The Green New Deal is not a new idea.
The phrase was coined by columnist Tom Friedman, in 2007, after “hottest years ever.”
It has been news because Alexandria Ocasio Cortez championed a GND as part of a clarion call for focus on the effects of climate change globally, laying out goals to address them.
But you don’t have to like Cortez to support those goals. You do, though, have to recognize that this monumental crisis exists.
Deniers need to see on TV melting ice in Greenland, the Andes, the Tetons with their own eyes -- the symptoms of looming calamity. Hundreds of billions dollars are already lost annually. Loss of life is harder to pinpoint, but floods, fires and heat wave deaths are calculable.
Deniers say implementation of any goals is too expensive, something that might give pause if their families suffered. They also say that unless China and India do likewise, the USA will lose economically, but a stronger argument is that if the biggest polluting nation acts, why shouldn’t they? Perhaps, if we begin, others will follow.
So what will it cost? Over 10 years, tens of trillions. (But think about the ongoing trillions of costs of the Bush/Trump tax cuts, which benefit the rich.)
Investments in wind, solar and geothermal will save consumers money and create jobs. Upgrading existing buildings, and helping farmers to purchase low- emission equipment are not revolutionary ideas. Significant progress could easily be made over 10 years.
The GND is ambitious and expensive. Its implementation requires political will. The cost of inaction, however, is too horrible to contemplate.