Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for Governor, said yesterday's historic march of 400,000 in NYC showed that New Yorkers are fed up with political leaders who are delaying action on climate change.
The Green Party was one of the sponsors of the march and had a large contingent, including Hawkins.
Hawkins held a news conference at the birthplace of the Occupy Wall Street movement. He then participated in a Flood Wall Street climate change protest.
"Americans understand that we need action now on climate change, even if our Democratic and Republican politicians don't. New York needs a Governor who will say that fracking for more natural gas is not the answer. We already have a plan by Standard and Cornell professors that shows how New York can go to 100% clean renewable energy by 2030 and I pledge to implement it if elected," said Hawkins.
Hawkins also repeated his call for the state and city to divest worker pension funds from fossil fuel companies that are driving climate change. Hawkins was a leader of the anti-apartheid divestment movement while at Dartmouth.
Hawkins said that one way to pay for the transition would be to make Wall Street pay its fair share of taxes. This would include an end to the rebate of the tiny Stock Transfer Tax that New York has collected for more than a century but which in recent decades it to has rebated to Wall Street speculators. Due to the increase volume of trading, especially by computer programs, the tax revenues run between $14 to $16 billion annually.
Climate scientists tell us that have at best 15 years to convert to carbon-free energy sources if we are to stop runaway global warming. The technology to build a sustainable, livable world already exits. The sun shines, the wind blows, the waves lap at our shores.
"Continued dependence on the 19th century fossil-fueled system will leave us battered by climate change, poisoned by pollution, technologically backward, and economically stagnant. Let's upgrade to a 21st century renewable energy system, protect the climate, and build a sustainable prosperity," added Hawkins.
Hawkins said that Cuomo had already fracked New York, allowing the infrastructure of pipelines, storage and processing facilities to move forward while he evaded providing a final answer on extraction. Hawkins in his 2010 race called for a ban on fracking for natural because he knew that expanding the use natural gas was a disaster for the climate. Climate scientists warn us that 80% of the present fossil fuels reserves of coal, oil, and gas must never be burned into greenhouse gases if we are to stop global warming below the tipping point of catastrophic climate change.