Oh, sure, the Democratic leadership says it takes climate change seriously, but that same leadership has sidelined the Green New Deal and gutted the climate committee, replacing it with a lame-duck committee led and staffed by beneficiaries of big energy sector dollars.
In a new Jacobin editorial Branko Marcetic continues his razor-edged critique of the Democratic establishment, whose words set them apart from the GOP, but whose deeds are incredibly similar to the Republic establishment's own legislative agenda.
Marcetic likens climate change to an impending, planet-destroying comet-strike. The Republicans deny that the comet is coming, while the Democrats say that it is, and it's really urgent, and then do nothing, while privately rolling their eyes at comet activists.
Sure, House speaker Nancy Pelosi will refer to climate change as "the existential threat of our time." But even once activists pushed her to put it on the post-midterm agenda, Pelosi declined to establish a select committee with the kind of broad powers activists want, such as the authority to issue subpoenas (something the previous House select climate committee could do, when the crisis was less urgent) or even, flabbergastingly, to draft legislation.
The politician tasked with heading this committee has some of her wealth invested in the fossil-fuel industry, and balked at the idea of barring politicians who have taken fossil-fuel donations from sitting on it, arguing it would violate the First Amendment. After New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez floated the idea of a 70 percent marginal tax rate on the rich to pay for climate policies (which, considering the scale of what must be done, is a moderate position), the House's number two Democrat, Steny Hoyer, literally laughed at the idea before saying he didn't support it. The Democratic chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee recently said that while the US "should take a look at" going carbon-free or carbon-neutral by 2030, it "may not be technologically or politically feasible."
Does this sound like a party that genuinely believes in the "existential threat" of climate change?
The Democrats Are Climate Deniers [Branko Marcetic/Jacobin]
(via Naked Capitalism)