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Old 02-11-2019, 12:19 PM
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Unhappy Green New Deal

Thought You Might Like To Know What This 'Democratic Green New Deal' Is About!!! Mrs. Hardcore

Green New Deal

Part of a series about
Environmental economics

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Environmental finance
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Green accounting
Green economy
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Environmental pricing reform
Environmental tariff
Green New Deal
Net metering
Pigovian tax
Sustainable tourism


Green paradox
Green politics
Marginal abatement cost
Pollution haven hypothesis
Renewable energy commercialization

Carbon related

2000-watt society
Carbon credit
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Feed-in tariff
Food miles
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Personal carbon trading


The Green New Deal (GND)[1][2] is any of several proposed[3][4] economic stimulus programs in the United States that aim to address both economic inequality and climate change. The name refers to the New Deal, a combination of social and economic reforms and public works projects undertaken by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in response to the Great Depression.[5] Supporters of a Green New Deal advocate a combination of Roosevelt's economic approach with modern ideas such as renewable energy and resource efficiency.[6] One small-scale example of a Green New Deal-type policy is tax incentives for solar panels, implemented in the United States in 2008.[7]

An early use of the term Green New Deal was by journalist Thomas Friedman.[8] He argued in favor of the idea in two pieces that appeared in The New York Times and The New York Times Magazine.[9][10] In January 2007, Friedman wrote:

If you have put a windmill in your yard or some solar panels on your roof, bless your heart. But we will only green the world when we change the very nature of the electricity grid -- moving it away from dirty coal or oil to clean coal and renewables. And that is a huge industrial project -- much bigger than anyone has told you. Finally, like the New Deal, if we undertake the green version, it has the potential to create a whole new clean power industry to spur our economy into the 21st century.[11]

This approach was subsequently taken up by the Green New Deal Group,[12] which published its eponymous report on July 21, 2008.[13] The concept was further popularized and put on a wider footing when the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) began to promote it. On October 22, 2008 UNEP's Executive Director Achim Steiner unveiled the Global Green New Deal initiative that aims to create jobs in "green" industries, thus boosting the world economy and curbing climate change at the same time.[14] It was then turned into an extensive plan by the Green Party of the United States. It was a key part of the platform of Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein in 2012 and 2016, as well as Howie Hawkins, who helped to write it, in his campaign for governor of New York.[15]

Ban Ki-moon, former UN Secretary-General[16]
Cory Booker, United States Senator from New Jersey seeking nomination in the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries[17]
Randy Bryce[18]
James K. Galbraith, economics professor, delivered a conference keynote titled "The Imperative of a Green New Deal" in 2010 [19]
Kirsten Gillibrand, United States Senator from New York seeking the nomination in the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries[20]
Kamala Harris, United States Senator from California seeking the nomination in the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries[21]
Howie Hawkins promoted the "Green New Deal" during his 2014 and 2018 New York gubernatorial races.[22][23]
Colin Hines, convener of the Green New Deal group in 2007
Van Jones, in his book The Green Collar Economy[24]
Stephanie Kelton, professor of economics and public policy at Stony Brook University and former economic adviser to Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign.[25]
Joseph Kennedy III, U.S. Representative from Massachusetts's 4th congressional district[26]
Ro Khanna, U.S. Representative from California's 17th congressional district
Naomi Klein[27]
Paul Krugman[28]
Kyle Kulinski[29]
Edward Markey, United States Senator from Massachusetts[30]
Mariana Mazzucato[31]
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, U.S. Representative from New York's 14th congressional district[32]
Richard Ojeda, former West Virginia State Senator, campaigned for 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries nomination from November 11, 2018 – January 25, 2019[33]
Martin O’Malley, former Maryland Governor, made his call for an ambitious global climate plan -- aiming for the U.S. to go 100% clean energy by 2050 -- the centerpoint of his 2016 Presidential campaign.
Ayanna Pressley, U.S. Representative from Massachusetts's 7th congressional district[34]
Bernie Sanders, United States Senator from Vermont[35][36]
Jill Stein, in her campaign platform for the United States presidential elections in 2012 and 2016[37][38]
Eric Swallwell[39]
Yanis Varoufakis
Bria Vinaite recorded a "Green New Deal" video for Vogue Magazine in 2018.[40]
Elizabeth Warren, United States Senator from Massachusetts seeking the nomination in the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries[41]
Ron Wyden, United States Senator from Oregon[42]
Rev. Lenox Yearwood, President of the Hip Hop Caucus.[43]


