I've been a fan of soon-to-be-seated Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez since she rose to regional, then national prominence. I am ecstatic about her call for a Green New Deal during a town hall meeting last night. Coverage of this plan for a grand plan to combat global warming on a scale equal to the Apollo Project or the Marshall Plan has been mixed- the Guardian stresses that she did not discuss how this would be achieved, ignoring the fact that the plan will employ thousands of scientists and engineers who will do the 'heavy lifting' regarding the technological innovations that will have to be implemented. There's no single approach, no magic bullet, but there are hundreds of magic shotgun pellets- renewable solutions will have to be tailored to local conditions: wind, solar, hydroelectric and tidal, biomass/biofuels, perhaps the Wheel of Pain, as conservatives would think. Improved, efficient appliances would also be part of a Green New Deal. The installation of solar panels and the manufacture of wind turbines and green machines would create countless jobs.
The number reported for the cost of this program, thrown out by a nameless analyst, is two trillion dollars over the course of a decade. While this sounds expensive, the Iraq War cost over one trillion dollars in direct costs, with over half a million Iraqis killed, 4,491 US service members killed, and tens of thousands maimed and injured. While war profiteers like Dick Cheney and Erik Prince made billions of dollars with no-bid, cost-plus contracts, no real lasting jobs have resulted from this war.
Two trillion dollars is a small price to pay for clean energy, a chance to mitigate global warming, and to create a long-term jobs program (giving preference to veterans of the Iraq War in hiring would be a nice gesture, especially in light of the VA's disastrous handling of the GI Bill). Given the ongoing costs of climate change and increasingly deadly weather events, two trillion would be a bargain.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who will be the youngest Congressional representative ever, is going to have to live in the future that assholes like James Inhofe and Louie Gohmert will be leaving her. She's idealistic, passionate, and tough as hell... just the sort of representative we need if a sustainable future is to be built.