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On Thursday, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts proposed the “Green New Deal”. Stemming from the broad, yet distant, fear of looming environmental catastrophe, Representative Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Markey appear hopeful their policy recommendation will be heard. With one piece of legislation, the two lawmakers aim to address two major issues: climate change and socioeconomic inequality. However, this new idea already faces opposition, especially from moderate and conservative authorities wary of socialism and unsure of environmental claims.
Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, essentially scoffed at the legislation. She claimed dismissively, “It will be one of several or maybe many suggestions that we receive. The green dream, or whatever they call it, nobody knows what it is, but they’re for it, right?” Perhaps, the ideology remains too vague or aggressive. For instance, Representative Ocasio-Cortez asserts, “in 10 years, we’re trying to go carbon-neutral.” Nonetheless, a reporter confirms Congress’ gradual understanding of the issue and the need for decisive action: “Since the midterms, dozens of U.S. representatives and at least four Democratic senators have pledged support to create a Select Committee to create legislation for a Green New Deal.” Even so, the deadline for necessary change creeps closer.
Any approach to curbing future climate change should be applauded. Moreover, the environmental protection debate should not exist and should not involve partisanship. Recently, scientists warned that we have around twelve years to limit pollution-intensive emissions. Otherwise, we will face harsher climates and more extreme weather. This matter is thus one of life or death. Admittedly, the arrangement may have to put on hold these peripheral goals: a provisional living wage, a universal health care system, and other welfare programs. Certainly, these may also be necessary. However, it is likely they benefit from the positive economic gains created by the environmental aspect. By demanding production and transportation changes, the Green New Deal could create millions of new jobs in national engineering, construction, and maintenance. These new, comprehensive jobs may have the same beneficial effects on the U.S. economy and its citizens as those created during the FDR administration.
The Green New Deal indirectly imitates the broad goals of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal Plan. In that deal, Roosevelt aimed to combat the effects of the Great Depression by providing relief through welfare and employment-based reforms. The Green New Deal also aims for income inequality. However, its main target is global warming and its adverse effects. The campaign for the Green New Deal began in 2007. Then, America paid little attention to it as the focus was on economic restructuring. However, now, the movement reappears with more fervor and credibility.
Nonetheless, the Green New Deal will require some alterations. Even now, many politicians reject the mounting proof of climate change, and the policy will need their support. Also, the document appears exceptionally progressive, particularly regarding its economic aid requirement—which many would never accept. For the Green New Deal to materialize sooner, proponents must change several minds and possibly sacrifice its more progressive elements. Such a bill is necessary as the U.S. is the world’s most influential economic and political power. The nation is also one of the largest carbon emitters. If the United States acts now, many will follow and allow for a timely, necessary redirection towards an environmentally responsible lifestyle.