The Climate Mobilization, which advocates a "World War II-scale economic mobilization to restore a safe climate."
The think tank Data for Progress laid out a progressive vision in their policy report "A Green New Deal" in September 2018.[44]
The European Green Party and The Greens–European Free Alliance campaigned on the Green New Deal in the European Parliament election, 2009 and maintain an ongoing European "Green New Deal" campaign
The Global Greens support a Global Green New Deal.[45]
Green Party of the United States has endorsed the Green New Deal in its party platform.[46]
The Heinrich Böll Foundation published proposals for a Green New Deal in Germany, the European Union, as well as North America,[47] Israel,[48] and Ukraine.[49]
The New Economics Foundation and The Green New Deal Group (United Kingdom)[50]
Sierra Club Living Economy Program[52]
UNISTATA EDC, which advocates economic development programs to increase income, education and wellbeing in the Southeastern US.
The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, who developed the Low Carbon Green Growth Roadmap for Asia and the Pacific
The United Nations Environment Programme launched a Green Economy Initiative known as the "Global Green New Deal".[53]
The Global Marshall Plan Initiative advocates for a sustainable global economy [54]

In the United States
In the United States, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein made a Green New Deal a central part of her campaigns as early as 2012.[55] Greens continued to suggest a Green New Deal in their rebuttal to the 2018 State of the Union speech.[56] The Green New Deal is officially part of the platform of the Green Party of the United States.[57][58]

A "Green New Deal" wing began to emerge in the Democratic Party after the November 2018 elections.[59][60]

A possible program in 2018 for a "Green New Deal" assembled by the think tank Data for Progress was described as "pairing labor programs with measures to combat the climate crisis."[61][62]

A November 2018 article in Vogue stated, "There isn’t just one Green New Deal yet. For now, it’s a platform position that some candidates are taking to indicate that they want the American government to devote the country to preparing for climate change as fully as Franklin Delano Roosevelt once did to reinvigorating the economy after the Great Depression."[40]

A week after the 2018 midterm elections, climate justice group Sunrise Movement organized a protest in Nancy Pelosi's office calling on Nancy Pelosi to support a Green New Deal. On the same day, freshman congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez launched a resolution to create a committee on the Green New Deal.[63] Following this, several candidates came out supporting a "Green New Deal", including Deb Haaland, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and Antonio Delgado.[64] They were joined in the following weeks by Reps. John Lewis, Earl Blumenauer, Carolyn Maloney, and José Serrano.[65]

By the end of November, eighteen Democratic members of Congress were co-sponsoring a proposed House Select Committee on a Green New Deal, and incoming representatives Ayanna Pressley and Joe Neguse had announced their support.[66][67] Draft text would task this committee with a “'detailed national, industrial, economic mobilization plan' capable of making the U.S. economy 'carbon neutral' while promoting 'economic and environmental justice and equality,'" to be released in early 2020, with draft legislation for implementation within 90 days.[68][69]

Organizations supporting a Green New Deal initiative included, Greenpeace, Sierra Club, and Friends of the Earth.[70][52]

Opponents noted that the costs of a Green New Deal had not been fully determined, and that achieving 100% renewable energy might not be possible.[70]

Paul Bledsoe of the Progressive Policy Institute expressed concern that setting unrealistic "aspirational" goals of 100% renewable energy, as in the Ocasio-Cortez proposal, "does a disservice to the real seriousness of climate change", and could undermine "the credibility of the effort."[70]

