Introducing the Climate Mobilization Victory Plan! (with Foreword by Paul Gilding)

Since launching The Climate Mobilization, we have often been asked to explain specifically what a WWII-scale mobilization to restore a safe climate and save civilization would actually entail.

Understanding the need to answer this question in greater detail, we decided it was imperative that I withdraw from my role coordinating TCM organizing efforts earlier this year and do just that. I spent a great deal of time reading books by leading thinkers on solutions to the climate emergency and the ecological crisis. I also consulted with experts in a range of fields and attempted to outline a set of broad policies and approaches that, if delivered, would give us a fighting chance to save civilization and protect the natural world.

The result is draft one of The Climate Mobilization Victory Plan.

Victory_Plan_cover_right.pngAs I was wrapping up the the plan this week, I was absolutely thrilled to see Bill McKibben's full-throated manifesto for a WWII-scale mobilization published so prominently in The New Republic. It is fantastic to see Bill McKibben and embracing the need for a WWII-scale climate mobilization.

But while reading his piece, I was also struck by the chasm between the mobilization we call for and the one he describes. Suffice it to say, the Victory Plan looks almost revolutionary in comparison. Though that wasn't my intention, I believe that the goals we chose — restoring a safe, pre-industrial climate; halting the 6th mass extinction of species; and reversing ecological overshoot — are the source of this yawning gap.

In his foreword to the Victory Plan, our advisor Paul Gilding captures well the reasoning driving our approach:

The hard truth is the climate has deteriorated significantly since 2009 and this appears to be now accelerating. There is no time left for multi-decade transition scenarios. At this late hour targets based around 2050, or calls for only zero emissions (without drawdown and cooling), are clearly not sufficient. They risk an unthinkable defeat by putting off the very concrete steps we need today. That is why I am so pleased that The Climate Mobilization has written this Victory Plan. It tangibly demonstrates how the U.S. could eliminate net greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, contribute to a global effort to restore a safe climate and reverse ecological overshoot through a massive WWII-scale mobilization. 

What do YOU think? I hope that you read the Victory Plan, contribute your thoughts by commenting on our Victory Plan discussion page, and share it widely. I believe that, together, we can imagine and plan the mobilization we need, and then work like hell to make it a reality.

Please also support The Climate Mobilization’s ongoing work to commence the mobilization! Since TCM is the heart of our operations — and the only place where we can really get into the shaping of electoral politics — we ask that you consider becoming a Mobilizer-Backer today.

We're thrilled to announce that the Climate Mobilization Project (CMP), our affiliated 501(c)(3) organization, is now accepting donations as well. CMP’s mission is to develop and advance a WWII-scale mobilization to restore a safe and stable climate. It supported the creation of this Victory Plan, and your generous support will allow us to continue to create such thought leadership moving into the next stage of the push for mobilization.



Showing 3 reactions

  • commented 2016-09-29 18:34:56 -0400
    I am glad to see people going all in to fight climate change. I think there are some very good ideas here and worthy goals. But I think you are making a mistake focusing just on the Federal government. Ideally the government would do all those things you propose, but I can’t imagine our current gridlocked system doing it. Approximately half the current voting population appears to be considering voting for Trump! What happens to this plan if it is President Trump?! I think while not giving up on the Federal government, we need to focus a lot of our energy on cities, counties, and states. People and small groups can have a lot more influence working locally. There is more possibility for rapid change. Aspen, Colorado, Burlington, Vermont, East Hampton, New York, Georgetown, Texas, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Greensburg, Kansas, Rochester, Minnesota, and San Jose, San Diego, and San Francisco, and Los Angeles are among the cities/states that have already committed themselves to rapid achievement of 100% renewable energy, with the first three having already accomplished it.

    I think the plan needs to say a lot more about not just what the Federal government should be doing, but how to get the political will mobilized to make it move in that direction, in these reactionary times. It also should talk a lot more about accomplishing these goals through changes at local and state levels.

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  • commented 2016-09-18 11:41:44 -0400
    From now on I can’t say no one has a detailed plan to stop climate change. This is well thought out, however it still has allowances for private enterprise. All private enterprise has to be curtailed, even down to some kids lemonade stand. Until the crisis is over any activity that is not involved in maintaining basic human life must be tightly controlled. First all old dollar debt has to be repudiated. All land, buildings, and equipment is immediately the sole property of the government. The entire population is drafted into the fight (it’s not that bad, I lived). During the first of the transition most people will simply be required to stay home. Basic rations will be supplied. Just as in WWII no new appliances or automobiles will be manufactured or imported. No beef cattle or hogs will be bred.

    If I list ever addition to the plan I will need 100 pages myself. Nothing can be set in stone and allowances made to account for human nature. Whatever the US does will be useless unless all of humanity is forced to comply also. How that is to be accomplished is beyond skill level.
  • commented 2016-09-16 20:04:09 -0400
    It is great that someone tried to formalize and document what needs to be done in order to save the planet. This is an important work. I have a couple of comments and criticisms as follows:

    My first comment is that it is overwhelmingly clear that Government Intervention is a huge piece of this. With the current attitude and direction that the U.S. government is taking, it seems very unlikely that the U.S. government will actually adopt this plan unless they come to their senses and/or the powers of evil are seriously set back. I fervently hope and pray that this will happen.

    Here are a few minor issues I have with the plan itself:

    Page 48 currently says “Maintain Existing Nuclear Generation Until Renewables are Fully Scaled Up….If retiring nuclear power plants means adding additional greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, it should not be done”. I disagree with this statement. Whereas Nuclear Power is not contributing to the Greenhouse Gas problem, it is also a very serious danger in itself. I don’t think we can in clear conscience be advocating nuclear power as part of the solution to any problem. We may seriously destroy significant areas of the Earth with nuclear power and nuclear power may destroy the Earth before the greenhouse gas problem does.

    Page 62 currently says “Assuming appropriate zero-emission substitutes are…developed and deployed, all fossil fuel aircraft…must be permanently grounded by 2025.” This leaves a terrible loophole which will never be closed. There may never be a GHG-free solution for air travel. I think we must seriously lower our expectations here and simply ban air travel to reach our goal. We must tighten our belts and move on. Air travel is irresponsible use of greenhouse gas emitters. We must bite the bullet and travel by slower means. This also applies to the nuclear power issue. If we simply can’t get enough energy with renewables, we must learn to live with less. Mankind had survived for thousands of years without electricity.

    Page 77 says “Any non-mission critical infrastructure, equipment, or weaponry unable to convert to zero-emissions should be decommissioned.” The problem with this is that it is another loop hole for the military. They will use this and widen this loop hole so that every military mission is “mission critical”. This is unacceptable. As Bob Marley said, “give them an inch and they’ll take a yard, give them a yard and they’ll take a mile”. We must simply grow up as a nation and stop being so paranoid and stop having such a control-freak attitude about the world where we have to control everything. We can’t absolutely stop every 9/11 attack. But we can be nice to the world and they won’t want to attack us. We need to learn to be equals with others in the world and stop all this military madness. Just take out “any non-mission critical” and replace with “all”. The word “should” is still there so if there really is a “Hitler problem”, we may have to dust off a few planes for self-defense, but this must absolutely be understood as a last resort, no “mission-critical” BS.

    Thanks and I look forward to seeing the completed draft of this document!