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A Planet to Win: Why We Need a Green New Deal

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  455 ratings  ·  69 reviews
In the twenty-first century, all politics are climate politics.

The age of climate gradualism is over, as unprecedented disasters are exacerbated by inequalities of race and class. We need profound, radical change. A Green New Deal can tackle the climate emergency and rampant inequality at the same time. Cutting carbon emissions while winning immediate gains for the many is
Paperback, 208 pages
Published November 12th 2019 by Verso Books
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Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, recs
Lucid and inspirational, A Planet to Win: Why We Need a Green New Deal clearly outlines what a GND would entail and considers how its core policies might be swiftly implemented. The co-authors write easy-to-read prose and seamlessly embed the United States' social and political history into their discussion of what needs to change in the nation, if global climate catastrophe's to be averted. Wealthy countries and the capitalist elite in particular, the book stresses, are mostly responsible for s ...more
Patrick M.
Nov 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-nature
Very interesting and incredibly detailed in certain areas. However, could have used less snark about urbanists, and more discussion of what "democratic planning" actually means.

Overall, it's kind of a "two cheers for New Hipster Socialism" for me. Despite the frequent invocation of democratic planning and diversity, there's some very retro twitchiness towards a "bigger-is-better"/Soviet futurism vision which doesn't leave much room for the local, the small, the particular. In the chapter on res
Sean Estelle
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Every word here is urgently necessary and drives towards the articulation of a political program for a radical, ecosocialist Green New Deal. In many ways, this is an expanded pamphlet/broadside more than an entire book - but that doesn’t detract from the ideas laid out here in the least. I wish there had been more space for deepening the vision of a transformed built and natural environment than just in the intro and conclusion, but even those passages serving as a bookend were gorgeous. This is ...more
This is less "why we need a green new deal" and more "this is what a necessarily radical GND would look like", and it was very good. It touches on fossil fuels, labour and job transition, job and housing security, a reduction in both consumption and work (4 day work week) and international solidarity. I particularly enjoyed the chapter on international solidarity and how technological innovation isn't enough (electric cars will not solve the climate crisis and will exploit those in South America ...more
Jul 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Read for a college writing course and it was actually super interesting! Definitely political, but the reasoning they make is really solid and backed by concrete evidence and examples.
Matthew Alampay Davis
Feb 22, 2020 rated it it was ok
I'm broadly in favor of the Green New Deal and liked much of Naomi Klein's recent book "On Fire" which is something akin to a moral argument for the framework. This is meant to be something like a preview of what a GND would actually look like, but I feel the tone and quality of writing do huge disservices to the book. It's obviously not written to convince skeptics but rather to affirm those who've already mostly bought in, which can be fine, but I probably would not have bought it had I known ...more
Dec 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
We should all be organizing in an urgent way in favor of an anti-racist Green New Deal. This book is a good reminder about what's at stake and just how quickly we need to act. Confrontation with oil and gas companies, whose business models are incompatible with averting climate crisis, will be necessary - and utilities companies who value their bottom lines over their roles in extreme weather events (like deadly fires in California) have to be held accountable. But this book lays out not only wh ...more
Aug 23, 2020 rated it did not like it
Um, I want these people in the room during the negotiations on the New Green Deal, but not sure they should be the lead negotiators. I was hoping this would be an uplifting book filled with lots of great ideas, it turned out to be a seemingly rushed publication with definitely some good ideas, but with lots of impractical or even outlandish ideas as well.

They lost me when they spent more than one sentence on the idea of "Nuremberg trials" for oil company executives, going on for at least a few p
Montana Goodman
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Strong and informed, this book will bring out the best in you. And that is exactly what we need in order to bring about a safer, more egalitarian, more democratic world not just for those of us in the US but all over the world. I will be reading this again soon!
Apr 09, 2020 rated it liked it
“But despite the erudite self-loathing of so much climate writing in the liberal press, the enemy isn’t us.”

It took about three pages into the introduction to decide that this was the environmental book for me. While it mightn’t needs as strong as The Case For A Green New Deal (presumably due to having multiple authors), A Planet To Win is certainly a companion book to Ann Pettifor’s and develops a builds up a radical Green New Deal so that progressives can imagine a future to campaign on.

Aug 24, 2020 rated it liked it
The book made a convincing case for almost every high-level initiative's inclusion in the GND, either in support of decarbonization or ensuring that the impact does the least amount of damage, particularly to those least well off, nationally and internationally. It's a compelling argument for an urgent and nationally coordinated radical effort. ...more
Josh Graves
Jul 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Reads a bit like a manifesto of a perfect future. Gave me hope that things like this can happen, and I'd love to see even the basic ideas in this come to light, but who knows. ...more
Emily Eaton
Jan 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
Great quick read that lays out the fundamentals of a plan for a green new deal. But this book does not deal adequately with decolonization
Apr 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
This might just be the cure for Covid-19...
Sep 07, 2020 added it
Shelves: politics
exactly what to expect from a dsa-verso-jacobin collab.
lmao at this quote though: “Carbon-free leisure doesn’t just mean wholesome hobbies like hiking and gardening—we’re firm believers in eco-friendly hedonism. Give us time for long dinners with friends and plenty of organic wine; outdoor adventures enhanced by legal weed grown and harvested by well-paid agricultural workers; skinny-dipping in lakes that reflect moon and starlight.”
Oct 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5/5 (rounded up). Some excellent points in this book and it nicely lays out different aspects of the GND. However I felt it paled in comparisons to Stan Cox’s GND book where the arguments were sharper, the evidence clearer, and the writing generally more convincing. The highlight of this book was how the GND plays out overseas and links global supply change to American politics.
Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Easy to read, clear, straight to the point introduction to the principles and especially *vision* of an ecosocialist Green New Deal. The authors will not bore you with policy details, but instead focus on the stakes of a GND and innovative components that might be included in such a world. These include trying fossil fuel execs for criminal offenses; nationalizing and democratizing the energy grid; shorter work weeks and new forms of public leisure; supply-chain solidarity; new public housing un ...more
Dec 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
Excellent contribution to the debate around the need for a radical transformation of our society, which needs to go further than individual changes in our individual lives and instead has to completely change how we organise society: the role of production and leisure time, the use of technology, housing, transportation, urban planning, etc.