A Sunrise Movement protest on behalf of a Green New Deal at the Capitol Hill offices of Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer on December 10, 2018 featured Lennox Yearwood and speakers as young as age 7, resulting in 143 arrests.[43] Euronews, the pan-European news organization, displayed video of youth with signs saying "Green New Deal," "No excuses", and "Do your job" in its "No Comment" section.[71]

On December 14, 2018, a group of over 300 local elected officials from 40 states issued a letter endorsing a Green New Deal approach.[72][73]

That same day, a poll released by Yale Program on Climate Change Communication indicated that although 82% of registered voters had not heard of the "Green New Deal," it had strong bi-partisan support among voters. A non-partisan description of the general concepts behind a Green New Deal resulted in 40% of respondents saying they “strongly support”, and 41% saying they “somewhat support” the idea.[74]

On January 10, 2019 over 600 organizations submitted a letter to Congress declaring support for policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This includes ending fossil fuel extraction and subsidies, transitioning to 100% clean renewable energy by 2035, expanding public transportation, and strict emission reductions rather than reliance on carbon emission trading.[75]

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey released a fourteen-page resolution for their Green New Deal on February 7, 2019. The approach pushes for transitioning the United States to use 100% renewable, zero-emission energy sources, including investment into electric cars and high-speed rail systems, and implementing the "social cost of carbon" that has been part of Obama administration's plans for addressing climate change. Besides providing new jobs, this Green New Deal is also aimed to address poverty by aiming much of these improvements in the "frontline and vulnerable communities" which include the poor and disadvantaged people. To gain additional support, the resolution includes calls for universal health care, fair minimum wages, and preventing monopolies. While this resolution did not identify where the funding for this would come from, the American Action Forum estimated that a similar proposal cost around US$1 trillion without taking into account new investment to achieve the resolution's goals.[76][77][78]

In a February 2019 interview with Politico, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi openly mocked the aforementioned resolution for a Green New Deal, saying "The green dream or whatever they call it, nobody knows what it is, but they’re for it right?"[17] The following day, Speaking at a news conference , Pelosi said that while she hasn’t yet seen the details of the proposal, “I do know that it’s enthusiastic, and we welcome all the enthusiasm that’s out there.”

“I’m very excited about it all, and I welcome the Green New Deal and any other proposals,” she added. [79]
House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis
Main article: United States House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis

Various perspectives emerged in late 2018 as to whether to form a committee dedicated to climate, what powers such a committee might be granted, and whether the committee would be specifically tasked with developing a Green New Deal.

Incoming House committee chairs Frank Pallone and Peter DeFazio indicated a preference for handling these matters in the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.[70][80] (Writing in Gentleman's Quarterly, Jay Willis responded that despite the best efforts of Pallone and De Fazio over many years, "the planet's prognosis has failed to improve," providing "pretty compelling evidence that it is time for legislators to consider taking a different approach."[69])

In contrast, Representative Ro Khanna thought that creating a Select Committee specifically dedicated to a Green New Deal would be a "very commonsense idea", based on the recent example of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming (2007-2011), which had proven effective in developing a 2009 bill for cap-and-trade legislation.[70][80]

Proposals for the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis did not contain “Green New Deal" language and lacked the powers desired by Green New Deal proponents, such as the ability to subpoena documents or depose witnesses.[81][82][83]

Rep. Kathy Castor of Florida was appointed to chair the committee.[83][84]
January 2019 letter to Congress from environmental groups

On January 10, 2019, a letter signed by 626 organizations in support of a Green New Deal was sent to all members of Congress. It called for measures such as "an expansion of the Clean Air Act; a ban on crude oil exports; an end to fossil fuel subsidies and fossil fuel leasing; and a phase-out of all gas-powered vehicles by 2040."[85][86]

