The Green New Deal: hope at last?

If you don’t have much contact with the United States or aren’t interested in its politics, you may not have heard about the Green New Deal, an idea for an economic stimulus program combining a new energy policy, moves to control climate change and efforts to transform the use of resources to create wealth and employment.

The Green New Deal takes its name from the New Deal, the program set up by President Franklin D. Roosevelt between 1933 and 1936, which reformed the financial markets and helped rebuild a US economy badly damaged after the stock market crash of 1929 that ushered in the Great Depression. The term was originally used by the journalist Tom Friedman in two articles written in 2007 in the New York Times, “The power of green”, and “A warning from the garden”, and has been recently taken up by a large group of politicians and organizations with fundamentally democratic sympathies, with the youngest member of Congress, the Latina Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as one of its most visible proponents.

Among the measures being proposed are government investment in energy and efficient resources, renewables and microgeneration, a rethinking of infrastructure to create jobs, heavy taxes on oil and gas companies, financial incentives for sustainable investment and reducing energy use, along with economic measures such a new regulatory framework for international finance that would see great control of capital and financial derivatives, as well as measures to present corporate tax evasion through the use tax havens.

Needless to say, the Green New Deal is generating a lot of controversy, which is reasonable, considering that it involves exploring new policies and a drastic reordering of priorities based on an objective that the latest scientific reports say is urgent, but that is positive because it brings the debate out into the open, instead of being kept hidden by powerful interests that are spreading lies and misinformation.

The Green New Deal is a new way of establishing policy priorities that are vitally important for everybody and that will decide whether we have a future or not. Along with the declining popularity and the increasingly likely impeachment of the imbecile currently occupying the White House, these are now the most positive things happening in US politics. Watch this space.

(En español, aquí)