For many of us, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, also known as AOC, is a ray of new hope. She’s a progressive politician, who is very vocal about the plight of the working class and marginalized communities. That is why she is a big proponent of the Green New Deal. But, sometimes the media doesn’t clearly define what the Green New Deal actually is. So, AOC went on the “Patriot Act by Hasan Minhaj’ and explained it to us in great detail.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tells us what the Green New Deal really is
We’ve all been asking questions about the Green New Deal time and time again. So, who better to answer them than Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez herself? On the Patriot Act, Hasan Minhaj asked her this question and she defined it as:
The Green New Deal is a jobs and justice-centered plan to decarbonize the US economy within 10 years.
Moreover, AOC says it is the only resolution in the United States that is certified by the UN’s IPCC report. And according to her:
The Green New Deal focuses on frontline communities and people who will be disproportionately impacted to make sure that we have a just transition.
But of course, these are just big words. The people need to know what the jobs and the justice part of this legislature actually means. So, AOC goes on and explains what the justice element of this resolution is.
What’s the justice element of the Green New Deal? AOC explains
When asked by Hasan Minhaj, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez described the justice element of this deal by explaining how Climate Change affects us disproportionately:
The thing about Climate Change is it doesn’t impact all of us equally… You will see how frontline and marginalized communities – Standing rock is a perfect example. There was a whole fracking pipeline and it was supposed to go through an affluent white suburb, and everyone showed up to their community board meetings, yelled it out, and then they decided to route it through the most marginalized community, which was a native reservation.
And this is one example of how Climate Change and big oil companies target marginalized communities more than white suburbs. The Green New Deal will be aiming to eliminate this effect in America. But, what about the jobs associated with Carbonization? Well, AOC was ready to go into detail about that as well.
AOC goes into detail about the jobs in the Deal
As it turns out, the Green New Deal will not be the end of millions of energy-related jobs. It will in fact create “millions of high wage jobs,” says Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She said:
It acknowledges where good jobs come from, which are unions and labor unions. And the way that we can really insure and guarantee good jobs, high wages, great healthcare is with a revitalized labor movement that’s also committed to saving our planet.
And to do that, AOC admitted in front of Hasan Minhaj that all stakeholders must be brought to the table:
So, it’s really in working with everyone from frontline communities, native leaders, and environmental leaders, union leaders – all of these folks need to come to the table.
And as expected, “fossil fuel lobbyists and corporate executives” are not on the table, according to AOC. But, that doesn’t mean the Green New Deal doesn’t focus on those from the oil and non-renewable energy sectors who could lose jobs because of decarbonization.
What about the jobs that will be lost from the Oil and Energy sector?
Of course, AOC was thorough in her research and understood how difficult it is for workers from the oil and energy sector to accept the Green New Deal. That is why it takes into consideration special policies to help those workers. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez explains:
We actually pay special attention to fossil fuel workers, because it’s not good enough to say “we’re gonna put you in a 6-month apprenticeship program and move right along.”
And so, AOC went on to explain to Minhaj the policies that the Green New Deal and the Democrats have in mind to help workers from the energy sector:
We actually advocate for the bailout of coal workers pensions, whereas Mitch McConnell won’t even meet with coal workers who have black lung and are being disproportionately impacted by the health consequences of working in the fossil fuel industry. We’re gonna be creating millions of jobs in everything from wind turbine to solar panel installation. And we’re going to have to transition a lot of people into that work. The key is to make sure oil barons don’t turn into solar barons.
And that is a very important point raised by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. It’s a huge fear among many lobbies that the oil lobby might just become the solar lobby and dictate policies to the government. But, AOC and the Democrats have the perfect remedy for that – Unions!
… the Green New Deal calls for unionization of workers and calls for really strong labor policy, because the best check that we have on runaway income inequality are unions and labor unions.
Of course, that check cannot deal with another even bigger threat to the Green New Deal – the Republicans. However, AOC has found a way around them as well!
What about the Republicans?
Everyone knows that some members of the GOP are not worth the effort to win over for the fight against Climate Change. And Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez admitted to that fact in front of Hasan Minaj:
I think there are some parts of the Republican party that are just kind of beyond winning over…. they are bankrolled by the fossil fuel industry and their job is to protect the fossil fuel industry.
But, there are a couple of ways to work around them, and according to AOC, the biggest one is to win elections. It is a long-term solution to dealing with Climate Change. “One of the big things that we need to do is win elections, in all 3 houses of the government,” says AOC:
Our theory of change needs to happen in elections. It’s not gonna happen with Mitch McConnell running the senate. It’s not gonna happen with Donald Trump in the White House. But, it can happen with democratic majorities (in Senate and the White House).
The Green New Deal is a set of three principles
Then, Hasan Minhaj raised the question in front of AOC that in what form does the Green New Deal exist? And then, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez explained that it is a set of 3 principles:
So, a Green New Deal is a resolution on the floor of the house. And what it does is that it outlines specific principles by which our climate policy should be executed.
These are the principles, according to AOC:
One – a 10-year timeline for decarbonization. Two – making sure that we are creating jobs in any climate legislation, and three that we are centering and focusing on disproportionately impacted communities.
But, the world can’t wait for the US to elect the Democrats into all three houses of the government. So, there’s a short term strategy, which is to breakaway the Green New Deal into pieces of legislation. And AOC revealed to us the secret and short-term way to go around the Republicans.
The secret short-term solution to getting around the Republicans, according to AOC
In short, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Democrats are literally passing the Green New Deal by breaking it down into smaller pieces of legislation. AOC explains:
You know, we’ve passed Green New Deal provisions in past legislations. Just a lot of people don’t know it yet.
And what’s even funnier is that they learned this solution through the Republicans and lobbyists. AOC and the Democrats are using their own weapons against them, as she explains:
Well, I think the irony of it is that that’s how lobbyists get things done all the time.
And so, this is what the Green New Deal is according to AOC. She explained it quite well what it means when this legislation says that it is a job and justice based resolution. Moreover, AOC further goes into detail and explains what jobs and justice mean for the Green New Deal. And finally, she explained how it will impact the energy sector and how to get around conservatives, Republicans, and Climate Change deniers. And Hasan Minhaj asked AOC all the right questions that helped her in explaining the Green New Deal to us better.
In the end, I’m sure everyone would like to wish Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez the best of luck in her endeavors to enact the Green New Deal and save America as well as the world. The world needs more people like AOC. Here’s her full interview with Hasan Minhaj: