Green New Deal

Climate change is a very real, very terrifying force that has brought devastating floods and deadly cold snaps to the Midwest, caused drought in California, strengthened the power of hurricanes, and thrown off the crop schedules of farmers all over the world. Every day, reports keep pouring in about the unstoppable force of climate change and how we must reduce our carbon emissions and stop big companies from polluting our air and water. In response to this looming threat, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey introduced the Green New Deal, a new policy package that hopes to eliminate the carbon emissions from the US. Along the way, the Green New Deal also hopes to restructure America’s economic system to benefit minorities, people in poverty, and people with disabilities. It’s a radical plan that Speaker Nancy Pelosi has refused to acknowledge and speaking realistically, it will never pass through the House, much less the Senate. No Republican would ever vote for a plan that endorses socialism, even if they believe the threat of climate change and no Democrat from a moderate district would risk the anger of their constituents. From a political perspective, this bill should have been dead before it was even drafted. However, multiple Democratic presidential candidates, such as Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris and Cory Booker,  have endorsed the Green New Deal.

There is actually a good reason for these Democrats to endorse this political plan. While Speaker Pelosi is reluctant to endorse it, it’s actually a broad bill that’s only 14 pages long. It’s easy enough to read that any high schooler planning on taking any AP Exam should be able to read it in under 25 minutes. The main problem with this plan is that it has no practical application. The bill itself merely sets out goals that Congress should fulfill to combat inequality and climate change. It lists problems and states that the United States government should do something to lower environmental impact with our public transit systems, factories, housing, etc…. To make this even simpler, the Green New Deal can be compared to someone’s New Year’s Resolutions list. It lists problems and solutions, but it provides no practical, concrete solutions to those problems. The point of the Green New Deal wasn’t to enact socialism in America and it wasn’t to eliminate airplanes and cars. It was a schedule for Congress to follow with regards to issues like climate change and social inequality. Setting aside its broad wording, the Green New Deal also has a social aspect to address. Made by a socialist, it tries to address issues of race, poverty, and inequality in the same fourteen-page bill that addresses how to stop climate change. Even if it eliminates its social aspect, the Green New Deal will still be fighting against the fossil fuel industry, which relies on lenient laws to keep itself running smoothly. With stricter laws, the fuel companies’ stock prices would plummet and cause our economy to stagger. Of course, this isn’t taking into account the millions of jobs that will be created by the need for better, cleaner technology (Necessity is the mother of Invention), but most Americans won’t think about that and any Congressperson that votes for this New Deal will be seen as harmful and will be voted out by their constituents.

There is a reason that people say “Nothing gets done in Washington” and that’s because it’s true. The political divide between Democrats and Republicans has deepened and a new plan made by a socialist trying to talk inequality and climate change will never make it through Congress. Even putting that aside, enacting this plan would be extremely hard since members of Congress would have to continue coming up with practical applications for the Green New Deal, draft and pass these bills and then find the labor needed to enact the new changes. Getting this done by 2030 is an impossible feat. However, this Deal, no matter how impractical it is, shouldn’t be killed off or dismissed as illogical. It has gained widespread fame because of its ideas and like some of the wildfires in California, it will continue to spread. The Green New Deal will never accomplish its political and practical goals, especially not in its current state. However, it will act as a flag for Democrats to rally around and it will be a spotlight that will highlight what needs to be improved in America. This New Deal will last in its vision, but not in its implementation.