We have less than a dozen years to reverse our emissions trends, or else face irrevocable damage from climate change, according to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The clock is ticking. The bomb has been activated, and it’s up to us to defuse it.
Leading the charge is Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), an outspoken advocate for the Green New Deal resolution (which, by the way, was blocked by the Senate on March 26 after Mitch McConnell forced a vote without any hearings on the legislation). On Tuesday, Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) introduced an amendment to a bill on homelessness during the Financial Services Committee meeting that would require the legislation to meet green standards. This was his attempt to point out the elitist nature of climate change advocacy. He called the Green New Deal something that would appeal only to a “rich liberal,” as CNN reports.
AOC wasn’t having any of that. Watch her takedown of Duffy’s comments below.
She took down Duffy’s incredibly near-sighted stance in a fiery speech that should definitely be watched in full, but we’ve highlighted key sections here:
This is not an elitist issue; this is a quality of life issue. You want to tell people that their concern and their desire for clean air and clean water is elitist? Tell that to the kids in the south Bronx, which are suffering from the highest rates of childhood asthma in the country. Tell that to the families in Flint, whose kids have their blood is ascending [sic] in lead levels. Their brains are damaged for the rest of their lives.
Ocasio-Cortez characterized climate change as a “national crisis” on par with World War II and the Great Depression. And for all those asking, “Well, where will we get the money to address our changing environment?”—AOC notes that we will be footing the bill no matter what:
We talk about cost—we’re going to pay for this whether we pass a Green New Deal or not. Because as towns and cities go underwater, as wildfires ravage our communities, we are going to pay. And we are either going to decide if we’re going to pay to react, or pay to be proactive.
“This is serious. This should not be a partisan issue,” she stated. “This is about our constituents and all of our lives.”
She’s right. Republican, Democrat, Independent or whatever the hell, we will all have to reckon with the consequences of climate change.