To: Leslie Cagan

Hi Leslie,
It's silly to write: "We're not going to take this lying down."
Oh yea? What are we going to do about it, chant at buildings? That'll show'm!
Monty Python's Life of Brian, anyone?

More important: What's so great about the Paris 
Climate Accord, anyway? You don't say anything of 
substance about it in your email.

Hopefully, you could send out an email saying WHY 
the U.S. should not pull out of it, and also what 
a REAL Climate Accord would look like.
But the Democrats are not into a real agreement, 
with enforcement, any more than the Republicans. 
It's all a shell game, ever since Bill Clinton 
dispatched Al Gore to Kyoto to SCUTTLE the 
mediocre treaty in the 90s and install a 
market-driven (i.e. capitalist) approach to commoditizing the environment.

And, what do you mean when you write that we will 
"call on Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio and 
Comptroller Stringer to take the immediate and 
bold action we need to fight the climate crisis." 
Such as what immediate and bold action? Give me a 
break. Here are some relevant thoughts I've written on the subject:


Once Upon a Time, Al Gore claimed to have 
invented the internet. He also laid claim, along 
with the rest of the Clinton administration, to 
having “reinvented government.” A few years ago 
he re-invented himself as a modern-day Paul 
Revere galloping across the country on his white 
horse crying, “To arms, to arms, the Climate is 
Changing.” Yet back in the 1990s while the rest 
of the world was negotiating a mandatory 
reduction in industrial emissions that were 
punching holes in the Ozone layer, it was none 
other than Al Gore, Vice President of the United 
States, who traveled to Kyoto, Japan to take 
those negotiations hostage and prevent a ban on targeted emissions.4

Gore commandeered the Kyoto conference. The U.S. 
government, he said, would not sign the Accord – 
as limited as it was – if it imposed emissions 
reductions on industrial countries. Instead, he 
demanded that the rest of the world adopt his 
proposal that would allow industrial nations like 
the U.S. to continue polluting by establishing an 
international trade in carbon pollution credits. 
Gore’s “solution” – like Obama’s – was to turn 
pollution into a commodity and buy and sell it in 
the form of “pollution rights”. The free market 
trade in “pollution credits” would simply shift 
around pollution and spread it out more evenly 
without reducing the total amount of 
ozone-depleting greenhouse gases. It would allow 
the United States and other industrial countries 
to continue polluting the rest of the world.

In proposing (and imposing) that mechanism, Gore 
and Clinton were enacting a policy – trade in 
pollution credits – that had first been put into 
effect in a more limited way by President George 
H.W. Bush under the 1990 extension to the Nixon 
administration’s “Clean Air Act.”5 The mechanisms 
were developed by the World Bank (under Lawrence 
Summers’ tutelage) and International Monetary 
Fund, and this quintessential capitalist policy 
was actually endorsed by several well-known environmental groups.

The global trade in industrial waste emissions 
credits, as I wrote above, were a new kind of 
commodity and would require new regulations and 
agencies to administer their authorization and 
trade. Clinton and Gore constructed an elaborate 
set of structures such as the World Trade 
Organization, and treaties such as NAFTA, GATT, 
and the FTAA to do just that. Under the new trade 
bureaucracy, countries would not be allowed to 
exempt themselves from trade – not even from 
imports of toxic wastes or trade in pollution 
credits – regardless of environmental or social 
justice considerations. The entire edifice 
institutionalized the complex mechanisms designed 
to save capitalism from the demands of the 
growing grassroots environmental and global justice movements.

In his 1992 book, Earth in the Balance – much 
praised (foolishly but to be expected, in my 
estimation) by the large environmental 
not-for-profit corporations vested in the current 
economic system – Al Gore laid out the 
ideological basis for his flawed pro-capitalist 
solution to environmental destruction and climate 
change: Rely on voluntary self-regulation by 
corporations and the governments they control. 
Forget that industrial corporations (including 
enormous slaughterhouses of factory-farmed 
animals) have been the primary source of toxic 
pollution. To remain competitive within the 
existing system and to maximize profits, 
corporations cannot voluntarily end pollution if 
it is cheaper for them to pollute. That is a 
fundamental capitalist dynamic. It propels 
corporations to basically use the earth as their 
ashtray in reckless disregard of the consequences 
to human and planetary health. Governmental 
action is required to regulate pollution and even the playing field for all.

Gore ignored that reality and built the rationale 
for his framework upon the fiction that 
corporations could and would on their own stop 
their emissions of greenhouse gases and 
pollution, and play the necessary role in 
cleaning up the environment.6 Despite the 
literally world-shaking consequences of global 
climate change that Gore graphically documents in 
his film “An Inconvenient Truth,” he refuses to 
challenge or even regulate the system that has 
driven the planet to the brink of destruction.

