Hi there Green New Dealmakers!
We took last week off from the newsletter so that we could focus on wrapping up our first season of the pod…So, if you haven’t yet heard our SEASON FINALE episode, with climate-movement legends Bill McKibben, Naomi Klein & Sunrise Movement Co-Founder & Executive Director Varshini Prakash, now would be a great time to tune in!
Don’t worry—we’ll still be releasing some stand alone episodes on our feed while we produce the second season over the coming months! And if that’s not enough for you, please consider becoming a Patron of our new GenGND Patreon where you’ll get even more exclusive bonus content (like the full interviews with Bill, Naomi & Varsh!)
We want to thank all of our amazing guests, our incredible team, especially legendary PodMother and Executive Producer Amy Westervelt and the marvelous Critical Frequency Podcast Network, and you—our wonderful listeners and supporters—for making this first season of the Generation Green New Deal Podcast possible!
Texas Needs Our Help—And a Green New Deal.
This week, millions of people in Texas have been in a nightmare situation, after a winter storm caused failures throughout much of the state’s highly-deregulated electric grid (which is predominantly run on fossil fuels.) The freezing temperatures and outages caused a horrific scenario for many Texans who couldn’t heat or power their homes—and we want to do everything we can to help support and amplify the mutual aid networks and organizations doing the vital work of feeding, housing & transporting people who need help during this crisis.
Here is a comprehensive list of organizations and mutual aid networks that you can support, which was put together by members of the Sunrise Movement in Texas…
Republican politicians and conservative media have been uniformly spewing outrageous claims about ‘frozen wind turbines’ being primarily responsible for these outages. They also attempted to blame the Green New Deal—which we don’t need to remind you, hasn’t yet been implemented—for this crisis, which was actually caused by a cocktail of their own corruption, a shortage of Natural Gas, and frozen instruments at Natural Gas, Coal and Nuclear power-plants—which lack the regulations for winterizing that are mandated for the rest of the nation’s grid, because almost all of Texas is on its own grid, and, of course, the Republicans deregulated it…
“People are dying for GOP philosophies.”
“Frozen wind turbines were the least significant factor.” But here’s what some of “The main factors,” those ‘frozen instruments’ at a natural gas plant, looked like…
As AOC noted in a tweet on Wednesday…
Exactly. Her co-author of the Green New Deal resolution, Ed Markey, had this to add…
Not only would the Green New Deal weatherize and retrofit millions of homes, but it would also put people back to work repairing our aging and vulnerable electric grid, and replacing fossil fuel power-plants with distributed renewable energy and batteries that are more resilient, and localized, than fossil fuel infrastructure.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez @AOCThe infrastructure failures in Texas are quite literally what happens when you *don’t* pursue a Green New Deal.
We agree, Jamie, we agree. Unfortunately, millions of Americans who are tuned into conservative media are hearing propaganda about how the Green New Deal and renewables are at the root of the problem—rather than the solution.
