The price to be proactive

Allison Rafert, Opinion Editor

Most people aren’t opposed to helping the environment—at least they aren’t opposed to the idea of it. But when it comes to taking action—passing laws, transforming infrastructure, or transitioning to renewable energy—people are more reluctant to combat climate change. This is especially true when possible solutions to climate change, like the newly-proposed Green New Deal (GND), have a high price tag.
However, money will have to be spent as a result of climate change with or without the GND. If allowed to progress and become more disastrous, climate change will wreak havoc on our communities through rising sea levels and more frequent and extreme weather phenomenons.
The United States can either choose to pay to react to the effects of climate change by repairing cities after natural disasters and aiding those with air pollution-related health problems—or we can be proactive. The GND may come with a high price tag, but by investing in our planet’s health, we can stop these natural disasters from happening altogether, eliminating future repair costs.
Despite the initial cost of the GND, numerous clean-energy jobs—including upgrading public buildings, developing green technology, and maintaining clean-energy facilities—will be created as a result. And the United States would lead the rest of the world in a “green” transition, making the U.S.’s technology a major export when helping other countries transition.
But the GND does not only combat climate change. It also implements social reform to ensure that the transition to 100 percent renewable energy is moral, guaranteeing that industrial communities that have historically relied on carbon industries are not left in the dust.
Although, it can be argued that while these aspects of social reform have merit, they are too ambitious to implement along with the climate reforms of the GND. But in order for this complete transformation of our infrastructure and industries to take place, it is essential that we help out those who will be affected most. These social reforms are the only way to make the transition fair. Therefore, it is necessary that all aspects of the GND are enforced at the same time.
The GND is the best, most comprehensive solution—and the only solution that follows the guidelines set by climate scientists—that has emerged in a long time to combat climate change. And we simply cannot waste time waiting for something else to come along when the fate of the Earth is on the line.