The Green New Deal: a Step in the Right Direction


Provided by PXHERE

Climate Change will cause irreversible damage by 2030, according to proponents of the Green New Deal.

Marcella Barneclo , Editor in Chief

Lately, looking at the news has become a dreaded chore in a world where I feel almost powerless, trapped in a society with numerous conflicting opinions that lead to little being accomplished; the Green New Deal (GND) is yet another example of argumentation pushing away a solution.

Most people have already heard of this proposed deal since it has sparked discussion and debate among political figures and the general populace. In a sentence, the GND nominates an intense alteration to the American economy, modifying it to revolve around clean energy in order to halt the ever-growing problem of climate change by transitioning to 100% natural energy sources.

Furthermore, the deal advocates for social reform and a higher standard of living for the working class — a natural right that has been absent for far too long in a country with an incredibly large wealth gap. If you happen to need an example, three men (Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos, and Bill Gates) own as much money as the bottom half of Americans.

The plan was drawn-up by Senator Ed Markey and U.S. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, an idealistic and powerful woman in Congress who has continually gained my respect and inspired young women across America. Regardless of the detailing of the plan — which some argue is vague, unrealistic, naive, and childish — Ocasio-Cortez prompted a much-needed discussion.

Climate change is a problem that continues to be pushed aside in America for a variety of reasons: some people choose to blatantly ignore it, some people choose to deny it, and others choose to live with it, convinced that nothing we do as a country can change the course of the future. But, I propose this simple question: Does it hurt to try?

It is impossible to eradicate the issue of climate change without investing resources, money, dedication, and time (as is the case with most predicaments). However, our prior passivity means we are rapidly running out of time and now irreversible damage will occur prior to 2030.

The Earth may not immediately burst into flames, but the deaths of thousands of species and even human lives brought about by raging, uncontrollable wildfires; rising sea levels; dangerous pollutants; flooding; etc. sounds entirely unappealing. To avoid a world drained of natural beauty, we must alter our lifestyles in favor of prolonging the Earth’s life.

Quick and efficient change of American policy is difficult and there will be immense challenge along the way, but other countries are advancing and America should feel obligated to do the same.

China, one of the largest contributors to waste, has pulled ahead in the race to install renewable energy sources. According to a report by the Global Commission on the Geopolitics of Energy Transformation, China is now the world’s largest producer, exporter and installer of solar panels, wind turbines, batteries and electric vehicles.

Additionally, various European countries have begun the process of transitioning to 100% clean energy. For example, 54% of Sweden’s energy is produced through a natural process. The country has also managed to reduce the production of total carbon emissions with the average American producing four times the amount of the average Swede (on an annual basis).

Admittedly, Sweden currently has three nuclear power plants in commission — which is hazardous to people as well as the environment — but the overarching idea is that Sweden is progressing in the right direction and actively working towards 100% renewable electricity production, supporting the idea that majority of the world is choosing to alter their ways.

This is a defining moment in American history, and I hope that as a country, we can move away from our American privilege and acknowledge the drastic effects that climate change will embark on the planet. We must choose to battle climate change with a renewed sense of purpose and urgency in order to preserve the world we live in today.

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “The way to mend the bad world is to create the right world,” and together, we should set aside our differences in order to form a better, cleaner world for ourselves as well as future generations. Now is the time for change; now is the time to save the planet.