A number of key environmental organizations 
accepted Gore’s delusion that corporations, 
working with government and consumers, would or 
could save the environment while maintaining the 
same set of economic relationships and expansion 
of capitalist trade. Seven of the largest 
environmental groups – National Wildlife 
Federation, Natural Resources Defense Council, 
the Environmental Defense Fund, World Wildlife 
Fund, National Audubon Society, Nature 
Conservancy, and Defenders of Wildlife – joined 
the charade; they came out in support of the 
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA),7 
trouncing opposition by smaller, more radical 
grassroots ecology groups and trade unions. At a 
time when a united environmental movement could 
have made a huge difference, these organizations 
provided Gore and Clinton with carte blanche for 
pursuing neoliberal policies that have so devastated the planet.

Gore and the pro-NAFTA environmental groups 
created a partnership that established “free 
market” trade in pollution credits, basically 
asking corporations to deliver the world from the 
ravages that they themselves had created. Utter 
nonsense, but its ideological underpinnings were 
based on an outrageous document justifying the 
dumping of toxic wastes in poor countries. That 
document was written by an economist and 
policy-maker working at the World Bank at the time: Lawrence Summers.

4 Mitchel Cohen, Listen Gore: Some Inconvenient 
Truths About the Poltics of Environmental Crisis, Red Balloon pamphlets, 2007.

5 The market approach to pollution credits was 
proposed by Havard Prof. Robert Stavins, who was 
part of George H.W. Bush’s transition team and 
who collaborated in this approach with the 
Environmental Defense Fund. Also, Supreme Court 
Justice Stephen Breyer was an early proponent of 
tradable permits as an alternative to pollution regulation.

6 Brian Tokar, Earth For Sale: Reclaiming Ecology 
in the Age of Corporate Greenwash, South End 
Press, Boston MA: 1997. p. 66, quoting from Gore, 
Earth in the Balance, p. 337, 297. For a more 
complete analysis of Gore’s book, see Brian 
Tokar, “An Environmental Presidency,” Z Magazine, 
April 1993, pp. 23-28; and “Environmental 
Doublespeak,” The Ecologist, vol. 23, no. 4, July/August 1993, pp. 157-58.

7 Brian Tokar, ibid.

For more on this, please click <>HERE.


Barack Obama, like Al Gore and other Democrats 
supposedly concerned with saving the environment, 
propose false solutions for what they call the 
“energy crisis” we’re facing. They want to:
1) Build new nuclear power plants and centralized 
(so that they could meter it) “sustainable energy” projects;
2) Utilize coal gassification, liquification 
technologies (“clean” coal), and carbon sequestration;
3) Expand the use of agro-fuels, which in the 
U.S. means ethanol from genetically engineered corn;
4) Block emission agreements unless they are 
based on free-market trade in pollution credits (carbon-trading);
5) Promote “green” capitalism and consumption;

6) Extract dirty oil from tar sands and natural 
gas by hydro-fracturing, at the expense of the 
water supply and the likely generation of earthquakes;
7) engage in endless wars for oil and empire 
(using “fighting terrorism“ as a pretext).

Together, these projects are built upon false 
“solutions” for saving the environment by the 
same forces that are destroying it. They have 
brought complex life on the planet to the point 
of no return. We can and must stop them.

Al Gore’s film, “An Inconvenient Truth,“ raises 
the issue of global warming in a way that scares 
the bejeezus out of viewers, as it should since 
the consequences of global climate change are 
truly earth-shaking. The former Vice-President 
does a good job of presenting the graphic 
evidence, along with exquisite and terrifying 
pictures that document the melting of the polar 
ice caps and the effects on other species, new 
diseases and rising ocean levels.

But, typically, the solutions Gore offers are 
standard Democratic Party fare. You’d never know 
by watching this film that Gore and Clinton ran 
this country for 8 years and that their policies 
– as much as those of the Bush regime ­ helped 
pave the way for the crisis we face today.

Gore never critiques the system causing the 
global ecological crisis that may well lead to 
the endgame for all higher life on this planet. 
At one point in the film, he even mourns the 
negative impact of global warming on the U.S.’s 
deteriorating oil pipelines. Oh, the horror! What 
is needed, says Gore and the Democrats, are 
technological fixes that would enable us to 
reduce reliance on fossil fuels and tweak existing consumption patterns.

Even there, Gore equivocates. He and Clinton did 
nothing to improve fuel efficiency in the U.S. – 
a “solution” Gore proposes in the movie without 
any hint that he’d once actually been in a 
position to do something about it. Gore asks us 
who can best manage the relatively minor 
solutions he recommends, the Democrats or 
Republicans. For Gore, it’s sort of “trust US, 
not THEM, because they are liars and we’re not.“

Well, should we trust him?

Neither Al Gore – as point man for the Clinton 
administration on environmental issues – nor 
Clinton-Gore’s Energy Secretary Bill Richardson 
(with major ties to Occidental Petroleum), nor 
the Democratic Party in general offered anything 
more than putting a tiny BandAid on the earth’s 
gaping wounds, which they themselves helped to gash open.

Clearly, the vast destruction of the global 
ecology is a consequence not just of poor 
governmental policies but of the capitalist 
system’s fundamental drive towards Growth and 
what passes for Development – Grow or Die. 
Environmental activists won’t find in Gore the 
kind of systemic analysis that is needed to stop 
global warming. Instead, we need to look 
elsewhere for that sort of deep systemic critique.

