Young Climate Activists Push Democrats to the Left

Aug 02, 2019 · 620 comments
Eliza S. (Portland, Oregon)
I noticed in the breakfast scene they were cooking white eggs that came out of a styrofoam container! I'm puzzled, if they are pro environment how come they are not eating brown cage free eggs that come out of a paper cardboard container? I also noticed a lot of makeup on their faces. Especially the leader. I hope the brand they are using isnt a big name animal testing brand. Because that would be the pot calling the kettle black. How am I supposed to follow these people when they are making decisions that should be no brainer? Hello, STYROFOAM? Come on PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH! What a joke!
DogRancher (New Mexico)
Just think is is now "Hard Left" to have clean drinking water and clean air to breathe. When you get down to it anything that causes even the mildest of inconveniences to our overly wealthy and super delicate aristocracy will warn us about the "HARD LEFT". Lets drag our all the fear words and flash the name Stalin from all billboards. Joe Biden isn't the leader for this moment in time, and Donald Trump belongs in a jail cell. The only candidate who has spelled out what were really facing and what it will cost is Bernie Sanders. The longer we wait the harder it be will reverse, or even to mitigate. Our delicate, and over moneyed, aristocracy is going to have to take a hair cut. Oh they will still be rich and well off. Just a little less rich.
John (Northern Ireland)
Democratic candidates are not being pushed farther to the left. This artificial left/right divide is deceiving. The candidates are returning home. They now see, perhaps thanks to AOC and others, that climate change will not only not cost them votes but will more than likely win new votes. Finally, they can pursue what they hold dear without being punished at the ballot box. I have talked with many Democrats over the years and I have not met one who denied climate change or thought it unworthy of consideration. And I am a little saddened that I haven't heard Al Gore's name mentioned at all.
Dalgliesh (outside the beltway)
You want to make a real difference? Study engineering (it's hard) and invent ways to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Screaming and beating your chest does nothing. And, politics does nothing--this is a technical problem with technical solutions.
Dori Drachman (Peterborough, NH)
While I usually appreciate the NYT's coverage of the climate crisis, I'm disappointed in the way you are framing the issue in this edition of The Weekly. Calling the urgent attempts to save the species "far to the left," is, in my opinion, irresponsible. Reversing global warming and saving the human species is not partisan. In fact, it is the quintessential unifying issue - we are all part of the same species that will go extinct if we don't act quickly. The only reason it has become political is corporate greed and the influence the fossil fuel companies have on the Republican Party. By framing support for urgent action as "far left," the NYT is allowing those who want to politicize the crisis to define the narrative. In order to have a chance at enacting effective climate policy, we need to reframe the debate, not exploit people's fears of what they think of as "the left."
Elizabeth (New York)
The end of this video is where the NYT is wrong. We shouldn't be blaming young people advocating for themselves and the futures of the planet as "blowing up the democratic party." We cannot use these young people as a scapegoat for why Donald Trump may win reelection. If we want to remove Trump from office members of the Democratic party need to collaborate, compromise, and strategize. They can do this while remaining responsive to the concerns of the next generation -- but whether they will is another story.
brad (seattle)
"Pushing to the Left"? Since when has heeding the warnings of the vast number of climate scientists and working for the survival of our planet become a left/right issue?
John Patt (Koloa, HI)
As someone who has been fighting against climate change for over 10 years, I'm not enthusiastic about some of the proposals coming from the activists. Attacking air travel could well turn off more people than it could gain us support. Instead of telling people what they can't have, we'd do much better by developing new clean technology such as carbon capture. I'm afraid that there's way too much herd mentality here, and not enough self-critical thinking.
Will this foolish “movement” affect the Race. Most certainly. This movement will bring every seedy conservative out of the ground to vote. Forewarned is forearmed.
Able Nommer (Bluefin Texas)
Many people are reacting fearfully to young people coming forward as if they are the tip of a Green Spear. Why should we fear people whose youthful ideals and exuberance can propel change? If one believes the consensus of world climate scientists, our current track of activities that accumulate carbon dioxide, methane, other greenhouse gases - WILL MELT the ice, WILL RAISE the seas over coastlines, and WILL CAUSE catastrophic displacement. These young people believe the scientists and that the consequences of continued under-achievement is the same as inaction. These young people seem determined to leave no stone unturned, if that action could mitigate the risk and magnitude of losses. Of course, these young people are working along side older activists. Of course, it is uncomfortable for Senator Dianne Feinstein to meet a future generation that demands change. Instead of scheduling more time & more staff to enjoin her state's budding environmentalists and their activist leaders, Senator Feinstein recoiled from the challenge and stupidly made voting her out their only option. We won't know if these young challengers and their slightly older guides are just pawns to the future officeholders who will legislate the solutions, both the effective and the counter-productive. But, we can hear The People's involvement in their maturing voices. That is 100-percent positive and necessary to make way -- a People's path.
Steve W (Portland, Oregon)
We have landed in a tricky situation. A large minority of voters were so fed up with politics as usual in 2016 that they voted for a reprehensible charlatan. These past three years have provided ample proof of that folly. Yet the Stable Genius retains a 44% approval rating. For Democrats to prevail next year, the party's candidates need to engage young voters and champion taxpayers in all fifty states. So, climate change must be a key issue, but it cannot be over-played at the risk of appearing "too radical". Democrats also need to champion health care but not some pie-in-the-sky approach that would scare people who like their employer-provided coverage. People are concerned about illegal immigration, but it would be stupid to champion open borders. Fortunately, we have leaders who have stepped up to take these messages to the voters across the country. And make no mistake, those who are benefiting from the status quo will certainly oppose these agents of change. I'm putting my money behind Elizabeth Warren.
Casey (Indianapolis)
Please stop saying that this is pulling politicians left. Addressing and solving the climate crisis is critical to all of our survival as a species and a planet. This is pulling politicians towards the right thing to do - naming that it’s “leftist” plays into the GOP’s narrative. This is science, y’all, and politicians have shamefully been ignoring scientists for years.
Glenn Thomas (Earth)
I see a number of worthy, emerging causes accompanied by resurgent causes as a good sign that all is not lost; but if these fine issues are pushed to extremes leading to a second term for Trump, we are surely lost. Let's not lose sight of the primary goal: block Trump!
Satyendranath (Connecticut)
@Glenn Thomas - I thought the primary goal was saving the planet.
Mark Crozier (Free world)
I love the fact that young people are embracing climate change as the number one threat to our future. The world is riddled with problems, but NONE are as urgent or as all-encompassing as the threat to the only home we know. But please believe that youngsters are not the only ones working hard to keep this issue front and centre. Us older folks are just as concerned. Let's all stand together and turn this thing around! We can do it, time is short but it is not yet too late. Of course, voting Trump out next year will be a HUGE step in the right direction, so I urge all youngsters who are worried about their future to vote Trump out and put someone in the White House who is not beholden to Big Oil and Gas. Someone who will put the future of this planet and the future of every living thing that depends on it FIRST.
John Huppenthal (Chandler, AZ)
@Mark Crozier "NONE as urgent..." Maybe, maybe not. By 2050, Alzheimers and antibiotic resistant bacteria will each be killing over 10 million people per year. Meanwhile, the world wastes trillions on climate hoax hysteria.
Eddie Lew (NYC)
If you ask me, these young 'uns are the hope of this country. It seems we are not worthy of them. Pity.
Alice's Restaurant (PB San Diego)
America represents 320 million of the 7.5 billion on the planet? America's Cultural Marxists, e.g., Cortez Cuba 1959, should be doing their CO2-methane slam-dancing in China and India. But getting them there would mean polluting the atmosphere with tons of carbon at 40,000 feet. Oh, well, a street party in New York City doing a Green New Deal dance might change the temperature--nada.
Grove (California)
Someday, people will regret not dealing with climate change.
bobj (omaha, nebraska)
Man-Made climate change is junk science. It is thoughtfully being proven such now.
Bolt (US)
The same movement is called ‘Extinction Rebellion’ in Europe. We ought to have just one name for the whole world and unite.
Satyendranath (Connecticut)
@Bolt - So you want the Saudis, Iranians, Putin and Xi having control of your future. I bet China wold insist on representation by population, and Xi would cast all the votes. Putin wold probably insist on representation by land area. The Ayatollahs wold, of course insist on conversion to Islam, and non-believers paying a tax, if past history is any guide. If you can get over there and convince them to agree to democratic government, I'm all for it. Good Luck!
Steve Dowler (Colorado)
I know this sounds petty and it is but something I've noticed about a few of our Democrat candidates is their penchant for poking the air in anger during speeches to make one or another point. Bernie does it, Alexandra OC does it, even Warren has become shrill and something of a podium pounder (figuratively) at times. Yes, I'm concerned that Trump will once again pull the wool over the eyes of some 70,000 voters as happened in 2016 to turn the Electoral tide his way. And I agree it's past time for Democrats to stand up to power and be heard. But we should be aware and smart enough not to try to out-Trump The Donald and find ourselves wrestling in the same mud bath as the current Liar-In-Chief.
Satyendranath (Connecticut)
@Steve Dowler - I just noticed that the other day, withing two days I saw pictures of 5 Democratic Presidential candidates holding their index fingers in the air. Not going to say anything like, it's how many votes they have including their own. Warren at the debate yelled at the crowd to stop laughing, which they shouldn't have been doing necessarily, depends on why, I guess, but she seemed really angry.
Brynie (NYC)
Lovers of peace and the environment need to get more real about population.
Carrie (ABQ)
Pre-industrial CO2 levels: 280 parts per million (ppm). Today's CO2 levels: Just over 400 ppm. Last time the earth had this atmosphere: 300 million years ago (before dinosaurs) Projected CO2 levels by 2050: 700 (best case), 1300 (worst case) Last time the earth had this atmosphere: We don't know because there wasn't any ice to capture it for our records
John Huppenthal (Chandler, AZ)
@Carrie CO2 in our lungs? 40,000 ppm CO2 in submarines? 8,000 ppm CO2 in the international space station? 10,000 ppm CO2 in a high performance green house? 1,500 ppm CO2 during the Cambrian geological era when all existing phyla were created? 7,000 ppm Humans are just the earth's evolutionary strategy for releasing all that life giving CO2 back into the atmosphere. Otherwise, all life is headed for extinction. Already working. World wheat production is up 40% from just a decade and a half ago.
John Huppenthal (Chandler, AZ)
@Carrie CO2 levels: while life was exploding during the Cambrian geological era? 7000 ppm in the international space station? 10,000 ppm in submarines? 8000 ppm in a high performance greenhouses 1,500 ppm
Dean M. (Sacramento)
@Carrie I think we are going to find out what those levels are.
Doug (Los Angeles)
The Green New Deal has many provisions only marginally related to climate change. If the proponents of the GND are serious about climate change they need to remove those provisions
Ken cooper (Albuquerque, NM)
The question should be: Assuming a more moderate candidate is selected, will these young folks stay home come Election Day (bite their noses off to spite their collective faces)? Or will they stay in and help the rest of us fight off Trump and his far right cronies. Will they help us bring a viable democracy back to America?
Citizenz (Albany NY)
The time is coming for a generational change to address this but it may be too late to make a difference for our children and grandchildren. Shame on us elders!
Kaari (Madison WI)
So are us old ones who worked on environmental legislation in the 7O's after the first Earth Day. Perhaps we didn't push environmental education hard enough, given the amount of ignorance we are now seeing.
TSW (San Francisco)
That agitating to address the greatest market failure in the history of mankind is "radical" and pushing the Democratic Party to the far left says volumes about how the political system has completely and utterly lost its way.
DMO (Cambridge)
In the end, Earth will do just fine - while looking a little bit more like Mars - it’s us humans who will have vanished.
John Huppenthal (Chandler, AZ)
@DMO Million years? Billion years? We could have lived in every climate for the last billion years. Life exploded producing every existing phyla during the Cambrian era with 7,000 ppm CO2. The slightly expanded CO2 concentrations are already producing world record wheat crops, up 40% from just over a decade ago.
Dean M. (Sacramento)
I'm increasingly bewildered by the Democrats. I've been one since I was old enough to vote. Unfortunately the turn to Left is discouraging. There is no doubt that the environment is being affected by mankind inhabiting it. The problem I see is that the hysteria surrounding the Green New Deal is going to smother talk about what can be done 'now' to be effective. In Sacramento Ca. the weather has been sunny and in the 80-90's for weeks yet when I look around there are few solar panels on the houses there. Thanks to the success of Tesla & Toyota & a few others, there are many more electric cars on the road. There are even alternative fuel UPS trucks zipping around the downtown area. My question is why aren't those and other more immediate solutions being pushed on a broader scale. The Western United States with more solar options especially on new homes would put more power back on the grid to be moved elsewhere. What's wrong with implementing technologies now to get started instead of inflaming passions with end of the world predictions. We have to get started now. It has to be done one step at a time. Serious discussions about cost and implementation need to be discussed. I don't hear much of that coming out of Washington.
Mglovr (Los Angeles, ca)
@Dean M. Inactivity is precisely why young people are pushing radical change. There have been chances to begin decades ago, but like the majority of our national problems, they’re kicked down the road. Young people are fighting for their future
Mathias Weitz (Frankfurt aM, Germany)
The gini coefficient is an indicator for how fair the wealth in your country is distributed. The gini for the US in 1979 was 34%. The gini for the US in 2016 was 41% For comparison: In norway the gini is 27% In canada the gini is 32%. The american wealth distribution is less like other industrial countries and more like african countries like ghana (42%), mali (40%) or kenya (42.5%). America was a better place 40 years ago. And by wealth distribution it was socialism compared to today. When you want to make america great again, you have to move a lot more to the left.
John Huppenthal (Chandler, AZ)
@Mathias Weitz Do we want equality for the poor like North Korea and Venezuela and Cuba? They have great gini coefficients. In 1980, the top 1% of taxpayers, those making more than $80,000 per year, paid $47 billion in personal income taxes, just 19% of all personal income taxes paid. Adjusted for inflation, $80,000 is $237,000 today. In 2018, taxpayers making $237,000 or more, paid $900 billion in personal income taxes, over 55% of all personal income taxes paid. As a result, the poor in the U.S. have cars, cellphones, running water, electricity, toilets, showers, sinks, beds, stoves, refrigerators, airconditioning, couches, shoes and more calories than are healthy for them. By comparison, a poor girl in India cleans latrines with their bare hands to help support her family, lives in a shack without electricity or running water, has no shoes and eats rats to survive. No, the gini coefficient is an evil measure designed to persuade us to act against the poor.
Ben Ross (Western, MA)
As someone with a science and mathematical background, and who is active in trying to lessen the impact of humans on the planet - it is impossible to take these 'climate change catastrophe people seriously' the reason is quite simple - it is human population that causes climate change, both by destroying habitat and in the level of consumption caused by these numbers which consume more of earths resources than can be replenished. anyone who says they are concerned about climate change and doesn't discuss population, trivializes the issue by effectively shouting from a bullhorn they don't know science, don't really care about the earth or anything really but apparently it feels good to them to come across as virtuous and rant at the 'other side' - without having a clue as to what they are talking about
DR (Seattle)
Population is certainly a factor in environmental destruction. But, with regards to our climate today, the industrialized nations have contributed far more to the build-up of greenhouse gases than developing countries. 100 subsistence farmers produce less carbon dioxide than one American. And, as far as energy resources go, solar energy is essentially renewable and abundant enough for billions of humans.
Ben Ross (Western, MA)
@DR As i said if tomorrow we had all the clean energy we need for free from fusion without any climate change forthcoming, we would still be well on our way to destroying the earth - habitat destruction, starvation and massive emigration all a result of population explosion "the population of Africa is increasing rapidly. From an estimated 140 million in 1900, it had grown to a billion by 2010. According to United Nations “medium scenario” projections, this figure will rise to 2.5 billion in 2050 and more than 4 billion in 2100 ' if you are ok with exterminating gorillas, lions, elephants and every other living thing on the planet than yes - climate change not population might be an issue - after all it will lower the value of beach front property
JoeG (Houston)
@DR This is the problem. The comparatively wealthy want the developing world to sacrifice while they continue to consume.
bruce (Saratoga Springs NY)
Addressing climate change now is not a Leftist position, it is the crucial and only position, and central to preserving some semblance of our way of life. Those proposing some alternative scheme don't know what they are talking about. We cannot tolerate delay.
John Huppenthal (Chandler, AZ)
@bruce "...only position..." Nope. Since research journals began in 1665, one hoax after another has been perpetuated from their pages. Climate change is just the latest. 80 years from now, we will be on to the next one. Read about the reproducibility crisis. Read about the eugenics craze. Study the diets science train wreck.
ubique (NY)
Not to be too much of a downer, but political activism can only do so much to instantiate scientific research and development. It’s already a necessity to build sea walls, in order to protect dozens of coastal cities from increased weather extremes, and Congress can’t even seem to agree whether that much is worth pursuing. Get a Democrat in the White House, and then debate the finer points of their delusions of grandeur. Priorities matter.
What is surprising in a nation that is historically so young is that the philosophical ideas are so old and so conservative . Basically unmoved since the 17th century. Scientifically, morally, religiously, politically, constitutionally ( the US constitution is more 17th century even than 18th century ), philosophically. The philosophical ideas of the USA are from way before the age of Independence.. All the political and philosophical ideas of the USA are very British from before the independence. The US constitution has some French philosophical ideas that are very structural but Americans are unaware of it and they don't know the origins or the consequences of those concepts. They have reversed them into older conservative British law concepts.
Truth is out there (PDX, OR)
Addressing climate change (an utter urgent crisis) itself is already facing many obstacles; allowing so many other issues to piggyback on it will only make progression even harder. This is a strategic mistake of monumental proportion.
AnnaS (Philadelphia)
I am appalled at the number of comments that treat climate change as just another political issue. The glaciers are melting, the permafrost is disappearing, the seas are warming, people are starving because drought kills the crops ... this is not a matter of style or appropriateness but of actual life or death. The 2000 election was in many ways the most important one of my lifetime —- I’m 80 years old —- and the Supreme Court decision meant, among other things, that life on our planet would never be the same. This election may well be the last chance to save life not as it was or even as it is now, but at all.
John Huppenthal (Chandler, AZ)
@AnnaS "...people are starving..." Not because of global warming. World wheat production is at an all-time record, up 40% from just 15 years ago. Exactly what you would predict form enhanced CO2 levels. More CO2 will continue to drive them up and open up more arable land.
DR (Seattle)
Caring strongly about our environment is now left? How strange, considering the EPA, and the first Earth Day, began during Republican President Richard Nixon's watch. The first Earth Day, almost 50 years ago, was in response to the decline in air quality; and even then scientists were discussing global warming as a possible outcome of fossil fuel burning. The fact that half of our country is still wondering if it is happening now, and not sure if it has anything to do with fossil fuels, should not be considered a normal reaction. It is an aberration, like fearing measles vaccinations. Essential facts of climate change are very well known by climate scientists. But due to much political, business, and religious reluctance to embrace these facts, most of our country remains disengaged. Our institutions have failed the public; they have failed to educate the public about the basics of climate change, its causes, the benefits of reducing fossil fuel emmissions now versus pinning hopes on a technological miracle, and the role of developing vs industrialized nations in causing our current state of the climate in the first place.
Mark William Noonan (Bellingham, WA.)
I have misgivings about this. I’m 48 so that makes me Gen X. Millennials have fresh ideas and will accomplish much. I was just as young and ideological. But be forewarned. Republicans/Conservatives are NOT GOING TO JUST ROLL OVER. The Fight is going to be long and hard. I believe Climate Change is real. But also wise enough to know that Corporate interests have enormous influence. It will take time.
Anti-Marx (manhattan)
Is it possible to believe in climate change without believing that it's caused by using fossil fuels? Could it just be that the earth is heating up? Has science proven that fossil fuel connection? I'm not sure that it has. I believe in climate change. I'm not denying it, but I am not sure the cause. I feel like there are three positions 1) deny it 2) believe it, but not assign a cause 3) believe it, and assign a cause (fossil fuel consumption) Without the fossil fuel tie-in, climate change ceases to be a political issue. How would you be political about climate change caused by non-human causes?
