By: Bri Hallman
The Green New Deal is the talk of the town. Carbon emissions have been on the rise for years and its effects have been well-known through the course of numerous studies done by private science firms, the NRDC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, among others.
The big question has been, what does the government and a society do about it? How will the United States reverse what has already been done and prevent more damage to remain sustainable for the generations to come? Some people at the University of Findlay believe that it is about becoming proactive about climate change.
Amy DePuy, the University of Findlay’s Assistant Director of Communication of the Findlay Green Campus Initiative’s Chair, said, “We are spending money on climate change already. It’s time to be proactive rather than reactive. The GND calls for major economic reforms and infrastructure investments to stimulate job creation and economic growth and to promote greater social and economic equity.
“Start thinking about more innovative and sustainable ways to power our country, rather than maintaining a dying industry that will take all of us down with it,” DePuy said.“Humans are smart. Look at how far our country alone has come in technology advances within the last twenty years.”
According to Alexander Kaufman, political writer of the Huffington Post, the infamous young Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and veteran Rep Ed Markey are championing the Green New Deal—which purposely echoes FDR’s New Deal from the 1930s. Similarly, this deal proposes seemingly impossible economic and social reforms to a crisis. FDR’s was the Great Depression. This generation’s is climate change.
Ocasio-Cortez was not the one to coin the term “Green New Deal”, it was a journalist named Thomas Friedman in 2007.
Friedman wrote, “If you have put a windmill in your yard or some solar panels on your roof, bless your heart. But we will only green the world when we change the very nature of the electricity grid – moving it away from dirty coal or oil to clean coal and renewables. And that is a huge industrial project – much bigger than anyone has told you. Finally, like the New Deal, if we undertake the green version, it has the potential to create a whole new clean power industry to spur our economy into the 21st century.”
In summary, VOX describes the GND as “decarbonization, jobs, and justice.” The office of Ocasio-Cortez in an FAQ session said, “The goal is to use the expansion of renewable energy sources to fully meet 100 percent of our nation’s power demand through only renewable sources in 10 years, but since no one has yet created a full plan to hit that goal, we are currently unsure if we will be able to decommission every nuclear plant that fast.”
The initial deal calls for the goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by the year 2030, but critics called out the initial plan for being too vague and filled with empty promises. The second update to the deal was released mid-February with numbers to back it up.
Currently, the United States has lost over $350 billion in the past decade to climate change-related national disasters, such as floods, storms, and wildfires, according to the non-partisan government watchdog Government Accountability Office.
Because this deal is reaching beyond climate change policy, critics from numerous news outlets and nearly all political parties are raising their voice. Some are concerned about the socialization of the economy and society as a result of this deal, while some are afraid this deal sets unrealistic goals.
Paul Bledsoe, of the Progressive Policy Institute, in coalition with the Democratic Leadership Council, expressed concern that setting unrealistic “aspirational” goals of 100 percent renewable energy could undermine “the credibility of the effort” against climate change.
Opinion articles are posted regarding the Green New Deal daily, but news updates are highly anticipated as the Green New Deal is being revised by Ocasio-Cortez and her team.
DePuy stated, “Our climate is changing because of the decisions that were made over 100 years ago. It doesn’t happen over-night, and it is finally catching up with us. Now is the time. We are the generation that needs to turn this ship. We must.”