On Thursday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., discussed the plan for a Green New Deal, which they hope will overhaul the U.S. economy and eventually eliminate the country’s carbon emissions, NPR reports. The Green New Deal, which has garnered support from 64 House members and nine Senate members, looks to change several aspects of the economy, from electricity to agriculture.
NPR explains that the Green New Deal is a nonbinding resolution, which the Senate says is used “to deal with the Senate’s internal affairs.” As it stands on its own, this would not create any new programs, but would only suggest that the Senate is committed to pursuing the approach that it outlines.
— The Onion (@TheOnion) February 7, 2019
This commitment is especially important in light of the fact that three in 10 Americans don’t believe in climate change, and four in 10 don’t think humans are causing it. Prominent figures like President Donald Trump have publicly stated that they don’t believe global warming is real, further legitimating the dangerous views that everyday climate change deniers hold.
According to NPR, The Green New Deal plans to tackle climate change by entirely eliminating U.S. fossil fuel use, a tall order for a nation that gets 81 percent of its energy from oil, coal, and natural gas.
An FAQ document from Ocasio-Cortez’s office adds that the Green New Deal also aims to “totally overhaul transportation” and “upgrade or replace every building” in the country so as to make them more energy-efficient.
.@AOC speaks about her resolution for a Green New Deal to tackle the systemic crises in our country: climate change, deepening structural racism, and skyrocketing inequality.
“Small incremental policy solutions are not enough.” pic.twitter.com/XSYXe5Ozh9
— Justice Democrats (@justicedems) February 7, 2019
The FAQ also asserts that the Green New Deal will prioritize justice and equity by “stopping current, preventing future, and repairing historic oppression of frontline and vulnerable communities.”
Ocasio-Cortez has taken the criticism in stride, comparing the necessary increase in a progressive tax rate to that during the post-World War II economic boom.
When asked if she considered herself a “radical,” she answered “I think that it only has ever been radicals that have changed this country … if that’s what radical means, call me a radical.”