U.S. May Take Lead With Green New Deal - To Save Life On Earth

Planet Earth is in a world of trouble. Global warming is accelerating – Polar ice caps are melting, oceans are overheating, earth’s meteorological and life support systems are spiraling out of control. In 2018, both the U.S. National Climate Assessment and the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) posted urgent warnings. Insect, animal, and fish populations are collapsing, reported the World Wildlife Fund and National Academy of Sciences.

Around the globe, including many U.S. cities and states, planning and climate action are underway to solve this crisis. Leadership on the part of the world’s most powerful nation, and single largest source of earth's greenhouse gases, is the key that is lacking. Resistance to taking the lead may be crumbling, at last, with the clear signals that without healthy ecosystems, we all perish. Leave it to the youngest new member of the U.S. Congress to take a stand for the future generations who will inherit the earth.

Speaking at a town hall led by Senator Bernie Sanders in December, Representative-Elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez introduced the long awaited U.S. climate policy—the Green New Deal—to the U.S. Congress, and the world. “This is going to be the New Deal, the Great Society, the moon shot, the civil-rights movement, of our generation.”

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: "Our goal is to treat Climate Change like the serious existential threat it is by drafting an ambitious solution on the scale necessary - the Green New Deal - to get it done."

The Green New Deal aspires to cut U.S. carbon emissions fast enough to reach the Paris Agreement’s most ambitious climate goal: preventing the world from warming no more than 1.5 degrees C by 2100. The urgent report issued by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said that meeting this goal could skirt the worst climate effects, such as increasingly more intense and widespread wildfires, hurricanes, floods, droughts, and sea-level rise.

The Green New Deal aims to get us there—and remake the country in the process. It promises to give every American a job in the new economy: installing solar panels, retrofitting coastal infrastructure, manufacturing electric vehicles.

Energy jobs span every sector of the economy from architects, engineers, construction, manufacturing, scientific and technological research and development, journalism, marketing, finance, education, transportation, as well as agriculture, air, water, land, and ecosystem management and conservation. It's the greatest job creation revolution in history.

In the 1960s, the U.S. pointed the full power of its military-technological industry at going to the moon. Ocasio-Cortez wants to do the same thing, to save the planet.

The Atlantic - The Democratic Party Wants To Make Climate Policy Exciting

Markey & Ocasio Unveil Sweeping

Green New Deal

To Achieve 100% Renewables

WATCH:

Democracy Now - Ocasio_Cortez_Markey_Unveil_Sweeping_Green New Deal

On February 7, 2019, New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey introduced a resolution for the Green New Deal, a sweeping plan to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, and create economic prosperity for all.

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: Today we embark on a comprehensive agenda of economic, social and racial justice in the United States of America. That’s what this agenda is all about, because climate change — and our environmental challenges — are some of the biggest existential threats to our way of life, not just as a nation, but as a world.

AMY GOODMAN: The blueprint laid out by Congressmember Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Markey aims to overhaul the U.S. economy with green initiatives that will transition the U.S. to clean energy while guaranteeing all Americans clean air and water, food and housing security and robust healthcare.

https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/3k9jdw/pelosi-offers-meeting-to-green-new-deal-activists-after-61-protesters-are-arrested-at-her-office

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: What we introduced today was a resolution, not a bill. A resolution just has to pass the House. The substance of the resolution is not a plan, but the scope of the plan.

In terms of the scope of the plan, we were able to launch, on day one, with 60 co-sponsors. We have more rolling in. We may even get a majority of the Democratic Caucus on board. I think we’re going to get there.

AMY GOODMAN: 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders—who has not announced yet—have all signed on as co-sponsors of the resolution.

https://www.democracynow.org/2019/2/8/ocasio_cortez_markey_unveil_sweeping_green

THERE ARE NOW 95 COSPONSORS AND MORE STILL ROLLING IN

https://www.sunrisemovement.org/gnd

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ RELEASES GREEN NEW DEAL OUTLINE & TALKS ABOUT AMBITIOUS PLAN TO COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE

NPR.org/2019/02/07/691997301/rep-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-releases-green-new-deal-outline

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., have introduced a framework defining a "Green New Deal" — foreseen as a massive policy package that would remake the U.S. economy and eliminate all U.S. carbon emissions.