Real Rocket Raccoon (Orion Arm)
As much as I understand that climate change is happening, and something needs to be done about it, I'm trying to be realistic enough about it. I'm getting concerned for young activists involved with this final wave of climate change activism, and for the potential for exploitation. Having just witnessed all the revelations of the MeToo movement, and the Catholic church and Boy Scouts exploitation scandals, and being aware of cyber extortion, we can't afford to just tell ourselves the potential doesn't exist here, too. When I look at some of the new activism around, there seem to be a couple of shady things, including a focus on the psychological trauma of climate change. I just hope it's not an attempt to find psychologically vulnerable people to exploit-- similar to the methods of Al Qaeda, the David Khoresh group, and other dangerous groups.
gratis (Colorado)
@Real Rocket Raccoon "Potential for exploitation".... Versus the real exploitation of our environment and the people who suffer on many levels from lung diseases to dirty water to economic ruin.
Real Rocket Raccoon (Orion Arm)
@gratis I'm not saying there shouldn't be activism done about those problems. I'm just saying there may be this additional problem of a threat to the activists from their own movement. We've reached pretty much the last minute in the fight against climate change. It's a harrowing time for that reason (also for other reasons) and that may leave people vulnerable to leaders who have a hidden agenda.
Bob (Hudson Valley)
The efforts to deal with climate change began before the young people in the Sunrise Movement were born. Therefore the may not fully appreciate how hard it is to act in accordance with the science. They may not fully understand the history of the conflicts over climate change between the developed countries led by the US and developing countries led by China. They were born after the Kyoto Protocol agreement and probably were too young to follow what took place at the Copenhagen climate meeting in 2009 which marked by discord and resulted in the end of legally binging agreements to reduce emisisons. They are calling for much more rapid action that has occurred so far but may not really understand all the obstacles to overcome. But they are new voices and are at least getting a lot attention in the media which in itself is important.
Eirik Eikaas (Oslo)
Or they may fully understand the history of inaction and understand that governments, especially like the US, need tremendous pressure from the public in order to tackle the challenges ahead.
rjs7777 (NK)
Believing in climate change is not a valid excuse to sleazily impose communism or totalitarianism to get money and power for your friends. Trying to do it does not make one virtuous. The economic side of this is a cheap scam. Climate change can be dealt with most effectively by markets, just as growing food and building houses is most effectively handled by markets.
LJMerr (Taos, NM)
I get the generational issue: that older politicians like Feinstein and Pelosi know how things work in Washington, and realize that change, particularly in today's world, works very slowly (if at all), and that younger folks don't see the whole political picture. The problem is that if the issue of climate change isn't tackled immediately, with a goal of 100% engagement, we are dooming these kids to an impossible future, from which there will be no return. So it seems to me that the comprehension of the facts depends upon from which end of the issue you are observing. For my part, as a 70+er, I hope the young people prevail, because only extreme bravery has a chance of turning things around on this most desperate issue.
Mike Ransmil (San Bernardino)
AOC demands action on global climate change---asap! She's tired of republican deniers blocking her green party movement---big changes are needed to stop this warming at the poles---she will continue and encourage protests by her followers!
AACNY (New York)
@Mike Ransmil There's only one little problem. AOC doesn't "own" the issue. It belongs to all of us. We all get to have a say, and the fact that she cannot brook any dissension demonstrates she's not up to the task. We need more mature and reasonable leaders.
WeHadAllBetterPayAttentionNow (Southwest)
What we do to prevent massive losses of coastline and agriculture, which certainly will result in massive warfare over the arable land that remains, must be based on science, not on political opinion.
gratis (Colorado)
@WeHadAllBetterPayAttentionNow The science says we no longer have time to delay. Some models say it is already too late. Political opinion says to continue to do as we have been.
Peter Kalmus (Altadena, CA)
No, it's not just Sunrise. It's Sunrise + rock-solid science. That's why it's effective.
JoeG (Houston)
@Peter Kalmus Science is based on proofs, not models.
Kay (Somerville)
@JoeG You're thinking of geometry, maybe. Science requires models and data. So far the evidence collected on CO2 concentration and temperature change has kept up with the models or outpaced them. Time to start acting on those results.
shane dawgson (California)
While GND is bold and interesting, using kids for politics is manipulative and echoes the tactics of Hugo Chavez who often had a child on his lap while talking to VZ to cover up his corruption. The Far Left may have some decent points, but let's be real - there needs to be civil war in the Dems - schism, if you will - because AOC and the youth are not Feinstein and Pelosi.
Peter Zenger (NYC)
Focusing Anger, Invective, and Mockery on those who don't want to take action on climate control is a weak strategy. When engaging in monumental projects, care must be taken to have as many friends - and as as few enemies - as possible. I suspect that a lot of young people, haven't figured that out yet. Bernie, on the other hand, seems to have a good grasp of the art of inclusion; he is, in many respects, just as much a template for successful future leaders, as Trump is the shadow of our ugly past. What could be more sustaining, that the young learning from the old of good heart?
AACNY (New York)
@Peter Zenger The negative approach taken by climate change zealots has set the cause back a decade. Whoever coined the term, "denier", should be banished. They have seriously damaged what is a movement for everyone by turning it into a movement for only "true believers."
mrkee (Seattle area, WA state)
Climate change is no respecter of partisanship, and the sooner we all figure that out, the better off we'll be. Hanging this on "the Left" is not a survival-oriented tactic for dealing with the existential threat posed by rising temperatures, rising sea levels, drought, fire and flood. If "the Right" had had the sense to get on board with it a few decades ago they could have had a heyday with controlling other people's lives, but they have been beyond TSTL with this one. Let's hope humanity as a whole is better at coping with the changes it's going to take to pull through.
Michaela (United States)
Hey kiddos: If you’re not talking about ‘Overpopulation’ as one of the driving forces behind climate had better get started.
David (California)
Let's not lose the forest for the trees. The GND, like the original New Deal, is not perfect. It is a proposal that perhaps needs some refinement, and in any case, will be amended if it gets to the point of legislation. The crucial thing is the need to have a much greater sense of urgency and that requires bold and aggressive proposals, and for the US to take global leadership on the issue.
Amer (Awa)
I noticed the absence of Bernie in the video .. you have older people here. You are so obvious
Maggie (Boston, MA)
Describing these activists as impatient suggests that the pace at which our government has been addressing the climate crisis up to this point is reasonable. It is not. We had decades to give ourselves a soft landing, and we squandered them. The Sunrise activists are trying to break through the greed and stagnation that, if left alone, will cause untold suffering. It is the so-called adults who have been trailing inexcusably, not the youth activists who are impatient.
unreceivedogma (Newburgh)
The NY Times exposes its ideological tilt in this piece when they characterize an existential threat to human survival a “left” issue. Please. Stop it.
Knocking Trump out of the WH should be the DP’s #1 priority. The DNC needs to establish this orientation as the “top of the list” goal of the party. What platform is going to energize the most voters to support the DP? Everything else is secondary.
Casual Observer (Los Angeles)
Survival is not a political or ideological issue. It's a silly strategy.
CG (London)
I don’t follow. What is ‘left’ about accepting scientific evidence of a global climate crisis and wanting to do something about it?
Excellency (Oregon)
Those who thought that 50,000 men dying in the rice paddies of Vietnam was idiotic were called leftists. Those who thought that 50,000 men dying in the rice paddies of Vietnam was necessary to preserve the free world were called moderates. Make up your own scenario - falling dominoes were a favorite among other irrational explanations. I'd call our youth "scientific" and reasonable while our aged ancien regime is simply "corrupt", "primitive" and "superstitious".
John Huppenthal (Chandler, AZ)
@Excellency "scientific" Perhaps. But, perhaps not. The end of times apocalyptic scenario depends on satellite measures of sea rise acceleration of 0.3 mm per year from satellites that don't agree with each other by 50 mm. Theses satellites don't agree with themselves to the tune of 30 mm when measuring almost perfectly smooth salt flats. 90% of the world's ice sits on the Antarctic and NASA research (Medley) shows ice and snow piling up on the Antarctic. Current unadjusted temperatures are not statistically different than originally recorded temperatures over the last 100 years.
Satyendranath (Connecticut)
@Excellency - Do remember also, that those who sent our soldiers there were called Democrats. Nixon, love him or hate him, got us out. Not exactly a leftist. Although, by today's standards, he would be a liberal Democrat. And yet Democrats hated him as much as they do Trump.
Ambrose Rivers (NYC)
Good for them - working hard for a Republican majority.
Amy Cotler (Mexico)
This article has finished me on the sometimes stellar NY Times. Why is environmental activism a right vs left issue? When the Times claims this form of protest comes from the left, they show their extremely biased reporting. Do your job!!
Mark William Noonan (Bellingham, WA.)
Who made it a Right vs. Left Issue?
KSA (Lewiston, NY)
OK, let's see if I have this right... The youngest eligible voters dislike Trump more than any other eligible-voter demographic. But we have to take extra measures to ensure that they will actually come out to vote against him, that we don't have to take with other voter demographics (which are supposedly less rabidly anti-Trump), to make sure THEY will come out to vote against him. That about right? Why? Why isn't the fact that they really dislike Trump enough to motivate them?
Ridley Bojangles (Portland, ME)
This is not business as usual. The young people have it right. There can be only one top priority... stemming climate change is obviously number one. It could kill millions and make life miserable for the rest of us. Anyone who doubts this is real after all the evidence is either totally ignorant or just not thinking straight.
Someone's got to do this, and it's painfully obvious that this failed, hostile, incompetent administration is not going to. The survival of this planet is at stake. Trump doesn't care because he'll be dead. and he is incapable of conscience or understanding of science anyway. Same with McConnell. Macron gets it, which is one of many reasons why he abhors Trump's ignorance. AOC gets it, as do her contemporaries - it will be THEIR world and they do not want a dying planet and an apocalyptic future. They know is can at least be mitigated to some degree if we get rid of Trump and his "goos men" and replace them with really smart humans like Barack Obama. Sorry Donny, I'll bet the truth really hurts, but you're an ignoramus and Obama was anything but. Your lies will not change that. If this seems too "hard left" for some, they are too myopic. These changes must come or our children will have no legacy; not even a bad one.
Casual Observer (Los Angeles)
Let's be realistic. The moral crusade that is proceeding from the right and left is irrelevant. Addressing climate issues will not bring a new world order that will bring a new beginning of mankind, a more perfect way of life. Ignoring climate issues will not preserve our way of life and stop unwelcome changes. Global warming is proceeding, it's the result of natural forces which humans are unable to change. We use our knowledge of them to benefit from how they work but we do not control them in any way. No matter how we feel about the issue, we have and will always live with the fact that nature just does what it does. We will accept what is and go from there. We cannot tell what will be done We may end up living in a world with less land and a lot of human works needing to be replaced. This only way to solve this problem is science and intelligently working through the problem.
GM (Universe)
What a shame the the NYT falls in the trap of calling "climate activism" leftist politics. Since when is protecting the planet and all living things, and our land, forests and water -- the very sustenance of our life -- based on a political ideology.
Mike S. (Eugene, OR)
If Democrats don't win the presidency and control the Senate, it doesn't really matter. And if by some fortunate circumstance they do, they have two years to fix everything, before they lose the House in midterms. Unless, of course, we have a magnitude 12 climate moment, a trillion dollar disaster, in which case maybe the country will finally wake up. Climate should be first, but health care, jobs, wages, wars, terrorism, gun violence, and of course making sure every group has a voice will drown it out. When everything is a priority, nothing is.
Peter Aretin (Boulder, CO)
"Disruption" and "shaking things up" are self-indulgent slogans of the intellectually lazy. Drop your laptop from a second floor window onto the driveway, then get back to me about how much better it works after being shaken up.
Shillingfarmer (Arizona)
Trump should be defeated at the polls and criminally prosecuted if possible. As for the planet's climate, there are far too many people now who want a western lifestyle; automobiles (electric cars have a substantial carbon footprint), refrigeration and lighting, mass use of fertilizers and farm equipment. Yes, the future of greenhouse effects is for much more greenhouse effects. Nevertheless we should really try to ameliorate the effects of GHG's. We've seen the effects of the greed that led us through centuries of land and labor theft, and that have continued to this day. Hydrocarbon interests will have to be dragged kicking and screaming into a more reasonable environmental future- a job for centuries not decedes.
Lowly Pheasant (United Kingdom)
So much coverage of left-leaning democrats wanting to save the world. So little coverage of a far-right white supremacist in the White House trying to accelerate humanity's demise, and in the meantime inciting his followers to domestic terrorism.
Vin (Nyc)
It's insane that climate change is a 'left-right' issue in the United States. Then again, we're an insane country.
Themis (State College, PA)
Exactly. Why worry about wage stagnation if the planet is in imminent danger?
Barry Schiller (North Providence RI)
too much is being made of the Sunrise and the GND which is just a feel-good aspiration. It doesn't have as strategy to get to where they want to go with an economic or technical analysis. Last I saw, what to do with home heating, transportation, nuclear power, the down side of renewable energy (we in RI know all too well about that thanks to "solar farms" cutting down hundreds of acres of woodlands) agriculture, and the role of human population growth adding to demand, have not been addressed either at all or beyond platitudes. Its good that some young people are passionate, but I'm waiting for an implementation plan.
Ambrose (Nelson, Canada)
It's wonderful to see young people once again taking an active role in progressive politics. Even if the Democrats lose the next election, a foundation for progressives has been laid.
El Lucho (PGH)
"The Green New Deal has been touted as lifesaving by its supporters and criticized as an absurd socialist conspiracy by critics." This is probably because supporters and critics are looking at different elements of this elephant. Most supporters are looking at climate change, while most critics are looking at the jobs (with a living wage) guarantee.
witm1991 (Chicago)
There will be green jobs to replace coal mines, oil wells, fracking, and the transport of fossil fuels. There will be infrastructure jobs as well.
citybumpkin (Earth)
By the standards of any other 21st century democracy, these young climate activists are pushing Democrats to THE CENTER. It is a measure of how absolutely insane the United States has become that making climate change a priority is considered "far left." Everywhere else, it's a non-partisan agenda that every sane person is interested. The people making smug comments about how these young people are "fringe" are like lunatics at an asylum laughing at sane people on the streets.
Anthony Flack (New Zealand)
Here's a joke: Q: What do you call somebody who threatens to vote for Trump unless the Democrats stop talking about climate change? A: "Moderate".
Corey Keyes (Bloomfield, NY)
Consider that each of the previous Republican nominees for president voice(d) vociferous objections to the current president. Consider that the current president is/was persona non grata to the previous two Republican presidents. Are you really sure you want to continue this mischaracterization of a "hard left" turn when it is painfully obvious we've been in a hard right turn for decades, and have now gone off the road completely?
Meg (AZ)
I think climate change solutions can be found, but we have to be 100% committed to the cause. Just recently, a kid from Ireland invented a way to remove microplastics from the ocean and he did not even have access to a formal lab to do his research. This example about plastics simply shows that we simply do not know where all the solutions will come from on any issue. However, our chances for success are far greater if we set a strong goal and put all of or efforts and resources in that direction. I'd like to see NASA get involved, I'd like to see us doing all we can that we already know will help, and I'd like to see an international effort in finding the best solutions. This has to be an effort that leaves no stone unturned and like our mission to the moon, we can not only do far more than we think possible, but efforts like this are very good for the economy. My dad worked on the Apollo project and got his degree through the GI Bill. It just goes to show what can be done when a nation invests in its people and in lofty noble goals.
Justice (Cloud)
Clapping, dancing , chanting won't make any difference. At the end of the day we need fossil fuels to cook, move, produce electricity and so on. And the result is Pollution. Other forms of energy are expensive and not sufficient to maintain our lifestyles. I hope technology advance fast enough so we can find better alternatives.
witm1991 (Chicago)
To continue to use fossil fuels is, quite simply put, suicide. Do you prefer that to changing your lifestyle?That is the choice. Food and water are already under threat. Do you prefer death from starvation to changing your lifestyle?
John Huppenthal (Chandler, AZ)
@Justice "...the result is pollution..." Nope. Levels of lead, Carbon Monoxide, Sulphur Dioxide, Nitrogen Dioxide and Ozone are at the lowest levels ever recorded and are far below health standards. CO2 is not a pollutant at current levels nor at levels projected for the next 200 years: CO2 levels in: your lungs: 40,000 ppm the International Space Station: 10,000 high performance green house: 1,500 Submarines: 8,000 During the life explosion of the Cambrian geologic era 7,000 our current atmosphere: 400 projected for 2100 700 At CO2 levels projected for 2100, food crop and forestry growth rates will increase by 20% and arable land will increase by 8% (higher levels of CO2 enable plants to grow with less water).
John Huppenthal (Chandler, AZ)
@witm1991 "Food and water are already under threat..." Nope. In 2017, world wheat production set a new all-time record of 759 million tons, up from 543 in 2005, a 40% increase. This is what we would expect from increasing levels of CO2 which is food for plants. Those increasing levels of CO2 have not only increased yields per acre but also total acreage planted.
Ed (Silicon Valley)
Someone should do a serious comparison between the TVA and the Green New Deal. How much did the TVA transform the economy of Tennessee? How did it improve the quality of life in the region? What was the before and after? By the median home price in Nashville today, I'd say it did a lot of good. Then project how a Green New Deal may affect West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan. And if the return on investment in infrastructure outweighs the initial cost (kind of like remodeling your bathroom before putting your house on the market and getting $2 back for every dollar you put in), well then why are we letting the oil companies lobbying money and misinformation stop us? Someone should investigate how much the oil companies are spending to stop the Green New Deal. Because this Deal makes sense and it benefits all Americans.
Richard Winchester (Illinois)
During the Obama Administration the Corps of Engineers was supposed to publish an updated analysis of the utilization of hydroelectric resources in the USA. The prior report was several decades old but it indicated that by retrofitting EXISTING dams in the US (no negative environmental impact) that did not have electric generators with the then, state of the art generators, the non polluting energy equivalent of about 8,000,000 barrels of oil a day would be produced. Americans would be put to work manufacturing the equipment and installing it and maintaining the dams and equipment. There would be profits from the carbon neutral electricity generated. Obama bowed to pressure from Democrats in Congress and decided to suppress the new report. Too many corporate campaign contributors would have been adversely affected.
2020Voter (United States)
Any discussion of climate change should include a discussion of unsustainable birth rates. It is undeniable that excessive numbers of people in the world is the, or one of the, causes of climate change. Promoting family planning and birth control in all parts of the world, but especially in the locations with the highest birth rate, is urgent. We should do this and also reduce the use of carbon based energy.
woofer (Seattle)
Running out of time, folks. The attempt has to be made to radically address climate change now even if the politics of it polls poorly, even if it scares old folks and disturbs their afternoon naps, even if the cable TV pundits wring their hands and say that it makes another Trump term more likely. It may be a long shot but more delay means certain disaster. The choice is obvious.
EB (Seattle)
Good work by the Sunrise Movement. Global warming (please don't use the Republican talking point of "climate change") is not just another "policy" issue for Dems to argue about. This is a global threat that will disrupt society for decades to come, but politicians in both parties continue to fail to treat it as the crisis it is. They argue over mileage standards when they should be talking about how to move the US away from fossil fuels within the next 10 years. The boomer generation failed to curb the release of greenhouse gases starting in the 1980s when scientists first sounded the alarm. Young people alive now, and their kids, get to deal with the consequences of our inaction. They are trying to salvage their futures through their activism. The rest of us should support them or get out of their way.
Satyendranath (Connecticut)
@EB - Activists successfully stopped the nuclear industry in the 70s and 80s. And now we can thank them for Global Warming.
Richard Watt (New Rochelle, NY)
This is my problem, I'm all for stopping, perhaps reversing climate change, I'm all for keeping Obamacare, and one day upgrading it to Medicare for all. I don't not like the anti-Israel stance of many of these new leftists, who don't know history.
