By now we know the Green New Deal is to be Super McConnell-sized, which should come as no surprise. Meanwhile the Tom May Bugle’s Chris Morris is still trying to remember exactly what to call it.
In finding Chris Morris’ Green Deal (sic) “oops-ed” to be disinformative, misinformative, objectionable and dismissive, our guest columnist is being charitable.
Amid the local chain newspaper’s race to the bottom, here’s a welcome round of rejoinder.
Reactionaries Call the Green New Deal ‘Radical,’ Like That’s a Bad Thing, by John Nichols (The Nation)
Supporters of action on climate change must borrow a page from FDR by laughing off critics—recognizing that there are times when we must indeed be radical.
Republicans in Congress say the Green New Deal is “radical.” Excellent!
Even before a historic congressional resolution to address climate change and create jobs was introduced last week—in the House by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with backing from Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chairs Mark Pocan and Pramila Jayapal and in the Senate by Ed Markey with backing from Democratic presidential prospects such as Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Jeff Merkley—the Republicans pounced.
The reactionaries who represent the nation’s fossil-fuel industries griped that the Green New Deal would negatively impact their paymasters.
“As Democrats take a hard left turn, this radical proposal would take our growing economy off the cliff and our nation into bankruptcy,” cried Senate Environment and Public Works Committee chair John Barrasso (R-WY). “It’s the first step down a dark path to socialism.” Illinois Republican John Shimkus, the ranking member on the Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, decried “radical policies like the Green New Deal.”
“The climate crisis is a problem of epic proportions that requires a level of ambition just as big.” —League of Conservation Voters
Thank you, Senator Barasso. Thank you, Congressman Shimkus. Thanks to all the reactionary Republicans and docile Democrats who are doing their best to portray the Green New Deal as “radical.” Please, please keep it up.
Climate change represents a stark threat to the planet and the people who inhabit it. When Pocan says “we can’t afford to wait any longer and need to take action on climate change,” he’s right. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that dramatic action will be required over the next 12 years to avert environmental and economic disaster.
“The climate crisis is a problem of epic proportions that requires a level of ambition just as big,” explains League of Conservation Voters president Gene Karpinski. “This is an all hands-on-deck moment, and now is the time to challenge ourselves as never before.”
Denial won’t cut it anymore. Nor will the half-steps of those who acknowledge the crisis but refuse to respond in sufficient measure. “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, to our country, to the world,” explains Ocasio-Cortez.
So a radical solution is called for. No one should make apologies for recognizing this necessity. Radical change goes to the root of the problem and addresses it. The details of the Green New Deal are up for debate, as were the details of the original New Deal. FDR taught us that responses to historic challenges develop as an understanding of crises evolves and a real sense of urgency takes hold.
Wisconsin State Representative Greta Neubauer, who worked as a fellow with 350.org and as director of the Fossil Fuel Divestment Student Network before her election, says that what matters now is an understanding of the need to advance an ambitious program “that provides living wage jobs and protects our environment …”