"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.

As a nonbinding resolution, if it were to pass it would not create any new programs. It would affirm the sense of the House that these things should be done in the coming years. The specifics of that framework call for a "10-year national mobilizations" toward accomplishing a series of goals that the resolution lays out below.

HERE IS THE FULL TEXT OF THE GREEN NEW DEAL

SUBMITTED TO CONGRESS

https://cleantechnica.com/2019/02/08/heres-the-full-text-of-congress-green-new-deal-resolution-introduced-by-rep-alexandra-ocasio-cortez/

116TH CONGRESS 1ST SESSION H. RES. ____

Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Ms. OCASIO-CORTEZ submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on ______ RESOLUTION Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal.

Whereas the October 2018 report entitled ‘‘Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 degrees C’’ by the intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the November 2018 Fourth National Climate Assessment report found that—

  1. human activity is the dominant cause of observed climate change over the past century;

  2. a changing climate is causing sea levels to rise and an increase in wildfires, severe storms, droughts, and other extreme weather events that threaten human life, healthy communities, and critical infrastructure

  3. global warming at or above 2 degrees Celsius beyond preindustrialized levels will cause—

  4. mass migration from the regions most affected by climate change;

  5. more than $500,000,000,000 in lost annual economic output in the United States by the year 2100;

  6. wildfires that, by 2050, will annually burn at least twice as much forest area in the western United States than was typically burned by wildfires in the years preceding 2019;

  7. a loss of more than 99 percent of all coral reefs on Earth;

  8. more than 350,000,000 more people to be exposed globally to deadly heat stress by 2050; and

  9. a risk of damage to $1,000,000,000,000 of public infrastructure and coastal real estate in the United States; and

  10. global temperatures must be kept below 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrialized levels to avoid the most severe impacts of a changing climate, which will require—

  11. global reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from human sources of 40 to 60 percent from 2010 levels by 2030; and

  12. net-zero emissions by 2050;

Whereas, because the United States has historically been responsible for a disproportionate amount of greenhouse gas emissions, having emitted 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions through 2014, and has a high technological capacity, the United States must take a leading role in reducing emissions through economic transformation;

Whereas the United States is currently experiencing several related crises, with—

  1. life expectancy declining while basic needs, such as clean air, clean water, healthy food, and adequate health care, housing, transportation, and education, are inaccessible to a significant portion of the United States population;

  2. a 4-decade trend of economic stagnation, deindustrialization, and antilabor policies that has led to—

  3. hourly wages overall stagnating since the 1970s despite increased worker productivity;

  4. the third-worst level of socioeconomic mobility in the developed world before the Great Recession

  5. the erosion of the earning and bargaining power of workers in the United States; and

  6. inadequate resources for public sector workers to confront the challenges of climate change at local, State, and Federal levels; and

  7. the greatest income inequality since the 1920s, with—

  8. the top 1 percent of earners accruing 91percent of gains in the first few years of economic recovery after the Great Recession;

  9. a large racial wealth divide amounting to a difference of 20 times more wealth between the average White family and the average Black family; and

  10. a gender earnings gap that results in women earning approximately 80 percent as much as men, at the median;

Whereas climate change, pollution, and environmental destruction have exacerbated systemic racial, regional, social, environmental, and economic injustices (referred to in this preamble as ‘‘systemic injustices’’) by disproportionately affecting indigenous communities, communities of color, migrant communities, deindustrialized communities, depopulated rural communities, the poor, low-income workers, women, the elderly, the unhoused, people with disabilities, and youth (referred to in this preamble as ‘‘frontline and vulnerable communities’’);

Whereas, climate change constitutes a direct threat to the national security of the United States—

  1. by impacting the economic, environmental, and social stability of countries and communities around the world; and

  2. by acting as a threat multiplier;

Whereas the Federal Government-led mobilizations during World War II and the New Deal created the greatest middle class that the United States has ever seen, but many members of frontline and vulnerable communities were excluded from many of the economic and societal benefits of those mobilizations; and

Whereas the House of Representatives recognizes that a new national, social, industrial, and economic mobilization on a scale not seen since World War II and the New Deal is a historic opportunity—

