The Green New Deal
Updated: Oct 7, 2020
In the 1930s, President Franklin D. Roosevelt began a series of programs to initiate economic and social reform in the United States in an attempt to combat the worldwide Great Depression. The administrations that Roosevelt started were part of his overall plan called the New Deal. Fast forward nearly a century and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York’s fourteenth district can be seen struggling to start a similar plan: The Green New Deal.
The plan aims to battle global warming and its consequences by promoting renewable energy sources and economic equality. The program seeks to eliminate all greenhouse gas emissions and switch to complete solar or wind energy sources by 2030. If passed, public transportation methods will be emphasized through higher investments, regenerative agriculture will be produced, and vital ecosystems will have more conservational strategies enforced. Furthermore, fracking, mountaintop removal, and uranium mines will be prohibited.
AOC claims that by switching to renewable energy, 20 million jobs will be created because the plan endeavors to fight economic inequality by giving all citizens the right to an adequately paying job, housing, cheap healthcare, and no college tuition fees under Ocasio-Cortez’s proposed “Economic Bill of Rights.”
“12 years to change everything—how we got around, how we fed ourselves, how we made our stuff, how we lived and worked. Everything,” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said.
A lot of changes are sought to be implemented in only about twelve years and people critical of the New Deal believe it's undoable, unrealistic, and an unnecessary waste of time. But AOC states that her plan is feasible if the military budget is cut by 50% and polluting companies pay for the damage they made to the environment. The need for bases around the world to guard fossil fuel resources will not be necessary and so the money saved would go into creating a greener economy with eco-friendly jobs. Proponents also state that enough technology exists to make the renewable energy switch by 2030.
Is the grass really greener with the Green New Deal?
Although the Great Depression had eventually ended, some believe that FDR’s policies worsened or at least did not help the economic crisis. Similarly, AOC’s policies have faced criticism from those who feel it will not do anything to combat climate change. Many Republicans of the general public feel that oil and coal companies are entitled to continue their work in pursuit of success, but even AOC’s own party isn’t readily accepting the propsal. Although some Democrats like Ilhan Omar have shown support, people from Ocasio-Cortez’s own party have called it a “green dream” like Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi for its unreasonableness.
Another fellow member of AOC’s party, Barney Frank, believes it will destabilize society with the litany of changes. Former New York City Mayor Bloomberg, who wants the bid for the Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential nomination, has spent millions of his own billionaire fortune on resisting rising Earth temperatures but believes the Green New Deal will be too hasty.
Ocasio-Cortez had responded to opponents by saying, "For those of you who are trying to mock and delay this moment, I mean, I just feel bad for you. I pity you for your role in history right now.” She believes that humanity has only twelve years to save the world and by waiting any later, we will do irreversible damage. Ultimately, it isn’t just a matter of whether or not the Earth needs to be saved, but how much time we even have left to save it."