We need a national People’s Power campaign

With commuters staying at home, businesses shut down, and airplanes grounded, the coronavirus lockdown is catalyzing the biggest decline of energy demand in history. As the dire impact of the oil glut produced by the pandemic on the fossil fuel industry has become increasingly clear, elites have begun to worry that the gathering crisis of fossil capitalism is likely to seriously destabilize the global financial system. They are responding with demands for public bailouts that benefit Big Oil. Yet while periods of crisis have often led to paroxysms of disaster capitalism in the past, opportunities are opening in this present moment of disastrous capitalism for movements fighting to dismantle the fossil fuel industry and thereby prevent planetary ecocide. With the value of fossil fuel companies gutted, now is the perfect time for what I am calling a movement for People’s Power to take ownership of the collapsing industry in order to shut it down in a way that’s fair to workers and communities, and in parallel to build out the kind of democratically controlled renewable energy system we need to avoid catastrophic climate change.

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