At the Green Party of the United States’ 2016 National Convention in Houston, TX, the GPUS voted to add ecosocialism to its platform as the GPUS’ preferred economic method.
At its heart, ecosocialism states that human economics should bend themselves to be of greatest benefit to the planet as well as people. While this may seem idealistic, consider the grievous ecological damage state-sponsored capitalism has done to the Earth, its many lifeforms, the health of our urban communities (especially the poor and often non-white), and the health of the American people and workers. With the ever-lowering cost of green technologies, the fossil fuel industry is literally being propped up by the American government, manifest in the Trump administration’s opening of public lands and coastal waters to drilling, a futile attempt to take American back to the 1950s economically and socially.
If we continue down this path America will be left behind. The world evolves quickly and we must, as well. We do not need this oil. We could transition to a cleaner, greener economy quite quickly—but not with fossil fuel advocates in charge of our government. Ecosocialism offers a possible path to this transition.
EcoSocialism Benefits the U.S. and Nevada
An ecosocialist model would benefit not only the United States but Nevada, as well. Nevada’s green economic potential is huge: consider that by transforming our methods of energy production and transfer we could become a net exporter of energy, bringing billions of dollars into the state, rather than sending approximately $700 million out of state for natural gas and other fuels. Keeping this money in state would help Nevada create jobs here rather than finance jobs out of state, alter economic inequality, social inequalities, and work toward true grassroots democracy, a core Green value. By removing corporate money from our politics, the voice of the people could actually be heard, and the benefits of ecosocialism could flourish.
The capitalist model, that of one or more people owning most of the production, has rarely been ecologically sound—more often, it has done massive environmental damage in pursuit of maximum profit, leaving behind its polluted residue for taxpayers to clean up while capital moves forward to its next opportunity. But state socialism has often not been a friend of the environment, either. Both harm natural systems and contribute to more inequality, not to mention disastrous wars over resources.
Toward a Sustainable Future
Ecosocialism may well be the only path to a sustainable future, if we hope to have any future at all. Greens should familiarize themselves with the idea and consider ways to implement ecosocialist principles, which put human and nonhuman animals and nature first, profit second, through vehicles such as green banks, community solar gardens, communal food/gardening efforts, locally-owned public transportation—whatever decentralized communities might find economically and ecologically sound for their specific biomes. The debate and sharing of ideas should be lively and ongoing.
The Green Party is the true party of the 99%. With the 1% blatantly in charge under the Trump administration’s billionaire’s corporate club, the United States and world need a party that will champion the rights of nature, acknowledge the intersectionality of social, racial and environmental justice, and direct us onto an economic path that will sustain us into the unforeseeable future.