We Need a General Strike

A few weeks ago, The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a report on the progress towards limiting the world to 1.5 degrees of warming. To summarize the report: we are fucked. The planet has warmed by 1.0 degrees already, and the extra 0.5 degrees will make a BIG DIFFERENCE. However, the report makes clear that limiting our warming to 1.5 degrees is the absolute best case scenario. If every government in the world implements an extreme carbon tax and actively invests in renewables and we start planting A LOT of trees.

Our best case scenario still includes the flooding of coastlines, famine, and water scarcity for much of the world, increases in extreme weather events, increased ocean acidification and acceleration of species going extinct.

Keeping the warming below 2 degrees is necessary for civilization to survive. I don’t want to be an alarmist, but this report is ALARMING.

I’ve spent the last week thinking about what I could do to force our government to take action. I’ve seen people saying, “vote.” Getting Democrats into office would put power into the hands of politicians that believe that anthropomorphic climate change is a thing. However, best case scenario Democrats get a significant majority in the house and a very slim majority in the Senate. This amount of power would be too little to do anything meaningful and would still need to be signed into law by Donald Trump. If we wait wait for elections to save us, it will be too late to keep us at 1.5 degrees of warming.

My conclusion is this: We need a general strike. My proposal is this:

  1. Draft a bill that:

    1. Imposes a drastic carbon tax starting at around $20/ton and increasing rapidly to $1000/ton over the next ten years and $30,000/ton by 2050.

    2. Aggressively funds renewable energy expansion.

    3. Aggressively funds research into carbon reclamation.

  2. Get as many labor unions on board as possible.

  3. Present this after the midterm elections to Congress with the following commitment, “If this bill is not passed by May 1, 2020, we will hold a nationwide general strike.

  4. Work with food banks to start stocking up strike supplies and healthcare providers to continue to provide care throughout the strike.

  5. Market this aggressively. Some ways we can get out the message are: get media outlets to interview people leading the strike, get companies to sign on to support the strike (but without letting them own the message), plaster posters up and down the streets in every major city, and go on every podcast and radio show we can find.

I know this seems like I’m freaking out a bit. I don’t think I am. I don’t think the urgency of this situation can be overstated. In the 1940s we mobilized the country to fight the Nazis. We need to do that again, except now we are our own worst enemy, and we can only survive if we work together.

Please Let me know if this idea interests you and maybe we can make a difference before it is too late.