North Texas Daily

Why we need a Green New Deal

Why we need a Green New Deal

Why we need a Green New Deal
October 02
19:00 2020

As the 2020 election nears, many are beginning to voice their concerns about the future of the nation and the planet. Around the world, there have been countless natural disasters destroying cities and leaving behind devastating damages. With Hurricane Laura hitting the Gulf Coast and the fires in California, people are calling for government officials to pass legislation that protects the environment from further damage for future generations.

The Green New Deal, sponsored by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey, is a detailed plan explaining how the climate affects the economy. The plan also emphasizes the way minorities and oppressed groups such as Native Americans and low-income families are disproportionately affected by climate change.

While the topic of the Green New Deal and climate change has been a big point of debate amongst Republicans and Democrats, it’s obvious something needs to be done to protect the planet. Although the Green New Deal does outline how the country can be using clean energy sources as soon as 2030, there are a lot of factors making legislators hesitant to pass it.

A common argument against the Green New Deal is it’s too expensive, facing costs upwards of one trillion dollars. However, it will be more costly to implement it in the future. According to the U.S Government Accounting Office, the federal government had already spent 350 billion dollars on extreme weather circumstances by 2017.

By enacting a Green New Deal more jobs will be created since there would have to be a major infrastructure overhaul. The process of building clean water systems, energy grids, and low emission public transportation will create jobs that will be able to benefit workers by providing sustainable living wages and benefits.

Another benefit would be providing healthier living conditions to lower-income families in neglected cities that have had to live in hazardous health conditions for years. For example, in August of this year, the state of Michigan was ordered to give 600 million dollars to victims of the Flint Water Crisis. Residents have been relying on bottled water and suffering long-term health effects as a result of the government’s inability to provide clean water since the crisis started in 2014.

Another common criticism is a Green New Deal is purely hypothetical and would be near impossible to execute. This has been proven wrong as many states have passed laws and enacted various policies to reduce pollution, create jobs, and fight against systematic and economic inequality.

For example, California passed the Buy Clean Law which states if the state were to ever spend taxpayer money on steel, glass, or insulation materials for infrastructure purposes, the state must prioritize companies that make an effort to reduce their carbon footprints. Such environmental-conscious efforts will encourage sustainable manufacturing and foster job creation.

It is evident, at this point, something has to be done to protect the environment. Whether it is done through a Green New Deal or not, action has to be taken. However, it is up to lawmakers to make those decisions and enact substantial change.

Featured Illustration by Durga Bhavana

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Meghana Vadlamani

Meghana Vadlamani

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