An Australian democratic just transition is possible, and urgently necessary

An Australian democratic just transition is possible, and urgently necessary

It takes a few paragraphs of blather (you might disagree) before you get to this:

“On Wednesday, Peter Dutton told ABC’s Afternoon Briefing that “obviously, as we’ve all pointed out, we’re experiencing hotter weather, longer summers, but did the bushfires start in some of these regions because of climate change? No. It started because somebody lit a match. There are 250 people, as I understand it, or more that have been charged with arson. That’s not climate change.”

But from the next sentence on there is a lot of sense in what Greg Jericho unravels here.

Starting with the most obvious: what Dutton says is not true.

‘Good’ climate policy can no longer be our goal. It’s time to reach for perfect | Greg Jericho

There is something that many, maybe just some, of us need to do over the next few weeks: force a stop to the “war” between ALP members who hate the Greens and Greens members who hate the ALP. (Note: not all of them play this destructive – for the majority of us – and silly game, and all strength to them.

Even so, That might be wishful thinking, so it might take a few months, or more.

That’s because there is a lot of substance to be filled into Brandt’s “green new deal” proposal, including a better name for it that is truly Australian instead of derived from the USA and its different political and union history. And the substance can be found in the work and deeds of many ALP members and also those of us who are not members of the ALP and the Greens .

Above all, in can be found in the latent and not so latent potential of workers themselves and their families, organised through their unions and / or community and regional assemblies, to design and implement their democratic and rapid just transition.

Rapid and just transition means new jobs in renewable economies and communities that are at least well paid, highly skilled, safe, steady (instead of precarious) and shared between First Nations and other Australians.

The role of government should be primarily to facilitate this with funds, encouragement, technical assistance when requested. The less government control and direction the better.

Brandt’s proposal, as it currently stands, does not nail this essential feature of a better society for the 90%. His proposal that it be funded by the rich and powerful fossil fuel corporations does.

There is a lot of substance to be filled into Brandt’s “green new deal” proposal, including a better name for it that is truly Australian instead of derived from the USA and its different political and union history. And the substance can be found in the work and deeds of many ALP members and also those of us who are not members of the ALP and the Greens .

And basing a strategy on waiting for parliamentary leaders means delaying what we cannot afford to delay … getting effective control of the lace of climate change by 2030.

3 Replies to “An Australian democratic just transition is possible, and urgently necessary”

  1. Great work, again Don.
    Just a minor point , how about including the word fair , just transition, to imply that working people will not be disadvantaged.

    We both know for any proposed transition or Green New Deal, working people will bare the majority of this transition.

  2. Thanks Don, important points to develop. I thing the concept of a GND is a way to breath life into good intentions to overcome divisions between supporters of Labor and the Greens, as well as to unite people who are demanding climate action, with the labour movement and social movements. While a catchier and relevant badge for Australia could be helpful, more important is the adequacy of the policy measures and actions contained in a GND package, for the combined purposes of effective climate action, and caring for the diversity of livelihood needs, without being beholden to the criteria of profitability. We need to make a process for developing a GND happen. I put some ideas here – https://outburstinoz.wordpress.com/2020/02/09/the-greens-green-new-deal/

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