The New Green Deal is the right approach

What will tomorrow bring for those who inherit our planet?

The Millennials and Gen Z, those in their teens to 40 — going to school, working, having children, and planning their futures, do not believe that those in power, particularly the current administration, have any concerns for their futures and the world they will inhabit.

The climate crisis promises severe weather, affecting food production, infrastructure and global stability. They have to contend with gross and increasing economic disparities, declining life expectancy due to environmental degradation, lack of health care and diminishing resources.

In response, the youth are taking matters into their own hands by creating and mobilizing the Sunrise Movement with the Green New Deal. The Green New Deal (GND) is an innovative and comprehensive approach to addressing our climate crisis, economic inequality, the dilapidation of our public infrastructure, the control of our economy by fossil fuel oligarchs and possibilities for a better life.

Given the systemic connection between many issues we face today, we need systemic solutions that are as bold and all-encompassing as the GND. In the words of 16-year-old climate activist Grete Thunberg from Sweden, speaking before the United Nations, “Until you start focusing on what needs to be done, rather than what is politically possible, there is no hope. We cannot solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis. We already have all the facts and solutions. All we have to do is to wake up and change.”

On Feb. 6, U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and U.S. Sen. Edward Markey introduced the Green New Deal Resolution in the House of Representatives. It lays out the goals and the broad principles a plan of action should follow.

Over 640 groups nationwide, including progressive unions, indigenous groups, organizations for social justice and environmental groups such as Greenpeace, Food and Water Watch, 350.org and Center for Biological Diversity participated in outlining what climate legislation should look like. It is a plan to create a plan, to be discussed and worked out — not a binding agreement, but a resolution for action.

The GND takes from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s 1933 New Deal that laid the groundwork for the fight for economic freedom in the U.S. during the time of the Great Depression. The federal government mobilized and was able to create the greatest middle class the U.S. has ever seen. At that time, in reaction to Roosevelt’s New Deal, big business and other moneyed interests hunkered down and made “socialism” a dirty word, a calculated technique of fear-mongering that is being perpetuated again.

The GND presents a historic opportunity to create millions of good, high-wage jobs, to provide unprecedented levels of prosperity and economic security for all people of the United States.

The goals outlined in the GND include:

• Net-zero greenhouse gas emissions;

• Create millions of good, living-wage jobs;

• Invest in infrastructure to meet the challenges of the 21st century;

• Clean air and water, climate and community resilience, health care for all, access to nature, and a sustainable environment;

• Promote justice and equity particularly in marginalized and indigenous communities.

Fourteen projects to accomplish the above goals through a 10-year national mobilization are outlined in the resolution. To read the resolution in full go to https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-resolution/109/text

It is estimated that a failure to respond to climate disruption will result in more than $500 billion in lost annual economic output in the U.S. by the year 2100. And there will be a trillion-dollar loss of public infrastructure and coastal real estate, not to mention mass migrations from regions most affected by climate disruption and the huge impact on the quality of life.

We are the richest nation in history, but resources are being hoarded by the top .01 percent. Polluters are externalizing their costs, our military budget is larger than the combined spending of the next top 10 spenders. U.S. spends over $643 billion a year on military (and growing). Russia spends $63 billion.

Ten years ago excellent legislation to address the climate crisis, the Waxman-Markey Bill, was introduced. It never made it to the Senate floor despite Obama in the White House and a pro-environment Democratic House and Senate. What it lacked was a social movement. Research shows that no campaigns fail once they have the active and sustained participation of just 3.5 percent of the population. It is we, the people, who provide the momentum for movement and change.

The GND is setting the stage for the 2020 elections. It is revealing that most of the 2020 presidential candidates have co-sponsored the GND resolution and resolved not to accept fossil-fuel money. Unfortunately, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has not done so yet.

U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono is the only Hawaii congress person who has boldly co-sponsored the resolution so far. U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz has said he endorses but has not co-sponsored. He has requested Majority Leader Mitch McConnell schedule a full day of floor debate on the GND before a vote is taken. U.S. Rep. Ed Case has had committee meetings on climate change but has been timid about committing to the GND. An unprecedented 79 congressional members have co-sponsored the resolution as of this week.

Who is opposing the GND? Follow the money. The fossil-fuel industry is a huge contributor to political campaigns. Big money is already posting misleading ads regarding the GND. Climate deniers like U.S. Sen. John Barrasso from Wyoming, chair of the Committee on Environment and Public Works, are saying untruthful, uneducated things, like “ice cream, cheeseburgers will be a thing of the past because under the GND livestock will be banned.”

