The call for a Green New Deal is one that is heard increasingly often. From the US to the European Union, the term is used to indicate a large-scale, ambitious, government-led program -much like the 1939 “New Deal” to which it calls back- that can deliver the kind of climate action that is needed. What would it actually look like? Rutger Bregman, journalist at De Correspondent, tries to answer that question by looking in more detail at the 1939 version and imagine from there what the 2019 version could/has to be. His conclusions contain some elements that might feel uneasy to people of different persuasions and values. With a Green New deal, we can win the fight against climate change, but it will require action on a scale beyond what most of us currently imagine, and given the speed at which action must be taken may force us to agree with actions that are not our first choice.
This piece opens up an interesting and urgent conversation: given that we can’t “solve” climate change, but rather will move to a new kind of society at a new point of climate equilibrium, how do we balance the three-way trade-off between (1) trying to take climate action as quickly as possible to limit climate change, (2) trying to make sure that we don’t opt for solutions that create new or exacerbate existing societal issues, and (3) ensuring that we build and maintain the broad societal support we need to see a Green New Deal through to the end? Read Bregman’s article or listen it via the link below as a starting point for that conversation with people around you.