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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

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Young Leftist Candidates are Breathing New Radicalism into Stale Climate Politics

Source: The Intercept

On the same day that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won an upset victory in her primary against Wall Street-friendly incumbent Joe Crowley — one of the most powerful Democrats in the House — a New Yorker nearly 50 years her senior fed rumors that he would seek the highest office in the land.

Aside from pouring $80 million to support a set of handpickedDemocratic congressional hopefuls, billionaire former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg once again seems to be angling to run for president. Business Insider columnist Daniella Greenbaum took the opportunity to assert: “Democrats need to choose: Are they the party of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or the party of Michael Bloomberg?” read more

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Anti-Austerity Party Sweeps Greek Elections—What US Progressives Can Learn

Source: Waging Nonviolence.

There are plenty of lessons to be taken from Syriza’s victory and the rise to power of Spain’s Podemos party, but striving to speak to people rather than politics might be chief among them.

On January 25, Syriza—a previously marginal, left-leaning coalition party in Greece—made history by winning the country’s general election. Winning 149 of 300 parliamentary seats, the party fell just two votes shy of an outright majority. Syriza’s leader, 40-year-old Alexis Tsipras, will become prime minister at the head of a coalition anti-austerity government, beating out the conservative New Democracy party and its now former prime minister, Antonis Samaras. read more