In the 1978 Superman movie, Lex Luthor brilliantly played with both comic and villainous treachery by Gene Hackman hatches a plan to detonate a nuclear bomb along the San Andreas fault line, causing everything west of the fault line to sink into the Pacific Ocean and increasing the value of the hundreds of acres of currently worthless desert land he owns as it becomes the new West Coast. Today some investors are buying that same worthless desert land as they patiently wait for California, along with a host of other coastal cities becoming new multi-million dollar water reefs as a result of climate change.
Freshman Congressperson from New York Alexandria Ocasio Cortez introduced the ambitious Green New Deal last week, a four part program for moving America quickly out of crisis into a secure, sustainable future. Focusing on the plan’s Green Transition Program, it calls for the elimination of pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture, transportation, manufacturing, and construction by emphasizes massive public investment in wind and solar production, zero-emission vehicles and high-speed rail, energy-efficient buildings, and smart power grids, as well as “working collaboratively” with farmers and ranchers to move towards sustainable agriculture techniques.
Is the plan viable?
Is it cost-effective?
Will it achieve the ambitious goals it sets?
These are all questions open for debate. What is not open for debate is that the Earth is warming. The last several years have seen an increasing number of droughts, intense storms, and floods. Scientists point to climate change as “the biggest global health threat of the 21st century.” Despite these ominous signs from the Earth herself and warnings from the scientific community, do the highest branches of our government seek to debate the Green New Deal? No, instead, they look to spread misinformation about their taking away your car, taking away your airplane flights, you’re not going to be allowed to own cows anymore. It has become the way of politics today to paraphrase Michael Douglas as President Andrew Shepherd in The American President. We have serious problems to solve, and we need serious people to solve them. Whatever your particular problem is, I promise you most politicians are not the least interested in solving it. They are interested in two things, and two things only: making you afraid of it and telling you who’s to blame for it. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you win elections. You gather a middle age group, middle class, and median income voters who remember with longing an easier time. You bring a snowball to the Senate floor and state that we hear the perpetual headline that 2014 has been the warmest year on record, but now the script has flipped because it’s very, very cold outside.
Whether you agree with the Green New Deal or not, it should be a rallying call to get serious about climate change. To reject the climate change deniers, who are more interested in ensuring the profits keep rolling into the gas and oil industries, and looking for ways to slow, reverse or halt climate changes altogether before It is too late