In what has seemed a matter of months, we have seen the rise of the Sunrise Movement in the United States, in opposition to the destructive anti-environment policies of the Trump administration. Led by progressive politicians such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the inimitable Bernie Sanders, the movement, which advocates action to do something to help battle the climate emergency, has gained traction, particularly with the popularity of the Green New Deal. Like its predecessor, F.D.R’s New Deal, it is about mobilising government to tackle an existential crisis. In F.D.R’s day it was the Depression, today its the climate emergency. Roosevelt’s plan to put unemployed workers back to work using federal government money to build nation-building schemes such as the Hoover Dam has beenconsidered a roaring success (except by fiscal conservatives perhaps!).
This is great news for those (like us) who have seen generations of politicians in the West sit on their hands, hoping the crisis will just disappear. But how does the program link with regenerative agriculture? This article from Truthout argues eloquently the need for regen ag to be placed front and centre of the Green New Deal for it to be effective. Nothing but a paradigm shift in current agricultural practices can save us, says the article, but now — with the rise of the progressive Sunrise Movement and Green New Deal, there’s renewed hope.
Australian Green New Deal?
Australian governments of the 1930s followed suit from the United States, with many mass worker-built projects helping to put money in unemployed peoples’ pockets and alleviate the worse effects of the Depression. It follows that if people have more money, they will spend more, meaning small, medium and even big businesses benefit from such a program. However, the Green New Deal takes the focus of government spending to a new level: to support practices that will help reduce the seemingly relentless path towards catastrophic global warming. An Australian Green New Deal, featuring government financial and training support (at all levels) for regenerative agriculture, is we believe what an Australian Green New Deal should look like. This is an area we’d like to explore in RegenEarth, featuring the many types of regenerative agriculture that are already in existence. These include permaculture, biodynamics and any land management practice that puts repair of our soil foremost. For as Charles Massy, author of The Call of the Reed Warbler: A New Agriculture, a new Earth explains in a recent ABC interview, we have gone past the need for sustainability, it’s regeneration that’s needed.
With that in mind, here are the key points.
- Huge momentum, primarily from progressives in the United States towards saving the climate through a government-funded Green New Deal.
- Arguments for regen ag land management techniques to be a featured part of any such deal.
- Compare movement for change with political inaction in Australia.
- What would an Australian Green New Deal look like?