hawkins Note: The myth of the Obama Green New Deal has made it into the media over that last few months without any reference to when he might have said anything about it. I can find no contemporary statement by, nor can I remember, Obama calling for a Green New Deal in 2008. He did talk about clean energy as a job creator and economic stimulus to get out of the recession. But Green New Deal was not in any statements on Obama's website nor in the Democratic Platform, which Obama as the nominee had final say so over.Read more
...the Greens must field a 2020 candidate and campaign focused on obtaining national ballot access and building strong, viable and sustainable state and local parties.
Howie Hawkins, the longtime UPS worker and union activist who was the NY Green Party’s gubernatorial candidate the last two times around is one of the party’s OG, i.e., Original Green founders. He’s been the most persistent and persuasive advocate of re-imagining the Greens as an independent party with a dues paying membership in the thousands and tens of thousands in every state . That’s what the Socialist Party had up until the Wilson administration took away their free mail privileges at the beginning of World War 1. There are proven organizing models out here, cheap but not free. Billionaires and foundations won’t pay to initialize or to sustain them. They have to be organized and funded from the ground up.
Howie Hawkins is the only one of the possible Green presidential candidates to acknowledge the scope of what his party must do to do in order to become a viable national force. And along with Green activists across the country, Hawkins is closely considering an exploratory campaign committee, the first legal step in a 2020 presidential run. Get ready for it.Read more
Some Greens, namely Howie Hawkins, have accused the congresswoman of appropriating the Green New Deal — a bold new plan introduced by Ocasio-Cortez that calls for the U.S. to run on 100 percent renewable energy by 2030.
"A lot of people think [Ocasio-Cortez] thought it up," Hawkins told The New Republic. "But I'm the original Green New Dealer."Read more