Green New Deal: Too Ambitious or Just What We Need?

Josh Collins, Staff Writer

Global warming. To many, just the thought brings up images of natural disasters, chaos, and the impending doom of humanity’s energy usage spiraling out of control. In recent events, global warming is becoming more and more relevant in the lives of many, mainly due to the rise in media coverage. To others, the idea of climate change is a myth: a falsehood that can be defined as “coincidence.” Today, public figures and leaders alike yearn to create and revolutionize a solution in order to fix this climate crisis with the utmost effectiveness.

On February 7th, 2019, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey released a resolution, more widely known as the “Green New Deal.” Currently, this piece of legislation is gaining much controversy as well as praise for its structure and bluntness of what measures must be taken in order to combat climate change as well as having some flaws concerning budget and the rapidness of the changes to come. This proposal covers many of the factors that are part of climate change, such as transportation, energy usage, and agriculture. Much debate has arisen from the ambitiousness of the proposal, as some of the goals involve drastic changes to things many people are currently used to. In an article by CNN, digital director Zachary B Wolf citing a main goal the Deal of “meeting 100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources.”

Another daunting factor of the Green New Deal is budget costs. In the same initial article by CNN titled, “Here’s what the Green New Deal Actually Says,” the cost of the resolution is mentioned.  “Climate change regulations suggest that it could run to $1 trillion.” This could be a bit pricey for Americans; however, how far are we willing to go to make the necessary changes? Critics also cite the cost as “between $51 trillion and $93 trillion.” This price tag, however, could be just what America needs to make actual changes and advances in reducing gas emissions and transcending into a new era of reusable energy.

The Green New Deal has left both Democrats and Republicans divided. Mainly Democrats are adding fuel to the flame by speaking out about the Deal. In recent news, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez went off at a House Financial Service Committee. Outraged, Ocasio-Cortez called out Representative Sean Duffy, who mocked efforts of the Green New Deal and even commenting, saying that “it is nothing more than an Elitist fantasy.” In a passionate monologue, Ocasio-Cortez used this not only to defend her position on the Green New Deal, and she even utilized it as a call to action to any critics of this regulation.

Even some Democrats were a bit skeptical of this Deal. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, publicly talked about her own skepticism towards the Deal. Eventually, however, at a recent public event, she came out in favor of the Deal.

What could the Green New Deal mean for regular people? In this small but mighty 14 page resolution, it lists off what would be altered as a result of its implementation. The plan talks about all the reforms that would be made with ideas such as renewable energy, smart grids, transportation, cows/agriculture, and many more.  In theory, the plan sounds doable, but it is going to take a lot of work. Benefits are also cited as a boost in job opportunities, collaboration with agricultural companies and systems, and an increase in pay. In reality, there is a lot of backlash behind it. According to the Green New Deal, all of these changes would ideally want to be finished within the next decade. That means a humongous reform of buildings, laws, transportation systems, and our environment. Basically, everything would have to change in order to fit this new criteria. The Deal even calls for, by the end of a decade, a 100% end to all fossil fuel emissions in the US alone. The US has the 2nd highest emissions in the world. This is why the critics arose to try and argue the cost and the actual effectiveness of the Deal in its entirety. The Green New Deal is getting the much needed publicity; however, to many, it seems a bit too outrageous of a feat to take on.

The Green New Deal might be an ambitious challenge, yet it is still worth attempting. Sweeping the issue of climate change under the rug won’t solve the problem. Although it is a costly project to take on, it would be worth every dollar in order to maintain humanity’s only home. This is the course of action that needs to be taken in order to ensure that our future is not ravished by global weather catastrophes, contaminated water, and unclean air. This will be a revolutionary task that could make or break the United States as a whole, as both political parties are divided against the Deal. Both parties must unite for the greater good and see the bigger picture: that climate change will not fix itself if no attempt is made. This “elitist” plan helps the United States in so many ways and could even economically benefit many Americans. The Green New Deal is the plan that we have needed for years, and we need it now.