Ocasio-Cortez Compares 'Fighting Climate Change' to 'The Civil Rights Movement'
Ocasio-Cortez made a comparison that was nothing short of a head spin
Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) has likened the government’s steps to tackling climate change to the civil rights movement of the 1950s.
Speaking at a televised town hall, Ocasio-Cortez made a comparison that was nothing short of a head spin.
“This is going to be the Great Society, the moonshot, the civil rights movement of our generation. That is the scale of the ambition that this movement is going to require,” the New York Democrat said.
As she sat on the panel during the "Climate Change Town Hall" organized by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Ocasio-Cortez disputed the Trump administration's approach to combating global warming before calling for more aggression from Congress.
“It’s unsurprising that the response to any bold proposal that we have is to incite fear. To incite fear of loss, to incite fear of others. To incite fear of our future. But the only way we are going to get out of this situation is to be courageous,” she said of the White House.
The "Green New Deal" is an idea Ocasio-Cortez first preceded through a sit-down at House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) congressional office in late November.
According to The Hill: It has since been championed by 15 Democratic House lawmakers as a way to build a select committee to focus on transitioning the country toward 100 percent renewable energy.
Sanders, who has been a spoken champion of the struggle, highlighted the necessity for multiple venues of climate action during his town hall.
As evidence for the need for swift development, Sanders pointed to recently released climate reports from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as well as one from the United States.
Both warn of the unchangeable effects of warming temperatures.
“We are dealing with what the scientific community tells us is the great crisis facing our planet and facing humanity, and that is climate change,” Sanders said.
“All of these reports make a very simple and profound point. And that is, time is late, and as a planet, that means countries all over the world, not just the U.S and Russia, are going to have to stand up and take on the fossil fuel industry. ... This is a crisis, it is unprecedented, and we’ve got to act in an unprecedented way.”
Sanders blasted many of his colleagues, including some Democrats, who receive money from the fossil-fuel industry in the form of campaign contributions.
Membership to the Green New Deal select committee would include a promise to not accept donations from any fossil fuel company.
Critics have accused the industry, and its lobbyists for joining the hands of Republicans in Congress who are either cynical of the human role in climate change or else argue moving toward renewable energy is not economically feasible.
Both Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez decried those as false talking points.
“First of all it’s just plain wrong, that idea that we are going to somehow lose economic activity,” said Ocasio-Cortez.
“It’s inevitable that we will create jobs. We can use the transition to 100 percent renewable energy as the vehicle to truly address and establish economic, social and racial justice in the United States of America.”
Ocasio-Cortez, an emerging progressive darling who has faced some potshots from Republicans and right-leaning publications during the transition period, took a moment at the town hall to chide her critics.
“It’s an interesting puzzle in how media, especially you know right-wing media, but all media treats me. Because in our journey, I am a working person who won a seat against all the odds,” she said.
Sanders interjected adding:
“Can we interrupt this program to announce your shoes?”
The comment was a jab at Fox News's morning show "Fox & Friends," which the day of the federal government's national climate report's release opted to focus a segment on the future congresswoman’s shoes.
Looking to the future, Ocasio-Cortez pushed the importance of organizing a holistic strategy for fixing climate change.
“When we try to solve this issue piecemeal, we will not solve it in time,” she warned.