The letter also indicated that signatories would "vigorously oppose" ... “market-based mechanisms and technology options such as carbon and emissions trading and offsets, carbon capture and storage, nuclear power, waste-to-energy and biomass energy.”[85]

Six major environmental groups did not sign on to the letter: the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Environmental Defense Fund, Mom’s Clean Air Force, Environment America, and the Audubon Society.[87]

An article in The Atlantic quoted Greg Carlock, who prepared "a different Green New Deal plan for the left-wing think tank Data for Progress" as responding, “There is no scenario produced by the IPCC or the UN where we hit mid-century decarbonization without some kind of carbon capture.”[85]

The MIT Technology Review responded to the letter with an article titled, "Let’s Keep the Green New Deal Grounded in Science." The MIT article states that although the letter refers to the "rapid and aggressive action" needed prevent the 1.5 ˚C of warming specified in the UN climate panel’s latest report, simply acknowledging the report's recommendation is not sufficient. If the letter's signatories start from a position where the options of carbon pricing, carbon capture for fossil plants, hydropower, and nuclear are not even on the table for consideration, there may be no feasible technical means to reach the necessary 1.5 ˚C climate goal.[88]

A report in Axios suggested that the letter's omission of a carbon tax, which has been supported by moderate Republicans, did not mean that signatories would oppose carbon pricing.[89][86]

The Director of the Center for Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy at George Mason University was quoted as saying, "As long as organizations hold onto a rigid set of ideas about what the solution is, it’s going to be hard to make progress ... And that’s what worries me."[88]
Models for implementation

As of January 2019, models for structuring a Green New Deal remain in the initial stages of discussion.

Although Chuck Schumer has indicated that measures to address climate change and renewable energy must be included in a 2019 infrastructure package, as of December 2018, articles describing his position referred to it as "green infrastructure" rather than as a Green New Deal.[90][91]

On January 17, 2019, prospective presidential candidate Jay Inslee called for Green New Deal goals of "net-zero carbon pollution by midcentury" and creating "good-paying jobs building a future run on clean energy" in a Washington Post op-ed. However, he framed these efforts in terms of national mobilization, saying "Confronting climate change will require a full-scale mobilization — a national mission that must be led from the White House."[92]
Economic policy and planning for environment and climate

An article in The Intercept characterizes a Green New Deal more broadly, as economic planning and industrial policy measures which would enable mobilization for the environment, similar to the economic mobilization for World War II, and similar to the internal planning of large corporations. The article quotes an expert who states that imposing jail terms for failure to meet emissions targets "may sound aggressive by today’s standards, but [it] has been par for the course at other points in American history when the country has faced existential threats."[93]

Economist Stephanie Kelton (a proponent of Modern Monetary Policy) and others [94] argue that natural resources, including a stable, livable climate, are limited resources, whereas money -following the abandonment of the gold standard- is really just a legal and social tool that should be marshalled to provide for sustainable public policies. To this end, a mix of policies and programs could be adopted, including tax incentives and targeted taxes, reformed construction and zoning standards, transportation fleet electrification, coastal shoreline hardening, Farm Bill subsidies linked to carbon capture and renewables generation, and much more. Practically, Kelton argues that the key to implementation is garnering enough political support, rather than becoming fixated on specific "pay-fors." Many proposed Green New Deal programs would generate significant numbers of new jobs.[95]

One proposed model for funding says that "funding would come primarily from certain public agencies, including the U.S. Federal Reserve and 'a new public bank or system of regional and specialized public banks.'" This model, which has been endorsed by over 40 House members, has been compared to the work of the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW, or “Reconstruction Credit Institute,” a large German public sector development bank), the China Development Bank, and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.[96]
Employment programs coupled with business investment for environment and climate
New Deal improvisation as a model

Although the non-specific nature of current GND proposals has become a concern for some Greens,[97] one writer from the Columbia University Earth Institute views the lack of specificity as a strength, noting that: "FDR’s New Deal was a series of improvisations in response to specific problems that were stalling economic development. There was no master plan, many ideas failed, and some were ended after a period of experimentation. But some, like social security and the Security and Exchange Commission’s regulation of the stock market, became permanent American institutions ..."[98]
Green skills worker training programs

