Opinion: A ‘Green New Deal’ sounds like pie in the sky. But we need it. - PressFrom - US

OpinionA ‘Green New Deal’ sounds like pie in the sky. But we need it.

21:55  10 february  2019
21:55  10 february  2019 Source:   washingtonpost.com

Pete Buttigieg: Green New Deal resolution 'the right beginning'

Pete Buttigieg: Green New Deal resolution 'the right beginning' Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, said on Sunday he supported the recently released "Green New Deal" resolution from New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Ed Markey. Buttigieg announced an exploratory committee last month for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, and his remarks Sunday reflected a growing consensus among much of the prospective 2020 field in support of the "Green New Deal." "I think it's the right beginning," Buttigieg said of the resolution on CNN's "State of the Union" with Jake Tapper.

A ‘Green New Deal’ sounds like pie in the sky. But we need it.© Alex Wong/Getty Images Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) speaks during a news conference in front of the U.S. Capitol on Feb. 7 in Washington.

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

Let’s consider some real news, for a change: Last year was officially proclaimed the fourth-warmest on record; scientists predict that melting ice in Antarctica and Greenland could not only raise sea levels but also further destabilize weather patterns; and progressive members of Congress are proposing a “Green New Deal,” the first policy framework ambitious enough to meet the challenge of global warming.

Green New Deal: McConnell wants Democrats to go 'on record' about the bold climate change plan

Green New Deal: McConnell wants Democrats to go 'on record' about the bold climate change plan Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell doesn't like the Green New Deal, but he wants a vote on the controversial so Democrats can be put on the record.

Please don’t stop reading. I know that climate change isn’t the sexiest of topics. I could be writing about President Trump’s latest tweetstorm, or the shade he was thrown by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) at the State of the Union speech, or the blackface and sexual assault scandals that could force Virginia’s top three officials to resign, or Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) ongoing racial-identity crisis, or the House Intelligence Committee’s new investigation of some anomalous Trump Organization deals that involved huge and unexplained amounts of cash.

Those are all big and important stories, but climate change is the biggest, most important story of our time. Our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will judge us by how well we meet the challenge, and so far we are failing. Miserably.

White House blasts Ocasio-Cortez's Green New Deal: 'Central planning disaster'

White House blasts Ocasio-Cortez's Green New Deal: 'Central planning disaster' The White House lambasted the Green New Deal climate resolution spearheaded by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) this week slamming it as a "central planning disaster" and "a roadmap to destroy the American Economy." White House spokesperson Judd Deere said in a statement to The Hill that President Trump "has vowed that America would never be socialist, and this administration will fight this central planning disaster," adding that the plan was a "roadmap to require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

Scientists from NASA announced Wednesday that 2018 was the Earth’s fourth-warmest year since record-keeping began about 140 years ago. The warmest year of all was 2016, followed in order by 2017 and 2015; the fifth-warmest was 2014. Anyone who is not deliberately being obtuse can see the pattern.

Why is it so hot? Because humankind has increased the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by more than 40 percent since the Industrial Revolution. There is now more of the heat-trapping gas in the air than at any time in at least the past 800,000 years. Researchers have looked in vain for any “natural” phenomenon or cycle that could explain the carbon buildup and the rapid warming. Yet global carbon emissions are at an all-time high.

Anyone tempted to shrug — or even cheer, given the brutal cold that much of the nation suffered last week — is whistling past the graveyard. Sea-level rise, in part caused by the fact that warmer water takes up more space than cooler water, has already worsened coastal flooding around the world and threatened to erase low-lying islands from the map. Now attention has shifted to the polar regions, where the warming process is proceeding most rapidly and ice is melting at a possibly unprecedented pace.

Opinions | ‘We’re nuts!’ isn’t a great pitch for a Green New Deal

Opinions | ‘We’re nuts!’ isn’t a great pitch for a Green New Deal Progressives’ plan for energy efficiency is a nice idea, but way too aggressive.

Hardly a month goes by without some alarming new report about accelerated melting in Antarctica and the various apocalyptic scenarios that might come true. A paper published Wednesday in the journal Nature suggests that a phenomenon known as “marine ice-cliff instability” might not produce as much additional sea-level rise as a 2016 paper had predicted. But a second Nature paper warned that melting ice in Antarctica, Greenland and the Himalayas could seriously disrupt weather and temperature patterns worldwide.

That’s the true nature of the scientific debate over climate change. It’s not about whether global warming is taking place or what’s causing it — those questions are settled. The open question is whether the effects of human-induced climate change will be really bad, catastrophically bad or threat-to-civilization bad.

Enter the resolution, introduced Thursday by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), calling on Congress to create a Green New Deal.

Pelosi has sounded skeptical. “It will be one of several or maybe many suggestions that we receive,” she said Wednesday, according to Politico. “The green dream or whatever they call it, nobody knows what it is, but they’re for it, right?”

Pelosi names climate change panel, Ocasio-Cortez not among members

Pelosi names climate change panel, Ocasio-Cortez not among members Speaker Nancy Pelosi named nine Democratic members to the new Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. 

I’m more impressed than the speaker is, however. The point of the resolution is not to propose specific, detailed policy prescriptions. What it does accomplish, though, is to lay out the enormous scale of the climate change problem — and, as a commensurate response, call for “a new national, social, industrial and economic mobilization on a scale not seen since World War II and the New Deal.”

The resolution’s goal is to reduce net U.S. carbon emissions to zero through a “10-year national mobilization.” Such a crusade, as envisioned, would create jobs and economic development while at the same time safeguarding the biosphere. Yes, proposals such as “upgrading all existing buildings in the United States” and “spurring massive growth in clean manufacturing” and “overhauling transportation systems” sound like pie in the sky. But that’s the scale of the crisis.

Sooner or later, we’re going to have to go big on climate change. So let’s start thinking big.

[email protected]

Read more from Eugene Robinson’s archive, follow him on Twitter or subscribe to his updates on Facebook. You can also join him Tuesdays at 1 p.m. for a live Q&A.

Read more:

Here are 11 climate change policies to fight for in 2019

Megan McArdle: ‘We’re nuts!’ isn’t a great pitch for a Green New Deal

Tom Toles: Cartoons: The climate change evidence piles up. So does the denial.

Trump campaign blasts Elizabeth Warren ahead of 2020 announcement: 'A fraud'.
The president's re-election campaign issued a statement Saturday morning blasting Sen. Elizabeth Warren, calling her a fraud for past claims of Native American heritage. The statement was released shortly before the Massachusetts Democrat made her formal announcement about a 2020 bid for the White House. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!