What is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s ‘Green New Deal’?

On the 7th of February, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) along with Senator Ed Markey introduced what they’ve called the ‘Green New Deal’. A proposal that’s been called a ‘socialist manifesto’ by one Republican Senator and hailed by certain environmental groups as much needed, but what is it?

As defined by the Green New Deal FAQ, ‘The Green New Deal resolution is a 10-year plan to mobilize every aspect of American society at a scale not seen since World War 2 to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and create economic prosperity for all’.

The proposal outlines a number of, what could considered, unrealistic goals with the most notable being transitioning to a completely renewable energy powered economy in 10 years (eliminating the use of fossil fuels by 100%); building enough rail networks to make air travel unnecessary and obsolete; creating millions of family supporting-wage and union jobs (paid for by the federal government); and retrofitting every building in America.

The proposal also possesses a number of other goals, ideas and methods that despite their good intentions similarly seem fairly unrealistic. The feasibility of this plan has been called into question quite a large number of times and not just because of the unrealistic nature of many of its set goals.

Some of the terminology used is confusing to say the least. The statement ‘Ensure justice and equity for frontline communities…’ has yet to be defined and guaranteeing economic security (most likely in the form of payments, although this isn’t explicitly stated) for those unwilling to work is also extremely controversial and has yet to be plainly clarified.

But, perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of its unfeasibility is the fact that this resolution did not identify exactly where the funding for this incredibly costly proposal would come from.

But, despite the scrupulous nature with which many have analysed and criticised this particular proposal, it does possess a significant number of proponents.

All of the current Democratic party’s presidential frontrunners support the deal, numerous large and influential non-governmental organisations (NGO’s) also support it and even a poll in December of 2018 showed that 40% strongly support and 41% somewhat support the idea of a Green New Deal approach (although, this wasn’t pertaining to AOC’s exact resolution).

The resolution is unlikely to be more than a mere proposal, not just because its non-binding, but also because the Republicans are in control of the Senate, the White House strongly opposes it and many Democrats are split over whether to support it or not, the most notable being Nancy Pelosi who publicly mocked it.

AOC is, what many consider to be, a rising star within the Democratic party that accurately reflects the direction the party’s been heading in for the last 2 decades or so. This direction is, unfortunately, a socialist one and this resolution appears to be, at least to a small degree, a manifestation of that.

More government control, more government reliance and huge amounts of government spending are indications of that, making a certain senators’ comments somewhat accurate.

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