A bill to reduce America’s impact on global climate change is being developed by Democrats, much to the dismay of the many Republicans who claim it isn’t feasible or even that it’s radical.
The Green New Deal (GND) echoes a portion of Obama’s stimulus package from roughly 10 years ago, which primarily focused on improving the economy and avoiding a depression. Tens of billions of dollars, however, created jobs and infrastructure to produce clean energy. While many Republicans don’t afford much attention to climate change, some Democrats have talked about the Green New Deal in a radical way, suggesting changes that are beyond reasonable considering our country’s dependency on fossil fuel.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, upcoming Democrat and state representative of New York, has repeatedly said on the record that the goal of the Green New Deal policy is to reach 100 percent emissions-free energy production, a noble goal with a caveat. Reaching zero carbon emissions just isn’t achievable overnight. Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) pushes it as a goal, making Republicans nervous that a green energy initiative will prove a costly, radical undertaking in which Democrats bite off more than they can chew.
Details about what the new policies will look like, and if they will affect other energy resources, are slim. But to much Republican delight, AOC is not on Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s committee to create the GND.
Despite Democrats praising the green initiative, AOC has been given most of the credit, since she has acted as the catalyst for it and fanned its flames through interviews and social media. AOC has released a preamble to the GND, boasting goals of creating jobs, focusing on renewable energy and charging companies for carbon emissions. Her intense support has led to her having to shelter the majority of the criticism for the concept, though. Her Socialist affiliation also has left a sour taste in the mouths of many Republicans.
Stimulus packages have proven necessary to protect the economy from excessive decline in the past, but the huge sums of money put into a select industry does constitute a redistribution of wealth. The GND is already being defamed as a socialist policy before it has taken any shape that will actually pass a vote. While a stimulus package could once again prove necessary in the future, most stimulus packages aren’t so heavily focused on a single industry, but are more diversified. The opposition of the GND has been quick to cite the half a million dollars Obama’s stimulus funneled into a failed solar energy company, Solyndra.
President Donald Trump has already mocked AOC publically, referring to her indirectly as a “bartender,” and vowed to oppose the GND in 2020. The plan may prove to be unreasonable, but writing it off so early also is troubling, considering the evidence stacked in favor of climate change. The GND poses the risk of making the nation’s energy production far less efficient than countries with less moral hang-ups and wasting taxpayer money on dying solutions such as Solyndra. But the concept of green energy shouldn’t be written off.
As a military, economic and political superpower, the United States can influence the world and should pursue green energy while encouraging others to do so. Environmental specialists have already predicted that climate change will become somewhat irreversible in less than two decades. This, paired with other countries contributing mass amounts of carbon emissions to the problem, means a complete, instant switch to green energy might not be enough to prevent this.
The world is already behind the curve on the problem, and politicians will fight about solutions for years to come. But the reality is that it is too late to avoid serious repercussions, and green policies can’t reasonably be enacted all at once, but gradually.