California Is Burning. Can The Green New Deal Save It? | AJ+

California Is Burning. Can The Green New Deal Save It? | AJ+

Camp fire, as you may or may not know, has been
the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history. Leveled something around
17,000 structures. Eighty-six people have died as a result of it. Wildfires are raging in California
right now. We brought 200 Sunrisers
to Nancy Pelosi’s office to demand that Democrats who say that they care about what
the science says actually back up their words with
action. If Pelosi wants to study the impact of climate
change, she should go back to her home state of California, where people are dying and
burning like the town of Paradise. Young people were telling stories of how their families had lost homes in fires years past. It was electric. It led to the country awakening to the urgency of this issue and a whole new way. Paradise is not just like a
representation of my town. It could represent everybody’s town. Because this is becoming our new reality. We have a really, really
incredible opportunity to take this movement and run with it. Because we don’t have that
much time. This is this is our last hope frankly. After the camp fire, young people in northern California found themselves on the front lines of the climate crisis. In this second of a three-part series, Sunrise endorses its first congressional candidate in the 2020 election. And we meet activists impacted by the fire who are fighting for a Green New Deal. My name is Mikala Butson. I’m twenty-two years old and I’m currently a senior at UC Santa Barbara and I come from Magalia, California
which was damaged in the 2018 Camp Fire. I decided to get up early to study for a test
I had and my mom just sent me this picture. She was just getting off of one of her early
morning shifts and she just looked over from Chico up at Paradise and she just saw
this. It was cloudy and fiery. And she’s, like “What is that? What’s happening?” And she realized it was fire. and everyone else was looking at it,
like, “What is going on?” No emergency alerts. Nobody knew what was
happening. So she drove up Skyway to get to my brother.
Skyway was the road that leads to Paradise and up through Magalia where we live. The next thing I know I got a call
from her saying, “Do you want me to grab anything from your room? We’re evacuating.” I lost contact with them for several hours
and so I was just on every Facebook page online, watching videos of people driving through
fire. I was thinking, like, “What if they’re dead?
What’s happening?” They were going down Skyway and that was the road that was on fire. So my mom made the decision to turn around and drive up through the mountains. If she hadn’t done that she probably would have had to drive
through the fire and might not have survived. When they finally made it to Chico, it
probably been four or five hours. I got a call from them and they said, “We made it
out. We don’t really know where to go.” So they came and stayed with me for about a week. We no longer talk about a fire season in California.
We are having fires every single month which is unprecedented here. We just had an incredible
destructive fire in November. We’re usually deep into the winter rains by that but this
year we had record dryness. Two hundred and eighty days without rain. Mark Stemen is a professor of geography and Planning at California State University in Chico where he has taught generations of students about the impacts of climate change. Now, his hometown is having to adapt. This is a whole new normal that we’re having
to deal with. And it’s and it’s not just fires. It’s fires, it’s floods, it’s all kinds
of other disasters that we’re having to deal with up here. We just had the entire town of Paradise, Magalia,
Conkow burned out and all evacuated to Chico. It’s put a lot of strain on our community.
We’ve grow by 20,000 people overnight And we really need to be mindful, because this is now what we’re going to be experiencing on a regular basis. The cost of climate disasters like the Camp Fire is rising, whether you measure it in dollars or in lives. That’s why sunrise argues that a Green New Deal – essentially a massive government investment In programs to cut green house gas emissions to net-zero, create low-carbon jobs, and stop global warming – makes economic sense. We are paying for this crisis right now. The
US economy spends billions of dollars every single year, hundreds of billions of dollars
every single year dealing with the fires and floods and hurricanes that are already devastating
huge swaths of America. So, we either invest now, or we pay later. My name is Sofia Lepore. I am a student here
at Chico State in the beautiful Chico, California. I am the media and outreach
coordinator for the Sunrise Movement. On November 8th I woke up just like any other
