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Saturday December 15th 2018

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Raise Your Voice – When patriots speak up

BY PETER MOLENAAR

September 8, 2018, was a nationwide day of action around the theme: RISE FOR CLIMATE, JOBS, AND JUSTICE. The Minnesota summit was venued at the East Phillips Park Cultural and Community Center. The prevailing millennial voices were heard, still fresh from the financial crisis of 2008, and they were not hesitant to link the climate crisis to capitalism. To which I will add: The drive for infinite growth upon a finite planet suggests that this system is unsustainable and hostile to Earth’s ecology.

Meanwhile…

In our country, the top 10% own 80% of the wealth. These are the lazy stockholders who live high on the dividends of our collective labor. Actually, the planet’s richest eight people own wealth equal to the poorest half of the world’s population. Capitalism, which exists to maximize profits, is incapable of reversing this accelerating process.

Call for a just transition…

The environmental/sustainability movement has issued the call for a just transition to a post-fossil fuel society. However, we have failed to convey the message to fossil fuel workers, the labor heroes whose redeployment must be fully supported by society.

There is work to be done…

  • Vast expansion of renewable energy.
  • Modernization of the electric grid.
  • Protection of coastal areas from sea level rise and hurricanes.
  • Reforestation, including buffer zones to absorb agricultural runoff.
  • Replacing old pipes for water supply and waste treatment.
  • Retrofitting buildings to conserve energy.
  • Mass transit.
  • Replacing old bridges and tunnels.

We have offered a short wish list. Implementation will require a reversal of the Republican Party’s tax reform and the transfer of funds from the military. In addition, it might be wise to nationalize our banking system… and the pharmaceutical industry in conjunction with universal health care… free higher education… cancellation of student debt… a path to citizenship….

The list goes on, when patriots speak up!

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