Terry Baker (NZ)
Any reasonable person, who knows history or not, can see that injustice falls far more heavily on Palestine than on Israel. The current US admin is doing zero to restrain even some of the extreme activities being perpetrated by Netanyahu. Historically all the blame for the tangled web of mess in the Middle East resides with the western « colonial » powers-US included. Questioning Israeli policies & actions is not anti-Zionist any more than criticism of Potus is not treason
Richard Watt (New Rochelle, NY)
@Terry Baker We'll I disagree.
LW (Helena, MT)
This is a generational shift. If the people lead, the politicians will follow. Bigger than the war for votes is the war of ideas, or rather, the war for truth over profit-driven propaganda. Climate change was ignored - ignored! - in 2016. Now is our chance for wide-open conversation on this, along with the entwined ills that make us such a sick and violent society. Even with Trump in office, progress is taking place, albeit way too slowly, at the state, local and international levels, through governments, nonprofits, consumer activists and even corporations. We can't let up.
Texas (Austin)
This young activist is 70+, and I've been pushing the Democrats to the left since 1968. Now I'm pushing for Warren, Sanders, AOC, Steyer, and Yang. We'll see how Pete matures. The rest of the D candidates are More of the Same. Clinton and Obama were NOT lefties. Live a little! "Hey, what have you got to lose?" "You don’t need to be a bug on a windshield to prove you’ve got guts."
JoeG (Houston)
Why is the left taking all the credit? Look at mega watts produced with renewable energy Texas and California are close too a tie. The population of China will be 400 million less by the turn of the century. Bullet trains are planned in Texas, Oregon, Washington and Florida. Burger King is trying to sell non animal meat. Austin and many other towns are introducing electric bicycles and kick scooters to get people around ( 1hp vs 200 with a car ). Climate is changing, just slower than the hysterics want you to believe. So is peoples behavior and it's happening a lot faster than the hysterics believe. The problem is the left
C (New York)
What is incredibly frustrating though is that all these politicians ignore the 10 ton elephant in the room: animal agriculture's disproportionately large role in climate change and environmental degradation. This was notably absent from the green new deal. For a movement that is supposedly idealistic and "progressive", this is a glaring flaw that makes it disingenuous to me. In study after study, including studies by the UN, animal agriculture is said to account for 15% to 50% of all emissions contributing to climate change. We need to have a discussion, now, about how to transition our exponentially growing population away from animal agriculture to sustainable--and humane--alternatives. We know that there are many viable alternatives and ways that we can do this, and the market is (slowly) moving in that direction even without government action. Also, it's worth noting that there are virtually no regulations on how farmed animals are treated. It's perfectly legal--and encouraged on publicly available industry websites--to "euthanize" young pigs by bashing their heads into the floor in front of their mothers and castrating them without anesthesia. There is no excuse for the failure of politicians and people engaged in climate advocacy to meaningfully address animal agriculture.
David (California)
@C. A good start would be to eliminate leasing of federal lands for cattle grazing. Locally the biggest concentration of cattle is in a national park - about 60% of Pt. Reyes Natl Seashore is used by cattle. And the ranchers pay bargain basement rates to use the land.
Meg (AZ)
@C Yes, we must do absolutely everything possible that included.
Timit (WE)
We must replace the insensitive republicans that have gutted the EPA, but this can only happen if we take back control of the Senate. Radical Presidential candidates are harming this possibilty. You can't be a climate change candidate and want open borders and "reparations". That rules out half of them because controlling the border will appeal to the majority of the voters. Gov Inslee and VP Biden are safe bets to care for the planet without the baggage of the Radicals. So good that Rep Cortez is too young. Most ordinary voters think the Democrats are going to ban airplanes due to her oversized press co erage.
tennvol30736 (chattanooga)
At times, I wonder if the public recognizes the rigor of science, that facts and evidence is what matters. Politics and opinions have zero impact on analysis and conclusions. The vast body of scientific consensus is that climate change is an imperative that must be addressed and a huge human global challenge. Those who are opposed are either Republican oil oligarchs (their toadies), evangelicals whose main concern is the red man with the pitchfork. Moreover, 98% of nations concur with the scientists. To demonize or ridicule a political party that has recognized this problem and offers a plan for solution only begs for perhaps a better plan.
John Cahill (NY)
The classic definition of politics is that politics is the art of the possible. The Democrats, however, persist in practicing the art of the impossible, which will make it impossible to achieve a Democratic victory in 2020: $30 Trillion over 10 years for medicare for all. In what fantasy world does the congress approve such an impossible expenditure? Making all buildings and residences compliant with the provisions of the Green New Deal. In what fantasy world is this even remotely possible? Impeach trump now. In what fantasy world does the Republican majority in the Senate convict Trump at trial after the House impeaches? The only impeachment strategy that can actually help the Democrats is to wait until spring of 2020 to commence impeachment proceedings. That would push the trial in the Senate into the summer -- the height of the presidential campaign season -- when the dramatic presentation of Trump's "high crimes and misdemeanors" will have the best chance of convincing voters to reject Trump at the polls. Even if he is acquitted in the Senate trial -- as he likely will be -- voters may say I agree with the verdict but so much malfeasance was brought to light at the Senate trial that I cannot vote to reelect such a person as president of my country.
Andy Makar (Hoodsport WA)
Did it occur to you that $30T for MFA over ten years is suspiciously close to the $35T our current system is going to cost? Sounds like a proposed $5T savings to me.
David (California)
@John Cahill. Well if it's impossible to solve the problem then we're all doomed.
David (California)
Why is this a "left" issue? Portraying it as such is the goal of the oil companies.
Meg (AZ)
@David Because, the GOP is opposed to most legislation to stop global warming. Even the so-called jobs proposals by the GOP in the Obama administration, were simply anti-environmental regulation proposals, rolling back anti-pollution measures you can check and read them on and see who was sponsoring certain bills and who voted for what, etc. You can also go to League of Conservation Voters and it will show who voted for environmental leg and who did not.
Ed Walker (Chicago)
Featuring Bret Stephens and Christopher Caldwell debunking climate science.
Unaligned (New Jersey)
Addressing Climate change is a tricky, complex issue. I am for it but let’s look at the reality in the ground. First there are fifty states and some like NY and California trying to make their own environmental legislation. Any state can take action that is the opposite of addressing climate change if it wants. Then there is the federal government compromised of a house, a senate, a president and a Supreme Court. And it seems to me that a single party like the Dems need to win all four (Congress by a supermajority) in order to make significant change to current environmental policy in the USA. Otherwise the republicans will block change. And then there are the 193 countries who have the right to do whatever they please as sovereign states. And if a global climate treaty is passed, any treaty would have to be approved by the US Senate. None of this is to say that the Unites States cannot be a leader but it’s a heavy yoke to mobilize the world. For example, the sheer number of countries building or planning to build coal fired power plants (as some other readers have pointed out) while they speak out of the other side of their mouth to say they meet the Paris Accords make a mockery that we will be able to address climate change as human kind.
John Huppenthal (Chandler, AZ)
@Unaligned CO2 is an infinitesimally weak greenhouse gas and humans produce a very small fraction of what nature produces. Further, from a geological history perspective, we are CO2 starved. We are nature's method, an evolutionary advance, for releasing carbon back into the environment and restoring the ability of the atmosphere to generate life. It's already working. In 2017, we set an all time world record for wheat production, up 40% from 2005.
Paul Z (Virginia)
So, there is a Senate majority full of Republicans who are in complete denial about climate change and the Sunrise Movement goes after.... Diane Feinstein? This, in a nutshell, is why Trump has an excellent chance of winning next year.
Steven (Scottsdale AZ)
I believe that our environment is in critical condition and much has to be achieved to course correct. Not a left or right issue, however, we must proceed with intelligence formed by scientific fact. Our changing climate is non political, achieving positive change is. Why? Many uninformed people believe their favorite fake news (Fox) channel. Fossil fuel, fuels our demise. Very close to driving over the cliffffff!
John Huppenthal (Chandler, AZ)
@Steven "...our environment is in critical condition..." Nope. Levels of atmospheric sulphur dioxide, Carbon Monoxide, ozone, nitrogen dioxide and lead are at the lowest levels ever recorded and far below health standards.
Lilly (Key West)
It's sad that these "activists" focus on an issue that needs to be solved by China, India and the rest of the developing world. We have met the enemy and it's not us. The issue that these kids need to focus on is starvation verses cutting green house gases. Once they solve that issue then they can lecture the rest of us.
Maureen Steffek (Memphis, TN)
The rollout of The Green New Deal was a disaster. There are so many side issues and misinformation that it really was dead on arrival. I am seriously concerned about climate change, but this bill tries to correct every social inequity all at once. It's actually climate issues that are getting short changed. Go back to the drawing board, scratch out everything that does not cut carbon emissions or promote carbon removal. Call it what it it-a health crisis and go after it like cigarette smoking. I remember endless ads for cool, sexy smoking. Seen one of those lately? Let the class action lawyers loose on the polluters. Anybody selling asbestos anything anymore? Why tie job training to climate change? A huge portion of our citizens need education and training for 21st century jobs and life. Do we have an education problem? Absolutely! Job training for climate cleanup is only a part of what is needed. Give education its own stand alone bill. We can take care of our problems, but we need to give each one the focus it needs. We can walk, chew gum, snap our fingers, watch for traffic and smell the roses all at the same time. We are humans and we can be marvelous when we try.
Steve Singer (Chicago)
I wish journalists would take biodiversity/climate science issues out of the “Left/Right” French Revolution paradigm. Left/Right referred to the sides of the room where hostile political factions met to battle over how post-Bourbon France would work. Yes, those whom we label “right-wing” are unsympathetic to social humanist and environmental issues. But that’s because they are indoctrinated by mass media, their authoritarian mindset created to serve the needs of the wealthy and powerful. They see “environmentalism” as an economic challenge to their hold on wealth and power. But the antithesis of the Right’s chauvinism, thinly-veiled racism and cynical anti-intellectualism, the antidote to its dishonest faux populism and nihilistic “Objectivism” (Ayn Rand’s social Darwinist philosophy) isn’t to its “Left” on this French Revolution political spectrum. It’s closer to “ignorance vs enlightenment”, or “night vs day”. For civilization to survive it must effectively solve its existential problems, our biodiversity/climate crisis first and foremost. So, it’s a fight over power. The antagonists‘ economic activities will destroy all life on our planet but they either don’t believe that or don’t care. The protagonists oppose their self-destructiveness but, stymied by our legal system, can’t prevent it. For civilization to survive political control must shift from the destroyers to the conservers. Journalism must stop describing conservers as extensions or creatures of the “Left”.
Karen (California)
You don't think maybe the spate of natural disasters that devastated the country last year -- and continue to do so this year -- along with the UN report had had anything to do with it? And I'd like to point out that Inslee in particular has been making great progress before Sunrise came along. As have many but states. It's fine to highlight younger people working toward climate change, but to do so as if they are the ONLY "woke" force and responsible for pushing the party left is ridiculous. I'm over sixty; my husband has been working in ocean acidification for nearly forty years; and although we may not stage sit-ins or pose for the cameras, it's older women who are the demographic majority of those who continue to call and write their Congress reps.
David (California)
It is difficult to see how any kind of long-term mass immigration is consistent with a desire to lower Europe’s carbon output and the same for the US. So there are profoundly conflicting issues on the left.
abigail49 (georgia)
Why is protecting the human race and all life on the planet considered a "leftist" proposition? Is protecting Americans from foreign military and terrorist attacks "right-wing"? Please stop the political labeling. If we do nothing effective now to slow down climate change but wait until there is mass starvation and mass migration, we will get the opposite of democracy to deal with the massive crisis.
Doug Lowenthal (Nevada)
The Democrats’ “far left” would be centrists in most advanced societies. Who’s going to drag Americans into the future? Hopefully, its youth.
Richard Schumacher (The Benighted States of America)
Don't scare the elders too much, kids. You gotta get elected to get anything done.
Andy Makar (Hoodsport WA)
I’m an elder and I know I’ll either be dead or playing without my marble when this hits. I am for anything the younger generation wants. They are the ones that will bear the brunt of it, it me.
Craig (NYC)
The NYTimes does environmental causes a disservice by politicizing them. Everything politicized in this country becomes locked in a legislative stalemate bc people choose parties over policies.
Ed (Silicon Valley)
Any large budget project is political. Welcome to life.
Andy Makar (Hoodsport WA)
The people that politicize it are the ones dumping literally millions of dollars into lobbying for the status quo.
Slann (CA)
Global warming and overpopulation are not "left/right" issues AT ALL. They are emergency issues for HUMANITY. Science has been exiled from this "administration", pushed by fossil fuel corporations and their lobbyists (who have been installed in regulatory positions by the dumb-as-a-rock "president"). Stop trying to paint this crisis (and it is) as some Dem/repub issue. We (the people of Earth) must ACT NOW to do as much as we can to change our behavior. That includes limiting the birthrate. If one party refuses to admit REALITY, then they are indeed the enemies of humanity. I hope that's not true.
angry veteran (your town)
The biggest big business opportunity of this century is going to be producing clean and renewable energy which does not pollute for domestic and international customers. AND, Where are the parties on this subject? What are they doing? Where are they doing it? Which government agency is taking the lead? I personally worked on an offshoot of a program funded by the Dept of Energy to produce high efficiency turbines which took me around the globe installing and engineering product developed from that program for domesitc and international customers. It was a great experience. When we're woke to the business opportunities clean and renewable energies represent, maybe, with the right leadership, our children will be able to get into those businesses improving science, engineering, and the environment. If we don't blow it with stupid. And, Wall Street needs to forget about the 1/6th of everything they steal for themselves, not on this one, they don't get to decide on any matters; I personally saw them kill improved efficiency projects they didn't get their 1/6th of. That can't happen here, not with clean and renewable energy. It's a good fight, and we should be fighting for it tooth and nail. Go scratch, kick, and bite a capitalist today, for two reasons, not getting on the business wagon, and asking for 1/6th of everything. It's a good fight. Let's get at it.
Jens Anker (Denmark)
There is nothing “left” in “protecting the planet from imminent environmental disaster”, i.e. from climate change. It’s a major issue for the Dems to promote together with better jobs and unity of Americans.
jumblegym (St paul, MN)
Compliance is Complicity.
Sam Kanter (NYC)
Trying to save the planet is “far left”?
Tony (Truro, MA.)
It would behove these idealists to recall other "fashionable" ideas of the day. Do they wax romantic at Castro, Lenin, Ortega?
Sándor (Bedford Falls)
Amusing how The New York Times paints those desiring sustainable climate policies and decent wages as "hard left." Not just "left," mind you, but "hard left." To be concerned about global warming instantly makes you further left than Stalin, Pol Pot, and Mao, apparently. Things haven't changed much since the 1940s when The Times painted civil rights activists as inscere godless communists on the payroll of Stalin.
Calleendeoliveira (FL)
Walking on the Daytona Beach just now, cigarette butt after cigarette butt, plastic bottles, people just laying around looking at it..meanwhile the fishing ships have not stopped fishing for a month now....meanwhile Ill stay here and keep up the good fight, bc I believe in planet earth.
Greg (CA)
Why has protecting our planet become a "Liberal Policy"? It's a concern of all humans, and as such is apolitical. The NY Times could go a long way in correcting this misnomer by no longer calling it this, and instead describing it as a universal human concern.
tedc (dfw)
#RealDonladTrump is replaying from the left. It sows the seed for Trump's reelection and gives aid to the enemy who desperately in need of ammo. Democrats are their own worst enemies.
John Capes (Brooklyn, NY)
By all means, attack your natural allies & weaken them. That worked so well in 2016.
Vuk (Washington, DC)
So if you want to save civilization as we know it from the devastation and chaos that climate change will eventually bring (see The Uninhabitable Earth; David Wallace-Wells), and protect our democracy from foreign enemies and their domestic collaborators (see The Mueller Report; Robert S. Mueller, III) then you are “leftist?” I thought that was simply being a responsible citizen.
SurajK (CT,US)
Bet - all of these tree huggers have brand new iPhones , flashy sneakers and buy all the trendy dresses to keep with the fashion. Capitalism and Climate Protection are mutually exclusive.
Richard Schumacher (The Benighted States of America)
@SurajK: No, they are not. We can safely use all the energy we want, so long as it comes from non-fossil sources.
Tom (Oregon)
So odd that saving the planet for humanity is considered leftist, part of the socialist plot to prevent the asocial greedy from making money.
Independent1776 (New Jersey)
Let those that would give undocumented immigrants medicare, raise your hands, all 20 hands of the Democrat Candidates for President,raised their hands.They approved of it not that the majority was for this political suicide, but because not to raise their hands would find them ostracized by the Squad . In a Questionnaire by the New York Times that asked the Cadidates how they would rate Israel on human Rights, all but one disapproved of Israel's position on human rights..Mayor Pete who is Gay denounced Israel’s record on human rights, even though Israel gives their Gay community equal rights & have a gay pride march every year with the support of most Israeli’s. While in Palestine to come out as Gay would be committing suicide.Here again, not to denounce Israel is to scorned by the Squad, and find themselves untouchables.To quote President Johnson,”It’s nothing personal it’s just Politics.”This is the power of the squad and those that support them.They indeed, have the power to turn the Party to the extreme left, & will , & in the process give Trump another 4 years.
Independent1776 (New Jersey)
Let those that would give undocumented immigrants medicare, raise your hands, all 20 hands of the Democrat Candidates for President,raised their hands.They approved of it not that the majority was for this political suicide, but because not to raise their hands would find them ostracized by the Squad . In a Questionnaire by the New York Times that asked the Cadidates how they would rate Israel on human Rights, all but one disapproved of Israel's position on human rights..Mayor Pete who is Gay denounced Israel’s record on human rights, even though Israel gives their Gay community equal rights & have a gay pride march every year with the support of most Israeli’s. While in Palestine to come out as Gay would be committing suicide.Here again, not to denounce Israel is to scorned by the Squad, and find themselves untouchables.To quote President Johnson,”It’s nothing personal it’s just Politics.”This is the power of the squad and those that support them.They indeed, have the power to turn the Party to the extreme left, & will , & in the process give Trump another 4 years.
Independent1776 (New Jersey)
Let those that would give undocumented immigrants medicare, raise your hands, all 20 hands of the Democrat Candidates for President,raised their hands.They approved of it not that the majority was for this political suicide, but because not to raise their hands would find them ostracized by the Squad . In a Questionnaire by the New York Times that asked the Cadidates how they would rate Israel on human Rights, all but one disapproved of Israel's position on human rights..Mayor Pete who is Gay denounced Israel’s record on human rights, even though Israel gives their Gay community equal rights & have a gay pride march every year with the support of most Israeli’s. While in Palestine to come out as Gay would be committing suicide.Here again, not to denounce Israel is to scorned by the Squad, and find themselves untouchables.To quote President Johnson,”It’s nothing personal it’s just Politics.”This is the power of the squad and those that support them.They indeed, have the power to turn the Party to the extreme left, & will , & in the process give Trump another 4 years.
teoc2 (Oregon)
most everyone has heard the parable about the frogs and bringing a pot of water to a boil slowly. well folks, we are all frogs now.
Kent Goodwin (Vermont)
I deeply resent this article's portrayal of concern about the environment and climate change as a "leftist" issue. We are faced with a large populace on both the Democratic and Republican sides who are in denial about the resiliency challenges we face and a refusal to embrace the necessary debate to unite behind necessary solutions to prevent inevitable loss, damage and suffering. This is a matter of changing behaviors and taking the steps to prepare for a difficult future. To categorize this as a liberal or leftist matter is despicable. It is akin to saying that anyone who is not in denial is liberal or leftist. Incredibly lazy reporting.
JimBob (Encino Ca)
So, when your house is on fire and someone says, "We should call the fire department," do you call them a "house-fire activist"?
Michael Cohan (St Louis, MO)
None of this is left wing lunacy has anything to do with the environment, but it will assure Trump's victory in 2020.
Sean in NJ (NJ)
It's not pushing to the left. It's pushing to save our planet.
