Ocasio-Cortez says we need World War II-scale action on climate. Here’s what that looks like.
Winning WWII wasn’t socialism. Neither is the Green New Deal.
JOE ROMM FEB 12, 2019, 8:00 AM
“The Green New Deal resolution introduced last week by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) states that fighting climate change requires “a new national, social, industrial, and economic mobilization on a scale not seen since World War II.”
The world’s leading climate scientists agree. In 2015, for instance, they called for a sweeping mobilization — “a radical transition (deep decarbonization now and going forward),” as they described it — to avoid catastrophic impacts of climate change. And last October, the world’s nations unanimously agreed with our top scientists that preserving a livable climate requires “system changes” across the economy that “are unprecedented in terms of scale.”
Judging by their initial reactions to the Green New Deal resolution, President Donald Trump, Republican leaders, and other longtime opponents of climate action seem to have decided that the best way to block such an economy-wide mobilization is to try to paint it as “socialism.” On Friday, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) went so far as to claim the Green New Deal begins with “socialism” but “ends with the Gestapo.” Major media outlets, like Axios, have already begun parroting the GOP line of attack.
But the Green New Deal’s mobilization isn’t socialism any more than America’s remarkable undertaking to win WWII.
Yes, the WWII effort was massive and sustained and impacted every facet of American life — from energy, transportation, and manufacturing to infrastructure and agriculture. But that did not require “socialism.” In fact, under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, “labor, business, government, education, and the military” all worked together “by democratic collaboration” to mobilize America for the war effort, as Lt. Col. Thomas Morgan explained in a 1994 article in the journal Army History.
Climate change action requires a similarly massive and sustained marshaling of resources across every sector of the economy, regardless of the fact that the president doesn’t understand either the science or the urgency. And just like the WWII effort, it will not require socialism.”
Scientists have been saying this for decades now, and we couldn’t agree more. The longer we wait, the harder and more costly it will be. Keep reading at thinkprogress.org/green-new-deal-ocasio-cortez-7c9ac944b37d/