day and the sun never came out. We realized really quickly that the fire wasn’t just a
10-acre fire. It was kind of like an out of body experience almost. It was so strange
to hear about all of these places that I am so familiar with and hearing these horrible
stories about people being trapped in their cars and you know families that I know are
being impacted having to evacuate. We need to start addressing climate change
like the crisis that it is. This semester I am in a climate activism class. And so, essentially, we students get to choose the issue that we think is most important to address in terms
of something that’s unsustainable about the university. We decided that students be taught climate change education in all fields of study. Because that is just simply
not the case right now. I think the most important thing to gather
from this experience is that yes it has become the talk of the school. This is what
the students want. It’s a clear message. I owe a lot to my wonderful professor Dr. Mark who taught us to resist, who taught us resilience. And people were just showing up and not leaving. We are an amazing creature in that if we think
we could do something we will do it. But if we don’t think we can do something we deny it. There would be times when we would read an
article in his class that’s so devastating, that’s so horrible. But he let us channel
that energy into something productive. Once you’re able to start those conversations
and see that people do care, they just might not know prior, that fire keeps you going. Eventually, they have to listen, you know. And it’s
just a matter of when that’s going to happen I think. Northern California’s economy relies on big agriculture, from rice farms to cattle ranches. But Cheetah Tchudi and Samantha Zangrilli were trying a smaller, more diverse approach, selling meat from pasture-raised sheep and pigs alongside duck eggs and flowers. That was before the fire. Camp fire, it rolled at the rate of one football
field per second. And it was something totally different than most California wildfires. We could hear the propane tanks exploding
which to us are triggers. Like OK, this is hot enough to where it’s a structure fire
and it’s exploding the propane tanks. So that means it’s gonna be bad. So we decided to
evacuate. Cheetah has the truck so he takes the
sheep and ducks. I squeezed all the guardian dogs in my car. Our home was completely destroyed. It was
just a pile of sheet metal on the ground. So, our house was the cement slab, basically,
and the green houses were behind it. Basically, they applied martial law. We were
limited on the amount of animals we could fit. So we had to leave all of our pigs and
some of our sheep behind. We didn’t realize that we wouldn’t be returning
for 26 days. I don’t think anybody did. Cheetah managed to get a permit to return to the farm to check on the animals left behind. He found that all but 20 ducks survived. I’ve got a neighbor that came in on the same permit with a good water supply and a generator. So I was able to trailer water onto the property for those animals. And we had 60 ducks and 30 sheep and five baby lambs and seven dogs at my best friend’s flower farm. And it was just incredibly generous of so many people in Chico to accommodate a whole community basically for twenty six days. So let’s see. Hopefully we can get into the parking lot. See, I don’t … I don’t even know where to
turn anymore. I don’t even think this is the entrance. Yeah this is definitely it. I think when I started dancing here I didn’t
have any friends. I was home schooled for middle school and I made friends here. It’s the first time I’m seeing it in person.
Which is like worse than I imagined it I guess. I don’t cry, but like it is emotional. Six months after the fire, crews are still pulling down power lines and removing toxic debris. In paradise, the water is contaminated by benzene, a compound linked to cancer. The city estimates the clean up will cost more than 2 billion dollars and former residents of the area are making painful choices. My mom my mom and my brother decided not to
return to Magalia. I mean there’s not only much left for them here. She was a house cleaner for many years and almost all the houses that we cleaned are gone now. My mom is really struggling with PTSD and
also with finding a job. This was my house here. She was a single mom for so long. She had a cleaning business, then she was a medical transportation driver. And all of her clients were displaced by the
fire. So they made the choice to sell our home as is. We had about two days to pack
up our whole lives. Here we are six months later. We still
don’t have electricity. Still don’t have any real water running water. I’m still leaning
on the same friend to import water for our livestock. It’s been a bit
