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< Back to question What should we do about climate change? Show more Show less

We are in a climate crisis. People and natural systems around the world are feeling the impacts of a warming globe, from more intense heat waves, more intense storms, heavier rainfall, melting sea ice and retreating glaciers, etc, etc. No part of our world is left untouched, and the current rate of warming suggests things will only get worse. So what can we do to mitigate global warming? What would be most effective? Can we stop and repair the damage to the climate that has been done?

We must take immediate and radical action to address climate change Show more Show less

The consequences of not acting on the climate emergency are too great. We have the technology today needed to tackle this issue and need to move towards a carbon neutral and green energy world.
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We need a Green New Deal

Individual action is not enough. The type of transition in our global and national economies and infrastructure will require a mobilization of resources on the scale of WWII. We need governments to make huge investments in this future.
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Proponents


Context

The UN climate report shows that worsening climate change could result in rising sea levels, increased food insecurity, greater occurrence of extreme weather events, and damaged marine habitats from an increase in ocean temperatures.[1] To combat these, a Green New Deal would first and foremost reduce carbon emissions in order to avoid some of the worst consequences of global warming. However, these proposals also include a social component in order to address the needs of those historically hurt by environmental problems as well as those currently employed in industries relying on coal and oil that may need assistance transitioning to green jobs. The phrase "Green New Deal" alludes to President Roosevelt's New Deal programs, though some Green New Deal proposals are also inspired by the industrial revolution.[2]

The Argument

Climate change is a grievous problem, which will eventually launch our planet into a crisis if action is not taken. The Green New Deal is the best way to combat this problem because it is the only proposed solution that details how we must rework our economy and society. Individual action is not enough to solve global warming. Humans did not necessarily cause this problem, but we must intervene on a global scale to solve it. There are many variations of The Green New Deal, but the largest divide exists between the UK and US proposals. Although they both focus on reaching net-zero emissions and include provisions to transition workers to new clean energy jobs, these plans hold significant differences. [2]The American plan emphasizes universal healthcare, rectifying the ethnic wealth gap, and investing in energy-efficient infrastructure.[2] The British version focuses on creating a fund from a tax on oil and gas profits as well as shifting away from systems that support and contribute to extreme wealth.[2] Critics of a Green New Deal state that it would be too expensive. However, this is simply a straw man argument, because it would save money in the long run. It will certainly cost money to make changes like converting completely to clean, renewable energy, but studies show that these efforts would generate benefits and save taxpayers and consumers money as well.[3] Currently, The Green New Deal is our best step toward reducing the catastrophic effects of climate change. For this reason, it is one our global community must take.

Counter arguments

Some argue, including activist Greta Thunberg, that the Green New Deal will not work because it is characterized as a liberal issue, thus alienating and inviting opposition from those who do not identify themselves as democrats.[4]

Premises

Rejecting the premises


Further Reading

More on the US Green New Deal: cnn.com/2019/02/14/politics/green-new-deal-proposal-breakdown/index.html More on the UK Green New Deal: https://jacobinmag.com/2019/11/labour-party-green-new-deal-manifesto-environment-climate-change More on Green New Deal (general): https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/dec/19/case-green-new-deal-ann-pettifor-on-fire-naomi-klein-review

References

  1. https://library.wmo.int/doc_num.php?explnum_id=10211
  2. https://carbontracker.org/the-urgent-case-for-a-green-new-deal/
  3. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/21/climate/green-new-deal-questions-answers.html
  4. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2019/09/22/no-one-seemed-to-notice-greta-thunbergs-critique-of-the-green-new-deal/#b26825838dae

This page was last edited on Thursday, 10 Sep 2020 at 18:40 UTC