There’s a good chance you’ve heard of the Green New Deal, an ambitious climate change proposal introduced by U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass.
If so, you’ve also likely heard critics claim it’s based on scientific theory, not fact. And that it’s cost prohibitive, upward of $8 trillion or more. So, pardon the pun, you might wonder how on earth can we afford the Green New Deal? Well, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:
• Natural disasters — from hurricanes to wildfires to winter storms — cost the country $91 billion in 2018.
• Weather and climate-related disasters cost the U.S. a record $306 billion in 2017, the third warmest year on record.
• The Great Smoky Mountains wildfires in 2016 claimed 14 lives and cost some $500 million. Last year’s Hurricane Florence claimed 53 lives and cost an estimated $24 billion.
From 1980 to 2017, the U.S. has sustained 219 weather and climate disasters with an estimated cumulative cost of more than $1.5 trillion. How can we afford the Green New Deal? We can’t afford not to implement the Green New Deal.
Join us for a Green New Deal Town Hall on Saturday, May 4, 5-7 p.m. at the Rainbow Community School auditorium, 60 State St., Asheville. Hear your friends and neighbors discuss how climate change is already affecting them and learn what we can do to reverse this disastrous trend, creating green jobs and a healthy economy in the process.
How often do get a chance to save the world? Let’s take advantage of it — while we still can.
To register online: [avl.mx/5yf].
— Stephen Advokat
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