The CCC’s function is to take the strongest stand possible on the side of direct public employment, and create the political conditions for more democratic guidance of future climate policy. In contrast to Biden’s paltry offer of a $10 billion CCC, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ed Markey have proposed a heftier $132 billion version, which is backed by Sunrise and others. AOC and Markey’s CCC would employ 1.5 million people over the next 5 years to support the expansion of renewable energy and build healthier neighborhoods. The program aims to have workers serve in their home communities when desired. All would receive at least $15 per hour and have the option to form a union.
The significance of the CCC is its potential to turn neoliberal subjects into Green New Dealers for life. Imagine 1.5 million young people connecting with their communities and their environment through a shared experience of dignified public employment. Imagine these 1.5 million getting a taste of actually building sustainability and resilience in their hometowns. Imagine friends and neighbors envying CCC workers for the opportunity to work and serve, and wanting it for themselves. In this world, climate change is more than something to fear or ignore; it’s an invitation to act together for the common good.
Decarbonisation isn't a set-and-forget kind of thing. Plans that don't account for what it would take to build and maintain political constituencies over the long-haul are doomed to fail.