No One Is Taking Away Your Hamburgers

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No One Is Taking Away Your Hamburgers

What is the deal with the Green New Deal? Congressional proposals get about as much attention as post-millennium Mc Hammer. Talking about a proposal that has already been declined is unheard of! Yet, here we are. 

 

The GND has garnered a lot of attention, much of it for the wrong reasons. Fox News has been predictably harsh on it, but even liberals have jumped on some unfounded criticism. Banning cheeseburgers and airplanes is nowhere to be found in the proposal. The thing is only 13 pages long, there’s not much room to hide. https://www.congress.gov/116/bills/hres109/BILLS-116hres109ih.pdf

 

The whole airplane fiasco comes from an ill-advised joke Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, godmother of the GND, had made and Fox unintentionally misinterpreted it. The fact that other news outlets jumped on those claims goes to show the kind of rigorous journalistic research the American media employs before bumbling a story. 13 pages! Really? Nobody could be bothered to read 13 pages? Where the cheeseburger thing comes from, that, we can’t even tell you. Honestly, no idea. 

 

What is mentioned in the GND is that the American government should commit to investing in sustainable methods of transportation to offer an alternative to commercial air travel. In the same way that the car offered us a shit-free alternative to horses. Your patriotic freedom to bounce around at a hernia-inducing 5 miles an hour is still very much intact on most public roads, but you’re not about to saddle up to hit the drugstore.  

 

Now, just because your cheeseburgers and 747s aren’t under attack, doesn’t mean the GND doesn’t raise a few legitimate questions. Where the money is supposed to come from for this massive undertaking is actually not the biggest one. It is, in part, addressed. The plan is to transition the economy systemically so new jobs and opportunities arise as a direct result of the transition. Construction, engineering, installation, etc. A new green economy would create jobs we can’t even imagine now. Just like nobody could have predicted Instagram influenzas becoming a thing ten years ago. 

 

Much more pertinent is questioning how universal access to ‘healthy’ food can be ensured. Healthy food, in this case, mainly referring to pesticide and animal farming practices, is expensive for a reason. It isn’t as financially efficient as blowing up chickens with steroids that would make Ahnold squirm and keeping them stacked on top of each other in enclosures smaller than even the poorest Kardashian’s dog’s sweater closet. 

 

It is also difficult to see how a political system which, as of late, employs ‘shutting down’ as its main form of conflict resolution will ever be capable of organizing the massive infrastructure updates and economic restructuring necessary to achieve net-zero emissions power generation, transportation, and food production. 

 

The GND raises important issues and could help steer the US economy (responsible for a respectable 20% of global carbon emissions) toward a more sustainable future. Having said that, the US achieving a more sustainable future is like the kid at the back of the class who eats paste improving his GPA: it wouldn’t take much, but you can’t really see him putting down the liquid cement bottle anytime soon. 

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