“The world is reaching the tipping point beyond which climate change may become irrever-
sible. If this happens, we risk denying present and future generations the right to a healthy and sustainable planet – the whole of humanity stands to lose."
Kofi Annan, Former Secretary-General of UN
Climate Change is defined as "a long-term change in the average weather patterns that have come to define Earth's local, regional and global climates." These detrimental effects come from the increased amount of greenhouse gases. In turn, this affects our fragile ecosystem by extreme weather patterns leading to drought, floods, and severe weather disasters. Ironically, humankind is the leader of the rise in greenhouse gasses. I find this to be entertaining because of how much we depend on the Earth's complex system.
The United States' most prominent issues are solvable by consciously putting environmental policy first. It doesn't take a scientist (pun intended) to recognize that climate change is affecting society's basic needs, therefore emphasizing the security of clean air, water, and food sources for ALL of our communities. Within the past 6 months, our nation has suffered countless tropical storms, wildfires, and a global pandemic. It's known that our nation's disaster spending is not sustainable. This is significant, concerning the amount of money needed to put forth if we continue to make little to no progress on our emissions. It was in response to this that Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez launched the Green New Deal,with the ambition to vanquish our wealth gap, racial inequality, an income of work, and of course, overcome the threat of climate change that continuing to live under the current system poses. This bill represents a live-able future for those living and to come.
"We don’t have time to sit on our hands as our planet burns.
For young people, climate change is bigger than election or re-election. It’s life or death.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, US Politician & Activist
Brought forth by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and strengthened by many influential politicians, The Green New Deal takes an interest in reducing the United States' lead in producing excessive greenhouse gas emissions. Namely by focusing on environmental and social justice. From an environmental policy perspective, this bill protects endangered and fragile ecosystems at a provincial level of science-based projects that advance biodiversity.
Additionally, The Green New Deal seeks to clean up subsisting hazardous waste and abandoned sites, thus leading to distinguish emission and pollution sources to then tax. Agricultural practices need to be updated- they are one of the principal causes of contamination in our water, air, and food sources. In regards to social justice, the deal brings forth the creation of millions of high wage jobs that are essential for the repair of the infrastructure in our nation. This includes dependable equipment for a natural disaster plus solar, wind, hydro, and nuclear energy sites. Moreover, the federal government would build funds and invest in sustainable farming that utilizes environmentally beneficial applications, as well as propelling research and extension of renewable energy technologies and cultivation techniques. By implementing these advancements, we would hope to see the improvement of life for society as a whole. However, areas of low-income demographics would need to be administered preeminent, for they suffer from food desserts and unsanitary living conditions.
All in all, this bill contributes to prioritizing public health rather than the inconsistent and inadequate way of government regulation.
“It’s not climate change that needs to be tackled. It is the political power of the fossil fuel industry."
Richard Denniss, Chief Economist, The Australian Institute
In our inherited way of governance, we as a nation prioritize individualism over the government restriction. Capitalism is the prize of America’s economy. Moving forward, the ecosystem needs to be the front and center of our economic system. In turn, we can control the globalized market and emissions as one, Starting with ending our long-overdue relationship with fossil fuels. With our high technological capacity, the reliance on fossil fuels is unacceptable, especially when we acknowledge ourselves as a “developed nation.” To do so, America would need to step up and tax the fossil fuel industries and the carbon emissions from private sectors. Although Former President Obama moved us towards a more optimistic view on solar power, the lobbying that needs to be done is much more of a fantasy for the United States.
Next would be the control of where our money is put. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, we can expect by 2030 that 70% of our energy generation added to the world will be from renewable resources. Although we are on the right path, fossil fuels have yet to decrease their investment compared to renewable resources. Lastly would be moral peer pressure. This, by far, can move us in the right direction. With peremptory leaders and the proper education, we can expect those in private organizations to accommodate eco-friendly practices. Within the car business, the Toyota Prius sold millions of units because of the proud conception of doing the right thing. By accomplishing those listed we can expect for our economy to be a level state. Depending on how quickly they get accomplished will determine the detrimental effects to our ecosystem.
“We are running the most dangerous experiment in history right now, which is to see how much carbon dioxide the atmosphere can handle before there is an environmental catastrophe."
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla & SpaceX
In my research on environmental science and policy, I have seen how this shapes every aspect of our lives. I am not naive about it being fixed with few influential politicians and a tax deal. To make a change, we need to be realistic in understanding the revolution in international financial policy and humanity’s relationship to nature, as well as ending the toxic corruption that capitalism has set. With this comes the foundation for individualism, greed, and consumption. None of that is acceptable in a developed nation with responsibility for the human race and future.