Are the Knights joining the global warming fight? The Green New Deal has been getting much attention in the last two months, yet fewer than 30% of students at Las Lomas understand what the deal entails. Some students only know general information about the Green New Deal. When asked if they knew what the Green New Deal was, one student in an anonymous school poll responded, “I think so, but I can’t think of any specifics.”
Introduced by Senator Ed Markey and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Green New Deal is a group of proposals aimed at combating climate change. Named after President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal economic reforms during the Great Depression, the Green New Deal aims to entirely rely on renewable energy by 2030 and create new jobs helping the climate for those who are unemployed. The Green New Deal also wants to provide free medical care for all and reduce air travel by promoting high-speed rail, both of which are very costly endeavors. The estimated cost of the Green New Deal is close to $1 trillion with no clear way of how the country will come up with this funding; when the factor of money comes about, supporters of the Green New Deal have referred to the return investment, rather than the cost. Due to the lack of funds, many Republicans and Democrats in the Senate are skeptical of the Green New Deal; therefore, the deal is unlikely to become a law. Additionally, despite media coverage, most know little about the deal. “I have heard [the media] talk about [the green new deal] – the sides talking for and against it – but I don’t know. I don’t know enough about it,” said Mr. Merken, an environmental science teacher at Las Lomas. Most in-depth news coverage has been online. “My knowledge of the Green New Deal so far is limited to some news reports about a massive movement to create more jobs focused around the green industry, such as solar panels, reliable energies, and training people to become familiar and to just have new jobs. So it creates new jobs for the economy, [and] makes the earth better… most of [the] news has been through… twitter feeds, through representatives – congresspeople [and] senators mentioning the Green New Deal. I haven’t seen much through the mainstream media, like NBC or CBS News, so [most of the information about it has] been online,” said Mr. Clark, a Las Lomas science teacher.
However, although the Green New Deal has funding concerns, and although many of its policies are little-known, many support the purpose of the deal. “I think anything we can do to reduce our carbon emissions, to get off diesel fuel, to get off oil, to stop producing so much CO2, is good. If this does that, then I’m all for it, ” said Mr. Clark. Other people like the publicity the Green New Deal draws to climate change. When asked why the Green New Deal is important, Mrs. Burton, a substitute teacher for Mrs. Stansbury’s science class, said, “[the Green New Deal is important] to raise awareness; there’s so many people that don’t believe [in climate change]. There’s an attitude in the country that climate change is fiction, and I don’t believe it’s fiction.”
In fact, the current CO2 levels are at the alarmingly high rate of over 400 parts per million and steadily increasing every year. By 2050, it is estimated wildfires will wipe out twice as much land in the west of the United States than in the years before 2019, and that more people will be exposed to deadly heatstroke.