Fox News, The Green New Deal and Cows

The conversation around the Green New Deal has evolved since we last looked into it six weeks ago. Since then there have been refinements, Jay Inslee entered the 2020 field as an explicit climate change candidate, and we’ve found clear support for a range of Green New Deal policies. At the same time, the right has been attempting to use the Green New Deal as a cudgel against everything but climate change. This led to one of the strangest speeches on the Senate floor in a while.

We have reason to expect then that voters might have new thoughts on the Green New Deal, so in a survey with YouGov Blue we asked voters to describe it in their own words. The results show a lot of consistency among Democrats, but that Republicans and Fox News viewers are beginning to pick up on the new right-wing party line that has been hammered home since the plan’s rollout. Spoiler alert: there are lots of cows.

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Six Graphs Show The Green New Deal Is A Winner

The political economy is lining up behind a Green New Deal, but support among Democrats and Republicans in the Senate seems to be lagging.

When U.S. Senator Ed Markey from Massachusetts introduced a resolution in the Senate calling for the creation of a Green New Deal in early February, it had 12 Democratic cosponsors, including Markey. In a month’s time, it still has...12 cosponsors. Opinion-makers will say that the seeminging untenable and tangential components of the resolution are keeping other Democrats away--the general commitments to universal healthcare, affordable housing, and economic security. Yet these goals are just that: aspirations of what the Federal government should aim to achieve for the country, not specific policy prescriptions that chain a Senator to vote they might regret in the future.

What is conveyed more concretely in the Green New Deal resolution is the large mobilization of federal resources to accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels and toward clean, renewable, and carbon-free energy and create millions of new jobs in the process. This transition is not some “green pipe dream”; it’s actually underway and quite far along in some states.

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Congressional Support for a Green New Deal

The most recent report from the IPCC states that we have about 12 years to halve greenhouse gas emissions to avoid devastating environmental and economic effects of the climate crisis. The IPCC’s conclusions suggest that we need an massive mobilization of resources to decarbonize our economy and build resilient communities, which is apparently considered more politically radical than the alternative of environmental destruction and large-scale human suffering.

Solutions such as a Green New Deal are gaining prominence however, and activists are leading the way. A Green New Deal is not necessarily a fixed set of policies (see our comprehensive policy blueprint), but in broad terms Green New Deal supporters hold the viewpoint that direct public investment in communities, infrastructure, and jobs programs should be the primary tool in the fight against climate change. A Green New Deal also must recognize that the costs of climate change will fall disproportionately on vulnerable communities and seek solutions that place the costs and benefits of decarbonization and resilience equitably.

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