of a rodeo. The communities devastated by the Camp Fire are represented in congress by Republican Doug LaMalfa. All we know so far about the Green New Deal, it’s more like a green pipe dream. It ignores the reality that a lot of what America
was built upon were indeed fossil fuels. Those known reserves that we have in this country. As recently as 2018, he questioned the scientific consensus that human activity is driving global warming. In the last election cycle, almost half LaMalfa’s campaign contributions came from corporate donor groups. Big agriculture, casinos and also the oil & gas industry. I didn’t think until recently actually that
we would come out of this. The government’s not going to change their
ways. The fossil fuel companies and the gas companies have so, like, these huge stakes
in politics that they shouldn’t have. My teacher actually, John Foran, recommended
me to give a speech with Sunrise. And that’s when I got involved with Sunrise. It gives you something to fight for. To fight
for a Green New Deal and this is actually a possibility that we can actually save the
Earth and ourselves and all of the animals that are going extinct and really hurting
right now. Do you want to be kissed? The first time I ran I was 33 years old and
I said, even as a 33-year-old educator with no policy experience, I am more equipped to
hold this office than a climate change denier. Audrey Denney is running against Doug LaMalfa in 2020, for the second time. So this part of California is very, very rural.
It’s very agricultural in nature. And I grew up on a family farm. And so from the very
beginning of my life I have been immersed in agriculture. The Green New Deal isn’t a plan to mitigate climate change, right. It’s a commitment to the belief that we can. I want to be the policymaker that
that comes alongside and says, “Here are the pragmatic policy changes that we need to put
in place right now to mitigate climate change but also to benefit the people who live in
the first district.” In total in my district last year we lost 93
lives in climate related wildfires, right. The causes of these fires are very complex. Climate
change is changing our fire reality. Old energy infrastructure combined with really, really
unhealthy forest ecosystems are leading to this mire and this incredible threat. But
in the forests, we also have the solution to mitigating climate change and creating
great jobs for the people who live in this district. Denney gets really excited about the policy solutions that could be part of a Green New Deal, whether she’s talking about turning woody biomass into renewable jet fuel. What? What? We can turn this forest product
that is harming us right, that is making our forests unsafe, and we can turn it into a
low carbon fuel. That fact alone should blow your mind. Or about carbon sequestration. Plants have the ability to take atmospheric
carbon out of the atmosphere where it’s a bad thing and store it in the soil where it’s
a good thing There’s so much that we can do with our our
farmers as well to make sure that they’re equipped and trained to use the agricultural
practices that help us store and sequester carbon in soil. You know I’ve got a vested interest because
I am a livestock farmer of carbon cap and trade. This concept that emissions somewhere
could be offset by our positive growing practices here by our sustainable grazing practices
assuming we’re doing them correctly. This is all new growth from right after the fire, look at how wonderful it is. Like the land is having no problem bouncing back at all. I also like to attribute
that to the shepherding, the moving of the animals constantly. A long-term goal is working towards ecosystem
service markets, working towards carbon markets where our farmers who are, and ranchers, who
are who are heroes right, they’re stewarding the public’s air, and the public’s water,
and the public’s soil, where they are paid and compensated for that. In Chico, there’s been a sense of urgency since the fire. The city passed a declaration of climate emergency in April, and activists are rallying around the Green New Deal. About five weeks ago, more or less, someone
came into my climate activism class and announced that there is this new club Sunrise starting.
And I thought, “Oh, like, what an awesome idea.” I went to the first meeting and about a week
later the national hub announced that they were going on a nationwide tour and that we
were one of the destinations. We have really had a huge influx of energy
across the country. I mean we went from having just 20 local chapters to having over 200
in almost every single state in America. We’ve been kind of scrambling like crazy
to create this community so we could have that baseline of people ready and waiting
