We Need A Green New Deal

By Antonio Caceres, Staff Writer

“It is worse, much worse, than you think.” That’s how journalist David Wallace-Wells began his book The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming. I had heard of this work when it was first published last year, but only recently picked it up. If anything, the last few weeks have shown us it is much worse than we all thought. Refusing to act now will only compound the problem.


Us Californians were already wary of leaving our homes, but the recent air conditions have made it nearly impossible. Our skies are grey and make our sun look straight out of a Star Wars movie. The fact that Americans still have to debate whether climate change is real when we see it happening before our own eyes is a disgrace.


Climate change is not new. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) made headlines in 2019 when they introduced their Green New Deal: an ambitious package of legislation that addresses climate change while also lowering income inequality. They were roundly mocked by conservative media. Many on Fox News claimed that the Democratic Party wanted to abolish planes and cows.


There is nothing to mock about a set of bills that would seek to make the United States 100% renewable energy by 2030 and create 20 million jobs in the process. This plan would completely revolutionize this country and totally shift the kinds of energy which we are dependent on. It would cost $16.3 trillion, a historic amount, but no cost is too high.


For years, scientists have told us that if the world were to heat up by 2℃, we would experience widespread famines, migrations, and floods. In today’s climate crisis, 2℃ looks like our best case scenario. The most dire estimates project that earth will heat up by 3, 4, or even 5℃.


According to the United Nations, these distinctions may not seem like a lot, but they are the difference between 100 million and 1 billion people displaced by uninhabitable conditions. Our grandparents’ generation failed to secure a safe future for their descendants, and our parents’ generation is still stumbling. Gen Z and those that follow will be left to deal with a melting planet.


Finally people have begun to take this threat seriously. Through the efforts of young activists in organizations like the Sunrise Movement, Presidential Democratic Nominee Joe Biden has committed to $2 trillion in new spending to combat climate change. It is a start, but by no means is it enough.


The Green New Deal draws its name from Franklin D. Roosevelt’s economic package to save the nation from the economic abyss. We currently face an even greater and more dire challenge with climate change. It threatens our homes, our communities, and our very way of life. Yet Americans have always exhibited resilience in times of crisis. We must rise to the occasion once again. We must be courageous and demand a Green New Deal — our planet cannot weather the consequences if we do nothing.