At this point in history, the existence of climate change, as well as the major problems it is causing, are accepted by most people.
However, more controversial is what we can do to address these problems.
Currently, in Congress, a group of people are making a bold start at facing this issue, aimed at shrinking our carbon footprint and growing the industry of renewable energy. The little “Green New Deal” evokes the economic overhaul outlined by President Roosevelt after the Great Depression, called the “New Deal”. However, this deal aims to create change ahead of disaster, instead of reacting to a crisis. Supported most notably be New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts representative Ed Markey, the Green New Deal aims to transition the country away from carbon based energy, and bolster the industry of renewable energy, giving the U.S. some of their manufacturing power.
However, the GND also addresses social issues such as the need for a ‘living’ wage, leading critics to accuse the GND of attempting more than is possible in one program. Additionally, critics point out that the deal’s proposed tax increase on the “super-rich” would not raise enough funds to pay for all of their proposed initiatives. On the other hand, proponents argue that by connecting climate change with issues of economic security, addressing climate change becomes a way to address the economic hardship for millions of people across the nation.
This being said, the rollout of the deal cast a negative light on its proposed plans. The release of the deal and soon after a subsequent FAQs list caused confusion, with language used that is not actually found in the deal itself, including supplying aid for those “unable or unwilling to work”. These confusions have damaged the optics of the deal, hurting its prospects in becoming a law.
In fact, the probability for this law to be passed is slight at best. The deal will have the greatest chance of passing in the democratic House of Representatives, but has a slim chance of being passed by the Republican Senate. Furthermore, due to his outspoken criticism, there is little hope that the president would approve the deal if it crossed his desk. After that, only an unbelieveale miracle could garner a two thirds majority override necessary to make the bill into law.
With these grim odds, many call the deal doomed. However, there is hope yet for those in support of an environmental reform. While this Green New Deal may not be passed, the concept of a resolution has existed for a long time. And, the fitness of the situation and passion of its proponents will most likely evince a legislative reform on the United States’ carbon footprint before long.
Climate change is a threat to all human life, regardless of country, origin or party affiliation. The outcome of this Green New Deal will allow our legislatures to learn and grow, so that positive forward action can be attained to address one of the most dangerous threats of our time.