The resolution DOES call on the federal government to make investments in policies and projects that would eventually change the way we design buildings, travel and eat.

The younger generation is rising to meet the challenge of our climate crisis, and the opportunity to build a more just and equitable world.

Their message to our political leadership is “step up or step aside.” The work ahead is assuring that the GND is not appropriated, watered down, or otherwise compromised. It must be bold and capable of addressing systemic crisis at a deep level, guaranteeing environmental, economic and social justice for all.

To quote Grete Thunberg again, speaking to world leaders, “I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day, and then I want you to act.”

•••

Laurel Brier is a resident of Anahola.

19 Comments
  1. Freedom March 8, 2019 4:52 am Reply

    Freedom, prosperity, capitalism, and technological innovation solve all problems. Why abandon the system that created Tesla, Apple, Amazon, Google, and so many other great AMERICAN innovative companies? Inefficiencies like wasting time at a gas pump will be eliminated becuase of consumer demand, hence Tesla. The GND asks us to abandon this great experiment we call America and hand over complete control to extreme leftist talking heads in DC. My only hope is that your bike gets a flat tire on election day.


  2. RG DeSoto March 8, 2019 8:15 am Reply

    Laurel is just another person with an absolutely dreadful grasp, ignorance driven disdain, of economics and liberty…and the link between the two. The world of the “green new deal” is one of coercion and state threat of violence making people do things and live in ways they would not otherwise choose. These creepy people have no respect for your life, liberty or property and see it as something to expropriate as a means to THEIR ends. They are the pawns of totalitarians.
    Ms. Brier labors under the delusion that man has some huge impact and role to play in the cosmology and geologic processes of the earth and universe. What utter conceit to think that we play an important role in driving climate. These delusions lead her and her ilk to advocate for a system-socialism-that is entirely antithetical to freedom and individual liberty . What rank hypocrisy that she, and others like her, will fight tooth and nail over “a woman’s right to choose” (you know-kill an unborn or even live-born being) yet blithely advocate for the destruction of everyone else’s freedom to choose how they live, work, decide which doctor to visit, etc. etc.
    If you want to live in a world where you are subjected to the will of people like Brier…then by all means support the “green new deal” and enjoy life in a totalitarian state where mediocrity is the state of being and other people think and decide for you. And, by all means “act out of fear and panic” that will always produce the best results…right Laurel?
    RG DeSoto


    1. Pete Antonson March 8, 2019 12:29 pm Reply

      As of 2019, 97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree*: Climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities. In addition, nearly all of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position.
      To deny this consensus is the very definition of “ignorance driven disdain,” “utter conceit,” “and “delusion!”


      1. RG DeSoto March 10, 2019 11:23 am Reply

        Pete:
        You must know that all of the so-called consensus is based upon the output of computer models—actually 31 of them. As you must also know, these models are easily manipulated by the underlying assumptions, data and parameters of their creators. 30 of the 31 show substantial warming and only 1 does not. The assumptions are obviously wrong or have been purposefully manipulated to produce a desired outcome. You might look into the University of East Anglia “scientist’s” cherry picking data to “prove” the so called hockey stick theory of global warming.

        The truth is, Pete, the none of the 30 models produce outcomes anywhere near to what the OBSERVED data is. Only one of the models shows results that closely match the fact (data) that there has been no substantial warming…period.
        You must also know Pete, that the hallmark of the scientific method is that the theory that is predicting or hypothesizing certain outcomes must predict or show outcomes that MATCH THE OBSERVED DATA.
        Finally, even if the models were accurate they certainly cannot prove that there is a causal relationship between man’s activities and the changing climate. The climate has been in flux for billions of years…it’s been way warmer and vastly colder over the millennia mostly when man was living in primitive, non-industrial conditions.
        Get a grip, man.
        RG DeSoto


        1. Pete Antonson March 12, 2019 5:29 pm Reply

          You really don’t know the slightest, not even the slightest idea about what you are talking about here. As a counter you pick a short, poorly written whatever by the cherry picking champions of the world posted by an anonymous blogger in 2014.
          YOU ARE INSULTING OUR INTELLIGENCE!