Existing programs training workers in green skills include a program called Roots of Success, founded in 2008 to bring low-income people into living wage professions. Funding for Roots of Success came from the $90 billion in green initiatives incorporated in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.[99]
Green stimulus under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

About 12% of ARRA funding went to green investment,[100] and some of these initiatives were successful. A Jan. 2019 article in Politico stated that, "U.S. wind capacity has more than tripled since 2008, while solar capacity is up more than sixfold. LEDs were 1 percent of the lighting market in 2008; now they’re more than half the market. There were almost no plug-in electric vehicles in 2008; now there are more than 1 million on U.S. roads."[101]

Although ARRA's green stimulus projects are of interest for developing proposals for a Green New Deal, its mixed results included both "boosting innovative firms" such as Tesla, and the $535 million failure of the Solyndra solar company."[101][102] These initial efforts at green stimulus are described as a "cautionary tale." It remains necessary to develop mechanisms for promoting large-scale green business development, as it is unclear whether focusing on job creation programs alone will result in optimizing the climate impact of new jobs.[101]

Economist Edward Barbier, who developed the "Global Green New Deal" proposal for the United Nations Environment Program in 2009, opposes "a massive federal jobs program," saying "The government would end up doing more and more of what the private sector and industry should be doing." Barbier prefers carbon pricing, such as a carbon tax or cap-and-trade system, in order to "address distortions in the economy that are holding back private sector innovation and investments in clean energy."[100]

In the US, Robert Pollin characterized the concept of a "Green New Deal" as "egalitarian green growth," indicating that the seriousness of concerns about climate is also giving rise to alternative Degrowth proposals to contract economies.[103]

On February 9, 2019, US President, Donald Trump voiced his opposition using political sarcasm via Twitter as follows: "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!" [104]
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Releases Green New Deal Outline The plan is massively ambitious and faces political blockades. Proponents believe it is what's necessary to start saving the world from the threat of climate change and to reshape the U.S. economy.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Releases Green New Deal Outline
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Releases Green New Deal Outline 4:03

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Releases Green New Deal Outline
February 7, 20195:01 AM ET

Danielle Kurtzleben

The Green New Deal legislation laid out by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey sets goals for some drastic measures to cut carbon emissions across the economy. In the process, it aims to create jobs and boost the economy. Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

The Green New Deal legislation laid out by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey sets goals for some drastic measures to cut carbon emissions across the economy. In the process, it aims to create jobs and boost the economy.
Amr Alfiky/NPR

Updated 4:30 p.m.

Whether it's a deadly cold snap or a hole under an Antarctic glacier or a terrifying new report, there seem to be constant reminders now of the dangers that climate change poses to humanity.
Ocasio-Cortez Talks About Ambitious Plan To Combat Climate Change
Ocasio-Cortez To Unveil Ambitious Plan To Combat Climate Change
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., think they have a start to a solution. Thursday they are introducing a framework defining what they call a "Green New Deal" — what they foresee as a massive policy package that would remake the U.S. economy and, they hope, eliminate all U.S. carbon emissions.

That's a really big — potentially impossibly big — undertaking.

"Even the solutions that we have considered big and bold are nowhere near the scale of the actual problem that climate change presents to us," Ocasio-Cortez told NPR's Steve Inskeep in an interview that aired Thursday on Morning Edition.

She added: "It could be part of a larger solution, but no one has actually scoped out what that larger solution would entail. And so that's really what we're trying to accomplish with the Green New Deal."

What is the Green New Deal?

In very broad strokes, the Green New Deal legislation laid out by Ocasio-Cortez and Markey sets goals for some drastic measures to cut carbon emissions across the economy, from electricity generation to transportation to agriculture. In the process, it aims to create jobs and boost the economy.
2018 Was Earth's Fourth-Hottest Year On Record, Scientists Say

In that vein, the proposal stresses that it aims to meet its ambitious goals while paying special attention to groups like the poor, disabled and minority communities that might be disproportionately affected by massive economic transitions like those the Green New Deal calls for.

