“Not Aimed at Passing Right Now": Green New Deal Agitators Admit They're Not Interested in Immediate Climate Action

“Not Aimed at Passing Right Now": Green New Deal Agitators Admit They're Not Interested in Immediate Climate Action

When Donald Trump announced that he was declaring a fake national emergency to try to illegally move money around to build his wall, some politics watchers made a highly accurate observation: for Trump’s racist base, the fight for the wall was more important than getting an actual wall built. They didn’t care that an uninterrupted barrier would be impossible to build, given it would involve seizure of private property, and that Congress, states, and citizen groups would sue to stop it. They didn’t care that the process would be so slow Trump would be out of office before all the legal battles were settled. What they cared about is the symbolism of Trump’s wall as a racist “Do Not Enter” sign to brown people, and they want the fight.

The “fight” being more important than actual results and action seems to have become a staple of ideologues, regardless of their sliver of the political spectrum. But while right wing bizzaro activists are interested in fighting against people and cultures they see as their enemy, the Left’s ideological wing has a particular affinity for training its fire on people and lawmakers it claims are its friends.

That is what has been happening with self-proclaimed champions of the “Green New Deal” and its principal activist backers, the Sunrise Movement. On Friday, February 22, a group of activists organized a number of children to show up at the San Francisco office of California Senator Diane Feinstein to deliver to her their demands that she vote Yes on the Green New Deal (GND). The Sunrise Movement then released a highly-edited 2-minute clip of the group’s interaction with Sen. Feinstein - with whom, I might mention, they did not bother making an appointment despite having planned it on their own calendar - to make it appear that Fenstein was a grouchy old lady yelling at kids to get off her lawn.

But then, somebody on Twitter - specifically, Mediaite’s Tommy Christopher - decided to do the job too many in our mainstream media can no longer be troubled to do: post the full video of the entire time Feinstein spent with Sunrise/GND activists, in six two-minute-and-twenty-second increments (must be Twitter’s video time limit). In Part 5, after the crowd had started to leave, we find this nugget. Watch the beginning:

Here, we hear a GND/Sunrise activists - one of the adults in the group that organized the children - shockingly admit the truth: the version of Green New Deal they want Feinstein and other members of Congress to sign on to is not actually a thing that is meant to pass. “I think the thing is that this particular resolution isn’t something that’s aimed at passing right now, obviously,” she says. She then goes on to say that the point of voting on their version of the GND is to “show the world what we really need.”

Wait a minute. If you watch the rest of the thread, you will see both adults and children peppering Feinstein with a sharp invective: climate change must be stopped within 11-12 years, or the children present would have to live with the devastating consequences! So what do they mean their resolution isn’t something that’s aimed at passing right now? Those of us who have stood by climate science believe we need immediate action on climate change from our government at all levels. And the activists visiting congressional offices supposedly to spur that action are telling us that they don’t even aim for the thing they are pushing so hard to actually pass? The activists who want us to believe they care so much about the future of the earth are not actually pushing for something to even pass?

And there’s that common thread between the Left and the Right’s ideological agitators who care more about the fight than about action and results. Just like the Trump backers who care about the fight for the wall more than they care about the wall, the Sunrise/GND evangelists freely admit that they are more interested in a fight over the GND than in action to address climate change.

The GND resolution, as introduced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the House and Sen. Ed Markey in the Senate, calls for a “10-year mobilization” to get 100% of our electricity from renewable sources, as well as, I think, getting to a full zero-emission economy by that time (but the Sunrise Movement actually backs a goal of 2030 for all-green energy). We’re all for “mobilization”, but this resolution has no mandates. There are so many “should”s in that resolution that had anyone else written it, Sunrise and other gateskeepers of the Left would call it “toothless.” No wonder it’s not “something that’s not aimed at passing.”

Interestingly enough, Feinstein gave each attendee a copy of a climate bill she has introduced that she believes can pass the Senate and the House. Her bill is aimed at passing right now, and it has legal mandates to make the US a zero emission economy by 2050 and re-entering the US to the Paris Climate Accord, among other things. One should note that these mandates are very much in line with what Sunrise themselves touted as late as 2018. Take this excerpt from Sunrise’s endorsement of Kevin de Leon, Feinstein’s challenger in last year’s midterms, for example:

[de Leon] lists climate change and environmental justice as one of his top three reasons for running, and one of his top priorities if elected. As the President Pro Tempore of the California State Senate, Kevin authored bold climate bills like SB100, which commits California to get 100 percent of its electricity from clean sources by 2045.

Achieving zero emissions across all sectors by 2050 is quite consistent with, maybe even one step ahead of, getting 100% of power from clean sources by 2045, wouldn’t you say? That makes one wonder if Sunrise’s real problem with Feinstein is that she beat their candidate by nearly a million votes.

On the surface at least, Sunrise doesn’t want political retribution to be its message. They want us to believe that they believe the Democratic party is their friend, and they are simply lighting a match under the bottom of a friend to spur that friend to action. In a January interview with Rolling Stone, Varshini Prakash, co-founder of Sunrise (a group that receives the majority of its funding from institutional funders, not individuals), had this to say about the Democratic party after she was asked about her organization’s targeting of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is an incredible friend of climate justice:

We actually believe that Democrats care about tackling climate change and they want to do something about it. We just know that they need to be urged to take action at the scale and scope of the crisis.

Aww, you see? they simply want to make sure that the climate crisis and the need to take drastic action to combat it are front and center on the Democratic agenda. Except that part where their own activists talk to cameras about how immediate climate action is actually not part of Sunrise’s agenda.

The Sunrise Movement and its allies have barely made a it a secret that targeting “impure” Democrats and sowing discord within the progressive movement is more important for them than going after climate science deniers in the GOP, or even, as demonstrated in this essay, to actually act on the existential threat of climate change. Last December, Prakash and Waleed Shahid of Justice Democrats, for example, were far more interested in bashing the inside baseball of committee structure than actually developing legislative support for an agenda they claim to back.

My bad. I keep forgetting that their legislative agenda is to berate and libel Democrats and not getting legislation “aimed at passing.” I suppose they are fulfilling that.

In conclusion, always, always, always be skeptical of groups claiming to back a cause trying to malign, disparage and libel those who are most likely to back that cause. And never, ever, ever concede that agitators who could give two f*cks about passing actual legislation actually care about whatever it is they are selling.

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