By Margaret Klein Salamon, The Climate Mobilization, August 19, 2016
The Climate Mobilization (TCM) is a rapidly growing grassroots movement that demands a WWII-scale climate mobilization to protect America, civilization and the natural world. Humanity is careening towards climate catastrophe, but there is hope in mobilization: The United States has the capacity to end net greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 and, by making global zero emissions our top foreign policy priority, to save billions of lives here and abroad, all while creating full employment and beginning to remove excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Many people in the climate movement, and many outside of it, recognize that these extremely ambitious targets are scientically necessary. However, TCM is often challenged regarding whether our demands are feasible. The Climate Mobilization and the Climate Mobilization Project (our 501(c)(3) afliate) commissioned this Victory Plan to address that challenge on the policy level, presenting a vision of how a mobilization, if implemented successfully and with care, could effectively protect humanity and all life on earth from the cataclysm we are hurtling towards.
There is also the formidable challenge of creating the political will for these changes. While the concept of climate mobilization has recently entered the mainstream political conversation — embraced by both the Democratic Party and by Bill McKibben, probably the most admired leader of the global climate movement — we as a movement are still far from achieving mobilization. There is still a huge amount of organizing, educating and evangelizing that needs to be done. Strategies for breaking through society’s trance of denial and achieving climate mobilization are addressed in my papers, Leading the Public into Emergency Mode: A New Strategy for the Climate Movement and The Transformative Power of Climate Truth.
The Victory Plan takes its name and inspiration from the Victory Plan that the United States used to win World War II. It guided industrial production planning during the mobilization. According to historian Charles Kirkpatrick, “The Victory Plan predicted the future organization for an army that did not yet exist, outlined combat missions for a war not yet declared, and computed war production requirements for industries that were still committed to peacetime manufacture.”
The Climate Mobilization Victory Plan was written by Ezra Silk, the co-founder and strategic director of TCM. Before Ezra started working full time to prevent the collapse of civilization, he was a newspaper reporter. Ezra applied his investigative powers to the task at hand, immersing himself in the relevant literature, consulting with experts across elds, gaining an incredibly detailed understanding of the various issues and policy proposals at hand. Appendix A lists the works cited. Ezra synthesized that understanding into this policy framework. This paper builds on climate mobilization plans created by others such as Paul Gilding, Lester Brown and Michael Hoexter, but it brings a level of specificity and comprehensiveness that is, to my knowledge, totally unique.
This Victory Plan relies heavily on lessons from World War II, when America successfully launched a rapid and extraordinary mobilization to ght a global war on two fronts and deployed an overwhelming supply of arms to its allies. We borrow not only our heroic imagery and can-do mobilization spirit from those years, but also look concretely to the governance structures and policy programs that worked so effectively for the United States. We also look carefully at where the WWII mobilization failed, in order to familiarize ourselves with the pitfalls of mobilization, to protect against them this time. Once again, we face an existential threat and must achieve total victory in the two-front “war” — overcoming the dual climate and ecological overshoot emergencies.
This is the first draft of the Victory Plan, intended for public and expert commentary, which will be reviewed for incorporation in a second draft. This draft is not entirely complete. Perhaps a document of this vast sweep can never be considered nished. It also is not intended to be exclusive. Indeed, we invite and challenge others to create alternate versions. With help from others, the nal version of the Climate Mobilization Victory Plan will hopefully provide a roadmap to victory over the ecological crisis.
I am very proud of what Ezra has accomplished in this Victory Plan, and very excited at its potential to in uence and stimulate public discussion, and move the climate movement, and all Americans, toward recognizing and advocating emergency climate mobilization.
Margaret Klein Salamon, Ph.D., is the Founder and Executive Director of The Climate Mobilization.