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Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press
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Perhaps not all of its proposed provisions ultimately will probably make it into law, but the so-called “green new deal” is just the kind of thinking the nation needs if it is to successfully grapple with the growing challenge of climate change.
So says Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.), who explains that he had an experience similar to that of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who recently made news for a tense encounter with a group of young people at her office, who were hoping to persuade her to vote for the green new deal.
Promoted by Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and others–including some of those running for the Democratic nomination for president–the green new deal is a collection of clean energy initiatives as well as some economic proposals. Its main goal is to dramatically cut emissions of the greenhouse gasses responsible for global climate change.
Feinstein, however, turned the kids down flat, telling them, “I’ve been doing this for 30 years. I know what I’m doing.”
Yarmuth, newly the chairman of the House Budget Committee, says that he looked at his meeting with young people interested in the green new deal rather differently.
“The way I look at it is there is a growing understanding in the country and particularly among young people that gradualism and incrementalism is not enough to deal with the huge challenges,” Yarmuth says. “Climate change being one. People are thinking big and dramatic. I think that is important.”
By the same token, he concedes “not everything is realistic” with the initiative.
However, “it has really good aspirational initiatives that I think we need to be talking about,” the congressman says.
Yarmuth made his remarks during a recent segment on MSNBC.
Even if the Democratic-controlled House we’re to approve even part of the green new deal, it would not be approved by the current Republican Senate.
Further, Donald Trump has made it clear that he has no interest in tackling climate change, particularly since he has taken steps to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Accords.