Green New Deal Introduced by U.S. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Markey
(APN) ATLANTA — U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and U.S. Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) introduced legislation for a Green New Deal. HR 109, the House version, has 68 co-sponsors, all Democrats, to date.
WHAT IS THE GREEN NEW DEAL?
The Green New Deal is a proposal to restore the health of the planet and the health of the economy for everyone.
It will combat climate change to make the United States carbon neutral in ten years as we transition to renewables.
It will ensure ways to benefit indigenous people, people of color, poor people, vulnerable populations, and communities facing environmental degradation, who will also be part of the planning process and will benefit from a green economy.
The Green New Deal (GND) offers several proposed economic stimulus programs that aim to address both climate change and economic inequality at the same time.
Our planet is in trouble because we have not been good stewards of the land.
As previously reported by Atlanta Progressive News, the fourth National Climate Assessment Report, released on November 23, 2018, warns of worsening natural disasters, new food and waterborne diseases, crop production failure, and economic devastation by the end of the century.
Scientists agree that the planet is warming, which will have a disastrous impact on humans and the environment. Global warming will cause Arctic ice packs to melt, sea levels to rise, and flooding; and in other areas, increases in droughts and wildfires, and extreme weather patterns that produce dangerous storms.
Natural disasters alone will cost the United States billions of dollars in the future.
The resolution states that human activity is the dominant cause of climate change and predicts dire consequences if Earth’s warming goes above the tipping point of two degrees Celsius or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit above pre-industrial levels.
According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the average surface temperature has risen about 0.9 degrees Celsius or 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit since the late 19th Century, with most of the warming occurring in the past 35 years.
The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) cites that an increase in global warming is likely to reach 1.5 degrees Celsius between 2030 and 2052 if it continues to increase at the current rate.
It will require global reductions in greenhouse gas emission from human sources of forty to sixty percent from 2010 levels by 2030; and net-zero global emissions by 2050, to avoid catastrophic impacts of a changing climate the report warns.
The resolution calls for the creation of a Green New Deal with the goals of:
– achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions;
– establishing millions of high-wage jobs and ensuring economic security for all;
– investing in infrastructure and industry;
– securing clean air and water; climate and community resiliency, healthy food, access to nature, and a sustainable environment; and
– promoting justice and equality for oppressed minorities and vulnerable communities.
The resolutions call for the accomplishment of these goals through a ten year national mobilization effort. It also enumerates the goals and projects of the mobilization effort, including:
– building a smart power grid;
– upgrading all existing buildings and constructing new buildings to achieve maximum energy and water efficiency;
– removing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation and agricultural sectors;
– cleaning up existing hazardous waste and abandoned sites;
– ensuring businesspersons are free from unfair competition, and
– providing higher education, high quality health care, and affordable, safe, and adequate housing for all.
The resolution states that basic needs such as clean air and water; healthy food; and adequate health care, housing, transportation, and education are inaccessible to a significant portion of the U.S. population.
These systemic injustices disproportionately affect indigenous peoples, communities of color, migrant communities, deindustrialized communities, rural communities, poor people, low-income workers, women, the elderly, the unsheltered, people with disabilities, and youth.
Since the Great Recession of 2007, income inequality has grown, with the top one percent getting 95 percent of income gains due to tax breaks, economic benefits, and other policies skewed to the wealthy and corporations.
The newly-elected freshman Democrats are more in touch with working class people than the the House Representatives of recent decades, many of whom have not only been out of touch with the people, but who do not even believe in science.
These new Democrats are diverse and represent a generational shift.
The Green New Deal would help the left out and left behind by providing: jobs with living wages, affordable housing, family and medical leave, paid vacations, retirement security, universal healthcare, free higher education, stronger labor and workplace standards, and clean-up of hazardous waste sites.
The GND will secure for all people and for generations to come: clean air and water, climate and community resiliency, healthy food, access to nature, and a sustainable environment; and will promote justice and equity for those most negatively affected by historic oppression, racism, bigotry, and vulnerability.
The Yale Program on Climate Communication found that 92 percent of Democrats and 64 percent of Republicans back the Green New Deal plan. Another poll found 80 percent of registered voters support the Green New Deal.
(END / Copyright Atlanta Progressive News / 2019)