Green New Deal: Earth Justice Ministries supports the spirit of a Green New Deal, made famous by the youth-led Sunrise Movement. Now, during this time of Covid 19 and economic downturn, is the time to lay the foundation for a stimulus package along the lines of the original New Deal, which helped stimulate the economy and get us out of the Great Depression. The original New Deal included a federal jobs program. It was during that time that many of the social programs that we take for granted got started (Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance). The programs of the original New Deal were started to help strengthen the economy while raising people up and making sure people had opportunities for a good life.
The original New Deal wasn’t all good. For one thing, it discriminated against people of color. That is why it is so important for us to prioritize principles of a just transition in a Green New Deal and inject stimulus money into the real economy where people live and work and eat. That way we’re not waiting for the money to trickle down to those who really need it, we’re putting it to use and getting it into circulation among the people who need it right now. That would be one of the effects of a Green New Deal.
Furthermore, popular policies are designed to work within the current system; they don’t acknowledge the limits of this system and won’t be able to meet the goals that scientists say we must meet to prevent climate chaos. Piecemeal policies won’t enable us to meet the deadlines that scientists are telling us we need to meet. A Green New Deal, on the other hand, would be based on the science, which would provide a foundation for lawmakers to create policies, programs, and funding to move the country forward toward the only goal that makes any sense, a goal that is based on science: limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. We need to base climate policy decisions on the science, or real-life consequences will come back to haunt us. A Green New Deal would enable us to step back from ecological, social, and economic collapse, and to move toward a just and regenerative future. One concept of a Green New Deal is embodied in House Resolution 109, introduced by Representative Alexandria Octavio Cortez and Senator Ed Markey.