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Climate Leader Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Joins Hundreds of Activists in Pelosi’s Office to Call for a Green New Deal
One of the most ambitious environmental ideas to gain popularity during the midterm elections was the idea of a Green New Deal—a massive national mobilization to transition the U.S. economy away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy while creating green jobs and infrastructure.
Only four newly-elected Democratic Congresspeople endorsed the idea in their campaigns, including upstart progressive Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, but climate activists are building a movement to make it a legislative priority. To that end, more than 200 protesters, including Ocasio-Cortez herself, staged a sit-in at Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi's office Tuesday calling on her to support the measure, Politico reported.
"This morning 100s of young people came together to ask us as elected officials to act urgently to draft a Green New Deal that gets us to 100% renewable energy ASAP," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. "They asked me to join them, and I did. We can embrace the energy of activism to move our party's goals forward."
In a statement, Pelosi asked that Capital Police allow demonstrators "to continue to organize and participate in our democracy," but activists tweeted that around 50 were arrested outside her office and Capitol Police confirmed the number of arrests as 51, Politico reported.
The action was organized by two groups: The Sunrise Movement, which describes itself as "building an army of young people to stop climate change" and Justice Democrats, which works to diminish the influence of large corporations on the party. Their actions come with a true sense of urgency. On its website, the Sunrise Movement cites the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report that says we have 12 years to radically reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. They are also young people worried about what this means for their future.
"They offer us a death sentence. We demand a #GreenNewDeal," the activists tweeted as they announced their action.
Pelosi herself tweeted support for the protesters, but came up short of endorsing a Green New Deal.
"The climate crisis threatens the futures of communities nationwide, and I strongly support reinstating the select committee to address the crisis,," Pelosi tweeted, referencing an idea she had floated after her party retook the House last week.
Ocasio-Cortez responded with a very specific vision for what that committee should do. Instead of just discussing climate change, it should be empowered to draft a Green New Deal plan by 2020 and be staffed with officials who do not take money from fossil fuel companies.
Ocasio-Cortez and the Sunrise Movement are circulating a resolution to that end among House Democrats and asking them to endorse it. So far Representatives Rashida Tlaib, Ro Khanna and Deb Haaland, one of the first two Native American women elected to Congress, have signed on.
If you want to add your name to the push to make a Green New Deal a major priority for the House Democrats, the Sunrise Movement is also circulating a petition.
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‘Companies Should Not Be Allowed to Use Hazardous Ingredients in Products People Use’: Michelle Pfeiffer Speaks Up for Safer Cosmetics
The beauty products we put on our skin can have important consequences for our health. Just this March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that some Claire's cosmetics had tested positive for asbestos. But the FDA could only issue a warning, not a recall, because current law does not empower the agency to do so.
Michelle Pfeiffer wants to change that.
The actress and Environmental Working Group (EWG) board member was spotted on Capitol Hill Thursday lobbying lawmakers on behalf of a bill that would increase oversight of the cosmetics industry, The Washington Post reported.
By Julia Conley
Scientists at the United Nations' intergovernmental body focusing on biodiversity sounded alarms earlier this month with its report on the looming potential extinction of one million species — but few heard their calls, according to a German newspaper report.
The climate crisis is a major concern for American voters with nearly 40 percent reporting the issue will help determine how they cast their ballots in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, according to a report compiled by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.
Of more than 1,000 registered voters surveyed on global warming, climate and energy policies, as well as personal and collective action, 38 percent said that a candidate's position on climate change is "very important" when it comes to determining who will win their vote. Overall, democratic candidates are under more pressure to provide green solutions as part of their campaign promises with 64 percent of Democrat voters saying they prioritize the issue compared with just 34 percent of Independents and 12 percent of Republicans.
President Donald Trump has agreed to sign a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill that will help Americans still recovering from the flooding, hurricanes and wildfires that have devastated parts of the country in the past two years. Senate Republicans said they struck a deal with the president to approve the measure, despite the fact that it did not include the funding he wanted for the U.S.-Mexican border, CNN reported.
"The U.S. Senate has just approved a 19 Billion Dollar Disaster Relief Bill, with my total approval. Great!" the president tweeted Thursday.