That’s why we need to counter that misinformation, with more reporting like the above from Chris Hayes’, and, ultimately, more storytelling like what we’re doing here at Generation Green New Deal. One leader in Texas who has been calling out Republican leadership in Texas for their failures, while also helping to lead mutual aid efforts and organizing wellness check-in calls, is Beto O’Rourke…
Another leader in Texas who’s speaking truth is Julian Castro—watch his interview with Chris Hayes to hear what he had to say about the failures of Republicans in power…
But, it’s not just the government officials in Texas who are at fault—it’s private corporations and businesses who are seizing this opportunity to maximize profits in what Naomi Klein coined as ‘Disaster Capitalism’ in her best-selling book The Shock Doctrine—which, coincidentally, was the project that inspired her to become more fully engaged in the climate movement. Read more about how what’s happening in Texas is a perfect illustration of this principle, in this tweet-thread below…
Awais Azhar @Awais_CRPLets be clear on what’s happening here: in the middle of severe snow storms & power outages Texas Republican officials are making a move to bolster the oil/gas industry and strip the state of its renewable energy sources. This is what @NaomiAKlein has called “disaster capitalism” https://t.co/dr2Mkqkp01
AOC also linked this disaster capitalism directly to the GOP’s attempts to blame the crisis on the Green New Deal…
NPR @NPRA drilling company that operates in Texas and Louisiana told investors that the surge in natural gas prices — amid powerful winter storms — was giving it a major financial boost. "Obviously, this week is like hitting the jackpot," CFO Roland Burns said. https://t.co/QvvSHqNO8C
And of course, she also led by example—while Ted Cruz was fleeing to Cancun, AOC raised over $1 million for relief efforts across Texas.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez @AOCWow. We officially raised $1 million for Texas relief at 9:17pm. Thank you all so much. 🙏🏽 I’m at a loss for words. Always in awe of movement work. 💯% of this relief is going straight to Texan food assistance, homelessness relief, elder care, and more. https://t.co/DSkTSqfbkZ
Leaders like AOC, who engage in ‘Disaster Collectivism,’ embody the true spirit of America, helping us come together to take care of our community—making sure everyone has what they need to survive. In that same spirit, Sunrise Movement—and their incredible video team, led by our friend Sam Quigley—put together a must-watch rapid-response video in under 24 hours which, through the lens of the crisis in Texas, imagines what a government that actually meets peoples basic needs by enacting a Green New Deal would look like. Asking, what if our government was there for us the way we are for each other?
Check out this week’s Green New Reading List for more on the crisis in Texas..
TEXAS IS MAKING THE CASE FOR A GREEN NEW DEAL, by Helaine Olen for the Washington Post
TEXAS BLACKOUTS HIT MINORITY NEIGHBORHOODS ESPECIALLY HARD, by James Dobbins & Hiroki Tabuchi for the New York Times
“WE’RE IN IT ALONE”: POWER OUTAGES LEAVE MILLIONS OF TEXANS DESPERATE FOR HEAT AND SAFETY by Shannon Najmabadi & Marissa Martinez for the Texas Tribune
NEARLY 12 MILLION TEXANS NOW FACE WATER DISRUPTIONS. THE STATE NEEDS RESIDENTS TO STOP DRIPPING TAPS, by Alex Samuels for the Texas Tribune
BLAMING THE WIND FOR THE MESS IN TEXAS IS PAINFULLY ABSURD, by Bill McKibben for The New Yorker
BIDEN GETS HIS FIRST ENERGY CRISIS & AN OPENING, by Eric Wolff & Lorrainne Woellert for Politico
WHY ON EARTH WOULD RIGHT-WING PEOPLE WITH CONNECTIONS TO THE FOSSIL FUEL INDUSTRY LIE ABOUT ‘FROZEN WIND TURBINES’ IN TEXAS? by Jamie Henn & Duncan Meisel for The Independent
TEXAS WAS “SECONDS AND MINUTES” AWAY FROM AN UNCONTROLLED BLACKOUT, OFFICIALS SAY, by Zahra Hiji for Buzzfeed News
A PLAN TO FUTURE PROOF THE TEXAS GRID, by Jesse Jenkins for The New York Times
TEXAS LARGELY RELIES ON NATURAL GAS FOR POWER. IT WASN’T READY FOR THE EXTREME COLD, by Erin Douglas for the Texas Tribune
HOW MUCH THE OIL & GAS INDUSTRY PAID TEXAS REPUBLICANS WHO ARE LYING ABOUT WIND ENERGY, by Molly Taft for EARTHER
THE CRISIS IN TEXAS UNDERSCORES THE DEADLY RISKS WHEN THE GRID GOES DOWN, by Emily Pontecarvo for GRIST
IS TEXAS’ DISASTER A HARBINGER FOR AMERICA’S FUTURE, by Jeff Goodell for Rolling Stone