While I was preoccupied with other things, the US left settled on a pair of competing climate change narratives. By the time I looked, the choice was down to just these two, and no other views could be considered.
View #1, Green Abundance, is that combating climate change means unleashing the power of renewable energy. Fortunately, according to this story, renewables are already the cheapest way to go, or if not quite, they will be once they are scaled up through a massive infusion of public investment. And this investment is a golden opportunity to ameliorate other problems like anemic economic growth, un- and underemployment, and sluggish incomes. We will provide green jobs at union wages for everyone who wants one, with special opportunities for workers in the fossil fuel sector. We will do for this generation what FDR’s original New Deal did for our grandparents, restoring prosperity and a building a vibrant middle class. We’ll do it even better this time, because we will design our programs to fight racism, sexism, and the oppression of LGBTQ people, immigrants and indigenous nations, along with every other impediment to social justice. Meanwhile, we will tax the handful of giant corporations that are responsible for most of the carbon emissions, using their ill-gotten gains to finance an environment that’s healthy for people and other living things. Climate change will turn out to be a godsend, because the struggle against it will unite us around an all-inclusive economic, ecological and social agenda.