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Who Will Control the Sun and the Wind?

Yes, Trump withdrew, which was good for the reasons given. But capital has not withdrawn from the international battle. As in the last several international meetings, they will be there in full force, U.S. and multinational. The governments negotiating agreements (and also the U.S progressive cities and states participating in some capacity) will continue to seek counsel and cooperation from them.

Complicating the struggle, capital is not united. Fossil fuel interests are working to slow things down and gain approval for publicly funded research on clean coal or carbon sequestration. But other industries are showing considerable capacity to adapt to the climate crisis, which makes them increasingly confident about powering their whole operation mostly on solar and wind. The Investor Owned Utilities, Big Finance, the investment “community,” the growing clean energy industries, and publicly subsidized engineering and other laboratories across the planet are trying to make that happen. And if the climate scientists are wrong by a degree or two, if they have slightly over estimated the threat, if the planet has more than 60 years or so to adapt, capital might succeed in maintaining their system with solar and wind power which would give greater life to capital and its constitutional imperative, to grow or die.

But of course "exponential growth is the creed of the cancer cell." Degradation of soils and waters, extinction of species, creation of ever new and more powerful pathogens, the chemical time bomb, exhaustion of resources, wars for booty -- all would continue.

Right now the left is weak but several technological and political developments are favorable. The radical and democratic left could play an important role in maximizing community ownership and control of renewable energy production and distribution. These local organizations and grassroots forces, confederated nationally and across the planet, are capable of prevailing over a xenophobic authoritarian corporate right that will also be contesting for power whenever the system comes into some combined economic/ecological crisis.


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