Importantly, it's a nonbinding resolution, meaning that even if it were to pass (more on the challenges to that below), it wouldn't itself create any new programs. Instead, it would potentially affirm the sense of the House that these things should be done in the coming years.

Lawmakers pass nonbinding resolutions for things as simple as congratulating Super Bowl winners, as well as to send political messages — for example, telling the president they disapprove of his trade policies, as the Senate did in summer 2018.

What are the specifics of that framework?

The bill calls for a "10-year national mobilizations" toward accomplishing a series of goals that the resolution lays out.

(Note: Ocasio-Cortez's office released an updated version of the bill on Thursday. The earlier version, which we had included in a prior version of this story, is still available here.)

Among the most prominent, the deal calls for "meeting 100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources." The ultimate goal is to stop using fossil fuels entirely, Ocasio-Cortez's office told NPR, as well as to transition away from nuclear energy.

In addition, the framework, as described in the legislation as well as a blog post — containing an updated version of "FAQs" provided to NPR by Ocasio-Cortez's office — calls for a variety of other lofty goals:

"upgrading all existing buildings" in the country for energy efficiency;
working with farmers "to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions ... as much as is technologically feasible" (while supporting family farms and promoting "universal access to healthy food");
"Overhauling transportation systems" to reduce emissions — including expanding electric car manufacturing, building "charging stations everywhere," and expanding high-speed rail to "a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary";
A guaranteed job "with a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations and retirement security" for every American;
"High-quality health care" for all Americans.

Goats and Soda
Report: Global Warming Could Melt At Least A Third Of Himalayan Glaciers

Which is to say: the Green New Deal framework combines big climate-change-related ideas with a wish list of progressive economic proposals that, taken together, would touch nearly every American and overhaul the economy.

Are those ideas doable?

Many in the climate science community, as well as Green New Deal proponents, agree that saving the world from disastrous effects of climate change requires aggressive action.

And some of the Green New Deal's goals are indeed aggressive. For example, Ocasio-Cortez told NPR that "in 10 years, we're trying to go carbon-neutral."

According to Jesse Jenkins, a postdoctoral environmental fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School, that may be an unreachable goal.
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"Where we need to be targeting really is a net-zero carbon economy by about 2050, which itself is an enormous challenge and will require reductions in carbon emissions much faster than have been achieved historically," he said. "2030 might be a little bit early to be targeting."

Similarly, removing combustible engines from the roads or expanding high-speed rail to largely eliminate air travel would require nothing short of revolutionizing transportation.

Likewise, some of the more progressive economic policies — universal health care and a job guarantee, for example — while popular among some Democrats, would also be very difficult to implement and transition into.
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On top of all that, implementing all of these policies could cost trillions upon trillions of dollars.

Altogether, the Green New Deal is a loose framework. It does not lay out guidance on how to implement these policies.

Rather, the idea is that Ocasio-Cortez and Markey will "begin work immediately on Green New Deal bills to put the nuts and bolts on the plan described in this resolution."

And again, all of this is hypothetical — it would be tough to implement and potentially extremely expensive ... if it passed.

So did the idea of a Green New Deal start with Ocasio-Cortez?

Not at all.


Congressional Democrats Say Climate Change Is A Priority As They Control The House

Congressional Democrats Say Climate Change Is A Priority As They Control The House
While the Green New Deal has in the last year or so grown central to progressive Democrats' policy conversations, the idea of a Green New Deal itself is well over a decade old. Environmentalists were talking about it as far back as 2003, when the term popped up in a San Francisco Chronicle article about an environmentalist conference.

It gained traction with a 2007 New York Times column from Thomas Friedman, where he used the phrase to describe the scope of energy investments he thought would be necessary to slow climate change on a large scale.

