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Even if there had been, there was no political muscle to turn such ideas into reality. While the environmental justice movement is deeply rooted in Louisiana’s “cancer aisle,” the climate justice movement had only just emerged when Katrina struck. There was no Sunrise Movement, the youth-led organization that occupied Nancy Pelosi’s office after mid-term in 2018 to demand “good jobs and a liveable planet.” There was no “squad,” the ad hoc alliance of congressional progressives whose most visible member, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, sent shockwaves through Washington by joining the Sunrisers in their occupation. There had yet to be two Bernie Sanders presidential campaigns to show Americans how popular these ideas really are. And there was certainly no national movement for a Green New Deal.

The difference between then and now is a big part of why Mr. Abbott is opposed to a strategic plan which, today, exists mostly on paper. In a crisis, ideas matter – he knows that. He also knows that the Green New Deal, which promises to create millions of union jobs by building shock-resistant green energy infrastructure, public transport and affordable housing, is hugely appealing. This is especially true now, as so many Texans suffer from the interwoven crises of unemployment, homelessness, racial injustice, crumbling public services and extreme weather conditions.

All Texas Republicans have to offer, on the other hand, is continued dependence on oil and gas – resulting in more climate disruption – as well as more privatizations and utility cuts to pay for their state’s mess. what we can expect them to grow in weeks and months. in front of.

Will it work? Unlike when the GOP started rolling out the Shock Doctrine, its free market playbook is no longer new. It has been tried and tested time and time again: by the pandemic, by soaring hunger and unemployment, by extreme weather conditions. And it fails all of those tests – so much so that even the most deregulated cheerleaders are now pointing to the Texas energy grid as a cautionary tale. A recent Wall Street Journal article, for example, called the deregulation of Texas’ energy system a “fundamental flaw.”

In short, Republican ideas aren’t hanging around anymore – they’re crumbling. The small government is just not up to the task of this era of big, interrelated issues. Moreover, for the first time since Margaret Thatcher, the former British Prime Minister, declared that “there is no alternative” to leaving our fate to the market, the progressives are ready with a host of plans for change. problems solving. The big question is whether the Democrats who hold power in Washington will have the courage to implement them.

The horrors currently unfolding in Texas reveal both the reality of the climate crisis and the extreme vulnerability of fossil fuel infrastructure to it. So of course the Green New Deal is under fierce attack. Because for the first time in a long time Republicans are faced with the very thing they claim to worship but never really wanted: competition – in the battle of ideas.


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