The Green New Deal

The Green New Deal

By Karen Perkins

The Green New Deal gets its name from the New Deal programs of the 1930s.  President Franklin Roosevelt initiated a series of programs and policies to reverse the economic devastation of the Great Depression. The “New Deal” programs stabilized the economy. Further, it brought an end to the severe depression and suffering of unemployed Americans.

Roosevelt’s New Deal Addressed A National Crisis
The Green New Deal
A quarter of US workers were out of work during the Great Depression

Such programs as Social Security, unemployment insurance, the minimum wage and many others, led to the growth of a thriving middle class. One of its key programs was the creation of 15 million government jobs enabling families to keep paying their mortgages and pay their bills. It also saved many from a loss of self-esteem often created from languishing idle while taking a government handout. Just as importantly, it also retrained workers to do all kinds of important contributive work, ranging from such important infrastructure projects as building the Hoover Dam to control the Colorado River, to building the National Parks we now enjoy.

Fast forward to today. We certainly have a lot of unemployed Americans.

The Covid-19 Pandemic Created A New National Crisis

In fact, at the height of the Depression the unemployment rate was 24.9%. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell recently estimated the rate today could get as high as 25%. What can be done to save the suffering of so many workers? Could they be employed to do things that would not only help with the coronavirus crisis we are in, like contact tracing positive test results, but things that would also lessen, even reverse, the catastrophic future of the climate crisis? Scientists tell us we have a limited window of opportunity. We are witnessing more and more dire results from cataclysmic hurricanes, fires and floods.

Unemployed people could “build the infrastructure needed to sustainably meet the challenges of the 21st century.”

The Green New Deal Proactively Addresses the New Crisis and Climate Change
The Green New Deal
New infrastructure is needed to combat climate change

Workers could “dramatically expand and upgrade renewable power sources.”  Such a program could deploy “new capacity, build or upgrade to energy efficient, distributed and ‘smart’ power grids and ensure affordable access to electricity.”   Other workers “could upgrade all existing buildings in the United States and build new buildings to achieve maximum energy efficiency, rate efficiency, safety, affordability, comfort and durability including through electrification.”

Workers in rural areas could “work collaboratively with farmers and ranchers to remove pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector as much as is technologically feasible.”  Agricultural programs would support family farming and invest in “sustainable farming and land use practices that increase soil health and build a more sustainable food system that ensures universal access to healthy food.”  Another program could overhaul the transportation systems – it goes on and on.

The Green New Deal identifies these, and many more, ideas in its 14 pages. It is House Resolution 109 and Senate Resolution 59. The House of Representatives passed Res. 109. The Senate, however, voted against Res. 59. It’s easy-to-read. It also explains the need for the Green New Deal. Furthermore, it lists all the ways we can save the human race and all life species to live on a planet with far less environmental, economic and social injustices. With a mobilization like that of the 1930s, it is imperative that we begin right now.  The Sierra Club is one of many organizations with information about the Green New Deal.

Courtesy of the Rossmoor News, May 27, 2020.  Email Karen Perkins at kper@sbcglobal.net

2 thoughts on “The Green New Deal”

  1. I was enjoying this article right up until the end, when, out of all of the wonderful organizations out there fighting for the life of our planet, author Karen Perkins cites the Sierra Club as a source of more information. The Sierra Club was founded by John Muir, an extreme racist and supporter of the eradication of POC through eugenics. One of his closest friends was Henry Fairfield Osborn, founder of the American Eugenics Society. Both he and Muir wanted nothing more than to wipe out Native Americans who in his words “had no right place in the landscape”.

    Karen Perkins should be ashamed of her/him/them-selves and should offer a public apology for her/his/they’s careless violence toward POC. I sincerely hope that Karen will do so, and help be part of the solution to solving systemic racism and genocide of POC.

    Thank you,
    Jane Cobidi
    cobidi1812@synevde.com

    1. Full disclosure: The author, Karen Perkins, was not responsible for the reference to the Sierra Club. The reference was added by the blog editor, in an effort to offer readers an additional source of information about the Green New Deal. I regret the commenter found the reference offensive.

      The Sierra Club reference was certainly not intended to detract from the author’s message. It was meant to be helpful. I’m sorry it got in the way of anyone’s enjoyment of the article. Since the Sierra Club reference was mine, I also apologize for causing any “careless violence” toward people of color (POC).

      In the interests of full disclosure, I think it should be pointed out the Sierra Club publicly announced its intention to “take down some of our own monuments, starting with some truth-telling about the Sierra Club’s early history” in July. Its acknowledgement was noted in a Washington Post article on July 22, 2020, a month before Ms. Cobidi’s comment here.

      View the Washington Post’s article at:
      https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2020/07/22/liberal-progressive-racist-sierra-club-faces-its-white-supremacist-history/

      It’s okay to criticize when criticism is warranted. I think we (the collective “we”) have a duty to look at ourselves when criticized and determine whether the criticism is warranted. If it is warranted, we have an obligation to correct that which was criticized. Then a corollary is also true: when there is a change in behavior, a clarification of fact or a reappraisal, we also need to give credit where credit is due.

      Paul Moderacki

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