The phrase was also used around President Barack Obama's 2009 stimulus, which had around $90 billion worth of environmental initiatives.

While the idea gained some currency in Europe and also in the Green Party, it wasn't until after the 2016 election that it really gained broad popularity on the left in the U.S. (Vox's Dave Roberts has a more thorough history here).

This latest iteration is different both in the political energy that it has amassed and the grand scope it is taking. While it was a product of the progressive activist community, Ocasio-Cortez has been perhaps the most visible proponent of the plan and has helped it gain nationwide attention.

So will it pass?

That looks unlikely.

Yes, there's some energy for it on the left — some House Democrats have already said they will support the bill. However, there are indications House leadership isn't prioritizing the idea as much as those more liberal Democrats would like — Speaker Nancy Pelosi frustrated Green New Deal proponents by not giving them the kind of committee they wanted to put the policies together.

After the deal's Thursday release, she also cast the plan as simply one of any number of environmental proposals the House might consider.

"It will be one of several or maybe many suggestions that we receive," Pelosi told Politico. "The green dream or whatever they call it, nobody knows what it is, but they're for it right?"
Concern About Global Warming Among Americans Spikes, Report Says

In addition, it's easy to see how the bill could be dangerous for moderate House Democrats, many of whom come from swing districts and may be loath to touch such a progressive proposal.

Among Republicans — even those worried about climate change — the package, with its liberal economic ideas, will also likely be a nonstarter.

"Someone's going to have to prove to me how that can be accomplished because it looks to me like for the foreseeable future we're gonna be using a substantial amount of fossil fuels," said Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Fla., co-chair of the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus, speaking to NPR before the Green New Deal's text was released.

For his part, Rooney is in favor of a carbon tax, a policy he helped propose with a bipartisan group of lawmakers in November. Information from Ocasio-Cortez's office says that the Green New Deal could include a carbon tax, but that it would be "a tiny part" of the total package of policies.

Meanwhile, there's little chance of a Green New Deal getting a vote in the Republican-controlled Senate.

If it's not going to pass and it's not even binding, why is it worth even talking about?

It's worth talking about because it already is a politically powerful idea among Democrats.
Which Democrats Are Running In 2020 — And Which Still Might

Already, presidential candidates are being asked whether they support the idea of a Green New Deal, meaning it's easy to see the issue becoming a litmus test for some voters in both the 2020 congressional elections and the presidential election.

To more liberal Democrats, the prospect of such an ambitious economic and environmental package at the center of the 2020 campaign may be particularly energizing.

"I think it's like a really weird instinct that the Democratic Party develops to not be exciting intentionally," said Sean McElwee, co-founder of the progressive think tank Data for Progress. "Most of politics is getting people excited enough to show up and vote for you. And I think that a Green New Deal and Medicare-for-all — these are ideas that are big enough to get people excited and show up to vote for you."
Massive Starfish Die-Off Is Tied To Global Warming

For her part, Ocasio-Cortez says that a policy like the Green New Deal could get voters excited enough to pressure their Congress members to support it.

"I do think that when there's a wide spectrum of debate on an issue, that is where the public plays a role. That is where the public needs to call their member of Congress and say, 'This is something that I care about,' " she told NPR, adding, "Where I do have trust is in my colleagues' capacity to change and evolve and be adaptable and listen to their constituents."

That said, it's easy to see how a Green New Deal litmus test could backfire on that front, endangering some Democrats — particularly in swing districts.

But it's not just about national politics. The national-level energy for a Green New Deal could boost efforts in cities and states. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, for example, has been pushing a Green New Deal in his state.

Aside from the politics, there's the fact that climate change remains an impending threat — one for which the world has yet to come up with a fix.

"It's a big legislation because it's a huge [expletive] problem! We're all going to die," said McElwee. "Every week it seems like the risks of climate change become more real, and the amount of devastation it is going to wreak upon humanity becomes larger, and that means we have to do bigger things."
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