The Green New Deal is huge undertaking that aims to radically transform American society. In their 14-page resolution released earlier this month, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY14) and Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) introduced a call to completely overhaul the energy sector, focusing on renewable resources and efficient infrastructure, as well as combatting poverty by providing new jobs, preventing monopolies, and demanding universal healthcare and a fair minimum wage. It is one of the biggest stories of U.S. politics currently, and a social Democrat’s dream at that.
It touches upon some of the most critical platforms of the Left, including both climate change and economic inequality. Climate change is the most pressing issue of our time, and not only will we live with the impact of our choices now, but so will those who come after us. It is immoral and irresponsible to condemn an entire generation to live with the devastating (and scientifically proven!) effects of climate change, including increased severe weather occurrences, disease incidence, and habitat destruction. Climate change is not a partisan issue, though it will more severely impact the most vulnerable among us. Thus, the aforementioned healthcare reform and living wage are additional steps to be taken to combat such a problem.
While the Green New Deal is certainly a massive work in progress, America needs fresh, new ideas to rejuvenate a stagnant, inefficient political system. The time has long passed for conventional politics.
The backgrounder for the Green New Deal (GND) should have been written in crayon to better reflect the intellectual capacity of those who wrote it. Just keep in mind that all measures that will be illustrated here would do essentially nothing to stifle climate change since the US’s carbon footprint is dwarfed by those of India and China.
The GND, as illustrated by Alexandria Ocasio Cortez’s office, calls for the abolition of planes by replacing them with high speed trains, universal healthcare, a free college education, to “upgrade or replace every building in the US” for energy efficiency, economic security for all who are “unable or unwilling to work,”, and the building of charging stations for electric cars “everywhere.”
If all that wasn’t enough, when addressing how the GND will be paid for, she contends that we will create public banks to extend credit to power these projects. This idea is similar to asking the Treasury Department to print more money so we can fund everything. The GND was openly endorsed by all four senators who are presidential candidates…obviously, they did not look through the details after doing so.
The backgrounder was ridiculed so thoroughly that AOC’s office claimed that the document was doctored and took the it down…a claim that has since been proven to be false. If Democrats want to run on lunacy like this, let them, and watch as Republicans pummel them in the elections.
My brother, a recent graduate who works in commercial real estate, joked with me that now is a great time to buy property in Newark because it will soon become beach front property due to global warming. Jokes aside, the projected environmental and economic impact of climate change is drastic.
I agree with the Green New Deal on the matter that we are in desperate need of action against our effects on the environment. However, I take issue with the proposed resolution because it calls for the United States to take several actions, including steps toward becoming completely emission neutral, within only ten years. This might seem possible, but the resolution also insists on all workers being unionized with paid medical and family leave, paid vacation, and retirement funds. Additionally, it calls for government-providedloans and education funding to be distributed for the planned progress.
While it would be great to combat climate change, this deal sounds like a sprawling expense to add to a government running on a deficit. Provisions of unions, antimonopoly rules, healthcare mandates, and economic security are unnecessarily tied in with an environmental act, rather than being viewed as separate issues to be discussed individually. I can’t imagine the Green New Deal ever landing on President Trump’s desk as a bill to be signed in its current state. As such, environmentally protective actions will likely be put on hold while politicians debate economic and social talking points.