They've got money, but we've got people
So we’ve got to organize our asses off. Also: remembering Ross Gelbspan
PRESENTED BY MARUPU
Celebrate! Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) marked the five-year anniversary of the introduction of the Green New Deal resolution yesterday with a press conference in the morning, before joining a raucous celebration of the movement organized by the Green New Deal network. When AOC dropped by, she forcefully rejected giving in to the inevitability of dystopia.
“They’ve got money, but we’ve got people. We’ve got to organize our asses off,” Ocasio-Cortez exhorted the crowd. “We’ve got to organize our asses off to shut down fossil-fuel projects and elect people who don't take special-interest money.”
“I don’t know about y’all,” she concluded, “but I’m not going to give in to the dark.”
“The industry and their Fox News talking heads called the Green New Deal ‘socialism.’ What do you call 100 years of tax breaks for the oil and gas industry?” Markey scoffed. “Give us some of that socialism!”
Markey, AOC, and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) recognized the continued battle progressives face in making the Green New Deal a reality, but they also celebrated the victories that have been achieved, including the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) through a Congress filled with fossil-fueled Republicans and a Senate held in sway by coal baron Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.).
“The DNA of the IRA is the Green New Deal,” Markey noted.
Among the hundreds packed into the Ugly Mug last night were many of the campaigners fighting the liquefied natural gas boom, who had been planning to gather this week for days of civil disobedience until President Joe Biden announced a pause in LNG export approvals. So instead of blockading government buildings, they got to break out the karaoke machine.
SPOTTED: Kaniela Ing, Juliette Wilder, Natalie Mebane, Alexander Bok, Tracey Lewis, Talia Calnek-Sugin, Janet Redman, Adam Hasz, and master of ceremonies Saul Levin.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has given us more to celebrate today, with a long-awaited decision to strengthen standards for soot pollution. The Trump administration ignored the advice of scientists, doctors, and EPA staff to reject stronger soot standards in December 2020.
A little more than three years later, the Biden EPA is enacting the recommendations with a 25 percent reduction in the allowable soot in the air—from 12 to 9 micrograms of fine particulate matter per cubic meter. Penalties for failing to meet the new standard will only begin in 2032, however.
“The new standard of nine will save lives,” Dr. Doris Browne, the former president of the National Medical Association, told The New York Times. “That is the bottom line.”
We’re also celebrating the life of pioneering investigative journalist Ross Gelbspan, who has passed away at the age of 84. After an impressive career as a local investigative journalist, in his later career Gelbspan turned his eye to climate pollution, as the author of the seminal books The Heat Is On (1997) and Boiling Point (2005). Gelbspan not only elucidated the science of climate change but also the work of the fossil-fuel industry to prevent any action to end their pollution.
As the editors of DeSmog write, “We all owe a debt of gratitude and appreciation for his intrepid commitment to exposing those who made the climate crisis worse through their actions to deny the science and delay solutions.”
In fact, DeSmog—which continues to be the premiere site exposing the climate-denial network—was founded by public-relations veteran Jim Hoggan after he read Boiling Point, which exposed the role of the PR industry in denying global warming.
One of the other great fans of Ross’s work was climate scientist Michael Mann, who has been relentlessly attacked by the climate denial machine for his work on paleoclimatology. A jury in District of Columbia Superior Court is now deciding whether to hold right-wing attack dogs Rand Simberg of the Competitive Enterprise Institute and Mark Steyn of National Review liable for defaming Mann when they compared him to child molester Jerry Sandusky. The Heat is on them!
Finally, here’s a blockbuster Alexander C. Kaufman joint which Gelbspan would have been proud of: natural gas companies are getting preferential treatment to strip the national building code standards of provisions for electric appliances and car chargers, in a backlash against ambitious standards adopted in 2019 by local government representatives to the building code council. My brief summary doesn’t do this piece justice—please check it out.
As AOC said, we’ve got to organize our asses off.
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