In this piece for Local Call, I draw attention to the deep positive agenda attached to the rising calls for police and prison abolition – and draw a connection between this agenda and what Naomi Klein has called “growing the caring economy”. I argue that not only does abolition offer a fundamental, revolutionary shift in societal priorities – as relevant in Israel as in the US or any comparable state – but that this shift is essential if we are to meet the challenges of climate change with humanity and not brutality.
The International Energy Agency warns that the second half of 2020 is the time we have left to avert runaway climate catastrophe, making the attempts to recover from the economic crisis brought about by the pandemic a crucial decision point. Global polling suggests massive majorities support a green recovery – yet government stimulus and recovery programs around the globe woefully fail to take these considerations into account, continuing to prop up failing destructive industries, in particular oil and its derivatives.
Reflecting on my most intensive years of political work in Israel, I warn about the danger of driving young activists to wear themselves out in struggle. Instead I highlight the importance of creating a caring, supportive infrastructure, to retain our people and our strength for the long-haul struggle. My piece is deeply inspired by an English-language pamphlet (Tough Mind, Soft Heart), which I recommend reading.
As the Covid-19 pandemic began to hit countries in the West, some on the Left called for a general strike to stop its spread. They were ignored, much to everyone’s detriment. Throughout the struggle against the pandemic, the people need to try and take the initiative rather than merely respond to government restrictions. (Full translation of a piece originally published on Local Call)
In this piece for Local Call, I review the major systemic problems with recycling as we know it.
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 ignored by market forces, and often exacerbated, because they do not come with an attached financial cost to businesses nor consumers.
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 highlight its severe limitations as well as the anti-democratic nature of allowing influence only to those with money to spare.
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.