for the tour. Without running water on the farm, Samantha has no flowers to sell at the market. But she and Cheetah persevere, convinced that producing healthy food is worth the struggle. When you go through a traumatic experience
you definitely weigh where you are in your life and if you want to continue on the same
path. So I pulled the wife card and was like, “We are not leaving.” And this time around I can already see a difference
in our community. They’ve really held us up through this whole process. We’ve definitely been more courageous
in asking for what we’re worth because we’re out here and we’re trying to make a living. We talk about the Green New Deal as this national
issue. But in reality, the way that it will be implemented is locally. So looking at our farmers markets for example
it’s important to address that our local community has to be nourished. This is about taking a broad economic vision
for American society and and applying it really at the local level, using that momentum and
energy to boost the local work that’s already happening and engage thousands of new people
in the process. This is so beautiful. Such a fun town. Come
on team! I think that the sense of community that I
felt with my fellow climate activists was one of the most crucial parts in this movement
for me. Now that I do have a voice, how to use it, and how to make the most the most change with that, I think is a crucial thing to learn. It’s so powerful and it gives you so much energy and so much fire. What was your name? – Jeremy Jeremy, Sophia. – I was on that call with you Oh that’s right. And that sense of community is really special
because with that energy with that passion, you kind of just bounce off of each other
and it just gets greater and greater. The strength of Sunrise lies in the army of young people it’s gathering to stop climate change and create good jobs for everyone, especially communities on the front lines of climate catastrophe. But their strategy involves electing American politicians who will turn that vision into policy. Good evening, Chico! I am tired of our representatives, of the people who are supposed to be fighting for our best interests, who are supposed to be protecting
our families, allowing big fossil fuel companies to control their positions on issues that pertain to our lives and to our futures. We want to ensure that every presidential
candidate, every congressperson, candidates down ballot, are being pushed on this question of, “Do you support a Green New Deal and will
you make it a priority as soon as you get elected into the halls of power?” We know that there is corruption and we know
that the richest people in our society control more than their share of resources. But we
also know that there is something that we can do about it. And the Sunrise Movement
is doing that work. They’re doing the work to organize. They’re doing the work to make our voices heard, and they’re doing the work to elect a new generation of leaders
who are not responsible, not beholden to corporations and special interests. Who
are not beholden to the fossil fuel industry and who reject political partisan gamesmanship. In her first campaign, Denney promised not to take money from the fossil fuel industry. At this event, she pledges to back the Green New Deal, and becomes the first congressional candidate for 2020 to earn Sunrise support. We are so excited to say that Sunrise Movement’s
first endorsement of the election cycle will be to Audrey Denney. That is our strategy from now till 2020
but also beyond. Because even if we have politicians who purport to care about our values we’re
going to need to continue to push them and hold them accountable because it’s not going
to be an easy ride. We’re going to be ensuring that every time
there is a major flood or a hurricane or a fire that is claiming the lives of Americans,
that people across this nation are standing up and saying, “This is a national emergency
and our politicians need to treat it like one.” We got to rise up. Rise up ’till it’s won. I think about all of the people that were
impacted by the fire. If there’s anything we can do to stop it we
have to do it. Because I don’t want anybody else to have to go through this. They try to stop up but we keep coming back. In the final episode of this series, we meet
Sunrise activists from Eastern Kentucky. Our natural resources are exhausted, our bodies
broken, our spirits crushed and now we have nothing to offer. But we are here to tell you that
we deserve better. And we learn what a Green New Deal could mean for communities built on coal. Appalachia is one of the poorest communities
in America and the thought of the Green New Deal lifting them all out of it and getting everybody a clean job, and a livable wage, and making my people’s lives better
almost brings me to tears.

