By Alula Nuguse
Throughout the last couple of years, the push for environmental change on the national level has been evident with politicians and advocates pushing for a solution. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, along with other politicians, has continuously pushed the Green New Deal (introduced in 2019) as a way to reduce carbon emissions and remake the economy.
The Green New Deal, in broad terms, is a proposal that calls for eliminating all carbon emissions in the next decade. According to the Green New Deal document, the deal calls for “meeting 100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources." The question is if this goal is attainable.
Ocasio-Cortez, commonly referred to as AOC, has been outspoken about this topic during her political career. After she introduced this deal, AOC appeared at multiple universities to discuss her vision for a cleaner America. During a Sunrise Movement rally at Howard University, AOC shared her thoughts about the environmental crisis. “We have never seen a planet like this,” AOC stated when referencing the atmospheric levels of carbon.
On a personal level, climate change can affect everyone whether it's poor air quality, wildfires, or even flooding. The effects will differ geographically, but climate change can create many issues for basically every living person, therefore it stands to reason that we should focus on finding how to prevent this crisis. The Green New Deal is one of many plans to counter this global issue.
Now the question has to be, how can this proposal affect the citizens of Cincinnati? Well, to begin with one must understand the situation Cincinnati is in. Cincinnati has actually reduced carbon emissions in the last couple decades. According to the Environmental Resilience Institute, there was a 36.3% decrease from 2006-2015.
However, although Cincinnati has reduced carbon emissions, as a city it is still one of the worst when it comes to air pollution. This air pollution in Cincinnati is coming from a variety of sources such as power plants, dust from unpaved roads, and automobiles to name a few. According to the American Lung Association, people in Cincinnati have a greater risk for health problems, some of which can shorten the life span by one to three years.
Many politicians from different political backgrounds have been advocating for ways to emit cleaner energy for the future of the world. AOC has been one of the leaders at the forefront of the environmental crisis. The numbers are evident, Cincinnati air is not as clean as it should be. There is no short-term solution to this problem, but with cooperation from politicians and communities, we could see some form of improvement.
Other politicians such as Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris have been outspoken on this subject as well. It is evident that many of the leading voices on climate change are strong women with plans that could begin to display real change in the nation. Cincinnati can start by listening. Realizing what the issue is and how to address it together. All the leaders of climate change in the thousands of communities around the country know one thing for certain: this issue needs to be worked on together, or else it will be impossible for any change to occur.