Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gives a speech during a committee hearing in response to Republicans push-back on her climate change policy, The Green New Deal. She is infuriated, outraged at what is happening.
This is not an elitist issue, this is a quality of life issue. You want to tell people that their concern and their desire for clean air and clean water is elitist? Tell that to the kids in the South Bronx, which are suffering from the highest rates of childhood asthma in the country. Tell that to the families in Flint, whose kids have their blood ascending in lead levels. Their brains are damaged for the rest of their lives. Call them elitist.
You’re telling them, that those kids are trying to get on a plane to Davos? People are dying! They are dying! And the response across the other side of the aisle is to introduce an amendment five minutes before a hearing in a markup ?
This is serious! This should not be a partisan issue. This is about our constituents and all of our lives. Iowa, Nebraska, broad swathes of the midwest are drowning right now, under water. Farms, towns that will never be recovered and never come back. And we’re here, and people are more concerned about helping oil companies than helping their own families?
I don’t think so! I don’t think so! This is about our lives. This is about American lives. And it should not be partisan. Science should not be partisan. We are facing a national crisis and if we do not ascend to that crisis, if we do not ascend to the levels in which we were threatened at the Great Depression, when we were threatened in World War Two, if we do not ascend to those levels, if we tell the American public that we are more willing to invest and bail out big banks than we are willing to invest in our farmers and our urban families, then I don’t know what we are out here doing. I don’t know what we are here doing.
The government knew that climate change was real starting as far back as 1989, when Nasa was reporting this and the private sector knew way back in the 1970s. So, we had until around the time I was born to address this issue. I wish it didn’t have to cost so much. But I’m going to turn 30 this year and for the entire 30 years of my lifetime, we did not make substantial investments to prepare our entire country for what we knew was coming. So now it’s coming all up at the end.
It’s like when we live our whole lives and we don’t eat healthily and we don’t move and we pursue unhealthy activities and then at the end of our lives our healthcare costs are very high. We have the choice to lower the cost now because I can tell you the cost of pursuing a Green New Deal will be far less than the cost of not passing it.
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