There is NOTHING “radical” about AOC’s Green New Deal

Photo Credit: Senate Democrats

While much has been made about the “Green New Deal” proposed by Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez, the biggest controversies seem to be coming from what’s not in the resolution. Critics have clung to text from Ocasio-Cortez’s website, which included, economic security for those “unwilling to work”. And while that was posted on Ocasio-Cortez’s website, it isn’t what was in the resolution presented to Congress.

It’s the same when people bring up “airplanes being made obsolete” or “reducing carbon issues from beef”. None of that is in the resolution, it’s all from text on Ocasio-Cortez’s website on how SHE wants to lower carbon emissions. But even if you don’t agree with her specific plan you should still agree with her resolution. Because everyone should be able to agree on the fact that carbon emissions NEED to be reduced and that we NEED to reach net-zero global emissions.

The resolution is intentionally kept vague and doesn’t provide any specifics so that people with differing views on how to reduce carbon emissions can agree to the resolution. Additionally, it provides common sense information on what Congress should be looking into doing to ensure a world that is suitable for future generations.

The resolution starts out by pointing out facts about manmade climate change. These facts are backed up by the scientific community, and every expert in their respective fields. Only Trump and some of his far-right conspiracy theorist supporters are still in the camp of denying the human impact on climate change.

After presenting some eye-popping statistics, including:

(3) global warming at or above 2 degrees Celsius beyond preindustrialized levels will cause—

(A) mass migration from the regions most affected by climate change;

(B) more than $500,000,000,000 in lost annual economic output in the United States by the year 2100;

(C) wildfires that, by 2050, will annually burn at least twice as much forest area in the western United States than was typically burned by wildfires in the years preceding 2019;

(D) a loss of more than 99 percent of all coral reefs on Earth;

(E) more than 350,000,000 more people to be exposed globally to deadly heat stress by 2050; and

(F) a risk of damage to $1,000,000,000,000 of public infrastructure and coastal real estate in the United States;

 it goes onto some more generic initiatives, that not too many people can disagree with, even if we disagree on how to get there. Still there are some provisions in the resolution that have provided some minor controversies. For example,  

(E) upgrading all existing buildings in the United States and building new buildings to achieve maximum energy efficiency, water efficiency, safety, affordability, comfort, and durability, including through electrification;

The biggest controversy of this statement is “all existing buildings”, but that doesn’t have to be a major upgrade to make a significant impact. Many climate experts recommend a simple step like switching to LED bulbs or treating your windows to let in less light which can reduce heating and cooling costs.

If every building in the country was upgraded with these simple steps it would make a significant difference. And while we can argue about how to implement such a plan, what shouldn’t be argued is that it’s a worthy goal.

Another section that might be deemed “controversial”

(O) providing all people of the United States with—

(i) high-quality health care;

Once again this is a prime example of an action that shouldn’t be controversial, even if we disagree on how to get there. The problem is right now the GOP has no idea how to get there, so agreeing to the fact that every American deserves “high-quality health care” can be a hard sell.

But it shouldn’t be, nothing in this resolution is radical or ground-breaking information, it’s the reality of the world we live in, and it’s time for Congress to wake up to that fact. Only once we get everyone on board, Republican, Democrat, and Independent, can we start making progress to reducing carbon emissions in the United States and do our part to ensure a world that the younger generation and their family can live in.

Click this link for the full text of the resolution presented to Congress.

8 thoughts on “There is NOTHING “radical” about AOC’s Green New Deal

  1. I believe the Green New Deal is a distraction. Legislative action on climate change will happen in the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. The main roadblocks to getting anything done to address the crisis are the president and Senate majority leader.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I wouldn’t call necessarily call it a distraction, the FAQ page that was briefly up on AOC’s site, now that was a distraction. I view the resolution presented in Congress as a statement admitting that we need to do something about climate change and that the government has a fundamental obligation to do something about climate change (although it doesn’t necessarily change anything so in that sense it could be viewed as a distraction). What they end up calling whatever legislation that gets passed doesn’t really matter, as long as the legislation is significant and impactful. Additionally, I completely agree that the biggest obstacles are Trump and McConnell when it comes to climate change since they have no interest in doing anything about it, hell its hard enough to get them to acknowledge that it’s real, even though every scientist on the planet agrees on that.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. One other positive aspect of weatherizing existing buildings and upgrading/electrifying HVAC systems is that it creates lots of jobs for folks with those skills and for some of the unionized workers. I live in New York State along the PA border and during the fracking debate, jobs were a major issue. Jobs created by fracking are few in number and short-lived, but renewable energy and energy efficiency projects create far greater numbers of stable jobs.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Our current electric grid is downright scary, as are many water and sewer systems. One of the advantages of electrification is that it would lessen the need for natural gas pipelines, which are also scarily prone to leakage and worse. There will also be a lot of projects needed to protect against coastal and river/stream flooding, which, one hopes will also include protective ecosystem restoration, for example wetland and salt marsh areas.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Legislate retrofits and energy efficiency on all federal buildings to start. That 70% upper bracket tax, enforcement of inheritance taxes, and capital gain tax hike should cover a lot of the expenses they’re so worried about.

    Liked by 1 person

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