The Green New Deal

Valeriana Fries, Reporter

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“Global warming isn’t real” this has been said year after year, but this issue goes deeper than just weather, our eyes can see the results of human actions plain and clear in our oceans with plastics covering the surface so densely that you can’t tell that an ocean is beneath it. As well as plastics floating through the currents suffocating and depriving marine life from well, life. And of course the statistics have been speaking in a shout for years now. But what would happen if we actually listened? More importantly what changes would be made if this proposal passes in 2020.

 

The Green New Deal is a proposal with a dual purpose, the first to tackle inequality and climate change, and also mobilize vast resources to help transition from an economy built on exploitation and fossil fuels to one driven by dignified work and clean energy. Behind the scenes the pockets of corporate polluters are padded in millions while our minorities, and lower class are left exposed to toxic pollution, dead end jobs, and stagnant wages. These injustices are further illuminated as communities are hit harder each time with storms, droughts, and flooding because of huge corporate actions.

 

If this proposal is passed there would be changes such as lower energy bills for working class families, and access to other energy alternatives, climate sanity by making the switch to renewable clean energy, as well as many other things. And policies such as infrastructure renewal which would upgrade neglected roads, bridges, water systems to build cleaner and more affordable and resilient systems that would support many generations to come. Another policy such as buy clean would ensure that government purchases from tax dollars for goods like paper for offices, steel for bridges etc. would help fuel the transition to clean energy.

 

NASA has been collecting data and they’ve found some eye opening information, now would be a time to sit in a hard backed chair. Our planet’s average surface temperature has risen 1.62 degrees fahrenheit since the late 19th century due to increased carbon dioxide and other human made emissions, oceans have absorbed so much of this increased heart warming more than 0.4 degrees fahrenheit. With the rise of heat the largest ice sheets in the world being Greenland and Antarctic have decreased in mass through 1993-2016 alone.

 

Greenland lost on average 286 billion tons of ice per year, and 127 billion tons of ice in the Antarctic, in the last decade ice mass loss has tripled. Along with this sea levels have begun to rise and is now eight inches in the last century and the rate in the last two decades has nearly double of the last century and is accelerating slightly every year. Yes, I understand that this may not seem like a big deal, and you may even feel indifferent because this doesn’t affect you yet, or you might not catch the brunt of your added contribution to the problem rather than the solution. However, this can’t be ignored for long it needs to be addressed before it might be too late.

 

We are beginning to experience the same fate with our own lands slowly becoming part of the ocean, yet this still doesn’t grasp our attention that with land receding there will soon be nowhere to go. Over 10,000 and 100,000 species are becoming extinct each year has been found by the World Wildlife Fund as humans have damaged habitats and took them over as our own, leaving many species to retreat back to whatever’s left of their homes. Even poaching animals for greed, leaving many species near extinction that may not be irreversible.

But how many people are informed about these statistics and are they aware of what’s happening around them? When asking students from Clackamas high school what they already knew about global warming Joshua Moore said “I know that it is caused by various reasons. One of them being carbon emissions from driving cars and factories. This pollution increases the temperature, which then contributes to melting the ice at both sides of the poles. That ice helps reflect solar radiation, as it melts, it reflects less, meaning that the earth continues to heat up.”

 

Alli Driscoll says, “I know that the planet is warming up due to CO2 emissions. It has warmed up about 1 degree Celsius, which has a really bad impact on the environment: climate, ecosystems, etc.” It seems that our younger generations are brightly informed, overflowing and dripping with knowledge and potential to change the world we live in. We see record breaking temperatures and disasters throughout the world, but now it’s become the norm, something to slide under the rug, even if you truly believe it’s non existent or straight fable wouldn’t it still be worthwhile to take precautions in order to prevent irreversible effects to our Earth?

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