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Global News and Analysis

We must ensure US public lands stay public, or risk ‘demolition of society’

Source: The Guardian

A lawyer and longtime energy lobbyist, the new interior secretary, David Bernhardt, has one goal in mind: handing as much land as possible to corporations.

Who are America’s public lands for? The answer to that question might seem self-evident: the public. The newly confirmed interior secretary, David Bernhardt – officially charged with stewarding them – has a different interpretation. A lawyer and longtime energy lobbyist, he has shuffled between posts on K Street and in the federal government with one goal in mind: handing as much of that land as possible over to corporations, particularly his friends and clients in the oil and gas industry eager to snap up new leases for mining and drilling. read more

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Global News and Analysis

A Green New Deal can give us the freedoms to allow humanity to flourish

Source: The Guardian

Franklin Delano Roosevelt sought to redefine freedom in the face of war. The Green New Deal imagines goals for a colorful democracy

One of the biggest challenges of climate politics is that the solutions seem scarier than the problem. We worry that to truly decarbonize, we’d need an authoritarian government or endless austerity. But a big and bold enough Green New Deal could finally make us truly free.

The principles that animated the New Deal are often associated with Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s proposed (but never fully enacted) Economic Bill of Rights. These included rights to employment, medical care, housing, education, and social security. Those goals are tragically unrealized for many Americans, and any just version of the Green New Deal must start there. They’re familiar goals for the left, ones we’ve been fighting over for decades. But we also need to rework another New Deal-era statement of principles – FDR’s Four Freedoms. read more

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Global News and Analysis

Climate Change, Not Border Security, is the Real National Emergency

Source: The Intercept

The shutdown might be over for now, but President Donald Trump’s threat to declare a national emergency still looms. The continuing resolution passed Friday afternoon does not contain funding for a border wall, and the president has suggested that if Congress doesn’t compromise on a funding plan within three weeks, he may still proclaim a national emergency at the border.

When Trump first threatened to use emergency powers to unlock $5.7 billion for his $20 billion border wall project, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. came out strongly against it — but not for humanitarian reasons or because he is concerned about an unmistakable creep toward authoritarianism. Rather, Rubio worried that normalizing the call for a state of emergency might make it easier for politicians to act on a genuine existential threat: “If today, the national emergency is border security,” said Rubio, “tomorrow, the national emergency might be climate change.” read more

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Global News and Analysis

Macron’s Climate Tax Is a Disaster

Source: Jacobin

The Yellow Vests movement in France is raising up a vital message: blame the fossil-fuel industry and the rich for the ecological crisis, not ordinary people.

Hundreds of thousands of French protesters have flooded into the streets and the Right is salivating, broadcasting the “Yellow Vest” (gilets jaunes) riots there — sparked by an environmentally framed fuel tax — as definitive proof that the fight for climate action is a losing battle.

Bowing to pressure, Emmanuel Macron’s government agreed to quash the tax and caved to a slew of other demands just last night, with the first installment earning praise from Donald Trump. The Rupert Murdoch–owned Wall Street Journal cast its lot in with the rabble, lauding what it called a “Global Carbon Tax Revolt” as the death knell of an “ecological transition” — scare quotes and all. The timing on theirs and Trump’s end couldn’t be better, as talks to finalize the Paris Agreement enter their second week in Poland — talks Macron will skip to attend to matters at home. read more