Beverly (Maine)
Labeling movements to single words like "left" and "socialist" keep people from investigating or paying any attention to what they are all about. There's nothing radical about working to slow the degradation of our planet. We wouldn't want to ignore some toxin that is endangering the health of our families, our households, and muzzling all conversations about the Green New Deal keep us stupid and ready to condemn the messengers without knowing anything about its particulars, its mission. Mitch McConnell should be roundly condemned by censoring all dialogue about this important issue. And Donald Trump? Where should I begin?
pwedeen (Illinois)
Climate is not an issue from "the left"! It is an issue for everyone.
Nyalman (NYC)
We need to mitigate greenhouse gases but the Green New Deal (basically a socialist economic manifesto) is not the solution.
Paul (Brooklyn)
Keep it up and they will be pushing for re election of Trump. Most Americans hate identity obsession, social engineering zealotry whether on the right or left. They are sick of it. They want/need moderate progressive ideas to the issues that Trumped demagogued.
New Yorker (New York)
These kids need to call out Ivanka, as she pretends to be a policy wonk in the White House. Yet, has nothing to say about climate change, gun control and other quality of life issues. She's worse than a Kardashian who only cares about photo ops on social media than people.
Andrew (Australia)
It’s not about “pushing Democrats to the left”. It’s about taking the action necessary to prevent the destruction of the planet and its inhabitants. The fact that many Republicans, the President included, deny the very existence of climate change tells you all you need to know about the sheer ignorance of the party. Americans. Seriously. The world needs you. Stop electing Republicans!
Bill (Tx)
Their pushing for freebies and destroying the work ethic in this country.
Tony (Truro, MA.)
@Bill, "Entitled" is the word I would assign to them. How hip and cool they believe themselves to be while stoking the coals of Karl Marx.
Norwester (North Carolina)
No, the Democratic is not making a hard left. The press, led by the New York Times and the Washington Post, and television outlets like CNN and MSNBC, are slipping into old, bad habits because they need to turn a profit. The press is reporting disproportionately on controversial public figures because they sell more newspapers. Sadly, the press will make it harder to displace Donald Trump by painting a false picture of the average Democrat. This article and the shameful, bear-baiting led by "moderators" like Jake Tapper in interviews and debates are examples. When Obama teased Tapper about leaving journalism to join CNN, he was right. It only serves to remind us that as important as a free press is, it will always fall short of the ideal.
Interguru (Silver Spring MD)
Don't let better be the enemy of good.
common sense (Seattle)
Really? Ranting and raging is damaging all of us, it's simply negative, and wasteful. Go plant a tree, and stop using so much plastic if you're so enraged. If you don't quietly walk the walk, you have no room to push others.
Baldwin (New York)
The “radical” position is to ignore science and do nothing. We are leaving a giant burning mess to our kids and their kids. Caring about that and acting on it is not a radical thing to do. Waiting until it’s too late or waiting until we have the absolute complete perfect answer is immoral and stupid. It would be like having a kid with cancer and waiting until the scientific community had the perfect cure for cancer to do something. Nobody decent would do that. It’s the same thing.
gaslighted (dc)
there are 300,000 more registered democrats in florida than republicans Trump won FLA by just 113,000 votes in 2016 And 270,000 voted for Jill Stein (Green Party) and Gary Johnson (Libertarian) anyone who says that Trump is winning in 2020 is a fool
A. T. (Scarborough-on-Hudson, N.Y.)
"What do we want?" "Green Dream Whatsis." "When do we want it?" "Whenever (never)." [repeat for family-wage jobs, tuition-free education, single payer healthcare, financial sector reform, voting rights, criminal justice reform, peace/de-militarization, de-criminalization, & social justice reform to address discrimination] = all establishment Democrats taking corporate donations That leaves about 6 candidates who are left of center.
Boregard (NYC)
Anything that gets voters out, to oust the deplorable a good thing. Dems need to vote,and vote Democrat. Independents need to vote. Anti-Trump Repubs, of which there are more then admitted, need to vote. (just vote Dem, the house wont fall down!) And people or color must vote, and vote Dem...even if you lean Conservative, as many of you do in your social issue POV's. Again,vote Dem and I promise your house wont fall in...(except in a storm. But that's NOT a Dems fault.) All is well when more people vote... Except...when looking at the electoral math it leans towards Trump...again. Then we have a problem... But then Dems better campaign where those numbers are in play. If the Dems leave such places to Trump to take...again, its not gonna go well...
Joe Smally (Mississippi)
Thank god for these young people; the older generation has ruined the planet through greed and ignorance.
Becky (Boston)
Misleading headline! The Democratic Party has always worked to combat climate change, but they have been up against Big Oil, Big Ag, and the Republicans who support them. Al Gore ran for president on a climate change platform and lost to Bush. Obama successfully joined and signed the Paris Climate Accord, which Trump un-signed. It is irresponsible to the NYT to present mainstream Democratic ideas as "radical" and "far left" -- sowing discord when we should all be working together to win th net election!
andrew yavelow (middletown, ca)
Thank god for our young people; because left to the rest of us, we'd destroy ourselves for profit.
Paul Wallis (Sydney, Australia)
"The Left!" "Socialism!" These words are used by Alt+Right and mainstream media ike they were magic words to ward off any sort of thought on any subject, and that's exactly what happens. America's revolutionary thinking is as usual about 20-70 years behind the rest of the world. The nation seems incapable of escaping this very simple, totally disingenuous, anti-logic. Facts have to actually compete with fake news for media space, let alone the few spare brain cells in the (very) average American politician's brain. No amount of rational thinking is permitted, let alone actually done. The "everything is socialist" system has become ingrained and entirely self-serving, doing nothing at all on so many basic issues. People with no ideas at all are obstructing people with ideas on all fronts. All else follows.
P&L (Cap Ferrat)
My guess is the game is up. The thawing of the permafrost in Alaska and Siberia and the fires in the artic... We can't even get AOC and her cadre to use public transportation. These women put on more air miles in a month than most average Americans do in a lifetime. AOC's carbon footprint is a hundred times larger than mine. Good luck.
Joe S. (California)
I have to question the validity of saying these kids are pushing the climate debate towards “the left.” It seems that if we’re talking about an existential crisis — will climate change cripple our civilization, or possibly cause our extinction? — that the “left/right” divide is a woefully inadequate way to look at the path forward. Maybe they’re just pushing us towards survival.
Sparky (Earth)
And the Baby Boomers were hippies in the 60s, yet they turned out to be the worst generation ever. Young people are idealistic, and naive. Then they hit 40, get some hindsight and realize reality is way different from pie-in-the-sky idealism and that most people don't believe what you believe. The kids today are ZERO different from any other generation. If anything they may be worse still. Things are getting worse, not better, and it's because of this vacuous, self-obsessed, shallow, and lazy generation today. For every one of these kids who is active there are 10,000 who aren't.
David (NYC)
Its interesting that the The Times portrays kids for their Protests ... How about a report on how much Taxes these young adults have paid or will force other middle class - other hard working citizens (paying their share of their salary in Taxes) to pay in additional taxes ? How hard have these kids worked in their life to tell other people how to change the planet ? How about before protesting these young adults take an intern Job for the summer and see what it means to work hard for an 8 hour day or a 12 hour day as many people have to work ? Or, maybe these people could even volunteer for an old person or sick person for a few hours and use their time to really better society ? Climate may (or may not be an issue) but is really an issue that will hit us in a generation (or two) ... How about these kids geting to understand the issues facing us TODAY ? Like gun violence, under-age drinking, the failures of our schools and inner cities etc ? How about the issues of immigration and where to place all these immigrants and other very important issues in our daily life that these Kids could address ? Or is just nice political shout-out and its enjoyment protesting against the so-called elides and the status quo ? I recommend these kids go study some more, or get a job or go volunteer for a good cause !
GCM (Laguna Niguel, CA)
So when are the lefties going to solve the current budget deficit problem? And when will they give us a plan to stabilize and properly Fund Social Security and Medicare, which are both running out of money? Medicare for all is a hoax yes we have to pay for it with IOUs, and that is where the current system is already heading in just six years
Dave Allan (San Jose)
@GCM The left will have to fix things once Trump and McConnell are out of the way. With the GOP busy trying to crash the economy by spending like sailors on ecstasy, it will once again be left to the Dems to fix things. You can set your watch to this sad saga.
William (Cape Breton)
The U.S. has tried and tried centrist and rightist policies. They failed both the people and country. Give the left a real try and make it work!
Gary W. Priester (Placitas, NM USA)
We should have to be pushed. There is NO argument here.
James F Traynor (Punta Gorda, FL)
You hear about it when you begin to rock the boat - especially if it's their boat.
Jim K (San Jose)
Aren't Democrats supposed to be representing the left??? If not, of what good are they? I admit they've been doing a generally poor job of this since about the Bill Clinton era. The characterization of what used to be mainstream Democratic ideals as "far left" needs to end, particularly in ostensibly left/democratic media outlets like the NYTimes. Here's a clue: AOC, Sanders, and Warren are not "hard left". They do however, represent a threat to the excessive and socially destructive privilege of the wealthy and powerful in this country.
Leigh Conner (Brooklyn)
The NYT framing this issue as “left” Is precisely why we went from global warming to climate crisis in less than a generation. In no other nation is this a polarized left/right issue. It is one that prioritizes all life existing on this planet.
AHunt (Seattle)
I see the comments section and its depressing. Since when is climate science a partisan issue ? Come on America, you can do better. If the left fringe is driving democratic party to the left, while rest of the democrats are fairly moderate, then why are these lefty candidates raising record individual donations. If donation data is any indicator then Biden (a moderate) has raised less than Sanders (leftist Zealot) and Warren (leftist Zealot). So does that mean moderates are sitting on fence and not donating anything or does that mean lefty candidates are generating much more energy then moderates.
merc (east amherst, ny)
How far left do you go? Not so far you outrun your possibilities, but equally as important, not so fast you don't get your pistol out of your holster and end up shooting your toes off. Defeating Trump can happen, impeaching him can't. There are not enough votes in the Senate to accomplish this. But Trump will use the inability to get him impeached to slap the Democrats around with that result, giving him the opportunity, the optics where he can yammer away at rallies, "I told you so, No Collusion, No obstruction, and these attacks against me must stop." So, let's take him down in grand fashion on election night and share it with the whole world watching. And this will then become one of those times you'll remember where you were that night for the rest of your life.
dbsweden (Sweden)
Give 16-year-old Greta Thunberg credit for drawing attention to the crisis of global climate change.
Adan Schwartz (San Francisco)
A strident, focused reaction to climate change isn't "the Left." It's the only thing that's left.
Minerva19 (Rockland)
Please, Vice President Biden is another status quo candidate, like Hilary Clinton was. It may make big donors happy, but it won't attract women, the young, environmentalists and it won't bring back Trumpers. So what is the point? We need to think big, or go home. The planet is burning, it is a crisis. Income inequality has never been wider, it is a crisis. Global politics is throwing up fascists, it is a crisis. The Middle class is disappearing, the working class is in despair, it is a crisis. Racism and mass violence are on the rise. It is a crisis. Status quo will not change that.
The Sunrise Movement is a dangerous game the Left is playing with. Incorporating 9-10 year old's into political action should get parents thinking carefully, yet in this day and age what could anyone expect?
Randall (Portland, OR)
Winning an election and preventing the destruction of the planet are now considered "far left?"
Joe Miksis (San Francisco)
How on earth has battling against climate change and human extinction become a "leftist" ideal? Does that imply that "centrists" and "right" leaning people all want to die from rising oceans and farmland extinction?
gaslighted (dc)
When farmers are unable to plant their crops due to floods and the red states are met with devastating hurricanes maybe, just maybe republicans will get on board Strangely you hear little from the insurance companies who will have to backstop all these financial claims in the billions Great to see these young people involved. The clip of Feinstein disrespecting them is disgraceful Time for her to go
Do not be concerned about the Democrats. They will prevail in spite of their indecision about direction. That is because Trump will continue to be a leader of disrepute for the GOP. He cannot help himself.
ann (Seattle)
Population and the Environment Some cultures encourage parents to have many children, even though there are not enough environmental resources to support all of them. Syrian culture encourages large families even though Syria is largely arid and suffers occasional droughts. Farmers dug wells to irrigate their farms and supply their large families with water so the water table kept dropping. Farmers had to have ever-deeper wells dug. They finally gave up and moved their families to cities where they could find work. Many ended up joining the revolt against Assad. Guatemalans commonly have 8, 9, or ten children in an environment which occasionally undergoes dry spells. The current drought has left many in fear of going hungry. These overpopulated countries have been exporting their cultures by taking advantage of refugee and asylum laws. Syrians, Guatemalans, and others who have too many children move to countries, such as ours where we enable them to continue having many children with free medical care, welfare, and payments from the IRS under the Child Tax Credit even for those who do not earn enough to owe any federal income taxes. These migrants do not seem to realize that our natural resources are also limited. They need to practice family planning. Environmental Policy should make artificial means of birth control available around the world and stop accepting migrants from overpopulated countries.
Alice's Restaurant (PB San Diego)
If a bunch of well-intentioned Americans can get together and bring on Prohibition, why not "change" the earth's atmosphere, too? Amendment to the Constitution that would permit the US to stomp any country into the dirt by whatever means if they can't match US emission standards in a fortnight--to include China and India?
William Joseph (Canada)
How & when did saving the planet for future generations become a left\right thing? Is there any legal process that can be used to stop 'conservatives' from using such a misleading word to describe themselves? False advertising, maybe?
Greener Pastures (New England)
The Republicans have pushed their agenda so far right that any progressive idea is now labeled as being "too far left." And the NYT is using Republican talking points to frame the debate on climate change. This is not a left-right issue, this is an existential threat to humanity.
AutumnLeaf (Manhattan)
Once again, AOC is front and center the face of the Democrats. Amazing that the Democrats have allowed the looniest of the left fringe run the party. Be aware that this opens the door to Trump to run on a centrist, economy driven platform, while quoting AOC and pushing her as the face of your party. It will be the economy and national security vs AOC and the Green New Deal acolites. The actual Democrat contender will be ignored like was not even there. Keep it up, AOC is why Trump wins in a landslide.
USMC1954 (St. Louis)
Is it any wonder why "Young climate activists push the democrats to the left"? Easy - - It's their future, their planet, their lives and the lives and future of their children a well. I'm 83 and I stand with them 100%. After all I do hav grandchildren and great-grandchildren. If you do not support climate activists - - you do not support your children.
Rick Spanier (Tucson)
Chicken Little was prescient; the sky is, in fact, falling. Climate change deniers and their fellow-traveling moderates too nervous to address an existential threat forcefully are the true enemies of the people - and the planet. Moderation in the pursuit of salvation is no virtue. "The Green whatever it is" (as characterized by Pelosi) and actions supported by Sunrise presents a path forward. Not an easy path, not a safe path, not a path that will involve sure, safe solutions. Jay Inslee gets it, so does the scientific community that still believes in facts, evidence, and truth. An apparently, the young get it. It's their inheritance at stake. As a boomer, my advice is simple, if you are afraid, or lazy, or foolish, get out of the way. Because your sons and your daughters really are beyond your command.
RDW (California)
The only way to move the US forward into the 21st century with things like gun control, climate change, health care, etc. is vote out all extreme right wing republicans, and trump. Everyone is at each other's throats since trump's selection. Nothing will change as long as we have hatred and evil in the White House and government.
Kodali (VA)
Environmental protection is the major issue rises above the health care issue. If we do not adopt the green deal, the planet earth dies. The Biden approach is like slow death as opposed Trump approach of sudden death. Neither choice is desirable. The young has something real and they have my support.
New World (NYC)
Left or right won’t much matter if pink lungs become a thing of the past.
M (US)
It's worth noting that these voters so strongly in support of stopping the pollution that is causing global warming-- WHILE WE STILL CAN-- are also people who would likely support the senate acting on commonsense bipartisan gun legislation. As it happens, the Senate has a few hundred bills submitted by the House, none of which are being addressed. At least 2 of those are bipartisan commonsense gun legislation. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has chosen, with the blessing of Republican President Trump, to ignore these bills. Republicans have shown us all just how much they care about everyday people. Show them the same courtesy: VOTE THEM OUT OF OFFICE!
Jonathan Katz (St. Louis)
Wistful imagining of a supposed lost paradise (curiously, resembling a cool misty coniferous forest of Northern Europe) is a reactionary trope, not a "liberal" or leftist one. Liberals and leftists are supposed to be concerned about blue collar workers, and that means busy factories to employ them.
Chris Kox (San Francisco)
There is a lot of money to be made in the future by converting technologies to those which advantage the climate. There are bright spots out there already -- changes in food sourcing and diet, introduction of electric powered vehicles -- which are just in their infancy and will need scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, managers and investors to get this thing done. My advice to youth: the future always arrives on time, study hard, learn to work with others, seek capital investment.
Richard Winchester (Illinois)
Throughout this summer I have been awaiting announcements from politicians about what they personally have done to lessen their impact on climate change. Of course I don’t expect anything from Trump. But no Democrat has said that they have turned off the air conditioning in their homes and offices. Off, not raised the set point. Air conditioning uses a lot of electric energy which is often produced by burning fossil fuels like natural gas. The resulting carbon dioxide causes a rise in global temperatures. What’s wrong with the Democrats? People got by without air conditioning for thousands of years.
Rudy Ludeke (Falmouth, MA)
I don't see the so called problem of affordability of both beating Trump and vigorously fighting global warming. The latter is becoming an increasing existential concern that even Republicans acknowledge to be playing to the Democrats' advantage. Thus, I welcome the young activists in this campaign as it will carry the message to their more calcitrant adults. However, their enthusiasm needs to be tempered with a bit of reality: the GND, or variations thereof, is a blue print, not an actual executable plan that Congress needs to legislate. If adopted in one form or another it will be quite costly, even if compensated by taxes from jobs and products created by the industries involved in the transformation to a carbon free economy. If successful, the action covers only the US which spews 14% of the world's CO2 emissions. The remaining western developed economies contribute 15%, whereas China an astounding near 30%. The underdeveloped world (35%) needs major financial assistance from the developed world and China. To achieve even a carbon neutral future by the mid-to-late century requires strong international cooperation, preferably US leadership, and vastly increased foreign assistance, which suggest the need of scaling back some of the very progressive domestic goals proposed by the likes of Sanders and Warren. I am positive that Trump can be defeated with a strong inclusion of the climate issue, which is only addressable if the Senate also swings democratic.
Steve Fankuchen (Oakland, CA)
Moral indignation has it's place, but if you don't win the election it remains just that, moral indignation, not good policies that can be implemented. It is irrelevant if a million more vote for a Democrat in California and New York or a million more vote Republican in Indiana and Alabama.The 2020 election comes down to changing minds in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, and perhaps one more state. That is who the Democrats need to speak, not lecture, to. Unless you have a candidate who knows how to speak to those voters and their needs as they define them, not as aspirational Democrats wished those people defined them, 2020 will be, in Yogi Berra's words, "Deja vu all over again." The "debates" are merely TV shows, imitative of Trump's "Apprentice", with the commentariat, twitterati, and punditocracy getting to say "You're fired! and "You're hired." Fortunately, I expect that most Democrats and Independents who have open minds understand that America needs a capable President, not one who simply looks and sounds good on a ratings-oriented TV smackdown. As to "debate" momentum, headlines, analysis, Recommends, Likes: From The Wall Street Journal: Aug. 1, 2019 Hundreds of social-media accounts with bot-like traits promoted misinformation and content aimed at inflaming racial divisions during both nights of Democratic presidential debates, continuing similar activity during the first set of debates last month, according to data analyzed by The Wall Street Journal."
sdavidc9 (Cornwall Bridge, Connecticut)
If we dont shake the political system like a snow globe, it will not make much difference in the long run if Trump is elected. We will still have Mitch and trumpsters and most of the Republican congressmen who gave Obama gridlock. The stock price of oil companies will still be based mainly on the value of the oil still in the ground, which shrinks as the Green New Deal becomes more popular. There will still be money to be made and entrepreneurs to make it, even if their activities get in the way of action on the climate, whether incidentally or deliberately. Time is running out. Our children and grandchildren will be too busy moving to higher ground and/or repelling refugees from lower ground (unless they have lots of the green stuff) to worry about democracy. The state of emergency needed to deal with weather and climate disasters may last for centuries. The wealthy will survive, the rest of us not so much.
