The Green New Deal Is Here: See What Dems Have Proposed

Of all the causes U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has lent her insta-celebrity status to, the most prominent is the Green New Deal, a plan intended to tackle our pressing environmental problems with a simultaneous economic stimulus package. Now she and Senator Ed Markey have released a joint resolution to kick the plan into action.

Support the Green New Deal by signing this petition

The plan lays out a 10-year shift toward complete reliance on renewable energy with the goal of producing no carbon emissions. To achieve this transformation, the plan calls on the creation of loads of well-paying jobs to move us into the next generation.

The Green New Deal aims to make buildings energy efficient, improving and expanding public transportation options and specifically investing in underserved communities that are the victims of environmental injustice.

At this phase, the legislation is non-binding. It’s more of a mission statement that says we recognize the problem at hand and understand the need to radically address it. Further legislation would be necessary to put these plans and policies into action, but, you know, one step at a time.

Vox’s David Roberts commended the bill:

“It’s worth noting just what a high-wire act the authors of this resolution are attempting. It has to offer enough specifics to give it real shape and ambition, without overprescribing solutions or prejudging differences over secondary questions. It has to please a diverse range of interest groups, from environmental justice to labor to climate, without alienating any of them. It has to stand up to intense scrutiny (much of it sure to be bad faith), with lots of people gunning for it from both the right and center… Given all those demands, the resolution does a remarkably good job of threading the needle.”

In a sense, it’s too early to have all the specifics worked out because they’d be nitpicked and prevent consensus. Ocasio-Cortez and Markey need to get a broad majority on the same page to the greater concept and let the smaller debates occur from there.

So far, that’s been pretty successful, at least on the Democratic end. Already, the bill has about 70 members of Congress signing on as cosponsors. Just as importantly, every major candidate currently running for the presidency has given his or her support to the plan, showing that the Green New Deal could quite legitimately be the future of the Democratic Party.

Unfortunately, the old guard of the party isn’t nearly as wild about it. This week, Nancy Pelosi referred to the plan as “the green dream or whatever,” adding, “Nobody knows what it is, but they’re for it, right?” Well, now people know what it is, Madam Speaker, so are you going to get on board or mock it dismissively in favor of moderate reform that will leave us woefully unprepared for the future ahead?

Take Action

The Green New Deal’s popularity is so strong that even the majority of self-identified conservative Republicans support the plan. The biggest excuse for not pursuing aggressive environmental policy has always been money, so having a simultaneous economic jobs and stimulus plan seems like the ideal way to go.

We can’t allow our leaders to ignore or mischaracterize a solution that’s urgent and just plain makes sense. Show Speaker Pelosi that you support the Green New Deal as the way forward by signing this petition.

144 comments

Paula A
Patricia A1 months ago

Thanks for the article

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Thomas M
Thomas M1 months ago

thanks

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Chad Anderson
Chad Anderson1 months ago

Thank you.

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Dan Blossfeld
Dan Blossfeld2 months ago

Annabel B.,
Alright. Have a nice day.

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Annabel Bedini
Annabel Bedini2 months ago

Dan B
But the point at which it becomes clear that the detriments outweigh the benefits is the point at which it is too late to remedy the situation. You yourself have said so. Most people agree that we are going in that direction, though I know you don't, which is why there is a global effort to take action before it is too late. Waiting for the technology to be perfected is wasting time as sufficiently efficient technology is already in place.

I think we are going round in circles here and maybe it's time to call it a day.

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Dan Blossfeld
Dan Blossfeld2 months ago

Annabel B.,
I am all in favor of renewables. My issue is mandating a change, before the technology is ready. We are heading in that direction. I know it is not fast enough for some, but we will get there. In the U.S., total energy consumption has decreased slightly, since the turn of the century. Renewables have doubled over that time frame to about 12%, replacing traditional fossil fuels, particularly coal.

Thus far, the waters have not gotten any worse. In fact, many people prefer the change, as it has been beneficial. Which is why it would be rally helpful to know at what point the detriments outweigh the benefits. That might determine whether we need to proceed faster than the current pace.

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Annabel Bedini
Annabel Bedini2 months ago

Dan B
The problems arise when testing the waters proves they are indeed getting, or have already got, too hot and you find it's too late to pull back. That is what is worrying a lot of people, as you know. Prevention is better than cure, particularly when 'cure' in this case is probably unobtainable.

If you agree it would be good to be energy independent I don't understand why you don't come out strongly in favour of converting to renewables.

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Dan Blossfeld
Dan Blossfeld2 months ago

Annabel B.,
I know most people are resistant to change, preferring to accept what is known to what is unknown. Preferring to err on the side of caution in this instance, removes any possibility of benefit or harm. The pessimist will say do not change, while the optimist will push forward. The realist will test the waters, and pull back if necessary. Over-simplification, I know.

Yes, I agree it is important to become energy dependent. Especially when dealing with unlikable foreign countries. The U.S. does not import quite that much from those countries. The U.S. has a net import of about 3.75 million barrels daily, coming mostly from Canada, Mexico, and Venezuela (which may qualify as unlikable these days). Still, I agree with your contention that we should seek energy independence.

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Annabel Bedini
Annabel Bedini2 months ago

Dan B
For goodness sake, surely it is preferable to err on the side of caution regarding 'when is warming too much'. Why wait and see until it is too late?

You have avoided the question contained in the last paragraph of my previous post.

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Dan Blossfeld
Dan Blossfeld2 months ago

Annabel B.,
That is one of the costs that must be incorporated. Coal is relatively cheap, until the emission controls are added. That increases the cost significantly. Natural gas needs no emission controls, so it has become more competitive. Recent assessments have included these costs into a levelized cost for each energy source.

With regards to the added CO2, there is a major question as to how much is too much. Scientists have been trying to answer that question, since the discovery that CO2 was a greenhouse gas. The corollary to that question is when is warming too much? Too many are trying to set goals, before these questions are answered.

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