AOC Reads the Green New Deal Into the Congressional Record
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) took to the floor of the House of Representatives yesterday to chide Republicans for not reading the Green New Deal, which she introduced over one year ago, as The Hill reported. She then read the entire 14-page document into the congressional record.
Republicans have frequently mischaracterized what is actually in the bill and argued that the ambitious proposal to stop the climate crisis flies in the face of American values. The proposal, which was sponsored by Ocasio-Cortez in the House and by Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) in the Senate in February 2019, has failed to come up for a vote in either chamber, as Common Dreams noted.
"But throughout this entire year, as we've discussed the Green New Deal, I've noticed there's been an awful lot of misinformation about what's inside this resolution, a tremendous amount of wild claims: everything from saying we're seeking to ban airplanes to ending ice cream," Ocasio-Cortez said on the House floor, as The Hill reported.
"And, as a consequence I've realized that many of my colleagues have never even read the resolution that they're speaking on," she added. "They haven't opened a single word of it — and it's actually only about… just 14 pages long. So I have decided that since some of my colleagues across the aisle could not for some reason read the resolution, that perhaps this hour would be spent best reading it to them, for the public record."
The Green New Deal looks to move the U.S. toward a net zero greenhouse gas emissions future "through a fair and just transition." The 10-year national mobilization plan looks to create millions of jobs through an investment in infrastructure, to ensure a sustainable future, and to protect vulnerable communities, as Common Dreams reported.
The cornerstone of the plan is the rapid and complete conversion to a 100 percent renewable energy system for electricity and transportation by 2030. The resolution also seeks a full decarbonization of the economy by 2050, at the latest, as Newsweek reported.
Ocasio-Cortez also shared her dismay that Tuesday night's presidential primary debate was conspicuously absent of questions about the climate crisis.
"As I was preparing for this evening, I would be remiss but to say that last night we had a national Democratic debate and not a single question was asked about our climate crisis," she said, as The Hill reported.
The New York Democrat also prefaced her reading of the resolution by sharing data from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that has made dire predictions for how the world will suffer if emissions are not reined in within the next 10 years, according to The Hill.
The Green New Deal has is now endorsed by over one hundred lawmakers across both chambers of the Capitol. Not a single Republican has backed the measure though, as Common Dreams reported.
Several of the Democratic presidential candidates have adopted the Green New Deal into their climate legislation proposals, including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).
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- Redwoods are the world's tallest trees.
- Now scientists have discovered they are even bigger than we thought.
- Using laser technology they map the 80-meter giants.
- Trees are a key plank in the fight against climate change.
They are among the largest trees in the world, descendants of forests where dinosaurs roamed.
Pixabay / Simi Luft<p><span>Until recently, measuring these trees meant scaling their 80 meter high trunks with a tape measure. Now, a team of scientists from University College London and the University of Maryland uses advanced laser scanning, to create 3D maps and calculate the total mass.</span></p><p>The results are striking: suggesting the trees <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">may be as much as 30% larger than earlier measurements suggested.</a> Part of that could be due to the additional trunks the Redwoods can grow as they age, <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">a process known as reiteration</a>.</p>
New 3D measurements of large redwood trees for biomass and structure. Nature / UCL<p>Measuring the trees more accurately is important because carbon capture will probably play a key role in the battle against climate change. Forest <a href="https://www.wri.org/blog/2020/09/carbon-sequestration-natural-forest-regrowth" target="_blank">growth could absorb billions of tons</a> of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year.</p><p>"The importance of big trees is widely-recognised in terms of carbon storage, demographics and impact on their surrounding ecosystems," the authors wrote<a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank"> in the journal Nature</a>. "Unfortunately the importance of big trees is in direct proportion to the difficulty of measuring them."</p><p>Redwoods are so long lived because of their ability to <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">cope with climate change, resist disease and even survive fire damage</a>, the scientists say. Almost a fifth of their volume may be bark, which helps protect them.</p>
Carbon Capture Champions<p><span>Earlier research by scientists at Humboldt University and the University of Washington found that </span><a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378112716302584" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Redwood forests store almost 2,600 tonnes of carbon per hectare</a><span>, their bark alone containing more carbon than any other neighboring species.</span></p><p>While the importance of trees in fighting climate change is widely accepted, not all species enjoy the same protection as California's coastal Redwoods. In 2019 the world lost the equivalent of <a href="https://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/deforestation-and-forest-degradation" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">30 soccer fields of forest cover every minute</a>, due to agricultural expansion, logging and fires, according to The Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF).</p>
Pixabay<p>Although <a href="https://c402277.ssl.cf1.rackcdn.com/publications/1420/files/original/Deforestation_fronts_-_drivers_and_responses_in_a_changing_world_-_full_report_%281%29.pdf?1610810475" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">the rate of loss is reported to have slowed in recent years</a>, reforesting the world to help stem climate change is a massive task.</p><p><span>That's why the World Economic Forum launched the Trillion Trees Challenge (</span><a href="https://www.1t.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">1t.org</a><span>) and is engaging organizations and individuals across the globe through its </span><a href="https://uplink.weforum.org/uplink/s/uplink-issue/a002o00000vOf09AAC/trillion-trees" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Uplink innovation crowdsourcing platform</a><span> to support the project.</span></p><p>That's backed up by research led by ETH Zurich/Crowther Lab showing there's potential to restore tree coverage across 2.2 billion acres of degraded land.</p><p>"Forests are critical to the health of the planet," according to <a href="https://www.1t.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">1t.org</a>. "They sequester carbon, regulate global temperatures and freshwater flows, recharge groundwater, anchor fertile soil and act as flood barriers."</p><p><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">Reposted with permission from the </em><span><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor"><a href="https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/03/redwoods-store-more-co2-and-are-more-enormous-than-we-thought/" target="_blank">World Economic Forum</a>.</em></span></p>
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