The Trouble with the ‘Green New Deal’

“The Trouble with the ‘Green New Deal’. As Democrats rally around a fresh-sounding idea, some as looking back to Obama’s $90 billion climate package–and its disastrous political blowback.”

by Michael Grunwald, POLITICO, January 15, 2019

It’s hard to recall a Washington idea that has rocketed to prominence as quickly as the Green New Deal, rookie Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s radical proposal to decarbonize the American economy. House Democratic leaders have created a new select committee on climate change to pursue a Green New Deal. Democratic candidates for president are racing to endorse a Green New Deal. The details are still up in the air, but a massive climate investment is suddenly emerging as tentpole of Democratic politics.
Although the idea sounds as radical and new as Ocasio-Cortez herself, it’s been done once before, and just a decade ago: President Barack Obama signed a prototype Green New Deal into law in February 2009, pouring an unprecedented $90 billion into clean electricity, renewable fuels, advanced batteries, energy efficiency, a smarter grid, and a slew of other green initiatives.

The Trouble with the ‘Green New Deal’
Michael Grunwald, POLITICO, January 15, 2019

As the Green New Deal begins to get more attention, caution and opposition is springing up in many different places. Today’s article in POLITICO is an interesting discussion of similar ideas that were part of the $800 billion Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the economic stimulus plan to address the 2008 financial crisis. Nearly 800,000 jobs were being lost monthly. The stimulus passed in the House without a single Republican vote. In the Senate, the support of three Republicans meant their concerns had to be met to get their votes.

The stimulus was an unprecedented act of deficit spending, which the Republicans vigorously complained about and turned the initial public support negative.

But Stephen O’Hanlon, spokesman for the youth-oriented Sunrise Movement that has pressured Democratic leaders to make climate action a top priority, says the experience of the stimulus offers some bracing political lessons to Green New Deal supporters: that they won’t be able to take Democrats for granted no matter how many jobs the policy produces, and that Republicans might be a lost cause entirely.

The Trouble with the ‘Green New Deal’
Michael Grunwald, POLITICO, January 15, 2019

“A big part of politics is storytelling, and we didn’t tell our story very well,” says Cathy Zoi, a former assistant energy secretary under Obama. “Our investments really catalyzed market transformation, but that message didn’t get out.”

The Trouble with the ‘Green New Deal’
Michael Grunwald, POLITICO, January 15, 2019

Storytelling is one of the 11 principles of the Sunrise Movement:

We tell our stories and we honor each other’s stories. We all have something to lose to climate change, and something to gain in coming together. We tell our individual stories to connect with each other and understand the many different ways this crisis impacts us.

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3 Responses to The Trouble with the ‘Green New Deal’

  1. treegestalt says:

    Several people lately have been writing about various forms of Green New Deal, and the risk of settling for some inadequate compromise. This, for example: https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/01/17/could-green-new-deal-save-civilization?

  2. Forrest Curo says:

    There are a couple videos of it on common dreams

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