The Green New Deal


Kevin Ruano Hernandez, Staff Writer

On April 17, 2019, a video was posted on YouTube by The Intercept called “A Message From the Future With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.” Here, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez narrates a video discussing a vision for the future and talks about a young girl named Elena and her environmental journey. Illena shows that indigenous communities offered generational expertise to help guide “the way.” The video proposed a bright future where it’s full of green and peace. However, just like most proposals, it’s going to require so much work to get in place. And the centerpiece of all of this is the Green New Deal, an idea that has many critics from the news and media.  Fox News makes it difficult for us to understand what the Deal really is. This New Deal will definitely not destroy the world or bring an “apocalypse.”  It is essentially a vision for the future, not one policy that would be passed by Congress but a foundation to change our world from a climate crisis into an unprejudiced future for the better. Though there are a few ideas that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has, there are hundreds of Green New Deal ideas around the globe that are specifically unique for each different country. The ribbon that wraps all of the Green New Deals together is this: Climate Change. It is a crisis that is caused by capitalism, racism, militarism, and conflict. This is a shift in belief within mainstream environmental and climate committees. About 85% of the staff of U.S environmental nonprofits are white folk. That means 85% dominate every other race that is a part of these nonprofits. This often separates climate action from racial oppression and economic injustice. 

Throughout the years, we’ve tried a proactive approach and policy change for the last 40 years, and there hasn’t been much progress. We can understand that the root causes of climate change are the same causes of other struggles we face: capitalism, colonialism, imperialism, and racism. 

Now you must be wondering, What would a Green New Deal look like? Well, it should focus on two concepts: Abolition and Abundance. Abolition, by pulling away from networks of harm that fuels climate change. This can mean Refineries such as locals such as the Chevron Refinery. However, we should take into consideration the Abolition of the Carceral, the Abolition of the military industry, and the Abolition of the neoliberal capitalist economy. As a prison abolitionist and geography professor Ruth Wilson Gilmore states, “Abolition means not just the closing of prisons but the presence, instead, of vital systems of support that many communities lack… we resolve inequalities and get people the resources they need long before the hypothetical moment when, as Gilmore puts it, they “mess up.” We can see in this statement that Abolition is about abundance rather than absence. 

 This is why the Green New Deal is so important because it seeks to rip apart unsustainable systems. It seeks to replace those violent systems with guaranteed jobs, sustainable housing, a robust caretaking economy, etc. by listening to those who are living through environmental and systemic harm. However you may say that this will never happen, it’s politically impossible! It cost too much money! You are absolutely right, however, though it will take up so much work, 

 Most political changes happen when there are movements of people working against injustice. Look at all the protests that are happening around the world and how white supremacy must end. The world is changing as we speak and more yet to come. Now with cost, America puts $721 billion dollars into the military budget annually and $20 billion on fossil fuel subsidies. It’s our job as a society and community to have our government spend money to protect our care for life instead of killing it. So leaving a question to think about, what other choice do we have really than to propose a Green New Deal?