  1. to create millions of good, high-wage jobs in the United States;

  2. to provide unprecedented levels of prosperity and economic security for all people of the United States; and

  3. to counteract systemic injustices:

Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that—

  1. it is the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal—

  2. to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions through a fair and just transition for all communities and workers;

  3. to create millions of good, high-wage jobs and ensure prosperity and economic security for all people of the United States;

  4. to invest in the infrastructure and industry of the United States to sustainably meet the challenges of the 21st century;

  5. to secure for all people of the United States for generations to come— (i) clean air and water; (ii) climate and community resiliency; (iii) healthy food; (iv) access to nature; and (v) a sustainable environment; and

  6. to promote justice and equity by stopping current, preventing future, and repairing historic oppression of indigenous communities, communities of color, migrant communities, deindustrialized communities, depopulated rural communities, the poor, low-income workers, women, the elderly, the unhoused, people with disabilities, and youth (referred to in this resolution as ‘‘frontline and vulnerable communities’’);

  7. the goals described in subparagraphs of paragraph (1) above (referred to in this resolution as the ‘‘Green New Deal goals’’) should be accomplished through a 10-year national mobilization (referred to in this resolution as the ‘‘Green New Deal mobilization’’) that will require the following goals and projects—

  8. building resiliency against climate change-related disasters, such as extreme weather, including by leveraging funding and providing investments for community-defined projects and strategies;

  9. repairing and upgrading the infrastructure in the United States, including— (i) by eliminating pollution and greenhouse gas emissions as much as technologically feasible; (ii) by guaranteeing universal access to clean water; (iii) by reducing the risks posed by flooding and other climate impacts; and (iv) by ensuring that any infrastructure bill considered by Congress addresses climate change;

  10. meeting 100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources, including— (i) by dramatically expanding and upgrading existing renewable power sources; and (ii) by deploying new capacity;

  11. building or upgrading to energy-efficient, distributed, and ‘‘smart’’ power grids, and working to ensure affordable access to electricity;

  12. upgrading all existing buildings in the United States and building new buildings to achieve maximal energy efficiency, water efficiency, safety, affordability, comfort, and durability, including through electrification;

  13. spurring massive growth in clean manufacturing in the United States and removing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from manufacturing and industry as much as is technologically feasible, including by expanding renewable energy manufacturing and investing in existing manufacturing and industry;

  14. working collaboratively with farmers and ranchers in the United States to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector as much as is technologically feasible, including— (i) by supporting family farming; (ii) by investing in sustainable farming and land use practices that increase soil health; and (iii) by building a more sustainable food system that ensures universal access to healthy food;

  15. overhauling transportation systems in the United States to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector as much as is technologically feasible, including through investment in— (i) zero-emission vehicle infrastructure and manufacturing; (ii) clean, affordable, and accessible public transportation; and (iii) high-speed rail;

  16. mitigating and managing the long-term adverse health, economic, and other effects of pollution and climate change, including by providing funding for community-defined projects and strategies;

  17. removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and reducing pollution, including by restoring natural ecosystems through proven low-tech solutions that increase soil carbon storage, such as preservation and afforestation;

  18. restoring and protecting threatened, endangered, and fragile ecosystems through locally appropriate and science-based projects that enhance biodiversity and support climate resiliency;

  19. cleaning up existing hazardous waste and abandoned sites to promote economic development and sustainability;

  20. identifying other emission and pollution sources and creating solutions to eliminate them; and

  21. promoting the international exchange of technology, expertise, products, funding, and services, with the aim of making the United States the international leader on climate action, and to help other countries achieve a Green New Deal;

  22. a Green New Deal must be developed through transparent and inclusive consultation, collaboration, and partnership with frontline and vulnerable communities, labor unions, worker cooperatives, civil society groups, academia, and businesses; and

  23. to achieve the Green New Deal goals and mobilization, a Green New Deal will require the following goals and projects—

  24. providing and leveraging, in a way that ensures that the public receives appropriate ownership stakes and returns on investment, adequate capital (including through community grants, public banks, and other public financing), technical expertise, supporting policies, and other forms of assistance to communities, organizations, Federal, State, and local government agencies, and businesses working on the Green New Deal mobilization;

