With the arrival of young, freshman Congressmembers has come renewed attention to climate change and environmental sustainability. But that energy has also been met with pushback. Over the weekend, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez responded to a carbon footprint exposé that suggested that she may not actually be walking the walk when it comes to promoting green practices.
The story was published by The New York Post, and it purported to detail Ocasio-Cortez's and her staff's travel habits. The paper pointed to significant reported ride-sharing usage, as well as flights and subway rides, and compared those practices to tenets of Ocasio-Cortez's much discussed Green New Deal. In her response to the report, the congresswoman contested its narrative.
"I also fly & use A/C," she tweeted Saturday, sharing a link to the New York Post report. "Living in the world as it is isn’t an argument against working towards a better future. The Green New Deal is about putting a LOT of people to work in developing new technologies, building new infrastructure, and getting us to 100% renewable energy."
She responded to the print version of the report on Sunday.
"The Post put the fact that I get into cars (while proposing a plan to invest in better car technology) on their front page," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. "Pack it up folks, the Pulitzer’s been decided. No one can rival this kind of hard-hitting journalism."
The Green New Deal was formally introduced in the House and Senate on Feb. 7. Ocasio-Cortez introduced the deal in the House; Sen. Ed Markey introduced the deal in the Senate. Popular Science reported that the deal is a resolution that, if passed, wouldn't be legally binding. Instead, it would signify a commitment by legislators to work toward a series of green-friendly goals.
Included in those goals are replacing power sources with renewable energy, building eco-friendly public transportation systems and high-speed rail networks, reducing pollution, and promoting sustainable food production practices, according to an explanation by Popular Science. As a whole, the Green New Deal takes aim at climate change by promoting systems and technology that may help reverse it.
Ocasio-Cortez, for her part, has long been vocal about championing policies intended to fight against climate change. She has maintained that energy since formally taking office in January. And on Instagram Live last weekend, she once again addressed the issue.
“Our planet is going to face disaster if we don’t turn this ship around," she said on her live video stream, according to Yahoo! Finance. "And so it’s basically like, there is a scientific consensus that the lives of children are going to be very difficult. And it does lead, I think, young people, to have a legitimate question" about having children.
"Not just financially because people are graduating with 20, 30, 100 thousand dollars of student loan debt so they can’t even afford to have kids in the house," she went on, "but there’s also just this basic moral question, like, what do we do?"
It remains unclear whether Congress will ultimately adopt the Green New Deal. However, the idea appears to still be picking up steam, meaning its ultimate success or failure still waits to be seen.