(for more of this essay, "Listen Gore" click 


From: <mailto:[log in to unmask]>Leslie Cagan via

At 3 pm today Donald Trump is expected to make 
his announcement about whether he will pull the 
U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accord. The 
consequences of the U.S. pulling out will be 
devastating and a serious blow to any progress in 
the global fight to stem climate change.

Join us in a resounding outcry!
    * NYC Stands Up Against Trump's Paris Exit
    * Today - Thursday, June 1st
    * 6 pm
    * gather at Foley Square/Federal Plaza and then march to City Hall

We're not going to take this lying down. As we 
say no Trump we call on our City and State 
elected officials to step up and put into place serious and effective policies.

People from around NYC will gather at Foley 
Square/Federal Plaza in lower Manhattan and then 
march to City Hall. We will protest Trump’s 
outrageous action and call on Governor Cuomo, 
Mayor de Blasio and Comptroller Stringer to take 
the immediate and bold action we need to fight 
the climate crisis. This is a crisis and they should act like it!

Help spread the word:
    * share this message with your email lists
    * like us on 
Facebook page for this event
    * share that Facebook page
    * use your social media outlets to tell people about today’s action
Join us at 6:00pm today, Thursday, to rally at 
Foley Square/Federal Plaza and then march to City Hall.

Bring your signs and banners and raise your voice!

Leslie Cagan
Peoples Climate Movement NY
Action Network


Mitchel Cohen interviews participants at a 
student-driven Black Lives Matter protest in 
Manatee County Florida, near Sarasota against the 
government's allowing of Trump supporting high 
school students to bring Confederate flags into 
an area high school in the days leading up to the 
U.S. presidential election. Especially, 
interviews with Greg Cruz and Omega Velez, whose 
son was, murdered by the Manatee County police.

Report from the Immigrant Workers' Rights march 
on MayDay 2017 in New York City. (12 minutes)
WBAI/Pacifica radio's Mitchel Cohen interviews 
Diana Marino from Brandworkers, who has been 
unionizing the mostly immigrant workforce in the 
baking industry at Amy's Bread. Mitchel Cohen 
also caught up with David L. Wilson and Jane 
Guskin during the march, whose newly revised 
book, "The Politics of Immigration: Questions and 
Answers," will be published by Monthly Review later this month.

Report on April 24, 2017 from the Philadelphia 
courtroom where political prisoner Mumia 
Abu-Jamal's attorneys argue a new appeal of his 
case. This first report consists of an interview 
with former political prisoner Tarik Haskins, 
who'd been in prison for 17 years, and who was 
present among Mumia's supporters outside the 
court. It is as poignant as it is powerful. Click 
<>HERE .

Mitchel Cohen interviews former U.S. Army medic 
in Somalia Sarah Mess, about her current peace 
activism and the effects of anti-Malaria drug 
Lariam on her and many other veterans.

President George H.W. Bush deployed U.S. military 
troops to Somalia in 1992. President Bill Clinton 
maintained their presence, and even used the 
offices of an oil corporation in Mogudishu to 
headquarter U.S. troops in Africa.

One of those solidiers was Sarah Mess.

Here, Sarah describes the effects of being forced 
to take an anti-malaria pill, Lariam. A number of 
male soldiers returning from U.S. wars in 
Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan ended up murdering 
their wives. Many others suffer from the 
harrowing psychological effects of the drug.

Listen to hear Sarah tell her riveting story, in her own words.

Rally at Brooklyn Boro Hall culminating general 
strike of Yemeni bodega owners, which shut down 
many small stores in the Atlantic Avenue area of Brooklyn on February 2, 2017.

14 minutes. Mitchel Cohen reports from a protest 
of more than 1,000 people who marched on Senator 
Charles Schumer's apartment in Park Slope, 
Brooklyn, Tuesday night, condemning Schumer's 
votes in favor of 3 of Trump's cabinet 
appointments, and demanding that Sen. Schumer and 
other Democrats "join the resistance" and stop 
placating the Trump administration and Wall Street.

12 minutes - Participants in the "No Hate, No 
Fear, Refugees are Welcome Here!" rally and march 
of 18,000 people in New York City Sunday, January 
29, 2017, beginning in Battery Park.

3:24 minutes - A wonderful 3 minute piece 
interviewing a couple of 90-year-olds at the women's march in NYC.

This one sketches 3 women at the gigantic Women's 
march on January 21, 2017. Just 1:24 minutes ....

 From the streets of NYC's inauguration night 
protest, as thousands marched from Foley Square 
down to Trump's building on Wall Street.

Immigrant Rights Rally in Washington Square Park 
Jan. 25, 2017, with 3,000 people participating.

Ring the bells that still can ring, Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack, a crack in everything, That's how the light gets in.
~ Leonard Cohen

Settle your quarrels, come together,
understand the reality of our situation,
understand that fascism is already here,
that people are dying who could be saved,
that generations more will live poor butchered half-lives
if you fail to act. Do what must be done,
discover your humanity and your love in revolution.
~ George Jackson  (1941-1971)