  3. Terry Hlivko March 8, 2019 12:07 pm Reply

    I have enjoyed vacationing in Hawaii, like many people who live on the Mainland, over the years. With the Green New Deal and the elimination of fossil fuels, does Hawaiian Airlines now have an electric passenger plane for me to enjoy future vacations? If there is such a threat to the our environment, that all the oceanfront property owned in Hawaii will become worthless when it is under water, right? Have you noticed a fire sale on all this oceanfront property in Hawaii? Have all the billionaires unloaded their Hawaiian estates yet?
    I think that it is time for a reality check people. Aloha.


  4. Rev Dr. Malama March 8, 2019 1:12 pm Reply

    Let’s not forget that the Green Party is a PEACE Party of intelligent people such as Dr. Jill Stein and Ralph Nader before her who have already set the wheels in motion for a 3rd party alternative to corporate America ruling the masses…. on Kauai we have multiple CRISIS’ AS WELL with reports weekly of TOXINS on school grounds from the residue that the ag corps left behind, bridges and roads and sewers all falling apart, Landfill beyond capacity and every stream and beach polluted with harmful chemicals and bacteria!
    Suicide on the rapid rise due to lack of education and opportunity for our local people who succumb to drug abuse and alcoholic addiction…
    Green Party Global addresses these issues with putting land back in Native hands for farming and alternative energy employment so our children can not have to join the U.S. military industrial complex to find employment and training…


    1. Freedom March 10, 2019 7:48 am Reply

      Hawaii has a lot of problems and we can only blame the elected leaders who got us here. What party has dominated county, state, and federal elections in Hawaii for the past 70+ years? …..Democrats. Lets now follow their lead on a National scale and destroy the other 49 states. Why would we keep electing members of this left leaning party to lead. They get votes because they keep people uneducated and reliant on their “sympathetic” handouts. We need leaders with fiscal responsibility and commitment to outcomes. I watched Tupola completely destroy Ige in debates. He wasnt even piecing together complete thoughts or sentences, yet he wins easily. The Democrats are failing us in city councils, mayoral offices, the governor office, and in state and federal offices. They have no goals, no ideas , no plans, and voters do not hold them accountable becuase the party knows it will win every time here in the deep blue political cesspool of Hawaii.


  5. Jake March 8, 2019 3:41 pm Reply

    For the love of God….

    China, India, and Russia throw out 10 times more pollution than the USA. I really think you need to, um, like, maybe, get the planet on the same page.

    I like the “pandering” though….


  6. commonsense March 8, 2019 4:11 pm Reply

    In regards to this article and many others discussing problems of pollution, homelessness, poverty, climate change, etc., the one underlying problem for all of these issues is that there are far too many people on this planet. There is no reason for anyone to have four, five or six children. Over crowding and continued population growth are the real issue that no one seems to address and agree on.


  7. Bob T March 9, 2019 7:11 am Reply

    AOC proposes elimination of all air travel. If she is successful in doing so, do you expect tourism to still pay Hawaii’s bills?


    1. behappy March 10, 2019 2:27 pm Reply

      So true. An interesting note on this article is that Bernie is now part of the 1percent. Yes he is not a poor senator, he is the 1% due to his wealth that this article is against. HAHAHA


  8. tooindependent March 9, 2019 11:46 am Reply

    one thing is for sure…. if Mrs. brier continues to wear a rag over her face on her daily bike ride to work instead of purchasing an OSHA approved pollutant mask for the proper use, her days as a professing “new green deal” socialist will be numbered.


  9. rk669 March 9, 2019 6:34 pm Reply

    The Blind Leading the Blind? Return of the Pied Piper,kinda like the community organizer and his pitch of Hopeless Chump Change! Economy firing on all 8 Cylinders! Thanks to Trump!


    1. Pete Antonson March 14, 2019 3:04 pm Reply

      Take another look. Only about two cylinders haven’t slowed.


  10. Frank Kelly March 10, 2019 9:38 am Reply

    “I know that it is the Socialist idea that making profits is a vice, and that making large profits is something of which a man ought to be ashamed. I hold the other view. I consider that the real vice is making losses.”
    Winston Churchill


  11. behappy March 10, 2019 2:22 pm Reply

    AOC is a dreamer, living in an ideal world where everyone loves everyone and there are no boundaries or enemies. Unfortunately being an idealist has no place in reality. Ideas like no airplanes, no cows, destroy all old buildings and build new are just dreams of someone who is not facing the real issues we have before us. Being a socialist has a long history of not working. I fear for those who truly believe and follow her misguided and ignorant concepts. Yes we have global issues that can only be corrected if the entire world choses to change. The US is a violator and our correction will only make a tiny dent in the problem.


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