Charles Segal (Kingston Jamaica)
Conservatives only want to know what will destroy America first so they can prepare themselves and their family. Will it be climate activists who wrestle away power in Washington to apply every US resource and trillions of dollars to fight this threat, bankrupt America and drive tens of millions into poverty and onto government programs? Or not.
rg (Stamford, ct)
Just so we are clear and things are not muddled by people who write such headlines, dealing definitively with climate crises is no more left or right or radical than dealing with our homes being on fire. Are we clear? Crystal clear?
dmckj (Maine)
The new 'green revolution' largely misses the point, that being: we have too many people on this planet consuming too many resources (fish, animals, and land, and the damage that comes from it), while creating a global garbage epidemic. The solution is not 'weaning ourselves from fossil fuels' necessarily, but instead encouraging smaller families, outlawing non-biodegradable consumer plastics, eliminating subsidies to non-profitable agriculture, enforcing fishing limits, and other sensible acts along with promoting solar, wind, and geothermal energy resources.
jerry lee (rochester ny)
Reality Check politicans need to just do there job in good faith of people represent as they took the pledge hen swore into office. Still dont see any one in ny who will call out an set things right . List goes on zero accountabilty in government spending using tax money to purchase imports. Un fair taxation of propity home owners by over inflating value of what person purchased home for. Health care for adults on medicare should be hightest standard taken into account trillions in surplus never used because people died before ever using medicare. Alot talk by politicans very little action in new york.
Really hope that people of all ages will actively support and work to address climate change, the world’s looming catastrophe. But do not have a lot of faith that young people are truly committed beyond demonstrations and social media posting... Walk past a Starbucks, a Sweetgreen, Chipotle packed with young people eating/tossing their plastic and paper garbage; overflowing sidewalk trash cans, with garbage falling to the sidewalk as young people toss their upscale water bottles etc; frenzied shopping for cheap clothes at places like H&M and ignorant or unconcerned about environmental impact of clothing production; at the end of the semester, the mountain of stuff - clothing, vacuum cleaners, pots and pans and more - left by students in dorms to be thrown away though in good condition..... Do not see that young people practice what they preach. Very scary.
EJ (Nes Ziona)
I hope this gets posted The last comment "... if we lose...a catastrophe". Well, as far as 99% of the climate specialists say, policies akin to the ones suggested by climate activists are what HAS to be applied (what a shame to call "activists" people in their right mind, and "political leaders" people who can't take the proper decisions to save millions of people and help the biosphere overcome this crisis of our own making). If a faint-hearted Democrat who will only find deals to somehow get some "green laws" through is elected, that or Trump makes no big difference, give or take half a degree C. 3 for the Democrats, 3.5 for the Republicans. The Republicans win. Everybody RIP. (great neck new york)
The effects of climate change and petroleum based pollution are wreaking our lives. These products will wreck our future as a species. While the Right may be waiting for salvation from the "rapture", by adopting a "what me worry" stance, the reality is that they do not know what the Grand Plan is. Climate science is tainted by the right wing media. Youth can protect the planet by controlling the media. Our young may be "plugged in" all day and night, and they may not fully understand how media platforms can distort truth or their own politics. They must learn this now. Right wing media attacks obvious climate science. Youth must take back the discourse from media like Fox News. Let them do this in any way possible. Understand that the most important races are all races: Senate, House, State Houses, and Governor. These " farm team" seats produce the next generation of elected leaders that can either become "Moscow Mitch" , Donald Trump, or Barack Obama and Al Gore. Leaders appoint people to life long offices, giving people like John Roberts the chance to promote nonsense like "Citizens United". Any Democrat would be better for the environment than a Republican, and the reality of climate change is reality, not opinion.
Rob Brown (Keene, NH)
The Democratic party has been moving to the corporate right ever since President Clinton. It is long past the time for the party to pay attention to how the game has been rigged against the working people of this country. Clearly address those needs and demonstrate what has been done in the past by the Democratic party. SPELL IT OUT
Susan Anderson (Boston)
Climate change is real, and we've been warned for four decades. Pretending reality isn't real doesn't solve anything. It is way past time for realists to stop accepting sops from those who think it's reasonable to ignore a crisis. Meanwhile, what about bought and paid for congress, and the conman in the oval office? What are they doing for anybody but their rich corrupt friends and themselves? No, it's not radical to try to save humanity's future. Not even close. It is radical to be for theft, exploitation, and destruction. The mast of convention is no longer concealing the dangers we face. Nor does cheating substitute for the truth.
Steve Fankuchen (Oakland, CA)
Moral indignation has it's place, but if you don't win the election it remains just that, moral indignation, not good policies that can be implemented. It is irrelevant if a million more vote for a Democrat in California and New York or a million more vote Republican in Indiana and Alabama.The 2020 election comes down to changing minds in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, perhaps one more state. That is who the Democrats need to speak to, not at. Unless you have a candidate who knows how to speak to those voters and their needs as they define them, not as aspirational Democrats wished those people defined them, 2020 will be, in Yogi Berra's words, "Deja vu all over again." The "debates" are merely TV shows, imitative of Trump's "Apprentice", with the commentariat, twitterati, and punditocracy getting to say "You're fired! and "You're hired." Fortunately, I expect that most Democrats and Independents who have open minds understand that America needs a capable President, not one who simply looks and sounds good on a ratings-oriented TV smackdown. As to "debate" momentum, headlines, analysis, Recommends, and Likes: From The Wall Street Journal: "Aug. 1, 2019 Hundreds of social-media accounts with bot-like traits promoted misinformation and content aimed at inflaming racial divisions during both nights of Democratic presidential debates, continuing similar activity during the first set of debates last month, according to data analyzed by The Wall Street Journal."
Pat (CT)
Classic case of the brainwashing of young, vulnerable children. No mention of plans to decrease overall human population, without which no other environmental plans can succeed.
clif howell (west orange nj)
Enough already with the "hard left" and will the party lose the election with climate change concerns. There is nothing hard left about fighting climate change, it is about scientific facts. The movements are already affecting the debates. Polls show the public is not ignorant about these issues. The video that showed Feinstein blowing off those kids highlights the corruption that is shaping the democratic debates. How about mentioning the fact that Feinstein has recieved 250K in fossil fuel money. This article only presents one side of the argument. The fossil fuel lobbists.
wmferree (Middlebury, CT)
“It's easy for the radical left to tempt kids.” This is true. Also true, kids taste and reject the really bad stuff much more quickly than their older relatives. They don’t have an established identity to protect, so they can experiment—as humans always have. We’ve always experimented because we had to—to survive. On the other hand, we have a large community of “adults” that accepts a spoon-fed by Fox News world-view that has slowly, but surely, pulled our country into the slow-lane. Thank goodness we have the kids yelling keep driving, as their elders seem content to let the bus crawl to a stop. One more thing. Some of the “kids” of the “radical left” have been around for a while and don’t think going back to the consensus of the Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy years is at all radical.
Shawn B. (Milwaukee, WI)
How is arguing for action on the existential threat of Climate Change and protecting the environment considered "left"?? Because Republicans deny reality and science does not mean that all of us who disagree with their willful ignorance are part of the left, it just means we are sane.
Sonje (Sarasota, Florida)
Climate is not a "left" issue. They're trying to get the Democrats on board with the rest of the world.
Greg (Los Angeles, CA)
The problem with the Democratic establishment is that they err too much on the side of caution, and not enough on the side of progress, which is what they supposedly stand for. This, however, is nothing new. Feinstein's response was cringe-worthy, but nonetheless representative of where many people currently stand on climate issues. The children were right to demand change, but what is missing in this movement is an organized approach that includes a broader agenda than just attacking establishment Democrats. Big tent issues require a big tent approach. They need to be working in ways to change the culture, and not simply castigating members of the Democratic party, most of whom are potential allies. Recent studies show that younger Republicans also part ways on climate change with their older counterparts. Activists should be seriously working to find candidates within both parties who share their view on this issue. In doing so, they might have the opportunity to enact real change. I came out in 1996 and have been a member of the LGBT movement now for nearly 25 years. Marriage equality was really unimaginable in the mid-1990's. It became law in 2015 because of a disciplined, organized approach that included people in conversation at the political table. We made progress when we were in conversation, not when we screamed at people. I share in the plight of climate activists, but I disagree with their approach in its current form.
JerryV (NYC)
As an academic, I have been attentive to and working on global warming and subsequent climate change virtually all my life. In discussing this with people who support the Green New Deal, I have yet to meet anyone who has actually read it. Try googling it: House Resolution 109 of the 116th Congress, 1st Session. Much of it has little to do with reducing global warming and much to do with unrelated far left proposals. These proposals need to be discussed separately. Associating them with climate change will lose us the ability to work against it and will surely lose us the election when Trump focuses only on the far left proposals in it that have nothing to do with climate change.
S Baldwin (Milwaukee)
I wish candidates would flesh out the Green New Deal details. Will there be an increase in the federal fuel tax for passenger vehicles? Will food stamp purchases of meat be limited? Will there be a program to subsidize organic farming practices?... Once you specify the details, you realize there is a big difference between where we want to go and the sacrifices we are willing to make.
blgreenie (Lawrenceville NJ)
Pushed left toward extremism, Democrats are wise to pause and reconsider the middle. Americans reject their extremism. Ocasio-Cortez made a great story as she denigrated the middle, but her rock star status has faded along with her polling numbers. What about classic dilemma, not addressed in this article? Young people demonstrate, they display energy. Yet, do they vote? Too often no, not in numbers to insure the agenda for which they demonstrate. Older and old people are far more reliable to vote to protect what they deem to be traditional and sensible.
Lane (Riverbank ca)
Unfortunately carbon emissions issues have become too politicized. The left uses it to push other political agendas, 'green jobs for all' and such having no clue how much their solutions would cost. If the US succeeded in eliminating fossil fuel immediately, the rest of the world will still increase coal,oil and gas burning,they can't afford solar wind conservation and batteries. Only large scale nuclear technology can replace the vast amount of energy needed. Unfortunately fusion power is still a dream. Research/development of new fission reactors of large and small types is currently the only solution, everything else is but singing Kumbaya.
Lane (Riverbank ca)
Unfortunately carbon emissions issues have become too politicized. The left uses it to push other political agendas, 'green jobs for all' and such having no clue how much their solutions would cost. If the US succeeded in eliminating fossil fuel immediately, the rest of the world will still increase coal,oil and gas burning,they can't afford solar wind conservation and batteries. Only large scale nuclear technology can replace the vast amount of energy needed. Unfortunately fusion power is still a dream. Research/development of new fission reactors of large and small types is currently the only solution, everything else is but singing Kumbaya.
Blackmamba (Il)
American birds have been shifting their migration patterns and home ranges 200- 300 miles further north over the past 50- 60 years. I am a birder and I have observed the changes myself. They come earlier and leave later. Or they come in fewer or greater numbers or not at all. What do the birds know and understand about climate change that the Republican Party, Fox News and the Trump Administration doesn't about the impact and reality of climate change?
ann (Seattle)
It is a mistake to link care of the environment with a commitment to provide a job for everyone. A few generations ago, Republicans would have considered themselves to be environmentalists. It will be a lot harder to garner GOP support for the environment today, if it is marketed as a plan to end income inequality. The Green New Deal promises to provide every resident with a family wage job, paid vacations, family and medical leave, and retirement security. This promise will be viewed as “socialism”. It will force Republicans and many others to oppose the Green New Deal, even if they care for the environment. To garner support from the widest range of Americans, resolutions on caring for our environment should not be coupled with "socialist panaceas”.
DC c (Georgia)
Fantastic response and mirrors my thoughts. We donate over $10,000 a year to environmental causes and my father several times that. We have chosen together how to distribute what would have been my inheritance to mostly ecosystem and wildlife conservation orgs. All the same, I am strongly opposed to a green new deal having more to do with socialism than environmental issues.
Patrick (Washington)
There is no room for compromise. We either mobilize now to achieve zero emissions, or this will soon become a dead planet. It can't survive on the Co2 trajectory it's now on. Human life will likely be impossible wants temperatures exceed 10 F by 2100. We are on track for a temperature increase of somewhere between 5.5 and 9 F by 2100, according to the U.N. I am not interested in compromising on this issue. You are either on-board or you just haven't read enough.
V. Whippo (Danville, IL)
Among the reasons that Donald Trump now occupies the White House are the failures of Democratic moderates to effectively address the economic and public health issues that most affect the well being of ordinary citizens. This is partly due to Republican obstructionism but also because so many Democratic politicians are beholden to the same corporate entities as are their Republican counterparts and media entities such as the Times who label individuals and groups who advocate policies that threaten the status quo as "far left."
Barbara (Boston)
The NY Times is still not giving this issue the attention required. In the last week, enough ice melted from Greenland to cover Florida - the entire state - with 4 inches of water. Hundreds of fires in Siberia and Alaska. Permafrost melting. Methane levels escalating, with more escalation to come. It's a few dozen oil and gas companies who are destroying the planet for all living beings, and the politicians who take their corporate "donations" aka bribes to take no significant action. Trump's EPA has rolled back over 80 regulations, censored out climate change from reports, and destroyed data. The US military thinks climate change is a security threat, and part of the cause of the refugee migration from Central America is caused by drought made worse by climate change. Start connecting the dots- multiple events, multiple effects, more effects to come. And the midwest is still partially under water. We cannot continue with business as usual, and we cannot continue to put the profit margins of a few companies ahead of the survival of everything else. Those of us concerned about the environment have watched with horror as even Obama did not give this the attention deserved as he too took money from big coal and big oil. Enough. These young activists are all that give me any hope.
Donald Driver (Green Bay)
There is nothing the rest of the world would like more than for the U.S. to hamstring itself with inane energy policy. China and India are bringing more plants online every day. Since 2000, the world has doubled its coal-fired power capacity to around 2,000 gigawatts (GW) after explosive growth in China and India. A further 236GW is being built and 336GW is planned. Coal is cheap and easy to bring online. The rest of the world is using the 'do as I say, not as I do' argument. And it's ridiculous that we're supposed to pay extra in the U.S. for some carbon sin, while the rest of the world perpetuating the same behavior. This is not the issue that Dems want to make the centerpiece of their platform. The world may continue to get warmer, but stifling the economy will anti-carbon rhetoric is not going to make America safer or more prosperous. When India and China and every other country stop construction on all coal plants, I'm willing to talk. Same link: Coal generates nearly 40% of the world’s electricity, close to its highest share in decades. And there are now 78 countries using coal power, up from 66 in 2000. Another 16 plan to join the club, notably Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. This is problem we can't solve for the world. Let's focus on growing the economy, jobs, a strong educational system.
EJ (Nes Ziona)
@Donald Driver Dear Donald, do you really think what you are writing? My neighbor acts as an idiot, then so do I? A reality check question: do you care what will happen to your kids and grand kids? Those weather crises, drought, floods, heat and cold waves pounding year round are just the appetizer if we continue along the path you seem to support. It takes courage to change.
JohnMark (VA)
This sounds serious but is not. All the facts may be correct but to say we can't do something because the rest of the world won't isn't a good enough answer. instead we should use our wealth and technical prowess to create better solutions to fight climate change. This can grow our economy while solving the problem. Just growing our economy will not solve the problem of climate change which may in the end make economic growth harder if not impossible. Consider the effect of a less expensive energy source in this country on the easy to deploy coal plants. When natural gas became cheaper domestically it was the primary mover in retiring coal plants, not the impending regulatory burden. So consider molten salt thorium reactors, improved off shore wind power, improved solar energy materials, smarter electric grids, better batteries, more efficient devices (like leds) as some of the many approaches needed to fight and hopefully solve mankind's contribution to climate change. Government has supported the basic research and nascent commercial development and should continue this tactic of intelligent disruption of old energy producers. I believe that it helps make our country, and the world, stronger.
JMM (Worcester, MA)
There is no one approach to addressing global warming. has a listing of 100 initiatives which added together cover what can be done. The role of the federal government is important but not central to these efforts. Many of these are well on the way to having a large impact, others are not getting traction yet. No single policy will get us there. I recommend anyone who has interest in global warming to go to and get a sense of all that can and needs to be done.
FXQ (Cincinnati)
The establishment will not, and never has, given up power willingly or afforded rights when politely asked. They will string you along with incrementalism and disingenuous warnings about coming off too aggressive or, heaven forbid, the Republicans may not approve. Every single historic change in this country, starting with our Declaration of Independence from the King to the Civil Rights movement was obtained by the people taking it. The Green New Deal or as Nancy Pelosi derisively refers to it as the "Green New whatever they are calling it, I don't think they even know" will be the next Civil Right movement of this country. And as then, the people will not be politely "asking", they will be demanding and taking. Those politicians who are not on board will be swept aside.
Che Beauchard (Lower East Side)
Can anyone doubt that we are living in a dysfunctional culture? In the name of self interest and quarterly profits we put the future of the planet at risk. Oh, the planet will continue, but not as a place habitable for humans. Could we be more dysfunctional than this? Only a utopian is realistic in the face of this dystopian reality. Do not ask for whom the ball tolls, it tolls for us so long as business is done as usual.
ELBOWTOE (Redhook, Brooklyn)
I looked into joining their movement. The literature I received told me that as an adult over 35 my value was in answering emails, or raising donations. I am a visual and sonic artist, I have been programming for decades now and I also have worked in advertising for as long. Telling the story in a compelling way should not be age limited. I have two young children. I have as much skin in the game as the young people running this organization. Is there a climate focused activist group that does not discriminate by age? If you know of one please let me know. I want desperately to help.
Marc (Colorado)
Until the environmental movement addresses human over-population they are completely missing the boat. All these grand plans and proclamations are romanticized adolescent fantasy about the hippies dream many realized were nonsense because different people want different things. As much as I look forward to dispatching this national embarrassment I no more expect AOC to sympathize with this childless white males' desire to enjoy my hard earned retirement than I plan to dedicate more than a reasonable share to the needs of others. We can build a healthier and more just society through policy which taxes income by investment as severely as that by labor and penalizes theft by pen as severely as that by gun. We, humans, will have a healthier planet when we realize there is a reasonable population density and design economies around quality not quantity of life.
Lane (Riverbank ca)
Unfortunately carbon emissions issues have become too politicized. The left uses it to push other political agendas, 'green jobs for all' and such having no clue how much their solutions would cost. If the US succeeded in eliminating fossil fuel immediately, the rest of the world will still increase coal,oil and gas burning,they can't afford solar wind conservation and batteries. Only large scale nuclear technology can replace the vast amount of energy needed. Unfortunately fusion power is still a dream. Research/development of new fission reactors of large and small types is currently the only solution, everything else is but singing Kumbaya.
ann (Seattle)
The environment is my number 1 priority. I do not know why Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had to say that her Green New Deal would guarantee everyone in the country a well-paying job with benefits such as medical care and paid vacations. Her jobs guarantee lowers the chance that Congress will pass a "green" resolution.
