Green Watch

Far-Left Activists Disinter FDR’s Civilian Conservation Corps . . . for Global Warming?

At a time when the Left is reclassifying almost everything as “infrastructure” it should come as no surprise that someone would recall President Franklin Roosevelt’s public work relief program, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), which came at the height of the Great Depression at 25 percent unemployment. But where CCC men built world-famous national parks and bridges that still stand today, this zombie CCC—now the “Civilian Climate Corps,” introduced in Congress in April—promises to blanket America in solar panels and wind turbines in order to “transition” an oil-rich country to “renewable energy.” But at least the CCC pays a $15 per hour minimum wage!

Authoritarian Aspirations

The revived CCC is nothing more than a giveaway to Big Labor, overeducated failures to launch, and the radical Left. Big Labor would get apprenticeship programs registered with the Labor Department and coordinated with local unions and card check agreements. Modern-day Peter Pans would receive tax-free grants of up to $50,000 per year of service to pay down student debt. The radical Left would be promised “explicit antiracist language” to ensure better benefits to “environmental justice communities.”

It’s also the latest in a line of bills that attempt to channel leftists’ fury at their inability to control the Earth’s climate into a nationwide war on, well, the nation itself. My colleagues and I have regularly reported on the environmental Left’s increasing use of the language of industrial mass mobilization, victory at all costs, indoctrinated youth crusades, and total war modeled on the authoritarianism of the 1930s and 1940s.

The original Green New Deal’s own fact sheet in 2019 bragged that “this is a massive transformation of our society.” Al Gore has also likened global warming to the battles of “Thermopylae, Agincourt, Trafalgar, Lexington and Concord, Dunkirk, Pearl Harbor, the Battle of the Bulge, Midway and Sept. 11” in the pages of no less than the New York Times.

If the comparison to the age of the great dictators sounds far-fetched, recall that the original CCC was part of the same New Deal legislation hailed by Adolf Hitler for incorporating national socialist ideas to instill the “virtue of duty, readiness for sacrifice [that] should dominate the entire people.” The slogan of National Socialism was “The Public Weal Transcends the Interest of the Individual.” Such words might send a thrill down a leftist’s spine, were they uttered by another.

Enter Activism Inc.

A host of environmental activist groups and labor unions back the CCC bill. We’ve compiled the best from InfluenceWatch below:

  • Center for Popular Democracy. Aligned with the Democracy Alliance. Infamous for a co-director who assaulted Jeff Flake (R-AZ) in a Capitol Hill elevator in 2018 and then bragged about it on NPR.
  • Evergreen Action. Front for Sixteen Thirty Fund, part of a multi-billion-dollar “dark money” empire run by Arabella Advisors. We’ve documented how Evergreen’s founder, a political consultant, set himself up to profit from his group’s proposed “green infrastructure” bills.
  • Sunrise Movement. Youth group created to push the Green New Deal. We were the first to report on Sunrise and its murky connections to a number of larger environmental activist groups.
  • Justice Democrats. Political action committee that supports socialists running on the Democratic ticket, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). The group has also faced potential campaign finance laws violations.
  • Data for Progress. Front for Tides Advocacy, the action arm of the Tides Foundation; provides favorable research for Medicare for All, Green New Deal, and other far-left policies. Founder Sean McElwee also co-founded Abolish ICE.
  • Movement for Black Lives. Coalition of activist groups aligned with Black Lives Matter. Fiscally sponsored by Common Counsel Foundation, a 501(c)(3), and before that by the extremist Alliance for Global Justice, a George Soros–funded fiscal sponsor to Refuse Fascism and other radical groups.
  • Working Families Party. Pro-union party based in New York and an early backer of New York Mayor Bill De Blasio (D) as well as other far-left candidates.
  • Green Latinos. Coalition of environmental special interests.
  • Green New Deal Network. Coalition of Center for Popular Democracy, Sierra Club, Working Families Party, Movement for Black Lives, and other major agitation groups to push Green New Deal legislation.
  • Indivisible. Anti-Trump “resistance” group aligned with Democratic Socialists of America, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Working Families Party, and others.
  • Sierra Club. Major environmentalist group formed in 1892. It recently disowned its founder, John Muir, as an irredeemably racist. A leading opponent of coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear energy, and dams. We’ve recently covered Sierra Club’s $18 million per year anti-coal crusade.
  • Service Employees International Union (SEIU). One of the largest and arguably most political unions, with close ties to the infamous ACORN agitation group. CRC’s Michael Watson has covered SEIU’s own Amalgamated Bank, a self-described “forceful advocate for public policy” and its anti-free-speech Hate Is Not Charitable campaign here.
  • League of Conservation Voters (LCV). Major environmental lobbying group described as a “dark money heavyweight” by a left-leaning watchdog for its massive political spending each election cycle.
  • Opposes all new oil, gas, and coal exploration and takes a hard line on anything short of a total transformation of America’s energy sector and economy.
  • Communications Workers of America (CWA). One of America’s most politically active unions and quick to back increasingly “progressive” Democratic politicians, including Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (D-VT) 2016 presidential campaign.
  • Center for Biological Diversity (CBD). Environmental litigation nonprofit that supports mass male sterilization, open borders, and hard-line environmental proposals and opposed President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominees.
  • National Domestic Workers Alliance. Labor-aligned worker center that’s been characterized as part of the “alt-labor” movement, with funding from Soros’s Open Society Foundations, the Ford Foundation, and others.
  • Food and Water Watch. Anti-fracking group that opposes genetically modified foods (GMOs), fluoridation, natural gas development, and bottled water.
  • People’s Action. Democracy Alliance–aligned group with its origins in 1970s liberal activism.
  • Greenpeace. Extreme-left activist group known for supporting sabotage of industries it considers harmful to the environment. Besides the usual anti-energy platitudes, Greenpeace also opposes expanding food production, sets wild goals of “zero deforestation” worldwide, and unleashes anti-whaling campaigns against Russian and Japanese whalers in the Pacific Ocean.

These are just the big ones. As always, scores of tiny or obscure groups litter the endorsements of the CCC bill:

  • Common Defense
  • NDN Collective
  • United for Respect
  • United We Dream Network
  • Grassroots Global Justice Alliance
  • Association of Flight Attendants (CWA)
  • Hometown Action
  • Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada
  • Mid-Ohio Valley Climate Action
  • Climate Justice Alliance
  • Christians for the Mountains
  • Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement
  • WV Citizen Action
  • Labor Network for Sustainability
  • Appalachian Mountain Club
  • Family Farm Action
  • Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy
  • Organic Consumers Association
  • Connecticut Citizens Action Group
  • Appalachian Mountain Club
  • Citizen Action of Wisconsin
  • Future Coalition
  • Corazón Latino
  • Rights & Democracy
  • Indigenous Environmental Network


Hayden Ludwig

Hayden Ludwig is the Director of Policy Research at Restoration of America. He was formerly Senior Investigative Researcher at Capital Research Center. Ludwig is a native of Orange County, California,…
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