Have you heard about the Green New Deal?
I wanted to review the “old” New Deal before I started on the new version. You can read that in my blog here.
I ended my blog by saying that with the previous New Deal, the government accepted responsibility for our welfare, not just our protection. Here’s a definition for you.
Welfare: social effort designed to promote the basic physical and material well-being of people in need. That's important to know because that's what this proposal is all about.
The title “Green” implies that this document is solely about climate change but that’s not correct. It’s much broader than that. The Green New Deal isn’t just about preventing droughts, floods and hurricanes. It’s a vision to address the collapse of the middle class, the escalation of healthcare costs, the stabilization our economy. It proposes to rein in the military, protect our personal liberties and support the local media.
Where did the term New Green Deal come from?
According to Wikipedia, Thomas Friedman was one of the earlier users of the term. He was a journalist for The New York Times and The New York Times Magazine. In 2007, he wrote, “If you have put a windmill in your yard or some solar panels on your roof, bless your heart.” He went on to explain that it will take more than those minor adaptations and that we needed a New Deal but a green version.
Different organizations took up the charge and the concept grew more popular. But, on February 7, 2019, things got really interesting. New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez introduced her Green New Deal in the House and Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey introduced the companion resolution in the Senate. What they introduced was a resolution, not a bill.
What’s the difference?
A resolution is a vision statement... a call to action.
A bill can become a law.
So what was the big deal? This resolution was the first time this list of goals, modeled after the New Deal, was formally introduced in Congress. And boy, did it get everyone’s attention.
The Green New Deal (GND) has several goals.
As expected, everyone has an opinion about the resolution.
First, President Trump tweeted:
“I think it is very important for the Democrats to press forward with their Green New Deal. It would be great for the so-called “Carbon Footprint” to permanently eliminate all Planes, Cars, Cows, Oil, Gas & the Military- even if no other country would do the same. Brilliant!
Nancy Pelosi (Speaker of the House) called it "a green dream".
And imagine what those disbelievers in climate change think....
Ocasio-Cortez addressed that issue in a video…“At this point, we don’t even have to prove it. Just walk outside in the winter in a lot of places, and its either way worse than you’re used to or way warmer than you’re used to.”
The New Deal was costly and this Green New Deal sounds even more expensive. Some people have expressed concern that it could bankrupt us. Jeffrey Sachs, in an article on Feb 26, said, “These claims are dead wrong. The Green New Deal agenda is both feasible and affordable. This will become clear as the agenda is turned into specific legislation for energy, health care, higher education, and more.”
A lot of articles have been written both in support and opposition. That happened as FDR was unrolling his New Deal too. But this proposal is bigger and more wide-sweeping. The whole plan is wildly audacious, even to those that support some of the principals. And that makes it likely to fail. Bipartisan support for all of those issues?
So, was the whole thing a waste of time. ...Maybe not.
If the idea was to point attention to the climate, it worked. Prior to now, there hasn't been much discussion and that meant a lot of people didn't take the subject seriously. But, it's a Big Deal.
Senator Tom Carper said, "Climate change is real, human activity during the last century is the dominant cause of the climate crisis: and the United States and Congress should take immediate action to address the challenge of climate change."
Diane Feinstein wants to introduce her own alternative proposal and Nancy Pelosi believes that a resolution is not the best way to handle this situation and instead it should be a law.
I'm keeping my eye on this Green New Deal!