The Future Endorses Bernie Sanders

Caitlin Johnstone

A vote for anyone other than Bernie Sanders is a vote for near term extinction.

This is a hard piece to write. I have children, and I really don't want them reading this. I don't want to scare them. But as their mother, I have to sound the alarm. A vote for anyone but Bernie Sanders is a vote for the end of the human race.

The planet is stressed to the max. In Chile, tons of dead fish have been washing up on the shore. We have garbage patches in the Pacific the size of countries. A third of the Great Barrier Reef is dead. People are buying cans of fresh air in China. We have all seen the signs. We all know where this is headed. You've hurriedly scrolled past as many of these stories as I have, with your heart leaping in your throat, hoping it's not true.

If you don't believe me, I don't blame you. I don't want to think about it either. I don't share articles I see of climate scientists crying because of the terrifying evidence they are turning up because, quite frankly, it scares me to death. I am frozen by fear, rage, and frustration. How could we let it come to this?

Imagine what we could do if we just stopped that? All our money and all our great minds go into working out different ways of killing each other in order to keep killing ourselves with our use of oil. Imagine if we took that money and effort and put it into saving ourselves?

This world is truly insane right now. We all know that, we all thought that as children. There is this viral video going around this week of a small child crying in frustration about how we adults are destroying the planet. We were all that child once, and our mothers were all just as clueless as to how to explain why we do the mad things we do.

We all know this, but neither of the people we're allowed to choose from to lead the planet cares a whit. Of the two choices we've been given, one is Donald Trump.

God help us. He tweeted that climate change is a conspiracy invented by China. I mean, wow. How loony tunes is that? He told a drought-ridden California recently "There is no drought." The Don needs to adjust the reception on his tinfoil hat if he thinks that the Mexicans are more of a threat than climate change. He won't even acknowledge its existence, despite having to shore up his Irish golf course for rising sea levels. His cognitive dissonance is as watertight as that wall. There is no way he's going to do anything about something he refuses to admit exists. A Trump Presidency means bye-bye humans.

But is she? At the beginning of the campaign, she was reluctant to address the largest issue the world has ever faced at all. It was only because Senator Sanders had installed it as the keystone of his platform and, when he emerged as her only true contender, she could no longer avoid speaking about it.

So she made a big deal about supporting the Clean Power Plan, which advocates small, incremental changes.

Well, now is not the time for small, incremental changes. Now is well past the time for anything but huge, ambitious, planet-saving, revolutionary actions. We must stop using oil... now. And we can. That's easy. We have crowdsourced all sorts of solutions for all sorts of applications in abundance, and a surprising amount of those solutions come from teenagers. The only thing deliberately and violently stopping us from naturally moving in this direction is a few families who quite enjoy the money they get from oil and munitions.

Even if we took Hillary at her word, her actions prove that she will do the opposite. If you don't listen to her words and look at her actions, her voting record speaks volumes about what she values and where she will take us. This is the woman who sold fracking all over the world with the Global Shale Gas Initiative according to Politifact. "The United States will promote the use of shale gas. Now, I know that in some places is controversial. But natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel available for power generation today, and a number of countries in the Americas may have shale gas resources," Clinton said in a 2009 speech promoting fracking to the Inter-American Development Bank.

"I'm sitting there in the Oval Office, and Bush says to me, 'What do you need?' And I said, 'I need $20 billion to rebuild, you know, New York,' and he said, 'You got it.' And he was good to his word…"

And that she said yes?

You must inhabit a strange moral universe if you think that that's a good explanation for why you helped begin what amounted to a world war. Because you got a few billion bucks for your constituents out of it? Huh?

And we're meant to believe that she's going to "take it up" to the oil and banking interests, when she's consistently shown us how easily she can be bought. I mean, I'm not even sure that she thinks about it as "being bought." I think she thinks she's just "doing business" the way it's always been done. That's how far gone she is, she thinks that's just what you do. When you're willing to get up in the middle of an election campaign and admit by way of explanation that you changed your vote because a president gave you some money, and you don't see anything wrong with that, that's a long, long way down Insanity Lane already. That kind of laissez faire attitude to mafia-like corruption should bring a chill to our collective human heart.

Because she's already stashed away her millions from these oil investors in the form of "speaker's fees;" we know that. We know they've paid their dues already. And since Hillary's campaign recently exhausted the legal donating limits of her very few but very rich donors, she has now turned to Jeb Bush's former donors to boost her campaign - which should tell you something. I wonder how many more "favors" that will buy the Bushes? And their oil-invested Republican friends?

Well, whatever favors they are, they are ones that Mother Earth cannot afford.

A vote for anyone else is a vote for the end of your species. If a few years from now, you can look your kids in the eye as they fight wars for water and run from one natural disaster to the next, if you can look them in the eye and tell them "I voted for this, I put saving some billionaire's share portfolio ahead of your health and safety," then go right ahead. Your choice. Our children may be fighting for their lives in exactly the same way, but at least my conscience will be clear.

It will be bitter consolation, though. I'd rather them be thriving together in a new age of peace and safety than me having the grim satisfaction of an empty "I told you so".

And yes, Bernie can still win this. Today's Independent lays out just one path to victory with the news that 1.5 million people have been inspired to register to vote in California since January this year. Tens of thousands have gathered every day this week to his rallies in California. Meanwhile, the shadow of the FBI looms ominously over Hillary Clinton's campaign. He can totally win this.

Go to it Team Human. I love you. I'm with you.

[Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images]