Democrats have finally done it. After much anticipation, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has released her plan for a Green New Deal: a bold, drastic change to American policy to take a radical approach to fight climate change. Several other key politicians, including the likes of Presidential-hopeful Elizabeth Warren, have already agreed to co-sponsor the bill. Early polling shows that a large swath of people is in agreement with the plan.
Unfortunately, this is the wrong approach to this problem.
The Green New Deal is definitely tackling a problem that requires urgent action: climate change. It is simply a fact that our planet is experiencing man-made climate change, and radical action is necessary to combat the crisis. However, this Green New Deal is pushing idealistic goals that are in no way directly related to saving the environment. The plan concludes with a promise to provide every American health-care, housing, economic security, food, clothing, resources, and more.
On their own merits, these goals are commendable, if not far-left of center. However, when coupled with this program, it just confirms everything that Fox news has been trying to say for years: that climate change is a leftist hoax used to justify their socialist agenda. Climate change is in no way a hoax, but when used to justify all of these other leftist ideals, it seems to make the case for Fox News' hysteria.
Additionally, while climate change is a radical problem that will require radical solutions, the plan itself does not offer that radical solution that is going to be necessary to actually carve a dent in the issue. The biggest hole in this is the fact that the Dems expect to be able to completely phase in their plan within 10 years without any use of nuclear power. Even the left-leaning nation of Sweden's radical approach to fighting climate change is with the caveat of getting to their goals by 2050, all while relying on roughly 40% of their energy production to come from nuclear power.
If that isn't enough, the final nail in the coffin of the Green New Deal is the price tag. In a nation where we have already straddled with a $22 trillion national debt and ever-growing federal budget deficits, the Green New Deal clocks in at $2 trillion for the energy programs alone, with much more uncalculated expenses coming from the Deal's universal healthcare and basic income guarantees. With our nation already so far down the economic drainpipe in fiscal responsibility, the last thing this country needs is another major government program that will further sink us in debt and continue our growing entitlement spending.
Overall, while climate change is a necessary problem to fight, the lofty goals of the Green New Deal are just not the pragmatic, economic approach that we need. To have a real conversation about climate change, we have to address the issue from a realistic angle to get results that work, not just the blanket promises of a freshman lawmaker.