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A Sustainable Economy: The Green New Deal

A Sustainable Economy: The Green New Deal by Dani Fulkerson

The Green New Deal is a proposed program pursuing a fully sustainable economy. The plan is attempting to solve the current climate crisis, create environmentally sound jobs and adapt one hundred percent clean energy use by the year 2030. 

The new deal was brought to light by democratic politicians, New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey. However, they were not the initial creators of the plan. Thomas Friedman originally used the term that eventually formed the green movement. 

The intent of the plan is to reconstruct America’s work force, economy and infrastructure in an environmentally sound manner while simultaneously producing net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 as noted by Data For Progress.

One main selling point of the deal is to modify America’s energy system. Supporters of the deal call for the end to nuclear and fossil fuel subsidies. They also plan to accomplish this new green energy system by redistributing research funds away from fossil fuels and other unsound and outdated forms of energy.

Opposers of this selling point conclude that this plan, by terminating the use of fossil fuels, also extinguishes millions of jobs. However, the plan ensures that any worker “displaced by a decrease in fossil fuel production” will receive a compensation of a full income and benefits related to more sustainable employment.  

The green deal allots hundreds of billions of dollars to create green jobs to support those who are unemployed as well as those displaced by the new environmental standards.  

One way proponents plan to create national environmental accountability is to create a greenhouse gas fee and to hold corporations responsible for the environmental damage the have created. 

Transportation is the third most polluting industry for the environment. To combat this pollution, The Green New Deal plans to invest a large amount of money into public transit.  

To encourage and simplify the biking scene, the Green New Deal will transition from the normal set up of roads to “complete streets” which are bike and pedestrian safe according to the Green Party. 

One large goal of the deal is to increase the use of highspeed rail. Proponents plan to expand the scope of railroads to the point where interstate air travel becomes unnecessary. This concern over air travel is a response to the high amount of carbon emissions planes release.  

President Donald Trump falsely claims that the Green New Deal will “take away your airplane rights.” However, the plan does not aim to restrict people from choosing to use a plane, but to make airlines more accessible and cheaper for all citizens.  

The Green New Deal is based on principles scientists have been fighting for over decades. It encapsulates the communal vision of a healthy future environmental scientists envision. 

These conventional yet important aspects of conservation include protecting two million miles of waterways, reforesting forty million acres of public and private land and restoring five million acres of swamps, marshes and peatlands.  

These environmental standards have been brought yet again to the public’s attention due to the decreasing state of America’s natural ecosystems. The policies in the Green New Deal are geared toward this negative state. The deal, for instance, plans on restoring five million acres of wetlands due to the fact that America has lost over half of its original wetlands, and one third of what remains is in poor condition.  

One way the Green New Deal is breathing new light into common conservation efforts is by focusing on the health of Americans and not solely on the state of the planet.  

Advocates of the deal acknowledge the health consequences that have disproportionately affected America’s citizens and are catalyzed by air pollution, rising sea levels and fossil fuel production.  

The Green New Deal would prevent tens of thousands of premature deaths caused by the heating of the climate. It would also decrease the two hundred thousand early deaths per year caused by air pollution. 

By decreasing the occurrence of illnesses driven by fossil fuel production such as asthma, heart attacks, strokes and cancer, there will be less money spent nationally on health care, which frees up space in the federal budget and can be used to continue benefitting people’s health through environmental sustainability. 

Even if the Green New Deal passes, however, the deal would not directly put any new laws into place. This is because the deal is considered a nonbinding resolution. The purpose of the deal instead is to send a political message, according to NPR, and influence politicians and constituents into taking environmental actions.  

Photo credits to CNN.

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