ON FIRE: Biden’s Green Deal or The Green New Deal?

Some of you might’ve witnessed the worst US Presidential Debate in history. Some of you felt disappointed, disgusted, or furious about the way Donald Trump kept interrupting, or the way Joe Biden was counter attacking or trying to make a case. 

But did anyone pay close attention to the specific question concerning climate change? It was frustrating to see both candidates more focused on attacking each other rather than explaining policy proposals to the American people. 

Did anyone notice Joe Biden trying to make a case for his Green Deal, then getting confused and actually referring to The Green New Deal?

It’s really worth a shot to go back and watch the full version of the climate change debate here

But if you’re not up to it, let’s highlight below when the confusion began between the Green Biden Deal vs The Green New Deal:

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MODERATOR: What about the argument that President Trump basically says, that you have to balance environmental interests and economic interests? And he's drawn his line.

JOE BIDEN: Well, he hasn't drawn a line. He wants to make sure that methane's not a problem. You can now emit more methane without it being a problem. Methane. This is a guy who says that you don't have to have mileage standards for automobiles that exist now. 

DONALD TRUMP: He's talking about the Green New Deal. And it's not 2 billion [crosstalk] or 20 billion, as you said [crosstalk]. It's $100 trillion.

JOE BIDEN: I'm talking about the Biden plan [crosstalk]-

MODERATOR: All right. Let me [crosstalk]. Wait a minute, sir. I actually have studied your plan, and it includes upgrading 4 million buildings, weatherizing 2 million homes over four years, building one and a half million energy efficient homes. So the question becomes, the president is saying, I think some people who support the president would say, that sounds like it's going to cost a lot of money and hurt the economy.

JOE BIDEN: The fact is, it's going to create millions of good paying jobs, and these tax incentives for people to weatherize, which he wants to get rid of. It's going to make the economy much safer. 

JOE BIDEN: … we're going to be in a position where we can create hard, hard, good jobs by making sure the environment is clean, and we all are in better shape. We spend billions of dollars now, billions of dollars, on floods, hurricanes, rising seas. We're in real trouble. Look what's happened just in the Midwest with these storms that come through and wipe out entire sections and counties in Iowa. They didn't happen before. They're because of global warming. We make up 15% of the world's problems. But the rest of the world, we've got to get them to come along. That's why we have to get back into the Paris Accord.

DONALD TRUMP: So why didn't you get the world… China sends up real dirt into the air. Russia does. India does. They all do. We're supposed to be good. And by the way, he made a couple of statements. The Green New Deal is a hundred trillion dollars.

JOE BIDEN: That is not my plan [crosstalk]. The Green New Deal [crosstalk] is not my plan. [crosstalk]

JOE BIDEN: The Green New Deal will pay for itself as we move forward. We're not going to build plants that, in fact, are great polluting plants-

MODERATOR: So, do you support the Green New Deal?

JOE BIDEN: No, I don't support the Green New Deal.

DONALD TRUMP: Oh, you don't? Oh, well, that's a big statement.

DONALD TRUMP: You just lost the radical left.

JOE BIDEN: I support [crosstalk] the Biden plan that I put forward.

JOE BIDEN: The Biden plan, which is different from what he (President Trump) calls the radical Green New Deal.

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Did anyone understand both the candidate’s policy proposals to fight against climate change?

No! Both candidates were on fire and could not make sense of what they were trying to convey. 

Which reminds me, if you really want to learn more about The Green New Deal, you should read Naomi Klein’s most recent book “ON FIRE: The Burning Case for a Green New Deal”. 

The funny thing is, Joe Biden was so distracted by Trump’s interruptions, that he made a simple mistake. There is really no need to do the “fact-checking” this time. He talked about The Green New Deal when in fact, he was referring to HIS Green Deal.

Both CNN and Fox News had to go through fact checking to explain to Americans what Joe Biden really had to say and how Biden’s Green Deal differs from The Green New Deal.

Biden knows we need a Green Deal, even though Democrats just don’t agree on the details and on how fast we need to get there. Both Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are behind The Green New Deal.

Right after the debate,  Ocasio-Cortez said: "Our differences are exactly why I joined Biden's Climate Unity Task Force - so we could set aside our differences & figure out an aggressive climate plan to address the planetary crisis at our feet."

Biden’s Green Deal

1. Ensure the U.S. achieves a 100% clean energy economy and reaches net-zero emissions no later than 2050.

2. Rejoining The Paris Agreement commitments the US promised when President Obama signed it in 2015. 

3. Stand up to the abuse of power by polluters who disproportionately harm communities of color and low-income communities.

4. Biden’s climate and environmental justice proposal will make a federal investment of $1.7 trillion over the next ten years, leveraging additional private sector and state and local investments to total to more than $5 trillion.

The Green New Deal

1. Achieve 100 % sustainable energy for electricity and transportation by no later than 2030 and to fully decarbonize the economy by 2050 at the latest.

2. Commit to reducing emissions throughout the world, including providing $200 billion to the Green Climate Fund, rejoining the Paris Agreement.

3. Ending unemployment by creating 20 million jobs

4. Directly invest a historic $16.3 trillion public investment toward these efforts

Here’s the bottom line folks: climate change is not right-wing nor left-wing politics. 

Climate change is real and should be dealt with by any party claiming a future for this planet. 

The details should be discussed but let’s face it: the US is one of the top greenhouse emitters of the world. 

Will Americans vote business as usual or will they vote for the future of our planet, and vote beyond US borders?

Sources

“Read the full transcript and watch the whole debate”. Daily Mail. September 30, 2020. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8788571/Full-transcript-Donald-Trump-Joe-Biden-debate.html

“Climate change: Full presidential debate video part 6”. CNN. October 4, 2020. https://edition.cnn.com/videos/politics/2020/09/30/climate-change-first-debate-full-video-2020-dbx-vpx.cnn

“The Biden Plan for a Clean Energy Revolution and Environmental Justice” Joe Biden Website. October 4, 2020. https://joebiden.com/climate-plan/ 

“Fact-checking Biden's attempts to distance himself from the Green New Deal”. CNN. September 30, 2020. https://edition.cnn.com/2020/09/30/politics/joe-biden-green-new-deal-fact-check/index.html

“Biden says at debate he doesn't support the Green New Deal, but his campaign website calls it 'crucial framework'”. Fox News. September 30, 2020. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/biden-presidential-debate-green-new-deal-crucial-framework

Naomi Klein: “On Fire: The Burning Case for a Green New Deal.” Simon & Schuster. 2019 https://naomiklein.org/on-fire/

The Green New Deal. Bernie Sanders Website. October 4, 2020. https://berniesanders.com/issues/green-new-deal/#:~:text=1