  25. ensuring that the Federal Government takes into account the complete environmental and social costs and impacts of emissions through— (i) existing laws; (ii) new policies and programs; and (iii) ensuring that frontline and vulnerable communities shall not be adversely affected;

  26. providing resources, training, and high-quality education, including higher education, to all people of the United States, with a focus on frontline and vulnerable communities, so those communities may be full and equal participants in the Green New Deal mobilization;

  27. making public investments in the research and development of new clean and renewable energy technologies and industries;

  28. directing investments to spur economic development, deepen and diversify industry in local and regional economies, and build wealth and community ownership, while prioritizing high-quality job creation and economic, social, and environmental benefits in frontline and vulnerable communities that may otherwise struggle with the transition away from greenhouse gas intensive industries;

  29. ensuring the use of democratic and participatory processes that are inclusive of and led by frontline and vulnerable communities and workers to plan, implement, and administer the Green New Deal mobilization at the local level;

  30. ensuring that the Green New Deal mobilization creates high-quality union jobs that pay prevailing wages, hires local workers, offers training and advancement opportunities, and guarantees wage and benefit parity for workers affected by the transition;

  31. guaranteeing a job with a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations, and retirement security to all people of the United States;

  32. strengthening and protecting the right of all workers to organize, unionize, and collectively bargain free of coercion, intimidation, and harassment;

  33. strengthening and enforcing labor, workplace health and safety, antidiscrimination, and wage and hour standards across all employers, industries, and sectors;

  34. enacting and enforcing trade rules, procurement standards, and border adjustments with strong labor and environmental protections— (i) to stop the transfer of jobs and pollution overseas; and (ii) to grow domestic manufacturing in the United States;

  35. ensuring that public lands, waters, and oceans are protected and that eminent domain is not abused;

  36. obtaining the free, prior, and informed consent of indigenous people for all decisions that affect indigenous people and their traditional territories, honoring all treaties and agreements with indigenous people, and protecting and enforcing the sovereignty and land rights of indigenous people;

  37. ensuring a commercial environment where every businessperson is free from unfair competition and domination by domestic or international monopolies; and

  38. providing all people of the United States with— (i) high-quality health care; (ii) affordable, safe, and adequate housing; (iii) economic security; and (iv) access to clean water, clean air, healthy and affordable food, and nature.

https://cleantechnica.com/2019/02/08/heres-the-full-text-of-congress-green-new-deal-resolution-introduced-by-rep-alexandra-ocasio-cortez/

A MISSION TO SAVE THE PLANET BY MASSIVE JOB CREATION

Democratic Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts, the co-architect of The Green New Deal, spoke to MSNBC's Joy Ann Reid about how the legislation will create millions of jobs in the green economy and save all of creation by engaging in massive job creation. The Deals calls for the United States to transition to 100 percent clean, renewable energy by 2030, and net zero global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, upgrade all existing buildings for energy efficiency, overhaul transportation systems to reduce emissions, and create millions of jobs with family-sustaining wage. This is going to be a mission to save all of creation by engaging in massive job creation.

The green economy has already created 350,000 wind and solar jobs, just in the last 10 years. There are only 50,000 coal miners. The reason we have to do it is that the United Nations International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is reporting that climate impacts are accelerating faster than predicted a few short years ago. In the Fourth U.S. Climate Assessment all the scientists inside of the Trump administration federal agencies said the same thing. The only person who forgot to mention climate change was Donald Trump in his hour-and-twenty-minute State of the Union Address.

https://www.showmesolar.org/single-post/2017/08/27/Stanford-Scientists-Renewables-Save-Lives-Create-Jobs

The President of the United States made no comment about the looming existential threat to the planet. Polar icecaps are melting, wildfires, droughts, and hurricanes raging, insect, animal, and fish populations are collapsing, and coastal cities are disappearing beneath the waves. The planet is almost irreversibly overheated, wildlife and ecosystems already so decimated, without a major global mobilization, led by the earth’s superpower, we are leaving the last of future generations confronting a nightmare. The greatest challenge of our time is for us to leave our children a livable world. We need to mobilize across the country. The Green New Deal delineates the scope of a plan that will put people to work deploying these new technologies. The green generation is ready to politically fight for it. If we invest now, we'll be able to avoid the most catastrophic consequences, otherwise the price that will be paid is going to be in the tens of trillions in our country and that will just be a footnote compared to the rest of the world. We will have to invest in green technologies, with the federal government having a key leadership role. Vital is the role will be played by the private sector, where the 350,000 wind and solar jobs are already, having tapped less than five percent of the market.

