Other stories filed under Editorial
Other stories filed under Opinion
February 11, 2019
Something must be done about climate change. It is understandable to hear of worry among younger generations when reputable sources like the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) report that carbon dioxide levels are “at their highest in 650,000 years” and that in 2012, “Arctic summer sea ice shrank to the lowest extent on record”.
No wonder most youths believe there is no future for them in this world. With this information begs the question: what can we do about it? Within the realm of U.S. politics, whether or not climate change is real is still up for debate among the Democratic and Republican parties (despite extensive research and scientific reports deeming it a real threat to the Earth’s vitality).
However, there have been efforts to improve the U.S.’s carbon footprint, more recently by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass. on Feb. 7, in their unveiling of the Green New Deal.
The proposal offers solutions that will “help the environment while stimulating the economy”, with claims of making the country carbon-free in 10 years while also aiming to tackle income inequality with the creation of the Federal Jobs Guarantee Program. It goes on to list several ideas about how to retrofit the country’s buildings, healthcare, energy efficiency and so on.
Sophomore and young climate change activist Bijou Acers said, “I think that we are quick to ask if things are politically possible, in doing so denying our power to make the Green New Deal politically possible. At this point, whether it’s feasible is out of the question. It’s necessary.”
The Green New Deal is a step in the right direction for action against climate change, although it does have its flaws. The resolution is more of a statement of intent rather than a concrete plan, but it is still a bit vague. In its ‘energy efficiency’ section, it is proposed to upgrade “all existing buildings in the United States and building new buildings to achieve maximum energy efficiency, water efficiency, safety, affordability, comfort and durability, including through electrification.” How this will be paid for, though, is not detailed.
Senior Shamus Boe said that he stands “on the right politically, so some parts of the Green Deal do not seem right in my eyes for the future of our country’s vitality, but the environment part of it I believe is vital for the future.”
The fact is that something must be done. The resolution, at the very least, is generating a more serious conversation among politicians on how to go about fighting climate change. There is a lot we can do, we just aren’t doing it; in part, because it seems many Americans see it as a far away problem, something we can fix later. What has to be done to fight climate change has to be done now before it is too late. The Green New Deal is not just a bill, it is our future.