This past February, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez proposed a plan to help end what she calls, “one of the biggest existential threats to our way of life”: climate change (Cortez February 7, 2019). She proposed The Green New Deal. Cortez calls this deal a “comprehensive agenda of economic social and racial justice” (Cortez February 7, 2019). In the Green New Deal, Cortez makes some bold proposals that will affect the way American citizens live our lives.
Named after President Roosevelt’s New Deal, which helped during the great depression, Cortez hopes to save America from its new climate change crisis. She wants to build on Roosevelt’s idea of stabilizing incomes and guarantee a job and economic stability for those willing to work and a minimum income for those unwilling to work. The deal plans to provide clean water and healthy food to everyone, though it does not provide many details on how it will do it. With this plan, if you do not want to work, you do not have to. The taxpayers will take care of you, and make sure you have healthy food and clean water.
The plan focuses on reaching net-zero carbon pollution in the next ten years. This includes reducing cow flatulence. The methane released by cow flatulence is a concern for the environment. She proposes to change the feed farmers give their cows to reduce their flatulence. This change in feed would come out of the pocket of the farmers.
Cortez wants to overhaul transportation and housing. The plan aims for zero-emission transportation. It plans on building a high-speed rail that would make air travel unnecessary. The plan also demands that each person use only renewable energy-efficient forms of transportation. This is not limited to cars. The Green New Deal wants to change out all farm equipment and machinery to renewable energy sources. It also plans to upgrade every single building so that it is energy efficient. Every single form of transportation is to change, and every building too. These costs, plus the sharp climb in energy prices that would follow, will force the cost of business to skyrocket and cause higher prices for consumers, and less money in our pockets. In March Senator Todd Young’s research revealed that over the next 10 years, The Green New Deal will cost $65,000 per American household, per year.
In March the Republicans forced a vote on The Green New Deal. Needing 51 votes in favor to pass the Green New Deal received zero yays, fifty-seven nays, and forty-three senators responded: “present” (C-Span March 26, 2019). The bill has currently lost its steam and looks like it will not become anything more than a political talking point and line in the sand among democratic party members. Climate change and The Green New Deal are rearing up to take center stage in the upcoming 2020 election. There are eighteen (and counting) individuals striving for the Democratic presidential nomination (the majority are in favor of The Green Deal), and with many current democratic representatives not fully backing the deal, lines are about to be drawn in the sand. Steven Crowder of Louder with Crowder stated in March, that this deal might be a great thing for the Republicans in the next election. The division it is causing among the Democrats coupled with its extreme, high reaching claims, the chaos of The Green New Deal might be just what the Republican Party needs to secure the next election.
All in all The Green New Deal hopes to flip America upside down, change the way we live. With tensions rising as the new election season picks up, The Green New Deal is just the beginning of climate change talks. It started back in February but will affect us greatly in the coming future.
Additional Sources: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxZZCnzc04E
Grace Klassen is a student at North Dakota University in her first year in the Strategic Communications program.