MSU political orgs debate merits of Green New Deal
As global climate change gains steam on the national agenda, the MSU political community is buzzing about the Green New Deal proposed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York, and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts.
The resolution calls for initiatives such as energy efficient buildings, zero-emission vehicles and working with farmers to move towards more sustainable agricultural practices. It was drafted in response to a Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, which warned of a 12-year timeframe before the global climate effects become irreversable.
The MSU College Democrats and James Madison College Conservatives held a Tacos and Talk discussion around the proposed resolution on Feb. 19.
The discussion began with both respective organizations sharing a sense of appreciation for coming out. The Democrats and conservatives came to an agreement on the role climate change is playing globally, but differed on their approach to solutions.
College Democrats president Carter Oselett said he believed the Green New Deal is a needed step toward protecting and preserving the environment.
"It addresses many aspects of the climate change conversation," he said. "It addresses jobs for workers who might go unemployed in energy sectors, ... climate justice and prioritizes mainly lower to working class communities that have been polluted or taken advantaged of by bigger companies."
While not necessarily against the concept of the Green New Deal, Adam Green, founder and president of the College Conservatives, didn't agree with the way Ocasio-Cortez and Markey's plan approached the issue.
"I think some of the proposals — in due time — are achievable," he said. "The proposal is drastic and quick where it may not be able to effectively, as much as they think it could, change industries, the economy and the world in general."
Green said the proposal doesn't take into consideration the economic effects of such a drastic shift toward sustainability.
"How effectively can we implement these policies without eliminating so many millions of jobs and putting people out of work?" Green said. "Where we differ with the College Democrats tonight is that ... we see industries like the coal, natural gas and oil as thriving and necessary for our American economy to continue to sustain itself."
As the discussion came to a close, the two organizations shared an appreciation for those who showed up and contributed to the discussion.
"I think there's an ability for us to come together," Green said. "We may misalign on how to solve these problems, but I think we all do have this passion for wanting to solve these problems."