Eric Hill (Reston, VA)
I am fiercely pro-environment, but I hope the dems realize the sole issue in 2020 is about unseating Trump...and only thereafter we can save our planet, fix health care, repair what’s been undone, etc. if we divide ourselves in camps, we lose. Let’s start early (now)! Please party organizers, unite against the only true enemy!
rs (earth)
I applaud these young people for recognizing what most older people don't. Global Warming is no longer an abstract threat to a distant future. The hardships that it is going to create in the future are no longer distant. Older generations had the luxury of not taking Global Warming seriously because the effects wouldn't be felt in their lifetime. But now they are already being felt in my lifetime and is there any doubt that even more catastrophic effects will be felt in the lifetimes of these younger people? We kicked the can down the road and now we are at the end of the road. I feel so ashamed of the struggles we are going to leave for our children and grandchildren to inherit.
meloop (NYC)
The climate has warmed considerably since the 1950's and in obvious ways. The US navy has suppressed data about the thinning of polar ice for decades. I fear that politicians-always the last to act in our society-will not do so until and unless they are guranteed not to have their fingers cut off as soon as it snows heavily. A far better way to change the "direction" of society's habituation to carboniferous fuels is for the people who think themselves activists, to cease owning personal gasoline cars-live and move by using less greasy transportation and cease using aircraft. We do have trains still. Americans need to rediscover the utility and joys of living close to home as generations long before the industrial revolution did. The misleading idea that jet plane and expensive foreign travel can be "paid for" by buying "carbon offsets" is a terrible idea and will only increase fuel abuse and increase travel among 1 percenters. Offsets can be faked &avoided. If more people eschew red meat intake, they may actually have real effect on our outcome. If people, just as the "Hippies" of the 1960's did, make their way of life also an expression of their politics: reusing clothes, eating less and smarter-and not burning oil because they can- only this way will effect the planet and other people's politics, far faster than calling for neebulous action to be taken by government .
Paul Smith (Austin, Texas)
Our planet is burning up and we are on the verge of destroying ourselves along with other species. Now is not the time to nominate a moderate for president who wants to take an incremental approach to reversing climate change.
Catherine (Kansas)
If "the sainted Reagan" hadn't turned back all the initiatives Jimmy Carter tried to institute (sound familiar?) we would be in a much better place. Carter's reforms were considered too far to the left then. The question isn't whether the Green New Deal is too extreme. The question is why aren't we doing something to solve environmental problems NOW? Instead of ridiculing some of the "whacky" ideas, how about preparing NOW? All the Republicans and the President want to do is make the problem worse by pretending it doesn't exist and by allowing greed to rule. Inaction is inexcusable.
michjas (Phoenix)
Climate change is a mind bending issue. But it isn’t going to be solved by the self-righteous and their disdain for those who lack their commitment. The overpopulation problem, and world hunger are two other crises of similar gravamen. But they are centered in the undeveloped world. Climate change is a developed world problem with more immediate consequences for those who want it to be our first priority. When I was young we trick or treated for UNICEF. Selfishness is more the thing today. So young people don’t worry much about overpopulation and hunger. They’re too busy worrying about the ocean, the temperature, endangered insects, and what it all means for them.
Stephen Boston (Canada)
There is a danger in this issue and in other issues so many find pressing that in the eagerness to both please corporate donors and avoid frightening Republicans the Democratic Party will not push 'left' hard enough to get out the vote. Why bother voting if none of the candidates on offer is interested in the bold action required to rescue the country and the planet from this train wreck of a system.
Bill (NYC)
This is absolutely nothing new, just louder because of the internet and the current daily spin of the news cycle. A large percentage of them 20 years from now will be supporting Republican causes.
Wirfegen (Berlin)
In Europe, people vote green because the center-left and center-right parties lost ground and credibility. That does not mean that green policy is the new politics, at all. Even in Austria, where a green president was elected, sort of a honorary president, because the power is in the hands of the chancellor, that green president did not affect the politics. In fact, later on, the conservative chancellor not only accelerated conservative policies, he also is part of a recent scandal. The lesson to be learned from Germany and Austria is, currently, that polls show bigger numbers of green protest voters, yet the actual elections go straight to the conservatives or alt-rights. I doubt that there is a chance that any democratic candidate will have a chance against Trump, especially because of the green movement, which makes Trump a conservative savior, Bernie' selfish ego unable to give up in favor of a young and new face, and the current general disarray of the American opposition that focusses on topics such climate and race instead of the everyday sorrows of lower to middle class voters -- which in turn Trump knows and is skillfully using for his own election. I get the impression that some politicians either do not follow Europe or misunderstand why a populist like Trump is anti-climate and anti-racist (despite being a racist, of course). Because the majority of people never was and will be interested in climate or race.
philly (Philadelphia)
Latest studies show that the first year cost of the New Green Deal is $70,000/person, which is then lowered to $45,000/year for the next 30 years. These costs include the retrograding of all homes, commercial buildings, as well as changing our entire energy consumption habits. Taxing the "rich", corporations, banks, stock trades, etc will not cover the costs to each individual each year, so where is the money going to come from? Can you, the supporters of these ideas afford to pay out $1,420,000 (after taxes) over the next 30+ years? If you can good for you, but most of us can't, and the underprivileged certainly can't. So where are you going to come up with the $470,250,000,000,000 (330 million people in the US X $1.420 million/person) to pay for your dream?
lyndtv (Florida)
There is nothing radical about wanting to have clean air and clean water. Banning smoking was vilified as radical, declaring restaurants and bars would go out of business. Seat belts were an infringement of personal rights, now the law of the land, saving thousands of lives. Eliminating fossil fuels is imperative, in spite of what the anti science faction believes. To those who whine, “Climate change is only a theory” I reply all of science is theoretical, even electricity!
Frank McNeil (Boca Raton, Florida)
This really doesn't tell the reader much. My sense is that "moderate" Democrats are people who have run out of big deas. The problem with the Green New Deal is not with its climate proposals, a mix of which will be necessary to alter the extinction cycle, but with the Christmas Tree of social and economic measures added to the "green" actions. In times when great measures were necessary -- and on the historical scale, climate ranks right at the very top, short of defeating Hitler et al but north of going to the moon -- we were successful because we kept our eyes on the prize. I cite Grant's pursuit of Lee, the Invasion of Normandy (instead of landing in, say, Greece) the Manhattan Project and the Apollo Program. The latter two provide excellent models -- a don't spare the money, put every resource to work to radically lower carbon loading in the atmosphere. I say this as a supporter of some form of Medicare for All. The benefits to health from decarbonizing energy are obvious but we ought not confuse people by folding health care into a Green New Deal.
Jo Fuller (Florida)
The Sunrise Movement were the people behind setting up Dianne Feinstein about the green new deal, editing the video to make her look as bad as possible, and distributing widely. And that is not the only incidence. They are the James O'Keefe of the left except they are attacking the side they should be on.
Bob Smith (New York)
I haven’t seen this show, so may be misinterpreting what is happening here, but the clip portrayed seems to suggest older democrats are wrong on climate change and tone deaf. I thought Feinstein’s response seemed appropriate. The children seemed part of a political stunt arranged by their teacher. How is that the voice of the people? These kids could have been cajoled into protesting against LGBT rights just as easily. There is a reason society agrees on a minimum age of 18 to vote. Instead of telling them what you want them to believe, teach them to understand data, interview proponents and opponents, think critically, formulate an argument and then engage in debate. That doesn’t mean younger people’s voices don’t matter, but a school teacher getting her kids to try to articulate a political point she believes in to a Senator seems wrong. Keep in mind this is Feinstein, one of the most liberal senators this country has ever seen!
Andy Miller (Ormond Beach)
Not sure why this is considered "left." All labeling does is turn people off who might otherwise be interested in the ideas. By labeling in the article, you are taking a side in what is not an opinion piece.
Al (Idaho)
To be taken seriously the climate activists will have to repudiate the open borders policy that came out in the first democratic debates. You cannot be for mass immigration and call yourself an environmentalist. The concepts are mutually exclusive. Any solution to climate change and our environmental challenges that does not address human population numbers is not only bound to fail it is delusional and ignores the reality of the 21st century. Not PC but the truth.
gloria (sepa)
@lieberma we shall see. I don't see PA going for dump again. Chesco certainly won't and Philly will surely have a massive GOTV campaign to make sure it doesn't happen again. His support is static. Strong, but static.
MGerard (Bethesda, MD)
The title of this article, "Young Climate Activists Push Democrats to Left", is nonsense. Yesterday an article describes how the GOP, is anxious about their long standing position that climate change is a hoax. From that and other evidence, so how can any writer brand concern over climate change "leftist". The global warming we are experiencing and its consequences affects us all and is a "centrist" issue. Ironically, the red states who have so blindly supported Trump have suffered the most from climate catastrophes being battered by multiple once in a century storms wiping out their homes, farms, infrastructure and lives.
Frank Casa (Durham)
They are not pushing left, they are pushing for action.
Tom Paine (Los Angeles)
Climate activism is an effort by people who are not brainwashed by the corporate carbon energy lobbies and PR firms to save this world, this nation, this city, before it we reach the point of no return and the inflection point at which there can be no reversal. Why does the Times label everything that oil oligarchs don't want as "left?" Responsible public servants, public citizens and people who are intrinsically based in a heart space of care, kindness and an abiding sense that there is no time to simply wait for the irresponsible, purely greed-driven, non-human so-called multi-national corporate citizens to destroy our nation, our world and the lives of billions of people in this generation and future generations. They are acting to defend what is good in our species, what is beautiful upon our planet and doing what is necessary to be public citizens. They are heros. The terms "left" as used in this article is used by propagandist to demonize, actions, policies, positions that are not in alignment with the oligarchic objectives of these people in my opinion. The question I have is "why does the Times so underestimate the intelligence of its readers and continue to use such false, outdated labeling and apparently adopt support for the corporate oligarchy?" Without the public and its well being and the environments, environmental, social, legislative, communication, media being fact, truth and ethics-based being made the priority; the chance for justice is lost.
Kristin (Philadelphia)
How I hate this headline. Why does acknowledging the scientific reality of climate change and pushing our elected officials to do something to protect us from the threat qualify as a ‘Left’ policy. Reporting on climate change as a polarizing political issue is how we got into this mess and continuing to treat it that way isn’t going to get us out of it.
PS (Massachusetts)
Fine when kids support a goal that they believe in, learned about, analyzed, reflected upon, made a decision about. But sounds like a lot of this is joining because it looks a little hip or provides a sense of belonging to an exclusive club. All for it if someone makes an informed choice; terrified if we are applauding young people for being sheep. I'd like to see them all work a bit on a farm or science center or something. Not being snippy. Just would give their ideals some real-world substance. The problem is real, so let's get real about understanding it and not allowing it to become just a loud political agenda or worse, party.
Annabelle (AZ)
And how many of these protesters are actually registered to vote? How many will bother to cast ballots in elections? It’s one thing to go out, parade around, hold signs and chant: quite another thing to make a real, long term difference. All I see is a bunch of rabble rousers having fun (which is, in itself fine). But their youthful progressive extremism, self-righteousness, lack of discipline and unwillingness to persuade will likely do no more than alienate older, more moderate Americans —— otherwise known as VOTERS.
Yolandi (PNW)
These people are disconnected from reality and real science. They have no idea how green energy infrastructure works or how the energy grid works. They inflict emotional distress on young people thinking the world is ending in 12 years. Activism has become synonymous with bully until you get your way.
marrtyy (manhattan)
Climate change is not a political football for the left and right to kick around. It's there and not the domain of the left. The Green New Deal is just another monstrous Dem inspired program that makes noise and will never get enough support to get off the ground. There are plenty of ways to get the job done without the expense and the involvement of any and all Americans.
poslug (Cambridge)
It is NOT "left". Stop it. Potable water, crops to feed citizens, science discoveries drove civilizations (Rome, Fertile Crescent etc.) and were in law codes. Failures caused governments and civilizations to collapse.
Mike (Boston)
How dispiriting it is that people, including the media, have been trained to consider any baseline, mainstream progressive policy plan, even a plan to halt industrial poisoning of air, land and water, is "hardcore, extreme left." How much better it would be if the media were countering antisocial right wing propaganda to remind people that they are in the right to expect a safe and clean environment. It is the wanton destructiveness and depraved indifference of the polluters and their apologists that is hardcore and extreme.
aries (colorado)
The 2017 Sunrise Movement builds upon the long histories of hard work, volunteers, organized, knowledgeable and passionate efforts of at least 20,000 Climate Reality Leaders, the Global Catholic Climate Movement, the Sierra Club, the NRDC, the Center for Biological Diversity, Greenpeace,, the Nature Conservancy, state conservation non-profits, and so many other mission-oriented organizations. It's time to join forces to tackle the current climate crisis sensibly and immediately.
Bob (Hudson Valley)
The Sunrise Movement is arriving a little late in the game. The chances of staying under 1.5C are probably now close to zero and even staying under 2C not much better, However, climate activism needed an energy boost and these young people have accomplished that. They have helped re-energize the cause and have greatly increased the volume. They are basically demanding that adults look at the science and respond accordingly to what certainly now could be characterized as an emergency. But all the same obstacles remain, particularly the political obstacles. The world remains on track for reaching about 4C by the end of this century and perhaps higher. There has been no breakthrough for avoiding virtually certain global catastrophe. We are still waiting.
Meg (AZ)
@Bob I think solutions can be found, but we have to be 100% committed to the cause. Just recently, a kid from Ireland invented a way to remove microplastics from the Ocean and he did not even have access to a formal lab to do his research. This example about plastics simply shows that we simply do not know where all the solutions will come from on any issue. However, our chances for success are far greater if we set a strong goal and put or efforts and resources in that direction. I'd like to see NASA get involved, I'd like to see us doing all we can that we already know will help, and I'd like to see an international effort in finding the best solutions. This has to be an effort that leaves no stone unturned and like our mission to the moon, we can not only do far more than we think possible, but efforts like this are very good for the economy. My dad worked on the Apollo project and got his degree through the GI Bill. It just goes to show what can be done when a nation invests in its people and in lofty noble goals.
teoc2 (Oregon)
addressing climate change is not a left wing proposition. those on the right deny climate change not as political philosophy, it is a manifestation realpolitik. those on the right are more likely to be beholding to the financial interests behind climate science deniers.
Meg (AZ)
I advocated for a Green New Deal over a decade ago. I even used that exact name for the plan. At the time, the economy had just collapsed and dialogue was encouraged for ideas on how to revive the economy and that seemed like a good way to do things, to me. I felt we could kill two birds with one stone, I also proposed that we needed to have a green bank to lend to companies and individuals at a low, to no, interest rate who wanted to make their business and homes more energy efficient to engage in start-ups to help with issues regarding global warming. However, this idea seems so logical, that the fact that parallel groups came up with the same idea and name is not unexpected at all. We need to go for it. The only silver lining in the fact that Trump may create a precedent for the use of military funds for other purposes, is the fact that with the impacts of global warming, future presidents may need to do the same and use funds to combat a real crisis.
s.whether (mont)
In a previous political campaign, the largest interests funding Inslee's campaign were pharmaceutical and health-related companies, lawyers and law firms, and high-tech companies. Same with most running. Support Sanders/Warren. We know where their money roots are. The green grass roots middle class and poor for this duo, not the grass is greener with the rich and corporations.
David R (Kent, CT)
If the green new deal gets more people out to vote, that's great, as long as they understand what's at stake. In the last election, Sanders supporters in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin where so made at Hillary Clinton that they cast enough votes for Trump to help him win those states by a bigger margin than he he won them by. If this week has proven anything, it's that it's dangerous to pretend our feelings matter above all other considerations. This is a time to be practical.
Walter Schreifels (New York)
You said that Sanders voters in key battleground states were mad at Hillary and so voted for Trump to tip the election, what is your source for this accusation or are these just your feelings?
Mike (Republic Of Texas)
Climate change "knowers" are like mass shooters, in one respect. They both "know" what to do. There are any number of reasons for people that commit mass murderers. They believe they alone can save the world, if they kill enough people or spark a change of mindset among the general population. Climate knowers know the climate will be past a point of no return, at some point in the future. These predictions have been going on for 40 plus years, passing every predicted way point, before today. The latest prediction, made by Ocasio-Cortez, we have 12 years or less, before, something bad will happen. These predictions imply, climate knowers know, the processes that are changing the climate and what processes will bring the climate back from the brink. I believe the reason climate catastrophes are never realized, no one can correctly account for natural processes. These include solar and volcanic activity. Solar activity is somewhat predictable, based past observations. Volcano eruptions are predictable to 48 hours, plus or minus 20 years. Climate knowers should move to the next level of knower-dom. That would be, define the metrics required to bring the climate in line with their desired climate requirements. Think of it in the view of nutritionists. Reduce caloric intake by X number of calories, to lose Y number of pounds in Z amount of time.
Alph Williams (Australia)
Kudos to young activist. It is apparent to many of us that young activists are far better informed and more pro-active than those on Capital Hill insulated and removed not only the daily bump and grind of America's hoi polloi but from crucial environmental issues facing the planet. It's no secret why AOC and the Squad have inspired the young and many of us who are no longer young, by standing up to a Status Quo on both sides of politics that continues to continually do little to address these issues.
Casual Observer (Los Angeles)
We cannot eliminate all fossil fuel systems until we do not need them to carry on both our day to day lives and build the systems to replace them. Adding seaweed to the diet of cattle will greatly reduce methane emissions from them. We know that if a trillion more trees are grown, the levels of carbon gases will return to those of a century ago. Reduce production of carbon gases and remove them from the air, too. There are things that can be done quickly but most require a lot longer to work. We need more solutions if we can find them. But until we do, we must respect the numbers, do the work, and take what comes. No people who think that solutions like the Green New Deal are plans are mistaken. They are just attention getters. They offer the sense of solving the problem but cannot.
common sense (Seattle)
@Casual Observer Why isn't the slogan "plant a tree" ? We used to say that in the 1970s. What happened to PLANT A TREE???
Casual Observer (Los Angeles)
@common sense Plant one tree and slice down an acre of trees in the Amazon? But the numbers tell us that with a trillion more trees we make an impact that is likely more effective because it removes the gases which are causing warming. Addressing global warming requires using every means available and we need to unite mankind to make it effective.
Fabrice (France)
The fatal error will be to define climate as an issue of the left. This has to be an issue embraced by both parties if we are to have any chance to staving warming to 1.5°. Sunrise movement understands the urgency - what's radical is not sunrise, but our inaction on climate change.
James Beckman (California)
Global warming is both a public health (breathing) and temperature issue. Corporations can make money supporting either aspect, so why drag either political party in as automatically for or against. Allow politicians to build their careers with it in either party. Just like medical care, where it is unncessary expenses which are the underlying issue, it seems to me.
Jay (Florida)
The far left of the Democratic Party is making unreal promises of green jobs that can never be. They are living in a fantasy world where they believe that there is a technology solution for every problem of pollution and overheating the planet. Climate change is real. Denying that reality for political purposes or because of strange religious beliefs is not a solution of the global warming problems. We are facing a crisis of climate change and global warming as well as problems of pollution of air, water and soil. But an equally great problem is the unrealistic, literally fantasy solutions of the extreme far left. The cost of a so-called green revolution would bankrupt our economy and do as much or more destruction than the burning of fossil fuels, drilling for gas and oil and the failure to control waste and pollution from farms, industry, chemicals and transportation vehicles. We can't stop on a dime and turn everyone's world upside down and make unsustainable and unaffordable changes to protect the environment. We didn't get here overnight and we won't get out of it overnight either. We need sensible, affordable and realistic solutions if we're going to get all Americans and other nations onboard to solve climate change and global warming. We can't heat or cool our homes without energy. We can make changes but it will take time, money and cooperation. The far left Democrats need to understand that other people are involved and need to be engaged not chased away.
nick (usa)
So far I haven't heard any moderate proposals that tackle the gravity of the problem and also maintain our economic well being. Please enlighten us, instead of just criticizing the only people who are treating the problem with the appropriate seriousness.
Martha Shelley (Portland, OR)
Young people drove the anti-Vietnam War movement because they were subject to the draft and their lives or their brothers' lives were at stake. I was among them. Today young people are driving the environmental movement because their lives are at stake. I will not live long enough to see the catastrophe, but my children may and my certainly grandchildren will. I support the kids!
Meg (AZ)
The Green New Deal is a good idea. I proposed the same basic idea with the same title over a decade ago as a response to the collapse of the economy, in 2008, when they were working on the recovery act. At that time they were asking for input from the public, as public input, due to the internet, was seen as a new and innovate way to go. I also proposed that there should be a Green Bank, to lend to those seeking to make their homes and businesses more energy sufficient, and those seeking to start new businesses to produce products and innovations to combat climate change. However, the idea makes so much sense, due to the nature of the crisis and the means needed to address it, that there is no reason why this name would not have been picked up by others independently of me, it is simply that logical. The fact that we need and would benefit from a form of a Green New Deal makes perfect logical sense.
