ELISE Episode 1 : To Touch the Ground
Buttigieg, Buttigieg, Buttigieg, Buttigieg. And this is Episode of Intercepted. Protesters [at Climate Strike]: What do we want?
Climate justice! When do we want it? What do we want? Greta Thunberg: This is all wrong. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet, you all come to us young people for hope.
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How dare you? People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. We know who to blame for polluting our air, and heating our oceans. We know who is responsible for this emergency. But still, the culprits have slithered out of accountability.
Of course, many people do lack money but I mean, governments and these people in power, they do not lack money. And also we need to have the polluters to actually pay for the damage they have caused. BR: About a year ago, Greta began school strikes for the climate in her native Sweden. On September 20th, four million people joined her across the globe. Sharon has been working on a beat at the Intercept for several years uncovering the way the toxic chemicals are invading our everyday life and our bodies thanks to corporate greed and government inaction. Sharon Lerner: It was already in all of our bodies.
It was in our blood. It was in the blood of wildlife. It was in water, as it became clear to me in , around the country. Naomi has a new book out that tries to answer some of the questions we started talking about today: Can we ward off a grim future where the planet is warming faster than we thought possible, where right-wing authoritarians are leading us straight towards a climate catastrophe?
What would real climate justice look like and what would it take to achieve it? Naomi Klein: Thank you.
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But how is it going? NK: Yeah, the tour has been fantastic so far. The book events have really turned into organizing meetings, people really want to get involved. They want to figure out how they can help make a Green New Deal happen. And for the book to be coming out the same week that we have these historic climate strikes around the world has also just been really exciting. BR: This point in history feel so momentous with four million people taking to the streets and when so much depends on what happens next.
So do you feel hope or dread or some combination of both? A clarity, a moral clarity coming from particularly young people who really understand that they are fighting for their futures. Why is the Green New Deal the answer to that crisis? NK: Well, I think the rising white supremacy, xenophobia, you know, this is a global phenomenon. DJT: We are going to take care of our Indian American citizens before we take care of illegal immigrants that want to pour into our country.
ELISE Episode 1 : To Touch the Ground
NK: And that points to the fact that this phenomenon of these right-wing demagogues is global. And it looks different in different contexts. For Modi, these same others take different forms. We see it in Kashmir. We see it in his creating all of these out-groups throughout the country and on the borders and using similar tactics, similar technologies, similar contractors, taking inspiration from the way Israel is creating this infrastructure of exclusion. We are also in the rubble of the neoliberal project where there is so much economic insecurity and precarity. But within a neoliberal economy, everybody feels this sense of precariousness and directing attention away from the responsibility of elites, from the responsibility of their own nexus of corporate players that they all represent in their various countries and directing it towards the most vulnerable.
And that is what the Green New Deal has the potential to do. And I say the potential because there are various iterations of what a Green New Deal might be and some of them are quite sort of shallow and nationalistic. You know, I really do believe that we are at a crossroads, which is really about what kind of people we are going to be as we face a future of more and more dislocation, of more and more disasters.
BR: So, that is a really powerful response to the way Trump and others tie their rejection of climate reality to appeals to national identity and nationalism.
So why do the Democrats instead respond by talking about cheeseburgers? Kamala Harris: Just to be very honest with you, I love cheeseburgers from time to time, right? I mean, I just do and I think —. NK: The truth is that there are real changes that we who over-consume in the wealthy world and around the world, we are going to have to consume differently.
We are not going to be able to continue to act as if there are no limits to our consumption. DJT: They took away our light bulb. I want an incandescent light. I want to look better, OK? Sebastian Gorka: They want to take away your hamburgers.
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This is what Stalin dreamt about, but never achieved. NK: Or straws. It really cuts to the heart of this narrative of these are places of limitless nature, limitless growth. We are going to have to change. It feels like an existential attack. It feels like an identity attack. Jimmy Carter: We must face the fact that the energy shortage is permanent. There is no way we can solve it quickly.
But if we all cooperate and make modest sacrifices, if we learn to live thriftily, and remember the importance of helping our neighbors, then we can find ways to adjust. NK: It is a political truism in Washington that you just can never, ever tell Americans that they may have to consume less. JC: Too many of us now tend to worship, self indulgent, and consumption.
Human identity is no longer defined by what one does but by what one owns. According to Lasch, he advised Carter and he had proposed language in that speech where he said, you know, if you are going to ask Americans to consume less — and this is in the context, you know, of an energy crisis — you also have to go after the rich you have to go after the big players as well. There has to be a justice element to this or people will reject it. And so, the speech only really talks about regular people making sacrifices. I think the evidence is there for the fact that you cannot ask people to change within an unfair economic architecture.
BR: So, what do you take from all that with elections looming?https://descthenapos.tk
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NK: The need for a fairer economic and social system is not an add-on to the need for bold climate policy. If we do not center justice, we will not get it done. There will be a backlash. That was true in the s before these massive economic inequalities opened up, before, you know, what little social safety net there was, was shredded. And it is most certainly true in , that unless the task of radically lowering emissions is married to the imperative to build a radically fair economy and society, it will be rejected.