In 2018 the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released an alarming report, stating that the world needed to steeply cut its carbon emissions and make radical changes in order to limit the planet’s temperature from rising to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels. If that goal wasn’t met, the report predicted a horrifying increase in suffering for almost all life and ecological collapses.
In America, this report was met on the political Left by sustained calls for the abolition of capitalist exploitation of people and the planet. The rationale was that capitalism’s imperative for endless economic growth required massive amounts of energy, the vast majority of which is still produced through fossil fuels. Some of the specific responses were reinvigorated support for anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist struggles by Indigenous peoples, surges in attendance at climate strikes, and great support for proposals like the Green New Deal by elected officials.
East Bay DSA will explore this theme in a Socialist Night School mini-series, co-organized with our Green New Deal Committee. These 3 events will explore what it means to be an ecosocialist, the Red Deal and Indigenous struggle, and how to fight for a Green New Deal after Bernie.
In this first Night School, we’ll get an introduction to ecosocialism, its history, and how we can organize as ecosocialists today from the local to the national and international levels. Our readings will cover a broad swath of socialist history, and we’ll get started with 2 speakers:
Becca Miller has been a member of Boston DSA for two years and is a core member of the Take Back the Grid energy democracy campaign. She recently started her second term on DSA’s nationwide ecosocialism working group steering committee, where she’s been working on a new member onboarding process. Becca works as a campaign manager to increase state funding for a program that helps SNAP recipients afford more fruits and vegetables from local farmers.
Benny Zank is a member of the East Bay DSA Steering Committee and has previously served as co-chair of the chapter’s Green New Deal committee. He has organized as an ecosocialist for several years building strong coalitions with other organizations in the Bay Area and works professionally on addressing environmental issues, like supporting the California Energy Code. Follow him @bread_by_benny.