Evitzee (Texas)
Every kid under age 8 would love to eat dessert for every meal, but we don't let them dictate to the parents what their nutrition standards are going to be. But for some reason the left, and it always seems the left, thinks that youth brings wisdom. College kids are not wise, they may be well educated but they don't have wisdom yet. Some will never be wise, it's not a universal trait. It's easy to march around and DEMAND that we stop using fossil fuels in 12 years or whatever number is picked out of the hat. But it wouldn't be wise, it would telescope modern society into some sort of '50's existence, and I mean the 1850's. No air travel, no heavy industry, blackouts/brownouts all the time, degradation of our environment with unsightly and destructive windmills and solar cells that would not be able to power a modern society. But many supposedly wise adults running to be president of the country propose such ideas. They are not wise, they are delusional. Delusion does not have positive outcomes. We have to live in reality, many people choose to live in a Peter Pan world, but please don't let them near the center of power.
Robert David South (Watertown NY)
As every fast talker who has ever hustled anyone knows, urgency can be used as cover to sell bad decisions. We can recognize the urgency but need to keep cool heads and not reflexively grasp at bad ideas. Individual action won't work. It has to be mandatory government action. This can take two forms. One is to reduce carbon emissions by inducing poverty. Not happening and not effective. The developing world pollutes robustly. The other is to maintain a good standard of living using green technology. This means clean electricity and electrification to make everything use this clean electricity. And that requires a much improved electric infrastructure. And this leads to the core solution. The government must socialize the electric grid and use that ownership to ensure all power generation is green and to increase the capacity of the grid to handle the effects of laws which will demand that everything be electric. Other plans are just schemes to make somebody rich at somebody else's expense under cover of saving the Earth. And ultimately, we can always do geoengineering. Which is like saying "not to worry about carcinogens, I can always get chemotherapy."
Michael (New York)
If people want to gamble Las Vegas is available 365 days of the year/24 hours a day. If Trump remains in the presidency for another four years then the planet truly is in danger of being destroyed. So young energy must replace fossil fuel energy. And that is done by enlisting all these people who want to save the planet into an army whose task is to turn out the vote across the country and win the presidency and the Senate for Democrats. If young people and young voters are convinced that that is how a war on climate change can then be mounted then Trump will be out of office and the work can begin. If people doubt getting out the vote is the first step then the day after the 2020 election will indeed be a sad day for our country. Change is needed. But change comes with rational thinking that applies the needed steps to a goal. The goal must be met but the goal cannot simply be a lockstep army marching behind the Green New Deal that does not embrace the needs of every voter in the country even if those voters seem unsure of the next step. Take step one, win the White House and the Senate, and step two will begin the day the new president swears his or her oath of office. I have a young son and want to save the world for him and his hundreds of friends but I will not dismiss the danger of re-electing Trump because Democrats are as rigid and close-minded as the GOP vis a vis the 2020 election.
Matsuda (Fukuoka,Japan)
Of course the environmental problem of the planet will be one of the most important issues which Democrats are interested in. Presidential candidates have to make their policies on the issue clear. President Trump has been criticized by the world because the US withdrew from Paris Pact. Trump has been only pursuing the economic prosperity. It is important for Democratic candidates to demonstrate the fundamental deference with Trump’s policies on the environmental matter clearly.
Casual Observer (Los Angeles)
Any of you recall what you expected to happen during your life in your teens? Any of you not in your thirties? Back about 1940, the U.S. passed a bill regarding a deferral from service at 28 years old. You see, draftees at 18 were easy to instruct and to train, because they needed adults to help them understand what to expect. They followed orders eagerly. Mature men who’d learned to succeed in the world on their own wanted to know why they were required to do things one way rather than another. Once the war started, that all changed. But the point is that young people lack experience and knowledge. For them what is and is not required for accomplishing things is unknown, so they have no idea about limitations nor potentials, nor how to find out. They can be convinced that dreams and reality are no different.
Mark Johnson (Bay Area)
Biden claiming "rational" and "affordable" should be careful to understand the size of the threat. "Rational" as a political term (and Biden is political), normally means "something the other side will agree to". "Rational" should mean: "What is the size of the threat in lives, real estate, and assets based on the best available factual information? What are the remedies we have on hand, and which can be developed for lower financial and human costs?" Cutting back our greenhouse emissions drastically is the only way to effectively limit the ongoing temperature rise. The cost of not doing this will destroy the land and resources of a significant fraction of the global and the US population with the attendant wars and mass migration this implies. Once cost of the threat is recognized, the cost of the various remedies can be assessed. "Affordable" should be compared to the alternative of doing nothing (or the Republican goal: doing everything possible to make the outcome happen earlier, and be worse). WWII is a good example of how a major, but possibly non-existential threat can be made "affordable". Climate change will force evacuation of significant portions of our landmass--beginning as early as a decade from now (from too much flooding and hurricanes). Its impacts will be with us for millenia. Biden is looking for tweaks in the vain hope the Republicans will accept a fig leaf or two.
Enabler (Tampa, FL)
Too little too late, politics is not the answer. There is no doubt in my mind the political will necessary to make a real difference is lacking. The smartest thing people can do is prepare for the future without assuming any help from government. I'm sorry, my friends, but you're on your own.
Frans Verhagen (Chapel Hill, NC)
I think that Sunrise movement and its GND are important for democrats and other conceners individuals and organizations, both private and public. A first step in concretizing their views is to use Governor Inslee’s three-part climate policy program as a major discussion platform. However, given the looming climate catastrophe, we need global systemic change or transformation. One way for this global transformation to avoid climate catastrophe is to transform the unjust, unsustainable, and therefore, unstable international monetary system by basing it on a carbon standard of a specific tonnage of CO2e per person with its balance of payments that accounts for both financial and ecological (climate) debts and credits. States an outstanding economics writer and climate specialist: “The further into the global warming area we go, the more physics and politics narrows our possible paths of action. Here’s a very cogent and well-argued account of one of the remaining possibilities.” Bill McKibben, May 17, 2011
Yankelnevich (Denver)
Is climate change an existential threat to our civilization? I think it is a very serious problem that must be addressed globally as well as nationally. However, I don't think the science qualifies this phenomenon as threatening the survival of civilization in the same way that nuclear arsenals posed such a threat during the Cold War and continuing now in the post Cold War era. If the oceans rise five feet by the end of the century that will pose a profound challenge for coastal areas but it won't by itself change a thing for inland communities. As it stands, AOCs Green New Deal only addresses ten percent of the world's greenhouse gases i.e. the CO2 contribution of the United States to the global GHG which is 70 percent CO2, and 30 percent other warming gases. The ultimate solution will requires a great deal of international public policy work and will involve not decarbonizing the world's economic systems but very vigorous efforts to enhance natural and human made carbon sinks and geoengineering technologies. The other thirty percent of the GHGs will also have to be mitigated.
Jude Parker Stevens (Chicago, IL)
Climate is not a right or left issue. It’s a common sense issue. The more one side denies, the more perilous inaction becomes because of the denials. It’s disingenuous to say they are pushing people left. They are pushing people into a reality zone.
gratis (Colorado)
The Green New Deal is the only thing that makes sense. It is radical, in the way that FDR's New Deal was radical. FDR's New Deal had government bear the cost of building the 20th Century infrastructure that led to the economic growth in the '50's and '60's and '70's by providing the basic framework on which American businesses could grow. That is pretty plain. But now 'moderates" think it is too radical. What moderates want is a continuation of policies that have hollowed out our physical and social infrastructure, just like workers' wages have declined in the 40 years under moderates and conservatives. That stuff just does not work. The problem with Capitalism is that sooner or later all the money ends up with the rich, and the people and governments have just enough to barely exist.
Erik Frederiksen (Oakland, CA)
In the nearly 30 years since the first report by the IPCC global emissions have gone up by 60 percent and we’ve destabilized around 6 meters of sea level rise equivalent of ice from the marine sectors of Greenland and West Antarctic Ice sheets. No wonder the young, who may live to see the drowning of our great coastal cities, are impatient with our foot dragging.
Mark (MA)
"Imminent environmental disaster" Sorry but it's already arrived and there's little that anyone can do to lessen the affects. Anyone who cooks much can understand. It's called carry over. As in you have a roast in the oven and you pull it at the target temperature. The roast will continue to cook for some time due to the stored heat energy. Man could disappear today and the environmental changes will continue for several decades.
Dabney L (Brooklyn)
Protecting and preserving our environment for future generations is not about left or right. It shouldn’t be a political issue at all. This is about the very survival of humanity! Poll after poll shows that a vast majority of Americans want our government to take meaningful action to address the crisis. Alas, so long as the Republican Party rejects climate science and the media plays into their false narrative that the impacts of human activity on the climate is debatable, the dire consequences of a warming planet will only accelerate. What we need is a global awakening of the collective consciousness to the dangers of climate change. I’m afraid it will take the melting of every glacier and ice cap, the swallowing of every seaside city by rising tides, and mass migration away from coastal areas and hotter regions before that actually happens. At that point it will be too late. It may be too late already.
Pelasgus (Earth)
Left wing, right wing, how does a raspberry sound? We need a major expansion of nuclear power if we are to save ourselves from extinction. Moreover, we need standardised designs that can be mass produced, like the Liberty Ships of WW2. The industrial effort needs to start now, before sea level rise and excessive temperatures make some countries uninhabitable, creating massive migration pressure, with dire consequences for world peace.
BobMeinetz (Los Angeles)
The young climate activists in Congress lose in credibility what they gain in enthusiasm. By universal accord of the world's renowned climatologists, geophysicists, and grid engineers, there is no realistic possibility of holding climate change to +2ºC by relying on solar, wind, and other "renewable" energies. That a Democratic House claiming to be firmly committed to science would subscribe to this naïve fantasy is appalling.
Jeff R (NY)
What the far left seems to be missing sight of, is that they cannot accomplish anything if they’re not in power. At this time, the U.S, as a whole is too conservative to embrace their histrionics and will never vote them to a position of being able to accomplish their agenda.
MALINA (Paris)
I have American friends here who talk a lot about the fact that things have to be done to slow down the climate change but in their own lives they do nothing except being vegetarians. They have pets that eat meat based food, they travel a lot, fly on a regular base, buy a ton of cheap cloths that come from the other end of the world although they could afford to consume less and more thoughtfully, they want their towels fluffy and take Uber instead of metro or buses ... I haven’t used a drier in ten years, same for a car in town, except for a taxi if it’s late and I don’t feel safe, I have drastically reduced consuming and scrutinize the labels, I eat meat about once a week and don’t eat fruit or vegetables that are out of season unless they are frozen. If all the people who talk about the climate changed their habits that would be a good start.
John Frederick (Paris, France)
I grew up in the early 1970’s, enamored of and enchanted by the ‘60’s anti-war, rock music, Yippies activism. I still love it 50 years later, in many ways and thrill to see young people getting off of the apathetic sidelines to make a difference. Their zeal and energy is heartening and makes me hopeful for the future, which is pretty difficult for me to be hopeful about these days. I worry for the planet. I worry for my 8 year old granddaughter and what kind of climate/economy/world she will inherit. I worry for the poor people, living in places where seas will rise and fresh water will be scarce, where food won’t grow and they won’t be able to leave. I worry for the animals and their habitat and the mass extinction of species. I am torn, as a political animal, between the need for radical solutions, both environmental and economic, and the “reality” that people will vote for against their own future by re-installing politicians who are the tools of the fossil fuel industry; who slash and burn environmental regulations (and forests); who mock reason and science and common sense; who would literally sell the children’s and grandchildren’s future out of fear, greed or just plain old stubborn meanness to “show them.” If the Repubics are returned to power in the 2020 elections, we’ll reap the whirlwind........
polymath (British Columbia)
Why should addressing climate change be considered "left"? Issues like clean air & water, national defense, education, and national unity et al. benefit all citizens. So to define this as pushing a party to the left strikes me as utterly absurd. (Just because one party rejects reality is no reason to define the other party as being pushed in the opposite direction. Reality is not an issue that is left or right. What it is is *sane*.
Jennifer (NY)
There is nothing "hard left" about wanting to conserve our planet, when all the scientific evidence says it is an imperative. Stop with the GOP narrative. Proposing urgent climate change remediation efforts is a moderate position.
Tee Jones (Portland, Oregon)
As an environmentalist since the 1970s, I can't decide if, at the end of the day, it's heartwarming so many people have just jumped on the bandwagon or just simply irritating it's taken so long. What people need to practice in parts of the world is ZPG. To deny this is to be a climate change denier. The world is too heavily over populated as it is.
Johnny Comelately (San Diego)
I have heard some say that the younger Rs also want to do something about climate change. I think with Climate Change and Healthcare, the Dems can't lose. They need to find their voice on those issues and shout.
J. G. Smith (Ft Collins, CO)
I believe The Green New Deal will, along with Democratic Socialism, cause the Democrats to lose and lose in a big way. As usual, the left has gone to the extreme and I doubt that even Joe can pull them to the center...enough to entice the adults in the room to vote for him. We know what the cost will be and it's totally unacceptable.
A. Reader (Ohio)
If memory serves, youthful activism captures the imagination of the nation. Go kids go! It also loses elections. It helped elect Nixon twice and helped end the careers of Humphrey, Mcgovern and McCarthy. Do we add Sanders, Warren and AOC?
h king (mke)
With any "green deal" will there be exemptions so we can still have mindless, endless, US sponsored wars? Will people really give up their SUV's and F150's? Will people actually give up flying to vacation destinations so the climate can breathe? I'm skeptical. Business has a rough time when things are smooth and predictable. These "green requirements" will turn the business world upside down. Our government can't even cobble together a health care plan and we're counting on them to save the environment? Seriously? While I believe there's a problem, I don't see any serious resolve to do anything significant about it. My 60's generation marched against the Vietnam War and then went on to become the greediest group in forever. Waters will rise and millions will die and people will adjust and things will teeter on, as always. Just...with a LOT fewer people. And a bit more nastiness and want.
Richard Schumacher (The Benighted States of America)
Every political and social system that does not confront and deal with the ongoing climate crisis will be destroyed by the climate crisis. Some social and political systems find this truth inconvenient and try to deny it. Too bad for them.
SheHadaTattooToo (Seattle USA)
This isn't radical. But when the tipping point hits, within the next few years, we'll see radical. Then a few years later, 2030-35, even if Jay Inslee becomes the POTUS, nothing will stop the warming already triggered. Mitigating lifestyles will be mandatory. The obviousness of what is happening on a global basis has been documented multiple times from multiple scientists throughout this millennium. Permafrost melting, 25% of our land mass on earth. Deforestation Fossil fuel Rapid Industrialization Fertilizer and pesticides And... a combination of landfills, planet Earth's variable orbit, transportation, AC, lack of sealife, extinct animal life. I'm listening, but it sounds as if "Kitchen Table" & "Bread & Butter" topics are what concerns the immediate gratification electorate. So unfortunately we will wait for the impact of reality to hit. Mother Nature has hit us with a few wallops this millennium. We took it on the chin. Hydraulic force is nothing to blink at. Will the radicalization of the electorate be too late in 10-15 years?
John (Santa Cruz)
As an Earth and planetary scientist I find the characterization of the Green New Deal as "hard left" to be extremely disappointing. This is not a left-right issue, it is a basic matter of the survival of our species, on the planet Earth as we know it. Nature does not compromise. It does not reward "seeking the middle ground" in its affairs. There are hard limits, and we're presently sitting on the precipice. This cannot be written off as some kind of alarmist, extremist rhetoric, it is the consensus view of an entire scientific community. Ignore us at humanity's peril (and a vast number of other species).
Casual Observer (Los Angeles)
Global warming is due to forces of nature that are immutable. No feelings nor human desires, matter. This is not a fight against anybody’s maliciousness. People found a very useful means of improving their lives but it has by products which are having unintended but profound consequences. It has been so useful a means of improving our lives that simply removing it would result in chaos and catastrophe. Doing nothing will also result in chaos and catastrophe. The easy part is perceiving the problem but determining how to solve it is hard. Try to do it just by doing something could waste time and resources or it could worsen it. Finding the right path has nothing to do with inspiration. Inspiration is all that Ocasio-Cortez et al offer. That is all they are doing with young people. They are as distracted from the real problem as are Trump and Republicans who offer inane and destructive dismissals of the problem. The war of feelings makes for sensational stories but it’s irrelevant bickering.
gratis (Colorado)
As a 68 yo, today's moderate Dems are right of Nixon, who started the EPA. AOC's Green New Deal is pretty much in line with FDR's New Deal. And no European Conservative would dump their single payer health care system for the US version.
SM (Chicago)
There is really no "hard left" here. What the mainstream politics is offering is a choice between a hard right, with a tinge of white supremacy and a moderate centrist force that is perhaps inspired by what in Europe was called social democracy. Meaning a force that accepts all the essential tenets of Capitalism but wants to make sure that a safety net exists for those that are at the low end of the economy and that is concerned with avoiding the destruction of the planet. This is what those like Trump would call "communists". But more people have become aware that worse that 4 more years of Donald Trump is many more years without a leading alternative to what Trump, McConnel and the rest of the Republicans are so effectively standing for. Many more years with a Democratic party that is incapable to express such alternative. Many more years in which the only choice at the polls resembles voting in a Coke vs Pepsi contest. Luckily there are still some people who are trying a different pace.
Martin Veintraub (East Windsor, NJ)
These young Congress people are the only hope for Democrats. Nancy opened the door for Trump to isolate them and demonize them when she rudely dismissed their climate ideas. If you're young and reasonably aware, you must be fearful of a future where drastic climate change is not tried. Pay now or pay later. If later ever arrives. Nancy and Chuck lead the Democrats. There's no one else even in sight to inject some focus to the party. But to me, it's clear that the Moderates have to permit the dialogue and find a way to make the case for doing nothing. Complaining about costs or electability is no reason not to be bold. People have shown they want change. Infrastructure and climate change control are win/win. Bernie and Liz are right. The Squad is right. Nancy, Chuck and the Do Nothings are the ones who will lose to Trump, just like they did in 2016.
GUANNA (New England)
They need to ask themselves if our extreme positions ent up with trump reelected how will the effect climate. Better to have a prominent seat at a moderate Democrat's table than starve outside during a Trump's rich white mans feast. Another Trump GOP victory means decades of a unfriendly Supreme Court and even more right wing judges for life. They will hobble any and all reforms. They are young idealist, but they need to look at the bigger picture. Gaia would be happy with their pragmatic sacrifice.
K (Italy)
This message is so important and it doesn't only affect Americans but the world. The more people are aware the more likely it is that something will get done. Net time choose an outlet where people can watch it all over the world.
Becky (Boston)
The "moderates" been working to combat climate change for decades -- and losing to Republicans!. Obama signed the Paris Agreement; Al Gore ran for president and lost to Bush; the Trump administration is undoing many rules and regulations passed by Democrats. The "leftist" proposals are not all that radical and revolutionary -- they are mostly main-stream Democratic ideas, but packaged in a new way. We need to win, not fight among ourselves over who is more righteous!
EJ (Nes Ziona)
The last comment "... if we lose...a catastrophe". Well, as far as 99% of the climate specialists say, policies akin to the ones suggested by climate activists are what HAS to be applied (what a shame to call "activists" people in their right mind, and "political leaders" people who can't take the proper decisions to save millions of people and help the biosphere overcome this crisis of our own making). If a faint-hearted Democrat who will only find deals to somehow get some "green laws" through is elected, that or Trump makes no big difference, give or take half a degree C. 3 for the Democrats, 3.5 for the Republicans. The Republicans win. Everybody RIP.
Mark (Boston)
Keep pushing. These all look and sound like the kind of people I'd like to see running the country . . . Of course the alternative is to vote for adults. Unfortunately, that would be Trump.
Anna (U.K.)
