The Green New Deal (GND) has been talked about within the past couple of years at a rapidly increasing rate. The Sunrise Movement held over 200 town hall meetings just to promote the GND. But, what is it? Who created it? And most importantly, can we afford it?. Corporations such as BP and ExxonMobile are destroying our earth. At this point, we can’t afford not to implement this. In fact, in the past we have implemented it. The New Deal was introduced by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933. This created lots of new jobs and arguably ended the Great Depression.
The Green New Deal is a newer bill that was introduced in February of 2019. It has been described as “a congressional grand plan for tackling climate change.”(Friedman, 2019). It plans to stop the U.S from using more fossil fuels and “curb greenhouse gas emissions across the economy.” It also aims to make jobs in clean energy. It’s goals are essentially to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions, create millions of jobs, meet the challenges of the 21st century, make a sustainable environment for all, and promote justice and equity.
Throughout my advocacy of the Green New Deal, one of the criticisms I've heard frequently is the amount of money it would cost. Tens of trillions of dollars? How could we possibly afford that? Some of these numbers, such as $93 trillion obviously raise eyebrows. However, Ed Markey, one of the creators of the Green New Deal, called this a “fabrication.” We are currently losing money due to climate change. The Green New Deal bill states that there is a “risk of damage to $1,000,000,000,000 of public infrastructure and coastal real estate in the United States’’ due to our worsening climate. The United States spends 57% of its yearly budget on the military. This leaves justice, agriculture, and transportation with 6% of the spending budget combined. When asked, another creator of the Green New Deal, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, said “(the) same way we paid for the New Deal, the 2008 bank bailout[…] all our current wars…by the Federal Reserve extending credit[…] by creating new public banks that extend credit[…] by the government taking an equity stake in projects.” (Western Caucus, 2020)
The Green New Deal pulls the idea of creating economic stability from Roosevelt's original New Deal. The Green New Deal doesn’t just propose a better environment, but also millions of jobs in clean energy. During the Great Depression, people knew a solution needed to be implemented. Now we are experiencing a different problem, a climate crisis. This also demands immediate and radical change.
The Green New Deal is completely practical if we allow it to be. This piece of legislation could very possibly be our solution to both the climate and economic crisis. We have to be bold in our vision and decision to go forward with saving the planet. We need to have politicians like Ed Markey who will fight for this important deal while in office. Also, the people must stand up for this New Deal whenever possible.
Sierra Club. n.d. What Is A Green New Deal?. [online] Available at: <https://www.sierraclub.org/trade/what-green-new-deal> [Accessed 18 September 2020].
Gunn-Write, R. and Hockett, R., 2019. [online] Newconsensus.com. Available at: <https://newconsensus.com/files/gnd-overview.pdf> [Accessed 18 September 2020].
Westerncaucus.house.gov. n.d. [online] Available at: <https://westerncaucus.house.gov/uploadedfiles/costs_of_the_green_new_deal.pdf> [Accessed 18 September 2020].
Levitan, D., 2019. The Green New Deal Costs Less Than Doing Nothing. [online] The New Republic. Available at: <https://newrepublic.com/article/153702/green-new-deal-costs-less-nothing> [Accessed 18 September 2020].
History.com. 2009. [online] Available at: <https://www.history.com/topics/great-depression/new-deal> [Accessed 18 September 2020].
Friedman, L., 2019. What Is The Green New Deal? A Climate Proposal, Explained. [online] Nytimes.com. Available at: <https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/21/climate/green-new-deal-questions-answers.html> [Accessed 18 September 2020].
Congress.gov. 2019. [online] Available at: <https://www.congress.gov/116/bills/hres109/BILLS-116hres109ih.pdf> [Accessed 18 September 2020].
Hannah White, a contributor to the Weekly Cad