SocraticGadfly: Green New Deal vs Green New Deal part 3: Sunrise Movement and tax vs cap and trade

April 05, 2019

Green New Deal vs Green New Deal part 3:
Sunrise Movement and tax vs cap and trade

As Democratic Congresscritter Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has some magic powers, or the help of plagiarization of ideas, aided and abetted by the Sunrise Movement, to launch a Green New Deal without discussing the Green Party, I did an initial piece on it. I then did a follow-up, and became more curious about the Sunrise Movement as I did so. That leads to the first part of the second line of the header.


The biggest of "allies," or actually a progenitor, is the Sunrise Movement. Its homepage looks even whiter than the Green Party, despite its acknowledgement that much of climate change will hit poor of all ethnicities and especially minorities. The ambitious goals it lists, per the New Yorker, seem unobtainable without major funding for it. Major funding. And a carbon tax would help until much of this was in place. But ... like AOC, so far,  heavy on aspiration, light on perspiration.

I am also distrustful of any organization which won't list its leadership on its website. Some of the founders claim inspiration from the Occupy movement, or Black Lives Matters. In both cases, we see what has happened with actual or alleged lack of leadership. The original Occupy at Zucotti Park had leadership, despite denials; I've written about that before. Black Lives Matter truly appears to be more leaderless, and by 2020, will probably have dissipated much of its original energy. (In fact, co-founder Evan Weber was part of Occupy. At least he admits it had leadership problems. The real truth is Occupy had leaders who tried to get others to believe the leaderlessness myth. It eventually sold out to Wall Street; remember that, when you see $20 T-shirts; a Sunrise Occupy-style debit card could be next. Occupy also had a 1 percenter problem.

Also, none of the Sunrise Movement have acknowledged ripping off the Green Party, or even really acknowledged its existence. Related big question: If there's a ConservaDem in a general election, after a failed primarying attempt, will it endorse Greens when they're running? SPUSAers or whomever, if Greens aren't available in a particular district?

I sent a second direct question to Sunrise after first indirectly tagging after starting work on this piece. We'll see what, if any, response I get. Don't believe me? Twitter link and screengrab. Account started in 2013. Wikipedia information? Organization started in 2017.

Reality, per Wikipedia? It's a youth front of Sierra Club that sat around and did nothing, it seems, for four years. And, people who have been long-term readers know what I think of Sierra in particular and Gang Green environmental groups in general. And, that explains why it hasn't credited the Green Party. And, explains why it won't identify its leadership more.

And more research. Stephen O'Hanlon's Downingtown is semi-ritzy. The man I presume is his dad would appear to have a ritzy yet small-scale law practice. In other words, the place where white upper-middle-class environmentalists live, a complaint that has been leveled for decades, and not just at environmentalists, but Green movements, including the Green Party in its German homeland.

And, at least one claim, per Sunrise's Twitter feed? To eliminate all greenhouse gases by 2030? Since cow farts are greenhouse gases, unless Sunrise makes the entire country vegetarian, that simply ain't happening. (This gets back to AOC's cow-fart comments, then getting busted eating a hamburger with her chief of staff. The chief of staff who has his pay set low enough to dodge financial disclosure rulings.)

But, per the tweet embedded below, that is exactly the claim.
So, Sunrise IS hypocritical. And AOC is fence-straddling if she believes you just need to cut back on meat eating, not eliminate it. Or, if she believes what Sunrise does, she's a fellow hypocrite.

And, the intellectual equivalent of hypocrisy is Millennial types not doing their own research on this background. Or believing that only two political parties exist, especially on issues like this.

Related? This long read that claims the whole GND is a "financialization of nature." Here's an about on who's behind that. They're leftists, not liberals. Leftist enough to mock Democracy Now. And, this group may be right. Several of the board of "We Don't Have Time" have backgrounds in Sweden's FIRE, entrepreneur or tech worlds. So, in case you thought it was a "big deal," actually, it's a social media focused climate-change call-out co-op. That's not bad, but it's not necessarily all that. And, it's in part slacktivism.

In turn, this leads to the kids who confronted Sen. Feinstein about six weeks ago. Maybe they WERE manipulated to some degree. By tech-neoliberals who believe salvific technologism — the idea that the tech world cavalry will always ride over the hill to rescue us — is going to stop global warming.


And, the "versus" needs to be there, contra a High Country News story recently with a relatively shoddy section near the end.

I jointly Tweeted HCN, Nives Dolšak — one half of a husband-and-wife set of environmental professors, and story author Kate Schimel in a thread of three tweets about this:
“The word ‘tax’ is probably the most reviled word,” said Hal Harvey, CEO of the firm Energy Innovation, which helps design renewable energy policies around the globe. …
 Dolšak tends to agree: She hypothesized that even cap-and-trade, which often amounts to the same thing as a carbon tax, might have passed in the state, given that it sidesteps the word tax and directly limits emissions.
That second graf, with the first graf as introduction, is "problematic" to say the least.

 The first and main Tweet:
I followed that with one about counter-evidence:
I could have added that, in 2009, the House approved a cap-and-trade bill, but never even considered a carbon tax based bill.

I could ALSO have added that a carbon tax allows a carbon tariff to be levied on imports.

That said, to the third tweet:
And I believe that as well.

Neither the mag, nor Dolšak, nor Schimel, has responded. Again, things like this are why my level of love for HCN has declined semi-steadily over the years.

That said, There is good comment here from Dolšak’s husband and fellow environmental studies professor, Aseem Prakash.
“The mainstream environmental groups are less willing to hear from the periphery,” he said. They focus on consolidating a liberal base, he said, to their detriment. Many groups, including the Sierra Club and The Nature Conservancy, did not back an earlier carbon tax that was designed to appeal to more conservative voters. That, Prakash said, “was myopic.” 
And, it ties this directly back to the first half of the piece.

Oh, expect more of stuff like this from me. I already feel a Part 4 coming on.

And, I don't like that none of the three principals here have responded, any more than not liking Sunrise not responding.

Update, Jan. 23, 2020: HCN is at it again, now offering a he-said, she-said piece claiming carbon offsets work, but wondering if they might be an excuse for big companies.

No, they're more than that. They're like a modern version of indulgences for environmentalists.

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