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Liberal Democrats call for Green New Deal

Posted by / February 8, 2019

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts submitted a resolution Thursday to the House of Representatives stating that it is the “duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal.” The goal of the resolution is to respond to the demand for such a deal, to redefine the debate on climate change, to create jobs, and to serve as a response to Trump’s continuing denial (often expressed ignorantly on twitter) of climate change.

The plan was so broad, and so grand, that it caused derision amongst Republicans. Fox News described the plan in this way: “Along the way, her office says the plan would aim to make air travel obsolete, upgrade or replace every building in America to ensure energy efficiency and give economic security even to those ‘unwilling’ to work.” The GOP tweeted:

Here’s what the Green New Deal-AKA socialist wish list-will look like in the real world:
-Cost at least $2 trillion to fully decarbonize economy
-Eliminate fossil fuels completely which would eliminate at least a million jobs
-Would likely cause massive disruption to global trade

According to sources close to Nancy Pelosi, however, the Speaker has no plans to bring the resolution to a vote. In an interview, she had this to say: “It will be one of several or maybe many suggestions that we receive. The green dream, or whatever they call it, nobody knows what it is, but they’re for it, right?” CNN suggests that Pelosi is intentionally being dismissive and condescending in order to dampen Ocasio-Cortez’s rising star. This was a particularly effective insult in that regard.

Perhaps that’s for the best. Slate criticized the Green New Deal for falling into a typical liberal trap: the unwavering faith that technology can solve every problem, including climate change. That’s simply not the case, according to a recent report. Even if electric cars are widely adopted, America is just too spread out, which means there are too many miles driven––since even electric cars often require fossil fuel for their charge. So unless the total number of miles driven is somehow reduced––perhaps by building homes in smarter locations––technology won’t make enough of a difference.

Whether or not any permutation of the Green New Deal ever happens, The Atlantic suggests that its proposal was a sign that the millennial era of climate politics is now here. In that sense, the Green New Deal is just a sign of things to come.

Donald Trump denounced socialism in his State of the Union address. If this is a political ploy––a way of manufacturing an enemy in order to rally his supporters around him, the champion of capitalist America––then the liberal branch of the Democratic Party may be playing right into Trump’s hands. The question may not be whether Trump will use the Green New Deal plan to rally the troops––he certainly will––but whether the Green New Deal will be appealing enough to attract a wider swath of voters than just the most liberal bunch.

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