Energy jobs span every sector of the economy from architects, engineers, construction, manufacturing, scientific and technological research and development, journalism, marketing, finance, education, transportation, as well as agriculture, air, water, land, and ecosystem management and conservation. It's the greatest job creation revolution in history.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2019/02/08/sen_ed_markey_green_new_deal_is_a_mission_to_save_all_of_creation_by_engaging_in_massive_job_creation.html

Citizens' Climate Lobby on the Green New Deal - Americans Want Bold Solutions

http://redgreenandblue.org/2019/02/07/citizens-climate-lobby-aocs-green-new-deal-americans-want-bold-climate-solutions/

Vox's in-depth analysis of the political history and headwinds gathering to shoot the Green New Deal out of the sky includes the observations:

https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/3k9jdw/pelosi-offers-meeting-to-green-new-deal-activists-after-61-protesters-are-arrested-at-her-office

“Virtually no one has heard of the Green New Deal. Right now, in the minds of the vast majority of Americans, “GND” signifies almost nothing. The task of defining it for them lies entirely ahead.

"The idea of adopting bold policy pledges with no care as to whether they draw any bipartisan support is deeply alien to congressional Democrats. … There is no way to pretend that GOP leadership, so deeply in hock to fossil fuel funding, is going to offer any kind of support for any part of it.

“What does America get if Dems take power in 2020?” Chakrabarti asks. “Either that can be a boring, crappy vision that no one’s going to get excited by, or it’s going to be an exciting vision that people will want to come out and vote for.”

The activists who have kickstarted this unlikely movement are well aware that they are the underdogs in this fight. The GND “would be a direct blow to some of the wealthiest and most powerful interests in the world,” says Weber, “and they’re not going to accept it lying down.”

He knows that tons of fossil fuel money is gearing up to descend on the movement.

https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2018/12/21/18144138/green-new-deal-alexandria-ocasio-cortez

Political Opposition To The

Green New Deal

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., joined by fellow Republican senators, spoke about the Green New Deal Tuesday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced Tuesday that he wants the Senate to vote on a massive plan to fight climate change.

"I've noted with great interest the Green New Deal, and we're going to be voting on that in the Senate," McConnell said at a Senate Republican news conference. "I'll give everybody an opportunity to go on record and see how they feel about the Green New Deal."

It also immediately provoked controversy. While some environmental advocates applauded the plan's grand scope, experts said the plan's aim to get to net-zero carbon emissions in 10 years seemed unrealistic. McConnell's goal is not to help the bill pass. Putting it to a vote will force Democrats in the Senate to take a stand on the controversial framework.

Markey's office responded with a statement chastising McConnell for threatening to call a vote on the resolution "without committee hearings, expert testimony, or a true national debate." "They have offered no plan to address this economic and national security threat and want to sabotage any effort that makes Big Oil and corporate polluters pay," Markey said.

The resolution has amassed significant but by no means widespread support on Capitol Hill — there are 67 co-sponsors in the House and 11 in the Senate, including several current or potential presidential contenders: Bernie Sanders, Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker and Amy Klobuchar.

However, plenty of Democrats still aren't sold on the bill — among them, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. She has opted to frame it as one of potentially many anti-climate-change proposals.

"We welcome the enthusiasm that is there," she said in a news conference last week, later adding, "I'm very excited about it all, and I welcome the Green New Deal and any other proposals that people have out there."

The Senate vote is not yet scheduled, and a spokesman for McConnell said that the Republican leader's office doesn't expect it to come this week.

With reporting from NPR congressional correspondent Scott Detrow

https://www.wamc.org/post/mcconnell-plans-bring-green-new-deal-senate-vote

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