Liberty Union candidate for Congress attends Climate Change Rally
by Matthew Andrews
September 19, 2014
The Liberty Union Party candidate for Congress, Matthew Andrews, will be joining hundreds of Vermonters, and thousands more from all over the world, for the weekend in New York City to pressure world leaders at the UN to take meaningful counter-measures against climate change.
The devastating storms, forest fires, droughts, rising sea levels, and destruction of ecosystems that we’ve seen in the last decade are just the beginning. The national security threat that our government should be pouring billions of dollars into is not another pointless war in the Middle East, but an economic transformation away from fossil fuels.
Green consumption is no solution for an underlying economic system that is driven to extract resources to the point of exhaustion. Climate scientists are telling us that in order to prevent global catastrophe we must leave two thirds of the world’s known oil reserves in the ground. This is like asking the fossil fuel industry to commit suicide. Under the capitalist system there is no way to make a rational decision like changing our energy system to be in harmony with the Earth. A mass movement with clear demands is our only hope.
I am calling for the nationalization of the fossil fuel industry. Wall Street investors should not be allowed to profit from the irreversible destruction of environmental conditions that gave rise to civilization over the last 10,000 years. The profits of the fossil fuel industry ought to be used to develop alternative energy systems as well as pay reparations to the people who have been victimized by illegitimate wars for oil.
As a transitional demand, I am also joining the popular call from leading climate scientist, James Hansen, for a “fee and dividend” plan. The idea is to tax the consumption of fossil fuels, but also to redistribute the revenue equally to all citizens. The fee will discourage wasteful consumption, but the dividend will be a net gain for poor people who need fossil fuels to commute through no fault of their own.
Lastly, we need to vastly expand public transportation in the United States, connecting isolated communities, creating good union jobs, relieving traffic on our highways, and economizing our consumption of fuel.
The harsh class divisions created by capitalism has kept half the world in poverty while the rest of the 99% are saddled by debt and wage labor. These conditions make it nearly impossible to be politically engaged citizens. We need a social transformation toward a classless society in order to address climate change. We can no longer afford the old habit of thinking we must choose between jobs, or the environment, or racial justice. More than ever before, our struggle is for all or nothing.
The success of a mass movement to address climate change will be intertwined with our ability to create a socialist political party, revolutionary unions, worker owned cooperatives, credit unions, an independent media, and engaged democratic communities.
For more about organizing for eco-socialist perspectives, please visit: http://systemchangenotclimatechange.org/
More information about the Liberty Union Party and its candidates can be found at www.libertyunionparty.org. Matthew Andrews can be reached at 802-858-6466 or firstname.lastname@example.org.