The following article originally appeared in the Juniata High School Newspaper, the Arrowhead.
Written by: Valorie Fisher
The Green New Deal is a collection of programs aiming to create environmental sustainability and economic stability within our nation. It was proposed to Congress by Democratic U.S representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the youngest female to be appointed to Congress in American history. Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s proposal outlines several issues within our country and requests that the federal government takes action against them. The central issues addressed in the proposal are climate change and unemployment.
One of the primary focuses of the Green New Deal is to transition to 100% clean energy by the year 2030. Currently, only 10% of America’s energy is derived from clean, renewable energy sources, which means that we are still gaining the majority of our energy from non renewable resources such as fossil fuels. Using fossil fuels as our primary source of energy is proving to have negative effects on our environment. The excessive use of non renewable resources around the globe is the largest contributor to climate change, which is causing an increase in wildfires, severe storms, droughts, and other extreme weather events. The Green New Deal calls for our country to take immediate action to decrease, and ultimately end, our role in climate change by discontinuing our use of non renewable energy sources.
The second focus of the Green New Deal is to stabilize the American economy. The Green New Deal intends to give every American the right to single-payer healthcare, a guaranteed job at a living wage, affordable housing, and free college education. It aims to create approximately 20 million jobs through a Full-Employment Program. This Full-Employment Program ensures that any American who requests a job will receive one from the government. It is believed that this program will dramatically decrease the unemployment rate within our country. The Green New Deal also intends to keep business local by providing grants and loans to locally based companies that keep the wealth created circulating within their communities.
At face value, the Green New Deal seems like an ideal solution to some of our country’s biggest issues. Free healthcare, an end to unemployment, and saving our environment are things most Americans could stand behind. However, though the Green New Deal aims to provide these things, it doesn’t outline a complete course of action to do so. The fact of the matter is that implementing the Green New Deal would cost a considerable amount of money. Though some of the funds necessary could come from budget cuts on government departments such as the military, most of the funding would be coming directly from the pockets of the middle and upper class American people. To provide for the poor, the government would essentially be taking from the rich.
Ultimately, your support of the Green New Deal should be based upon your answer to a singular question: Are you willing to preserve a piece of your independence by allowing people to obtain enormous wealth while others struggle through poverty, or can you accept an injury to your freedom if it means that every American gets to live a life of stability and comfort?