Proponents said their plan to commit 5% of EU GDP to climate action and ending austerity was the first step towards radical global cooperation.
alexandria ocasio cortez
Donald Trump’s indifference, punctuated by bursts of mocking disdain, towards climate change has been indulged and even cheered by his supporters. The president has called climate science “bullshit”, donned a coalminer’s helmet at rallies and defenestrated federal rules designed to cut planet-warming emissions.
The Green New Deal borrows its name and ethos from the New Deal – introduced in the 1930s by then US president Franklin D Roosevelt to kickstart an economy crippled by the Great Depression. But are strategies which echo the needs of the 1930s and 1940s – ending the Depression and defeating Nazism – suitable for the rapid transition from fossil fuels that defines our needs in the early 21st century?
The movement comprises a small core team of young organizers, supported by a larger group of several hundred volunteers. The group’s elevation of the Green New Deal has clearly riled Trump, who has falsely but repeatedly claimed that the plan would result in the banning of cars, air travel and even cows.
Labels for people who reject the scientific evidence of climate change have a tortured history. A debate has raged as to whether “climate denier” or “climate skeptic” should be used to describe such people, the latter term aiming to soothe the egos of officials who just aren’t quite sure they can believe basically every scientist.
However, critics insist we should focus instead on overconsumption, and that putting the onus on individuals to address climate change obscures the systematic nature of the crisis. Crucially, they say, it lets the real culprits – fossil fuel corporations and successive global governments’ inaction – off the hook.