“April is the cruelest month.”–T.S. Eliot, “The Wasteland,” 1922
COVID-19 has now violently emerged, alongside the Climate Emergency, as an existential threat. Our health, economic livelihoods, climate stability, democracy—our very survival as a human species—are under attack.
If we’re going to survive this pandemic, and avoid the pandemics lying in wait, if we’re going to avoid the greatest pandemic of them all looming on the horizon—runaway global warming and catastrophic climate change—we need to take control of our destiny and build a new Green Commonwealth that is regenerative, rather than degenerative.
In his essay this week Ronnie Cummins talks about the origins of COVID-19, the potential dangers that lie ahead, and how the path to survival must include rethinking our food production systems, our healthcare system and our political system.
“It’s time to admit that low-grade industrial food, air pollution, environmental and occupational hazards, and lack of access to healthy food and medical care give rise to the 'pre-existing medical conditions' that enable COVID-19 and other chronic diseases to kill people before their time.”
Read Ronnie’s essay: 'Apocalypse Now: Stop the Madness'
If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it's that we need to rethink everything.
From our broken healthcare system, to our poorly supported-yet-so-essential local family farmers, to our contaminated environment, to our own compromised immune systems—"normal" isn't working.
We need large-scale systems change. Now, more than ever, we need a Regenerative Green New Deal (GND).
In an article titled “'Normal Was a Crisis': Why the Green New Deal Is the Perfect Response for the Post-Covid-19 Economy,” edie.net editor Matt Mace writes:
“Sir David Attenborough told the Big Issue this week that ‘there’s no moral to be taken from what happened in the past. We’ve got a completely blank sheet of paper in front of us.’ By titling that blank sheet with the words ‘Green New Deal’ nations can recover from an economic slump with climate and health at the heart of every decision.”
Please let your members of Congress know that you want better—not normal.
TAKE ACTION: Ask Your Members of Congress to Co-Sponsor the Green New Deal!
Is it technologically feasible for farmers and ranchers to help turn around runaway global warming by transitioning to organic regenerative farming and grazing practices?
Yes, says Francis Thicke, an Iowa organic dairy farmer. The real question, he says, is whether it’s politically feasible.
Last September, along with Regeneration International and the Sunrise Movement, we launched the national coalition of U.S. Farmers & Ranchers for a Green New Deal. The coalition is committed to advancing policies that support organic regenerative producers.
This week we officially launch our U.S. Farmers & Ranchers for a Green New Deal Podcast, with an interview with Thicke, one of five co-chairs of the national coalition.
In this podcast, Thicke—who holds a Ph.D. in soil science, and was formerly the program leader at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Soil Fertility Program—talks about the economic and political challenges farmers face in an industry dominated by industrial ag mega-corporations that control the market, and federal farm policy.
Listen to the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers for a Green New Deal interview with Iowa dairy farmer, Francis Thicke
FARMERS & RANCHERS ONLY: Sign this letter to Congress from Farmers & Ranchers
More about the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers for a Green New Deal
Make a tax-deductible donation to Regeneration International, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit
Subscribe to the Regeneration International newsletter
Nearly every conversation these days starts with: “How are you doing?” And it should. We are all worried. We are all trying to take care of ourselves, and each other.
But we should also be asking each other what we are doing—beyond of course adjusting to and coping with whatever havoc COVID-19 has wrought on our personal lives.
What are we doing to make our own immune systems more resilient? To demand the end of pandemic-breeding factory farms and the policies that promote them?
What are we doing to restore and preserve the natural biodiversity so essential to ecosystem health—and so threatened by industrial GMO monocultures?
What are we doing to force our local, state and federal lawmakers to rethink unjust social, economic and environmental policies that leave millions of people unnecessarily and hopelessly vulnerable during a crisis?
Author and activist Arundhati Roy, in an article about the heartwrenching impact of the coronavirus on the people of India, writes:
“Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next.
"We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.”
In a tragic way, the pandemic sweeping the globe today validates so much of the work we at OCA have been dedicated to for more than 20 years.
In a good way, it has reaffirmed our sense of urgency.
We are (still) ready to fight.
If you can, please make a generous donation to help continue this fight. And please stay safe.
Make a tax-deductible donation to Organic Consumers Association, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit
Support Citizens Regeneration Lobby, OCA’s 501(c)(4) lobbying arm (not tax-deductible)
Donate $100 or more and we’ll send you a copy of Ronnie’s new book
Click here for more ways to support our work
This week, Bernie Sanders dropped out of the race for president of the U.S. Last week, while he was still a candidate, he was interviewed by Bill Maher.
Sanders and Maher both attract plenty of controversy for their opinions. But if you’re an advocate for a better food system, if you believe that healthy food and natural health should be part of the COVID-19 conversation, you’ll want to watch this video (all the way to the end,) when Maher says:
“One reason we're in the mess we're in is because Americans are not very healthy to begin with. I know this is under the category of 'never going to happen,' but if I was president I would institute a Manhattan Project for getting our immune systems in better shape and part of that is suggesting very strongly that people eat better food and less of it. Would you agree?"
Sanders “absolutely” does.
In fact, the food and agriculture policy plan Bernie laid out in his campaign was the strongest of any Democratic candidate who ran for president in 2020, as was his Green New Deal plan. Want to help fight for these policies, regardless of who becomes our next president? Join the next Sunrise Movement national call.
Watch Bill Maher’s interview with Bernie Sanders
Join the Sunrise Movement’s ‘Where do we go from here’ national call Thursday, April 9, 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT)
Can You Clean Coronavirus Off Your Food?
Capitalist Agriculture and COVID-19: A Deadly Combination
Big Oil Is Using the Coronavirus Pandemic to Push Through the Keystone XL Pipeline
Covid-19 Stimulus: Bailout for Corporate Agribusiness or a Lifeline for Our Food System?
What Happens If America’s 2.5 Million Farmworkers Get Sick?
The Deeper Source of Grocery Panic
More Than Ever, We Need Nature. It Makes Us and Our Children Happier