The Crisis of Climate Change – Workshop

“Where should socialists be in the environmental movement and what should they be doing?”

Friday, July 24, 3:45 PM to 6:45 PM [?]
1231 Market St., SF, CA
[Moderators, Structure, Presenters, Themes and Goals]

  1. Moderators. [Will share the introductions, distribution of materials, etc.]

Steve Willett  Meta and Van Sickle
Recorder: ____________

  1. Presentations. The background and politics of the Climate Change Crisis:

a.       Climate Change, the current scientific consensus on threats and possible responses, with an emphasis on the probable timelines, crucial tipping points and likely consequences. Meta Van Sickle vansicklem@cocf.edu.

b.      Current status of government and industry response to the climate change crises. Current international and US proposals and their likely reduction of climate change damages, with a focus on the political, economic and military factors as barriers to success. Ted Pearson tpearson@naarpr.org.

c.       Non-governmental environmental movement; An overview of the different perspectives, proposals and approaches to the threat of climate change, their strengths and weaknesses in terms of human consequences. Al Weinrub al.weinrub@comcast.net .

d.      Eco-socialism. The political science of responses to the threats of environmental change. The differences in analysis and response between: socialist versus capitalist, world view versus nationalist, secure versus vulnerable peoples and the subsequent political strategies and their likelihood of success both politically and scientifically. Steve Willett steve.willett@initcomp.com

  1. Discuss and Agree on main goal(s) of workshop:

a.       Help CCDS understand the major issues and political responses.

b.      Clarify possible common ground among alternative response to both the technical and political challenges of the crises of climate change.

c.       Clarify the potential role of CCDS and other socialist organizations in contributing to a progressive understanding and response to the threats of catastrophic climate changes.

d.       Explore the opportunity and importance for CCDS and other socialists to (1) provide strategic leadership in describing the political-economic threat and harm to the world’s people and (2) therefore calling for a comprehensive planned response by the world’s powers to prevent these catastrophes where possible and prepare for the best possible outcome.

Two examples point out the human difficulty reacting to catastrophic events. As many have pointed out, facing a clearly perceived and imminent threat such as a major comet, the world would likely unite around what we must do to prevent impact or survive. But facing the known threat of Katrina, we neither prepared for nor prevented the catastrophic results. If we dare not assume the crisis of climate change will give us a second chance, what should be our response now?

Prepare if possible:

  1. Summary presentations. If possible the presenters will provide a brief overview of their presentation and any supporting documents and links they think would be helpful for attendees.
  2. Proposals for position statements and action plans for CCDS to consider for adoption at the convention.
  3. Agenda for the Workshop agenda, for distribution prior to and at workshop.

a.       Sections 1, 2 and 3 above, with brief biographies of the presenters and schedule for discussion.

b.      List of primary sources and links and contact information for CCDS and Climate Change Committee.

  1. Materials for Workshop: If possible, ready prior to conference and posted on web site and distributed to prospective attendees. These should include items from all the Presenters, on the major subjects and political themes being covered and the goals and draft proposals.

a.       These materials should if possible be selected and prepared for this workshop and convention. For example David’s “Ecosocialism or Ecocatastrophe” is excellent in depth and detail, but a long read and not focused on CCDS. Ted’s “Two Crises – One Solution: Green Jobs – Good Jobs” presents an action oriented perspective for CCDS, but leaves out some issues such a Eco-socialism, prevention as a mobilizing focus and some other strategic political approaches. I urge that or materials and presentations aim at clarification, simplification and the common cause.

Walter Teague