Thursday, February 7, 2019

Green New Deal Worth Cheering; Needs more on Land Use and Transportation

In USA Today, but not the SJ

Front page of the Register-Guard
I didn't pay much attention at all to Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) during her race and the run up to the Election. Since then, it's become clear she is quite talented, perhaps even a generational political talent.

Her Green New Deal concept came out today, and if you wanted something national to cheer about, here you go. (Given its scope and ambition, as well as its importance, this is a national issue we'll follow at least a little here.)

Concept for A Green New Deal
Pieces at:
At Vox it's mostly lauded, but there's also useful comment on autoism and on one of the short-comings of the conceptual framework:
Just about the only urban-focused element of the GND resolution is tucked in the transportation section, calling for “investment in zero-emission vehicle infrastructure and manufacturing, clean, affordable, and accessible public transit, and high-speed rail.”

That’s it. Boo.

Creating dense urban areas with ample public spaces and multimodal transportation options — deprioritizing private automobiles and reducing overall automobile traffic — serves multiple progressive goals.

It tackles the next big climate challenge, which is cars. It reduces urban air pollution, urban noise, and the urban heat island effect, while increasing physical activity and social contact, all of which improves the physical and psychological health of urban communities.

It addresses the housing crisis that is crippling many growing cities, pricing young people, poor people, students, and longtime residents out of walkable urban cores.
Slate echoes this
But the Green New Deal has a big blind spot: It doesn’t address the places Americans live. And our physical geography—where we sleep, work, shop, worship, and send our kids to play, and how we move between those places—is more foundational to a green, fair future than just about anything else. The proposal encapsulates the liberal delusion on climate change: that technology and spending can spare us the hard work of reform.
Senator Merkley sounds like he's already onboard.

The design, circa 1936 - It was a New Deal project
Here's a reminder, too, of Salem things we owe to the first New Deal.

There's lots of work to do before any bills become law - the Senate alone is a formidable barrier at the moment - but here's something around which to rally and from which to negotiate.


Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

(Added Slate bit)

Anonymous said...

Strong Towns echoes this, and adds more of their own skepticism about big, top-down government solutions.