Green New Deal – 20 April 2019

It’s a truism in capitalism that economic growth is synonymous with prosperity, and prosperity is synonymous with happiness. The data doesn’t bear that out.

A roundup of news, views and ideas from the mainstream press and the blogosphere.Click on the headline link to see the full article

Bikes in CopenhagenThe World’s Happiest People already Have a Green New Deal, and they Love it

COULD A GREEN NEW DEAL MAKE US HAPPIER PEOPLE?

If you buy scientists’ claims that an economy-wide mobilization is the only thing that can stave off full-blown catastrophe, there are some obvious reasons to believe that a Green New Deal — the only call for that on the table — will make us happy, at least in the long run. Averting civilizational collapse, that is, is a happier outcome than the alternative. Provisions like a federal job guarantee, improved public transportation, and reining in pollution could improve millions of lives in the shorter term. A growing body of research, though, points to some more unexpected reasons why a Green New Deal could make us more cheerful. MORE


While the Green New Deal has generated ample buzz, not everyone knows that a Black think tank in Chicago called New Consensus, led by organizer and Morehouse alumnus, Demond Drummer, developed details of the proposal.

She, The People: Meet Rhiana Gunn-Wright, An Architect Behind The Green New Deal

Rhiana Gunn-Wright was always curious about policy, even before she fully understood the term.

“Growing up I’d wonder about structures—in my neighborhood and schools,” the 29-year-old South Side Chicago native told ESSENCE. “What are the rules, who made the rules? You can’t just look at the surface.”

Raised by her mother, grandmother, extended family, and a caring “village,” the Yale grad and Rhodes Scholar now seeks to answer the questions she had in childhood as a national policy expert….

Introduced in Congress by freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), the [New Green Deal] resolution outlines a 10-year mobilization with five key pillars. They include achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions; creating millions of good, high-wage jobs; investing in U.S. infrastructure and industry; securing clean air and water, climate and community resilience, healthy food, access to nature, and a sustainable environment for all; and promoting justice and equity in vulnerable communities. MORE

Degrowth: A theory of radical abundance
As the climate crisis worsens and the carbon budgets set out by the Paris Agreement shrink,climate scientists and ecologists have increasingly come to highlight economic growth as amatter of concern. Growth drives energy demand up and makes it significantly more difficult and likely infeasible for nations to transition to clean energy quickly enough to prevent potentially catastrophic levels of global warming. In recent years, IPCC scientists have argued that the only feasible way to meet the Paris Agreement targets is to actively scale down the material throughput of the global economy. Reducing material throughput reduces energy demand, which makes it easier to accomplish the transition to clean energy.
Ecological economists acknowledge that this approach, known as degrowth, is likely to entail reducing aggregate economic activity as presently measured by GDP. While such a turn might seem inimical to human development, and indeed threaten to trigger a range of negative social consequences, proponents of degrowth argue that a planned reduction of throughput can be accomplished in high-income nations while at the same time maintaining and even improving people’s standards of living. Policy proposals focus on redistributing existing income, shortening the working week, and introducing a job guarantee and a living wage, while expanding access to public goods. MORE

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