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In-Depth Interview: Facing Human Extinction, Activist Randy Hayes Wants to ‘Go Down Swinging’

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Randy Hayes, veteran environmental leader and founder of Rainforest Action Network details his 7-point action plan to address climate change.

As Democratic leaders offer their “Green New Deal” modeled on FDR’s “New Deal,” veteran environmental leader Randy Hayes has drafted the “New Green Deal,” a seven-point plan to address what he calls “a deep planetary emergency.”

While Hayes supports all the goals of the Democrats’ proposal, he focuses more intently on the essential requirements to sustain human life on the planet.

Hayes wants to shift to 100 percent renewable energy and ecological farming with a plant-food focus. He wants to end subsidies for carbon-based energy to reach a “true cost economy.”  And he calls for a plan to restore healthy ecosystems to half the earth, to offset the impact of humans on the other half.

We discuss the recent “eco-spasms” that have flooded large parts of the Midwest and produced more than 500 tornadoes over a 13-day period in May.

We talk about the recent launch of a misleading “astroturf” campaign funded by Big Oil. Its front organization, Americans for Carbon Dividends, dangles a carbon tax and dividend scheme as bait for an indemnification of the very industries that have profited from environmentally disastrous resource extraction.

When asked about the practicality of his plan, Hayes says that, given the grave threat facing the planet, he intends to at least “go down swinging.”

This podcast originally appeared at WhoWhatWhy 

Randy Hayes, the founder of Rainforest Action Network, is an author, filmmaker and environmentalist. He is executive director of Foundation Earth and a consultant to the World Future Council, based in Washington, DC.