In a piece for Local Call, I discuss the economic concept of “market failures” and specifically the type called “externalities” — in which effects such as environmental degredation are ignores by market forces, and often exacerbated, because they do not come with an attached financial cost to businesses nor consumers. I further point to some weaknesses in the attempts, codified in international treaties, at making market economies account for greenhouse gas emissions, and argue that true climate action is only possible if we are willing to confront big business interests and possibly curtail the reach and influence of market forces. I conclude that due to the very short timeframe remaining for decisive climate action, the Green New Deal approach is what we need — without trying to replace the entire economic system, it flies in the face of billionaire-class interests and provides broad benefits to the 99%, compensating for much of the difficulties involved in a green transition and enabling the left to rally a wide coalition of working people for large-scale climate action. To the full piece (Hebrew) >>
In this piece for Local Call, I review the strong evidence for the seemingly outlandish argument that Israel should not extract the massive gas reserves discovered off of its shores, but leave them in the ground. Although burning the gas is less damaging immediately around the power plant than burning coal or oil, when its full life-cycle is taken into account its greenhouse gas emissions are actually worse than oil or even coal. Now that the cost of renewable energies from new installations has sunk below even that of continuing to operate existing fossil-fuel plants, continuing to invest in fossil gas is not only environmentally suicidal, but economically backwards — but it does massively benefit the major players who own the extraction rights.
In this piece for Local Call, I argue for universal fare-free public transport (FFPT) as part of the transition to a sustainable economy. Public transport is the only practical way to enable mobility without continuing the environmental destruction associated with oil-powered vehicles on a scale and schedule relevant for reducing climate degradation. Turning it into a universal, free service for all will end the destructive competition between public and private transit, and pave the way politically for expanding, renewing, and improving public transport as a viable alternative for all.
In this piece for Local Call I tackle conscious consumption – the most prominent approach to combating climate change in recent years. I point out that even setting aside the costliness of environmentally-friendly products, it is rarely possible to choose them exclusively, and the information required to estimate what one’s best choice is for the environment is way beyond what consumers can figure out for every single product. I place this trend within the broader context of the neoliberal turn, and point out the deeply anti-democratic sentiment embedded in the idea that our consumer choices are an expression of democracy – one which excludes those with less time and money on their hands.
In this piece for Local Call, I review “green” tendencies in the far-right and other right-wing responses to the climate crisis. However, I argue, the right is already profiting from the destabilization of the climate in the global south by spreading fear of migrants and implementing essentially eco-fascist policies intended to keep the climate crisis from crossing borders in the global north. Meanwhile, the only realistic path to avert total climate catastrophe is the Left’s “Green New Deal” approach, unfairly maligned as “extreme” by the mega-rich who would apparently prefer eco-fascism to such equalizing measures.
In this piece for Local Call, I argue that while despair is quite a reasonable response to the current climate crisis impasse, the future is yet unwritten and the incredible climate movements rising rapidly in the past year give good reason for hope – and practical ways to help make change.
In this report for Local Call, I reviewed the outlines for climate policy delineated by the 2018 IPCC report and the approach to climate policy put forward by the various parties running in Israel’s September 2019 elections. I found that most parties do not take this issue seriously, and even the few that do, fall short of meeting the IPCC report’s emissions targets.
In this piece for Local Call I cover the political background of the increase in forest fires in the Amazon this summer, as well as the connection to animal agriculture and indigenous rights.