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ENVIRONMENT

Green New Deal And The Framing War

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announces the Green New Deal at a press event. (Photo via Senate Democrats)
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announces the Green New Deal at a press event. (Photo via Senate Democrats)

Neither Jim Lakely nor Tim Huelskamp responded to an email asking them to provide ‘their’ definition of Socialism and how the Green New Deal would lead to an authoritarian state.

House Resolution 109 [H.Res.109] – Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal commonly known as the Green New Deal was introduced on February 7th and “referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committees on Science, Space, and Technology, Education and Labor, Transportation and Infrastructure, Agriculture, Natural Resources, Foreign Affairs, Financial Services, the Judiciary, Ways and Means, and Oversight and Reform, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.”

The opening text of the resolution reads as follows.

Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal.
Whereas the October 2018 report entitled “Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 ºC” by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the November 2018 Fourth National Climate Assessment report found that—
(1) human activity is the dominant cause of observed climate change over the past century;
(2) a changing climate is causing sea levels to rise and an increase in wildfires, severe storms, droughts, and other extreme weather events that threaten human life, healthy communities, and critical infrastructure;
(3) global warming at or above 2 degrees Celsius beyond preindustrialized levels will cause—
(A) mass migration from the regions most affected by climate change;
(B) more than $500,000,000,000 in lost annual economic output in the United States by the year 2100;
(C) wildfires that, by 2050, will annually burn at least twice as much forest area in the western United States than was typically burned by wildfires in the years preceding 2019;
(D) a loss of more than 99 percent of all coral reefs on Earth;
(E) more than 350,000,000 more people to be exposed globally to deadly heat stress by 2050; and
(F) a risk of damage to $1,000,000,000,000 of public infrastructure and coastal real estate in the United States; and
(4) global temperatures must be kept below 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrialized levels to avoid the most severe impacts of a changing climate, which will require—
(A) global reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from human sources of 40 to 60 percent from 2010 levels by 2030; and
(B) net-zero global emissions by 2050;

Freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez [D-NY-14] sponsored H.Res.109 in the House of Representatives while Senator Ed Markey [D-MA] sponsored the companion Senate Resolution 59 [S.Res.59] in the Senate.

The Heartland Institute

The Heartland Institute immediately sent out a press release to journalists after the Green New Deal was introduced in Congress via their Director of Communications, Jim Lakely.

James Taylor, Senior Fellow for Environmental Policy was quoted:

It is no coincidence that the radical socialist freshman congresswoman from New York has made the Green New Deal her top priority. In addition to bankrupting our energy economy, the Green New Deal would impose the very same programs that destroyed Venezuela, transforming the Latin American nation from a wealthy, relatively free society into a poverty-stricken totalitarian dictatorship. This Venezuelan model is what Ocasio-Cortez and other socialist Democrats dream for America. They realize that a contrived climate crisis provides their best opportunity to amass the power to do so.

Heartland Institute President and former Republican Congressman from Kansas, Tim Huelskamp gave a similar talking point, “Extreme. That’s the only way to describe the socialist Green New Deal. With its failure in Venezuela, Ocasio-Cortez, Markey and their fellow democrats have picked a bad time to force socialism here in our country. Rest assured, The Heartland Institute will continue to lead the opposition to this socialist green dream.”

Of note, House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-12) used the exact ‘green dream’ dismissive phrasing. “It will be one of several or maybe many suggestions that we receive,” she stated when speaking to Politico. “The green dream or whatever they call it, nobody knows what it is, but they’re for it right?”

While the Heartland Institute claims to be non-partisan, their track record shows they support free market agorism and have been one of the largest forces behind climate change denial within the United States. A 2012 report by the New York Times highlights their role in the anti-science movement. “At gatherings of climate change skeptics on both sides of the Atlantic, Dr. Lindzen has been treated as a star. During a debate in Australia over carbon taxes, his work was cited repeatedly. When he appears at conferences of the Heartland Institute, the primary American organization pushing climate change skepticism, he is greeted by thunderous applause,” the article reads.

Heartland’s Framing and Attack on the Green New Deal

Neither Jim Lakely nor Tim Huelskamp responded to an email asking them to provide ‘their’ definition of Socialism and how the Green New Deal would lead to an authoritarian state. Individuals commonly use political ideological terms incorrectly as a means to set framing to their advantage. The Green New Deal does not state that the government should destroy the marketplace, nor would it lead to the vasts amount of corruption which lead Venezuela to economic disaster.

Ironically, the Heartland Institute’s framing of the Green New Deal as a ‘Venezuelan model’ is ironic. Oil prices dipping combined with Venezuela largely relying on those profits for stability played a huge role in the rising inflation the country has seen over the past several years. The Green New Deal would help ensure the United States would not have to rely on fossil fuels and would help create thousands of ‘green jobs.’

 

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Walter Yeates

Walter Yeates is a journalist, novelist, and screenwriter who embedded at Standing Rock with military Veterans and First People in December 2016. He covers a range of topics at Citizen Truth and is open for tips and suggestions. Twitter: www.twitter.com/GentlemansHall or www.twitter.com/SmoothJourno Muckrack: https://muckrack.com/walteryeates

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