Kingpins of Carbon
September 3, 2014
Global warming is a potentially devastating problem requiring urgent action by governments. However, to date the U.S. government has remained largely paralyzed. Now new Greenpeace research has shed light on the sources of paralysis, a multi-decade war on democracy by the kingpins of carbon – the coal, oil, and gas industries allied with a handful of self-interested libertarian billionaires.
Their strategy has aimed to (1) shrink, disable and paralyze progressive government and (2) manipulate the remaining levers of government power by (a) eliminating all restrictions on private money in elections and (b) disenfranchising blacks, Latinos, the young, the elderly, and the disabled, all of whom are presumed to favor Democrats. Since 1975, their strategy has rolled back New Deal programs, weakened labor unions, and reversed victories of the civil rights movement, undermining the strength and cohesion of the middle class, further enriching and empowering a tiny self-interested elite.
To manage the urgent problem of global warming, we will have to understand and overcome the libertarian campaign against progressive government and the war on democracy. The main strategy available to the citizenry entails large numbers of people agreeing on a simple agenda, then taking coordinated action together.