100 Comments

  1. How will this Green New Deal affect the middle eastern owned farms growing feed here for their animals to preserve their water auquifers or Sweden's Nestle water contract? What about the Bohemian Groves 2,700 acres of land that never seems to be affected by drought or fire's? I would tell these people to ask the government why have they suffered and the things I've mentioned haven't before doing any deals.

  2. Corporations are destroying the planet. All of people who run these corps, and the financers need the Guillotine or firing squad.

  3. You know all that climate yelling at Nancy Pelosi what's about all the homeless 146.000 yell about that bc all those homeless illegals are starting these fires.. Ok YELL ABOUT THAT CALIFORNIA TAKE YOUR STATE BACK FROM DEMONIC DEMOCRATIC

  4. how does one care about climate change yet watch videos on youtube? how can i truly be part of the solution if i am part of the problem? are we willing to give up the luxuries to see real change? i think not.

  5. The billionaires answer to climate change is to put in idiots like Trump in positions of power, and their hope is to reduce the global population by half while they hide out in New Zealand and other hideouts. It is already happening. Go Bernie Sanders and the "Green New Deal!"

  6. Trying to fix climate change with Capitalism is like trying to fix a broken dish with a hammer. Irony, livestock is a leading cause of climate change. Raising animals for food is the problem, not a solution. Going vegan is a solution.

  7. This is great, but there were some factual errors
    1) Plants do not sequester Carbon in the ground. They use it to build their cellular structure, which, once the plant has died, gets composted by micro-organisms back into soil, and the Carbon is released back into the air. This is why an old growth forest is Carbon neutral, because for each new tree to grow an old tree has had to fall down, as the new one takes carbon out of the air to grow larger, the fallen tree decomposes and releases it's carbon back into the air.
    2) Carbon credits do not work, a carbon tax would, but not carbon cap and trade. First off, all farms that grow plants(not livestock) are carbon neutral; second, even if these farms took a certain amount of CO2 out of the air, they were already doing that while our atmosphere went from 200 to 400ppm of Carbon. Think of it this way, currently you have a coal power plant and a town surrounded by numerous farms. Now you give the farmers carbon 'credits' and they sell them to the coal power plant. So you're still running the coal power plant, and you're still growing all the crops you used to, so where exactly did you cut carbon production?
    3) Although I do support sustainable farming, organic, and even biodynamic farming; the fact is that farming on a small scale often leads to a very inefficient use of the land. Factory farms may be horrific, but we can change them easily enough to be more humane. We need to be efficient and herding a few ducks and sheep just isn't.
    But I do support the Sunrise movement, I'm happy young people are getting engaged with politics and realizing that it is their country, not some distant politician's. Also, the green new deal is just a commitment to change and become better; I think it's crazy that in the USA the Congress couldn't get it passed!

  8. There are wildfires happening across the world, the results of both global warming and arson for profit, too many to keep under control … our world is burning. https://www.vox.com/2019/8/22/20828219/amazon-rainforest-wildfire-photos-fire-greenland

  9. An inspiring, warming story but misguided in my opinion. I don't see a path out of this predicament but if there is one, it doesn't wait for politicians to save us. Drastic change on a planetary scale must happen now. Politicians wont make that happen. We are out of time.

  10. 14. If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. KJV — 2Chronicles 7:14

  11. Well. If these yuppie Snowflake environmental whackos, would stop building homes in the forest, They would not need be concerned about fire. It's nature's way of cleaning-up what should not be present. Just let it burn. It'll eventually extinguish itself. People rant they are all for the environment, then invade that same environment with homes, pools, dirt bikes, snowmobiles, and diesel trucks. Hypocrites.

  12. greens is for the environment!!!!, but the greens want to mix this situation with the inmigration like in europe happens.

  13. If interested in climate change issues check out Cowspiracy on Netflix, a documentary produced by Leonardo DiCaprio.

  14. If people would consider impact on land and how to handle it a lot of this could at least not be so bad. I believe we have to take a different approach since I don’t see China, India, Asia and most countries doing any thing to change their influence on climate or pollution. In Florida we recognize the fact that natural fires are a part of nature so we have controlled burns so we don’t have as many out of control fires.

  15. Yang's climate crisis plan: https://www.yang2020.com/blog/climate-change/
    Climate crisis is here, most important issue facing humanity and life.

  16. The building industry has to take some responsibility for climate change also. Waste not want not. Stop tearing down strong, durable old buildings so more pollution goes into landfills. Renovate, restore or flip. Demolition tears downs should be used as a last resort if the building has decayed so much its collapsing. In that case use land for green space. Buildings built in 1920 were the most well built. Why allow developers build very huge vacation Mc mansions in fire hazard zones, flood prone areas and swamps like in Carolina's barrier islands where generations of families are being displaced? Housing industry needs to follow good examples of HGTV and flip permanent homes for families. HGTV is a pretty good example of going green. After all History matters. This greed is destroying humanity. Put families back into homes. Why build houses for building speculators and investment groups. A corporation is not a person. Developers should be given a tax break if they flip and renovate existing buildings for communities.The future generation needs better laws. Change eminent domain laws that were implemented after the Kelo case in New London Connecticut . These laws hurt middle class and working class families by displacing them. Economic morals and COMMON SENSE matters.