The authors have made an immense effort to synthesise the urgency of the climate crisis, the need for mass, grassroot movements, the importance of political
Nov 29, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a handy guide to what a Green New Deal could look like and explanation of why it is needed, with a useful exploration of the original New Deal as a possible template for it, including its shortcomings. Highly recommended for people that might need convincing or as an antidote to climate despair one often finds among liberals.
The downside of the book is that if you’re already a convinced eco-socialist then you won’t learn anything new, and you might be disappointed that the book stops sh
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I will absolutely recommend this book to my friends. It is simply one of the best books on GND as a systematic solution to our current climate crisis (and more). The ‘freedom to’ part in conclusion really moved me.
Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
this book is incredibly good!
Oct 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
An interesting and important book, which hits home the concept that solutions to the climate crisis need to be systemic. What the authors do well is also the thing I imagine open them up to the most criticism--dreaming big, writing a portrait of a possible carbon-zero future that is more equal and pleasant to live in. And they take us back to the original New Deal, which I think they could have spent even more time on. The engineering and infrastructure products of the New Deal are still standin ...more
Luciana Sari
May 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Informative and straightforward. Written in 194 pages, one should not expect an in-depth analysis of the causes and solutions of climate change, but this is a good book for those who interested in exploring the climate change issues and the importance of the Green New Deal ("GND") as the main instrument of the fight against climate change towards the sustainable future. This book consists of some topics many climate change and environmental activists know too well: that capitalism is evil and fo ...more
Feb 18, 2021 rated it liked it
This book is a broad, but not very deep, overview of eco-socialist policies and critiques, as well as a vision of a green future to strive toward. It's a bit rambling and not terribly convincing, which is to be expected given the breadth of topics it tries to cover. However, I can imagine two audiences this book would be a good read for: a) those who are left-of-center and steeped in climate change despair, but not exposed to eco-socialist ideas, and b) committed leftists who require a call to a ...more
Nils Jepson
Jun 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
We are colorful
Our future is shared and loud
Beginning is here

(in other words, really fantastic. never read a book that's put in so much work to imagine a future America both in its political priorities and physical changes -- the passages on turning mines into museums on labor and natural resources, or the passage on public housing and public investment or the passage on how a bright future looks like teens eating edibles in the park next to the Natural History Museum, these all had me crying! i
A Planet to Win is a radical leftist manifesto for how we not only create a carbon-free society, but use that opportunity to build something more just for all. And I'm totally on board. My disappointment is not with its theoretical or political orientations.

It may just be that I had high hopes for the book, but I found it lacking in specificity and detail. It gives a broad and rather vague overview of the social justice outcomes that could be achieved from a Green New Deal. It is not an in-dept
Review by Sophia Reuss:

Of all the lessons that the architects of neoliberalism have imparted over the past four decades, perhaps the most insidious was the idea that there would not be losers along the road to 21st-century progress. Instead, the prospect of the end of history brought with it the promise that all of us would be winners.

The future was frictionless. Or so the political logic went.

Today, that logic has worn thin around the edges. The reality of climate breakdown has exposed the idea
Diana Marie Denza
Jun 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
“We need to know it’s possible to change our own fate, to be able to imagine the end of capitalism more easily than the end of the world.”

I’ve read a few books on climate change, and each one of them was well-written and full of statistics, but left me with a sense of dread. This book is short (just under 200 pages), accessible, and inspires hope that we can organize for a more just, more sustainable society. The changes that we need to make are sweeping: Americans will have to literally transfo
Laura De Palma
May 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
A "radical Green New Deal" - as referred to in this book - that puts racial justice at the fore and frontline communities in decision-making spaces is exactly what we need. I am on board the vision presented in "A Planet to Win: Why We Need a Green New Deal" and appreciate it addressing the racism and exclusion of people of color in the early 20th century New Deal - with an outline of how to create processes that will include and center people of color - particularly Indigenous and frontline com ...more
Devin Bryant-Bosshold
Nov 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Clear eyed and optimistic. Aranoff demonstrates that we can and must confront the biggest open questions of our decarbonization challenge, such as the need to rely on lithium extraction that is also harmful and exploitative of indigenous land, energy intermittency that poses potential for uneven development and the need to organize mass strikes and directly confront and defeat fossil capital for both a habitable future and one with hope of equity.

This book outlines, not just the obvious imperat
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Why not focus on some serious family drama? Not yours, of course, but a fictional family whose story you can follow through the generations of...
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“For better and for worse, our choice now is between eco-socialism or eco-apartheid.” 0 likes
“The climate crisis has been long framed as an issue of either techno-utopian tinkering, entrusting a few billionaires to save the day, or of collective self-sacrifices - us versus us. Have fewer children. Buy organic. Drive less. Amid all the carbon shaming, it's worth recalling Occupy Wall Street's most enduring slogan: the 99 percent versus the 1 percent. If we didn't write ourselves subprime mortgages and we didn't on a whim decide to saddle ourselves with six figures worth of student debt, we certainly didn't wreck the planet. They did.” 0 likes
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