The Green New Deal needs an anti-war message

by Arturo Desimone

“I have taken the conservation of our natural resources as the first lesson
that points to the necessity for seeking community freedom’’ Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1912

The Green New Deal can only succeed as an internationalist campaign — and that means listening to many other, non-ecological concerns expressed by populations most impacted by global warming.

Wars, financial crises, and transnational economic pressures weigh more heavily in the conversations of people from South of the Tropic of Cancer (including Central America and the Middle Eastand those below the Tropic of Capricorn (such as Argentina, where global warming remains the last concern of a depressed, insolvent citizenry witnessing the creeping return of militarism.)
Advocates of a Green New Deal must reckon with the fact that our very ability to implement these ambitious climate-saving programs requires the basis of peace.
We should be wary, then, of rhetoric that ‘green-washes’ war, as when Obama insisted that drone aircraft proved ‘more ecological’ than earlier bombers.
We should be wary, as well, of the Singaporean regime’s pride in its solar-powered city-state, walled off from the conflict that surrounds it.
Green activists will be late to only now attack these inner contradictions, though they must. Any futile severance of anti-war agenda from the climate movement needs our criticism.
To successfully realize global Green reconstruction, and the employment it could generatewe must also pressure States to preserve peace: conflict zone with harsh sunlight may be perfect for the installation of solar panels, but their inhabitants are far too busy fighting for their survival.
So let’s have a more internationalist Green New Deal. All our struggles remain related and interdependent.
Arturo Desimone is an Aruban-Argentinean writer and visual artist, currently based between Argentina and the Netherlands.
His articles on politics previously appeared in Open Democracy, CounterPunch, El Andén and various literary journals. For more info see his blog www.arturoblogito.wordpress.com. He’s also member of the thematic DSC Military and Foreign Policy 1

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