By: Emma Kiesling, Adam Graubart
Bold vs. Old Recap: Part 3 of 5
There’s been a lot of buzz about Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, the Sunrise Movement, and growing enthusiasm for the Green New Deal. The name suggests sweeping reform reminiscent of President Roosevelt’s agenda to put America back to work during the Great Depression. Last Thursday, we learned about the equally ambitious policy goals behind all the rhetoric. Demond Drummer, an organizer of New Consensus and one of the Green New Deal’s primary architects, outlined why he believes his policy is right for this moment. He explained how the aims of this policy offer solutions backed up by careful research and dutiful consideration of its impact on working-class Americans.
As a representative of the Green New Deal brain trust, Drummer described the plan as a World War II-level industrial policy that would mobilize the entirety of the American economy. With a series of national projects, each described by Drummer as a “moonshot,” he discussed his aspiration to transition to a carbon neutral economy, prioritizing energy efficiency and water safety. Of note, the plan focuses on the entire economy, and Drummer hopes it will serve as a tool for economic justice and equality in addition to curbing climate change. He explained how decreasing our dependence on carbon presents an opportunity for large public investments in much-needed infrastructure and enables us to valorize the work of all Americans. In particular, the Green New Deal decarbonizes agriculture, and it aims to neutralize carbon emissions in manufacturing while offering a jobs guarantee as these sectors transition. By involving all Americans in the growth related to the new green sector, Drummer argued that the Green New Deal will be “sustainable and prosperous not just for a handful of families but for everyone.”
With a federal jobs guarantee, extensive carbon regulation, and numerous infrastructure projects, this policy is perhaps the most ambitious and wide-reaching legislative agenda since FDR’s historic New Deal. But maybe that’s what this extreme moment for our planet calls for. The policy might resemble an old-fashioned, government-centered approach, but it also constitutes something undeniably bold: a popular agenda to stop ignoring the most pressing crisis of our generation.
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