Wednesday night owls: Activists urge leaders to learn from pandemic how to deal with climate crisis

Wednesday night owls: Activists urge leaders to learn from pandemic how to deal with climate crisis

Night Owls, a themed open thread, appears at Daily Kos seven days a week

Jessica Corbett at Common Dreams writes—Global Green New Deal Supporters Urge World Leaders to Learn From Coronavirus to Tackle Climate Crisis:

A burgeoning chorus of climate campaigners and experts is urging political leaders to learn from how governments handle the coronavirus outbreak and, as the pandemic subsides, to seize the opportunity to both revive the world’s economy and battle the climate emergency by implementing a global Green New Deal.

As the number of global COVID-19 cases soared past 200,000 and the death toll topped 8,700 on Wednesday, governments scrambled to continue managing the public health and economic crises while many offices, restaurants, schools, stores, and transportation services around the world remained shut down.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday invoked the Defense Production Act, war powers legislation from 1950 that—thanks to 2009 amendments by Congress—enables him to direct private industry to produce essential equipment to address the coronavirus outbreak.

Evan Weber, political director of the youth-led Sunrise Movement, responded to Trump’s move on Twitter by pointing out that the president could do the same to tackle the climate crisis, which scientists warn requires “rapid, far-reaching, and unprecedented” societal changes, including a swift transition to renewable energy.

Weber noted that ambitious action by the government and private sector on a scale often reserved for wartime is “part of the vision behind” the Green New Deal, which aims to dramatically curb climate-heating emissions. “The second part,” he said, “is doing it in a way that is just and equitable.” […]

Arn Menconi, an environmental activist and Democratic candidate for Colorado state Senate, tweeted Wednesday that “coronavirus has proved we can afford the Green New Deal and Medicare for All.” […]

Economic experts have also suggested that economic recovery from the virus should involve investments in transitioning the global energy system. Helen Mountford, vice president for climate and economics at the World Resources Institute and a former Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development official, told Bloomberg Green Wednesday that “we have a great opportunity now to transition more quickly.”

“This is a moment when we can implement measures to help boost the economy, create jobs, and build climate resilience,” said Mountford. She also warned that returning to fossil fuel projects that were recently halted over environmental concerns would be a “huge risk.” As she put it: “That’s coming out of one health crisis and trying to boost the economy by leading us into another health crisis in terms of air pollution and climate change.”

TOP COMMENTS HIGH IMPACT STORIES 

QUOTATION

“Leadership crises erupt when people who have not learnt how to obey instructions are given the privilege to give commands. Leaders are experienced servants.”
                ~~Israelmore Ayivor (2016)

TWEET OF THE DAY

The first coronavirus case in the U.S. and South Korea was detected on the same day. By late January, Seoul had medical companies starting to work on a diagnostic test � one was approved a week later. Today, the U.S. isn�t even close to meeting test demand https://t.co/r49Z9SzZF5 pic.twitter.com/8FCkQkHiHQ

— Reuters (@Reuters) March 18, 2020

BLAST FROM THE PAST

At Daily Kos on this date in 2003—$90 billion for war:

Bush will ask Congress for $90B for war after the shooting starts. And, that number assumes just one month of combat. While some of that money would go to homeland security and aid to Israel, the bulk of it—over $80 billion, would be for combat operations.

This expense will push the budget deficit well into the $400 billion range, and that’s assuming a short war. The occupation and reconstruction will likely cost hundreds of billions more, not all of it recoverable by Iraqi oil revenues.

And Bush’s plan to pay for it all? More tax cuts.

On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: The podcast that’s always in lockdown! Greg Dworkin updates us on the coronavirus situation, both political and medical. Trump’s ineptitude gets harder to hide every day, and shows every sign of continuing to get worse.

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