Capitalism caused the climate crisis. Capitalism requires continuous growth. But you can’t have infinite growth on a finite planet. Capitalism tells us that our personal shopping choices are the only way to express our values. But the climate crisis demands systemic, institutional overhaul. Capitalism tells us that market forces optimize outcomes. But the invisible hand chokes, smashes and steals. Decades of denial, deception and exploitation show how capitalism consolidates power at our collective peril. Capitalism pits workers against each other. But protecting ourselves and the planet requires solidarity. Capitalism foists “negative externalities” on people who never had a say in decisions to extract resources or exploit workers.
The climate crisis intersects with all of DSA’s work because the underlying problem is capitalism. Will we let market forces accelerate our descent into cruelty and injustice, or will we seize this opportunity to reshape our economy? This question is even more urgent in the wake of the pandemic.
Our long-term goal is to implement a real Green New Deal in Los Angeles. This includes:
- Energy — let’s decarbonize and democratize the grid and create good-paying green jobs.
- Public transit — let’s make it free, fast, safe and clean.
- Land use — let’s prioritize people and nature instead of private profit.
Our near-term goals:
- Agitate towards escalating climate strikes in coalition with other climate groups and organized labor
- Work to elect leaders who will fight for a real Green New Deal
- Lobby legislators and administrators for climate justice. This includes ongoing efforts to shut down dangerous gas facilities such as Aliso and Playa Del Rey, as well as supporting statewide efforts to bring private utilities under public control.
- Produce a series of short explainer videos about climate justice: what it means, how the issue intersects with the rest of DSA’s work, and how our strategy can win.
- Host forums (online or in person) to connect the climate issue to DSA-LA’s broader efforts.