  17. My father was Burned out of Paradise (he was and still is in a Chico convalescent hospital at the time, due to health issues), he's still a staunch Republican/Trump Supporters and he has an Engineering degree.

  18. LaMalfa is like Bush during the Iraq war, he's horrifically out of touch relying on Sunk-Cost Fallacy to claim his job.

  19. Yang's climate crisis plan: @t – WE NEED YANG FOR PRESIDENT https://www.yang2020.com/blog/climate-change/

  20. I saw Part 1 and Part 2. So far, one word…WOW! Looking forward to Part 3. Thank you to all the young activists trying to make a difference from an old fart…

  21. America has a dark past and original sin that they refuse to address!!! and until america address its dark past,all the solutions these people in this video speaking of are useless.

  22. You mean that proposal reject by almost every member of Congress? The one about implementing socialism faking being about the environment? Totally

  23. Russia's plan is to have the US and China sink each other while accelerating Climate change so it can put the coastal cities of other countries under water. This then allows them access to more Oil in their country since the Ice that is preventing them from drilling has melted. Of course they would have longer summers. Oh by the way Trump is just executing the plan.

  24. Nobody warned the people in Paradise. Most of those victims died in their homes or burned in their cars because it was too late to make it out.

  25. I believe this fire was intentional by someone who wants people to lose their home and make more money when they build the new. The government lose money but big corporations and banks win. We are the government we lose not them

  26. Stop promoting animal farming, it's not helping with the climate, whatever "regenerative" nonsense they're talking about.

  27. Socialism is your answer to a problem you invented. There are many socialist “paradises” (haha) outside of the US. You are free to leave so we in the US can remain free.

  28. Dumbshit, California has always been bunring. We moved into the burning area. It has nothing to do with climate. Al Jazeera is hell bent on dividing America.

  29. Have you guys ever stopped just for a second… and looked in the mirror and really thought about it… and thought to yourself ,,am I really correct in every single thing that I think say and do?
    Or am I just repeating something somebody else said because I like them or I hang out with them, or they did something I have mistaken for,,,cool?

  30. If you really cared deep in your soul for other people, the climate, immigration ,socioeconomic disparity… then you would form a mission.. and go to that place and spend all of your time and all of your money to fix it…. but you're not going to do that are you?
    And do you know why you're not gonna do that???………I DO

  31. the green new deal has extremely serious flaws. a ban on nuclear energy just increases reliance on coal and fossil fuels. solar/wind is unreliable and batteries to store unreliable energy is extremely taxing on the environment. we should be supporting research into fusion and thorium, not increasing reliance on inefficient and expensive sources of electricity.

  32. In the green new deal not 1 energy efficient vehicle was driven. More plastic was used than ever I. The making of this video. These people are jokes.

  33. Aj plus supports Hamas and is an anti white, anti west propaganda network. A war is coming and rats like this will be the first to burn.

  34. Paradise was so important that even Trump remembered their name.. oh wait he got it wrong, right the administration couldn’t give a damn. Sweep the forest Trump says and then everyone’s talking about all the stupid shit Trump says and suddenly almost no one is talking about the actual problem anymore.

  35. “Here’s what really happened in Paradise.  The Rothschild Crime Syndicate
    wanted the land for gold, mineral rights and UN agenda implementation.
    They had to scare the residents off the land—FOREVER!  This is why their
    arsonists set up the crime scene in advance so that no one could even get out.
    It was like the folks in Paradise CA fire were in a high-rise with bars on the
    windows and their doors were bolted shut from the outside!  This was
    nothing short of premeditated genocide … as it is twice a year whenever
    manmade wildfires are stealthily exacerbated ON PURPOSE.  The
    International Banking Cartel is engaged in a massive land heist around
    the world wherever gold deposits abound in order to fulfill the numerous
    and unprecedented gold repatriation requests being made by nations large
    and small to the US, UK and France.”

    — Intelligence Analyst & Former U.S. Military Officer

  36. 0:41 moron criminal in the White House suggested raking as California wildfire solution (:-( https://thinkprogress.org/trump-raking-forests-finland-california-wildfires-5bea1baf8a04/

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