AOC has done irreparable harm to the environmental movement.

We need to seek nonpartisan solutions to heal our environment .

Pic of AOC with text: Problems with the Green New Deal and solutions tohelp our environment

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal was a watered-down version of the Green Party’s policy by the same name.

The Green New Deal :

  • Replaced the OffAct, a bill that would have safely transitioned us Off Fossil Fuels, this bill with 40 sponsors and 400 environmental groups supporting it. AOC made a campaign promise to reintroduce the OffAct, but instead went ahead with her own weak substitute.
  • Set the environmental movement back at least two years on taking action.
  • Failed to address the health and environment effects of fracking
  • Failed to end $27B a year in fossil fuel and agribiz subsidies
  • Failed to mention Nuclear Energy
  • Proposes mass investment in private industry without any mechanism of accountability or funding.
  • Was a plan to propose a plan to make a plan
  • Included ideas that have little to do with protecting the environment
  • Was intended to change our economy into a eco-socialist model, not to solve our environmental issues
  • Was defeated in the Senate by a 57–0 vote.

The Green New Deal failed to even mention fracking.

How fracking works
Image Courtesy of greenandgrowing.org

Hydraulic Fracking has transformed the U.S. into a net exporter of fossil fuels instead of being an importer. This does have some positive national security aspects, but at what cost?

Health & Environmental issues that are related to hydraulic fracturing include:

  • Fracking has been linked to preterm births, high-risk pregnancies, asthma, migraine headaches, fatigue, nasal and sinus symptoms, and skin disorders over the last 10 years
  • water availability, it uses up to 6.27 million gallons of water per well
  • spills of chemicals at the surface, a review of the recognized 1,021 chemicals in these various proprietary mixes are known to include surfactants, biocides and even toxic substances like volatile organic compounds and carcinogens.
  • impacts of sand mining for use in the hydraulic fracturing process
  • surface water quality degradation from waste fluid disposal
  • groundwater quality degradation
  • induced seismicity from the injection of waste fluids into deep disposal wells
  • reduced air quality

To lower carbon emissions and protect our people and our environment we must transition off fracking by stopping approval of new wells.

The Green New Deal failed to end $27B a year in fossil fuel & agribiz subsidies.

The intent of most U.S. subsidies is to subsidize R&D into new technologies for the benefit of American consumers. These subsidies interfere with the free market and encourage bad behavior, harming children and seniors the most. Fossil fuel subsidies is the government putting its finger on the scale to favor the special interests of a poisonous industry. Agriculture and deforestation contribute 24% of greenhouse gases released into the environment. Agricultural subsidies benefit big corporate farms and hurt America’s traditional farmers. We must end these subsidies of misconduct.

The Green New Deal failed to mention Nuclear Energy

With current nuclear energy technology the public is on the hook for storage of waste materials and insurance to pay out in case of a meltdown, like what almost happened in Pennsylvania, or what did happen in Chernobyl. We must end these subsidies when they expire in 2021.

Generation IV nuclear energy shows some promise as being more environmentally sound source of CO2 free energy. But there are multiple safety issues. GenIV nuclear is thought to be up to 30 years from commercial use, and can not be considered part of a immediate solution.

Proposed mass investment in private industry without any mechanism of accountability or funding.

With the GND, a 15 member committee was to decide which private interests the U.S would invest in without any accountability to the people of the United States.

Was a plan to propose a plan to make a plan

The GND was a non-binding resolution or plan, that planed to create a 15 member committee charged with making a plan without any accountability to the people of the United States.

Included ideas that have little to do with protecting the environment

The GND also included ideas unrelated to the environment such as basic income and universal health care. This vastly decreased the chance of the resolution passing. It’ll be hard enough to secure passage of environmental legislation without loading it down with extras.

Was intended to change our economy into a eco-socialist model

One of the key architects of the legislation, Saikat Chakrabarti, the chief of staff to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said:

“The interesting thing about the Green New Deal, is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all. Do you guys think of it as a climate thing? Because we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.”

Not only is this a deceitful and hidden fact about the resolution, it hurts the chance of doing anything to help the environment. This also helps feed the Republican anti-climate change narrative, because it’s now considered just a Trojan horse for socialism.

Was defeated in the Senate by a 57–0 vote.

McConnell brought it to the floor where Republicans and corporate Democrats gave it a resounding no vote. This vote combined with leaks of renditions of early versions of the Resolution gave Republican candidates fodder to say “I voted against outlawing cows and air travel as well as corporate giveaways…” or “a radical, top-down, socialist makeover of the entire U.S. economy.

Was this sabotage of the climate debate intentional, or just a freshman mistake? Either way, the result is the same, postponing action for at least two years.

How can we stay true to our values while proposing nonpartisan solutions for the environment?

  • Focus on the fact that everyone wants clean water to drink and clean air to breathe. That everyone seeks to have healthy kids, free of birth defects, and to be unafraid to let them play at the playground.
Five kids jumping for joy
  • Ending subsidies enjoys wide support, except from the very few that directly benefit from them. Subsidies subvert the market and pick winners and losers. It’s likely that ending subsidies would go a long way towards solving the problem. Given the choice consumers will choose the lower cost products and will often pay more for a product that supports their values.
  • Applying an eco-tax that is based on an energy product’s true cost on the environment and amount of greenhouse gases it creates, no matter where the product is manufactured. This eliminates benefits for offshore manufacture by charging based on where it is sold, the United States. This tax would be used to remedy pollution sites where there is not a valid responsible party.
  • Give our wild spaces– our rivers, mountains and prairies – legal standing to sue for degradation to in order to compensate for, and remediate the harm of a wrongful act inflicted upon them. Worldwide, at least Four rivers have been already given this standing
Tidal energy operation
  • Encourage research and development in our universities and research institutions, seeking solutions to the high environmental costs of materials used to manufacture solar panels and batteries, and improve existing technologies like wind energy, finding solutions to recycling their blades. Find environmentally safe, and corrosion free materials to harness ocean kinetic and tidal energy.
  • Raise awareness and promote agriculture that improves the soil helping farmers to be more profitable, while providing better quality food with regenerative farming practices.

The time for action is now.

The Green New Deal continues to be a stumbling block to real action on our environment. It is not the the litmus test you think it is. That “progressives” continue to demand the Green New Deal as the only solution to our environmental woes, thereby preventing work on other solutions that could be supported by a wider range of political ideologies, thereby, preventing us from taking action now.

Further reading:

Cartoon: yes the planet got destroyed but for a beautiful moment in time we created a lot of value for shareholders

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