Only in the US is climate change viewed as a "left" issue. You are being misinformed. If you want to be informed it is all there, easily accessible. If you have to see the results of the climate catastrophe to be convinced (because the science is not enough) than it will be to late to prevent collapse of civilisation and collapse in general of life on earth. My question is this; even you believe climate change deniers why won't you hedge your bets? There is nothing to loose treating climate Armageddon seriously. Clean energy is called clean for a reason, so clean air and water as a side effect of renewable energy is not a bad outcome. Not cutting down the forests is also evidently a good thing. Fossil fuels are a finite resource anyhow so why not wean ourselves already etc etc etc. Trying to minimise global warming is at worst waste of money (if there is no climate change) but if global warming is happening (as 99% of scientists say for 40 years) is will cost much more only to stay alive in an post apocalyptic word. When Trump withdrew from the Paris Accord you should have gone on a general strike if you were aware as a nation of the implications.
Tony (Truro, MA.)
This goes back to Obama, further if you look at "The New Deal" policies of FDR. The idea that problems can be solved by a central government is not only dangerous but counterintuitive. The same zeal led to Guzman and "The Shining Path" in Peru......
A.G. (St Louis, MO)
To achieve their environmental goals they have to defeat Donald Trump in 2020 first. So don't speak too loudly on environmental goals. Say those things in "non-offensive" codes, like we ALSO have to worry about future generations. Point out what some religious leaders have said about protecting the environment. Say, "We need to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord." More specifically, we have produce less gas-guzzling SUVs. Increase gas tax is the best way, but that would hurt low income people, not a winning strategy. Impose federal tax on new vehicles based on their weight. All new vehicles under 2500 lbs should have no tax. Over 4,000 lbs should be taxed very, very heavily. The federal tax on new vehicles should be biting, should increase the price of a new vehicle by $500 & up, to about $3,000, or still higher.
MDCooks8 (West of the Hudson)
Why hurt the consumer with higher costs with higher gasoline taxes or increasing the already weight based tax on automobiles? If the main focus and goal of the New Green Deal is to reduce the carbon footprint of society,there are many of contributing factors to examine that can alternatively have an equal impact such as planting trees, reducing and limiting how long lights are on overnight in public places and in unoccupied office buildings, to name a few. Other aspects of the climate crisis that need examining are the materials used in public spaces that retain heat that add into the rising temperatures and increase of carbon emissions. For example, asphalt is a common material used on city streets and parking lots that absorb and radiate heat, which in residential neighborhoods in large cities that are densely populated, the heat retention results in more people operating air conditioners thus increasing carbon emissions from utility power stations to generate more electricity for the demand. So if we only look at the automobile and petroleum industries without any focus on alternative ways to reduce the carbon footprint, the saying “ We didn’t plan to fail, but we failed to plan” will resonate and echo in the Chambers of Congress for generations.
Mich (Fort Worth, TX)
@A.G. Personal vehicles do kick off a lot of carbon but that’s not where the biggest emitter lives-freight and aviation is. To get anywhere near the reduction activists want next day delivery and air travel would have to be severely curtailed. That would be politically and economically disastrous.
From Where I Sit (Gotham)
The Honda Odyssey’s curb weight is approximately 4,500 pounds. Would you heavily tax their owners?
dyeus (.)
With the party of Trump pushing racism, bigotry, and sexism is any party moving to the left or is it simply an illusion?
S Jones (Los Angeles)
The ideas giving rise to the Sunrise Movement represent the future, not some political tactic. Young liberal activists don't see themselves as radical but as eminently practical. It's their survival. One might as well have castigated civl rights leaders by saying their demands for equality were a bad political contrivance, a poor strategy. As though insisting on being treated with dignity was a kind of anemic political dodge. This is why the left and right of the status quo are scared of these young people and why they try to reduce their demands by framing them as badly conceived political ploys, rather than seeing them as essential sociopolitical blueprints for the future.
Tom (New Orleans)
I'm a 54 year old white man with a PhD in biology, so I am in multiple demographics - white, middle aged, educated, liberal. I am sad to say that my generation missed a chance to make a difference when we got Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II...Obama was chance to begin what needed to be done in the JBJ administration when it comes to climate. It's a sad commentary that Nixon is perhaps the best example of a president that seemed to care to focus even a little on the environment by creating the EPA in the 70's. It's beyond time for OUR government to do something - and to push the other developed and developing countries to follow suit. We need to be 100% renewable by 2030 which is a heavy lift now, but not impossible. We need a leader that can challenge this new "moon shot" on a 10 year plan. This is a challenge for the world though, and it will take real leadership and I'm not sure we have that person standing up yet.....To all those young activists, I say GO GO GO! We need your energy to push the old guard to make change or get out of the way....
William Perrigo (Germany (U.S. Citizen))
@Tom During Nixon‘s Presidency virtually the whole scientific world believed fervently that we were heading for global cooling! Did you not read the letter the scientific community sent to the president back then? The problem with young people today is, all they remember is what we tell them and if we choose to not tell them the truth of the past you can be certain they will (potentially) misinterpret the truth of the present.
James Sanders (Costa Rica)
Yeah. No argument as to the necessity. But the vehicle to get there...the ONLY change in human behavior that can possibly have the needed/desired effects such that future generations have a fair shot at survival, is for there to be far fewer individuals injected into those future generations. The one absolute requirement for our survival, at which H. saps has failed consistently and miserably, is that we have thus far been unable to circumvent our “urge to merge”. Gaia cannot support infinite human occupation no matter how good our science. If we can do better than fruit flies in a bottle...we will have a chance at favorable climate change and survival in the future. If we cannot meet that challenge, all the rest is window dressing and can only remain so.
Anthony Flack (New Zealand)
@James Sanders - the birth rate is already very close to going negative right now. Unfortunately for us, it will take a full 70 years or more after that before the population growth goes negative. That's why population is predicted to peak at around 2100 and then begin to decline. Unless there is a sudden decrease in life expectancy. That's the only way the population is reduced in the short term; if people suddenly start dying a lot younger. Any other ideas? As we wait for the necessary population decline to begin, maybe we could try halving our carbon footprint instead of halving our lifespan.
Maria Rodriguez (Texas)
I applaud these actions and I am not afraid of the "leftist" labels. It's time for the older generation to stop equating "leftist" with Russia and China. The moderates have succeeded in very little. Where are the unions? Where are pensions? Where is affordable health care? Why are our schools desegregated? Why are women's rights and other civil rights taking a beating at the courts? Why are we up against the wall on climate issues? It is not because of the leftist. It is because time and time again Democrats have been scared into capitulation while the right under the Republican flag have succeeded in destroying everything Democrats are supposed to stand for. Workers in this country are suffering from a lack of affordable wages, expensive housing or non existent options, minority neighborhoods have been destroyed via gentrification. Our young people are saddled with education debt. WHERE HAVE THE MODERATES BEEN? WHAT HAVE THEY ACCOMPLISHED? It is time for democrats to stand up and fight for what they supposedly stand for. It won't be the people who put DT back on the throne: It will be moderates who fail to see that their middle of the road policies have only strengthened the destruction of labor and have sent the middle-class running behind gated communities as if there they are safe. I am voting for the candidate that isn't fighting with white gloves.
John (Camano Island WA)
Nice, somewhat inspiring. But many of these folks are clueless about the challenges of governing - and totally ignorant about the tremendous barriers to raising taxes sufficiently to pay for even one of the broad menu of progressive agenda items. Infrastructure: far, far north of a trillion dollars - several trillion is more like it. Health care: sky high, trillions plus, but no reliable estimate because there is no real plan. The debt: left and right are quite complacent about the reality of inadequate revenue to make even a token dent in the debt; and, the debt keeps rising. Carbon-free energy: laughable at the moment and trillions/generations away from anything approaching even a plan, let alone reality. Foreign intervention: anathema to many on the left and right, young or old. But if we want to manage just one challenging area, immigration, we will have to intervene in some manner to improve the corrupt-bankrupt situation in Central America - to the tune of many, many billions. And on and on... And gender/race/pay inequality in the US is unimaginable complicated, a part of our DNA as a nation, and fraught every kind of resistance, barrier and excuse. However, to the Youth: "Fight on!"
Austin Liberal (Austin, TX)
Again, a "youth" movement. Shouting slogans, no experience with reality . . . this sort of activity has failed so often. Get out there in the real world. Understand the sources of a problem. Investigate -- as analyze in depth, not just surf Google -- the problem, its causes, the prospects for the future with and without action. Then propose a true solution -- not a quick fix that leaves you pleased with yourselves, but a full analysis of its prospects for rectifying the problem. Show some credentials, some understanding of reality, defend your analysis -- with numbers, such a cost and source of funding for your proposed solution, issues it will face in achieving implementation, probability of its success – not just make desperation cries of "we gotta do something, anything". Then organize. Not marches, civic disturbances, but true organization, united not just behind stating the problem, but ready to work to accomplish the corrective action you've demonstrated can succeed. Until then: All such movements are just childish demands with no understanding. In short: Until then, all you are doing is making noise. And you will be, deservedly, ignored by those with the power to address the issue.
David G (Phil’s)
But those with the power to address the issue aren’t. I think that is their point.
Mark (Boston)
Very well said. This is why the Left struggles to receive serious attention from serious people.
B (Tx)
So exactly what do you object to? You mention nothing but platitudes l, no specifics. These youths in fact have done their research.
Steve Fankuchen (Oakland, CA)
Moral indignation has it's place, but if you don't win the election it remains just that, moral indignation, not good policies that can be implemented. It is irrelevant if a million more vote for a Democrat in California and New York or a million more vote Republican in Indiana and Alabama.The 2020 election comes down to changing minds in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, perhaps one more state. That is who the Democrats need to speak to, not at. Unless you have a candidate who knows how to speak to those voters and their needs as they define them, not as aspirational Democrats wished those people defined them, 2020 will be, in Yogi Berra's words, "Deja vu all over again."
Bob (Hudson Valley)
These young people are trying to close the gap between climate science and politics. Climate change cannot be dealt with successfully unless that gap is closed, and is done so quickly. Politicians have been afraid to say what needs to be done to align actions with science. These young people have stepped and said whats needs to be done. Not dealing with science will eventually result in the earth being a very difficult place for humans to survive. That is the reality. The inconvenient truth. We are fortunate these young people have spoken but whether their voices result in the actions needed remains to be seen.
Mystery Lits (somewhere)
Huh, thanks I did not know that HULU was in clear and unmitigated collusion with the Democrats.... Tell me again that there is no Media bias....
Steve Fankuchen (Oakland, CA)
Moral indignation has it's place, but if you don't win the election it remains just that, moral indignation, not good policies that can be implemented. It is irrelevant if a million more vote for a Democrat in California and New York or a million more vote Republican in Indiana and Alabama.The 2020 election comes down to changing minds in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, perhaps one more state. That is who the Democrats need to speak to, not at. Unless you have a candidate who knows how to speak to those voters and their needs as they define them, not as aspirational Democrats wished those people defined them, 2020 will be, in Yogi Berra's words, "Deja vu all over again." The "debates" are merely TV shows, imitative of Trump's "Apprentice", with the commentariat, twitterati, and punditocracy getting to say "You're fired! and "You're hired." Fortunately, I expect that most Democrats and Independents who have open minds understand that America needs a capable President, not one who simply looks and sounds good on a ratings-oriented TV smackdown. As to "debate" momentum, headlines, analysis, Recommends, and Likes: From The Wall Street Journal: Aug. 1, 2019 "Hundreds of social-media accounts with bot-like traits promoted misinformation and content aimed at inflaming racial divisions during both nights of Democratic presidential debates, continuing similar activity during the first set of debates last month, according to data analyzed by The Wall Street Journal."
PC (Aurora, Colorado)
God bless these children. The Boomers have really made a mess of the world. I’m 63 and I still believe in the Beatles, Students for a Democratic Society, the Panthers, and Tune in, Turn on, and Drop out. Only not so much of the Drop Out and very rarely of the Turn On. Younger generations need a cause. They need to rebel. They need to protest. They need to shout. Because things are getting worse. As a Boomer I say, forward the Jefferson Airplane tune and find somebody who has mushrooms. Save the Earth! I’m in the back, at the very end of the protest, listening to Porcupine Tree (Steven Wilson), and making sure nobody throws eggs on my Leaf automobile. Down with everything except the snacks. I’ll be hungry later.
Ted (Nantucket)
Keep it up, kids. The future's not what it used to be.
Mystery Lits (somewhere)
This is the best 2020 Trump ad I have ever seen. Keep it up Dems.
Max (New York)
CNN and MSNBC only promote corrupt candidates bought off by the country's biggest money interests. Like the DNC, they would rather a Trump second term than a Bernie Sanders presidency which would significantly change things to the benefit of ordinary people. Sen. Sanders answer about climate change from 2015, when he was quoting a 2015 DoD report to Congress stating, unequivocally, that climate change was the biggest threat to global stability, including the middle east.
Jerry (Placer County, CA)
I noticed Bernie is not shown in the preview video - Manufacturing Consent?
Anthony Jenkins (Canada)
Pushing left is a good thing. If they push north they'll hit more left. Canada. Things work just fine up here.
PeteH (MelbourneAU)
It's been said that if you're not a socialist when you're twenty, you have no heart, but if you're still a socialist when you're forty, you have no brain. Pushing the Democrats leftward = pushing the Democrats into political oblivion. Joe and Betty Public in the swing states, they're not going to buy this lefty mumbo-jumbo. Veer left and perish, Dems. It's not a winner.
priceofcivilization (Houston)
Kids are, and have always been, societies' moral compass. The reasons are many: fewer financial conflicts of interest, idealism, and they will suffer the consequences of the decisions being made. Fascists and Republicans have always hated kids and hippies, and always will, since they challenge entrenched power. Their solution is harsh discipline at home, which is nothing more than oppression. Teens and women of the world: Unite!
Davinder (Los Angeles)
This video is NYT establishment propaganda. It describes young people fighting for change as "radical"? Really? I'd call it common sense.
mjpezzi (orlando)
After 40 years of stagnant wages for workers, it's about time the Progressives launched a massive rebellion against the "centralists." The DNC was never called to task for admittedly rigging the primary for Clinton in 2016! The DNC gave Debbie Wasserman-Schultz the boot at the insistence of the Florida convention delegates, but Hillary immediately gave her a job... and of course, she remains a US Congresswoman in South Florida in the district that has a lot of "difficulty" counting votes! The DCCC has also been taken to task recently by the more "progressive" members of the US House! Why? Because they recruit Republicans to run as Democrats and give them the DCCC endorsement and support! So the DCCC picked a committee of "advisors" that was 100% white people!! Hillary didn't bother to campaign in the rust belt because all the money for "New Democrats" comes from the East and West Coast big-money global investments crowd. Workers in the rust belt voted for Sanders in the primary because he was part of the #StopTPP movement, and called NAFTA a "lousy trade deal." Of course they voted for Trump after the DNC rigged the primary. They were #NeverHillary from day one! I hope Joe Biden is called to task regarding the 1996 immigration legislation in the Clinton era that criminalized immigration and set the stage for racial profiling. The inhumanity we are witnessing at the southern border, the spikes in ICE raids, the deportations are policies established in the Clinton era.
AHunt (Seattle)
@mjpezzi agree 100%.
P McGrath (USA)
Watching the Democrat debates was like watching the island of misfit toys. Reparations which is no more than a tax on whites, post birth abortions, open borders and free healthcare for illegals. Talk about a winning strategy.
gene (fl)
You cheated the progressives for the last time. You brought Trump upon yourself.
Greeley Miklashek, MD (Spring Green, WI)
The obvious political bias of the NYT is showing through the Neo-liberal veneer. The American "hard left" is a civilized nation's (see the EU) "center", as it should be in America. Time to grow-up, even for the pseudo-sophisticated NYT. Go Bernie and Elizabeth!
Mystery Lits (somewhere)
Best Trump ad ever...
JimH (N.C.)
These type of things serve up softballs got Trump to hit out of the park in 2020.
robw39 (Massachusetts)
Could you please replace the running video on the home page with a static image? It makes it difficult to read. For a news organization who's lifestyle section constantly recommends cutting down on distractions, you're home page editors don't seem to have many qualms about creating them.
3Rivers (S.E. Washington)
@ 99percent The Sunrise Movement and Green New Deal deserve a lot of positive recognition. Before criticizing the "radical left" I would recommend that everyone pay more attention to the "Project Blitz" movement that is very well funded and organized by wealthy "radical right" types. Brings back visions of World War II in Hitler's Germany.
Mystery Lits (somewhere)
Were you trying to make a Trump Advertisement?
Mari (Left Coast)
Many who will be voting won’t even be around in 2030! So the elders, should be very cautious of whom they will vote for! It’s YOUR chillando grandchildren that will have to live in the Climate Change disaster on its way! To those who are fear-mongering about socialism (gasp!) I challenge you to research Denmark, Sweden, Norway, U.K., Germany, et.! AND how do you feel about Trump and the Republicans BAILING out American farmers with over $7 BILLION in subsidies to help them with the Trump Trade War’s destroying their Asian Markets?! That IS socialism....and the big tax cuts to corporations is socialism....and the subsidies to Big socialism! So STOP with the “Leftists” and the “Socialists” fear mongering and see the TRUTH! Bravo to the Millennials for speaking up! Working to change the future!!!!
Sang Ze (Hyannis)
They're making sure the democrats get trampled in 2020. I'm reminded of bull sessions in a fraternity lounge after binge sessions in the basement.
sebastian (naitsabes)
They do not care about freedom, they will never voice a concern over the situation in Venezuela.
Mari (Left Coast)
Oh please! There’s a very complex situation in Venezuela! Stop fear mongering!
Zejee (Bronx)
They do voice concerns about US meddling in Latin America
Michael N. Alexander (Lexington, Mass.)
Even though William Saxbe was a Republican, Democrats – especially those hellbent on impeaching Trump *now* – ought to ponder and heed his classic remark: You don’t need to be a bug on a windshield to prove you’ve got guts.
Revisionist (Phoenix)
@Michael N. Alexander What?? You are comparing the next generation of activists to bugs on windshields? What has this crop of democrats given us but wars, incarcerations, pandering to every republican president and all in the name of "not losing". We may lose the electoral college and win the popular vote by over 3 million. We should not also lose our soul in the process so that we can have a "Biden" represent a base that has long moved away from him and his likes.
stilldana (north vancouver)
@Michael N. Alexander There are millions of people alive right now who have are uncertain what you're referring to because they have never experienced bugs splattered on the windshield. Because, as you may or may not be aware, populations of flying insects have plummeted worldwide as a result of anthropogenic climate change. Flying insects pollinate food crops. Food crops feed humans. Either we face a crisis of existential proportions or we face an opportunity for malappropriate witticisms.
stilldana (north vancouver)
@Michael N. Alexander There are millions of people alive right now who have are uncertain what you're referring to because they have never experienced bugs splattered on the windshield. Because, as you may or may not be aware, populations of flying insects have plummeted worldwide as a result of anthropogenic climate change. Flying insects pollinate food crops. Food crops feed humans. Either we face a crisis of existential proportions or we face an opportunity for malappropriate witticisms.
Jon Galt (Texas)
We were all young once, and pretty dumb. Basing the future of the country on the wish lists of spoiled rotten millenials is a recipe for disaster. AOC, whose only private sector job was a bartender, and her squad should be listened to and then educated to the real world. Enough is enough.
Zejee (Bronx)
AOC is my Congresswoman and she speaks for me. My family wants —and needs—Medicare for All. My expensive for profit health insurance almost killed me. My family also needs free community college or vocational training. And so do most American families up to their eyeballs in high interest student debt Why can’t we invest our tax dollars in our health care and our children’s education—-like the rest of the first world? But we’re supposed to cheer for the bloated military industrial complex. Yea bombs! Yea war!
Crouton (Orlando, FL)
@Jon Galt-and that’s one more private sector job than trump has ever had.
Hector (Bellflower)
I find it hard to trust anyone over sixty years old. They are royally screwing the young people, leaving them debt and problems to last a few lifetimes.
Luke (NY)
@Hector I find it hard to take seriously anyone under 30. Their lack of life experience makes them hopelessly naive
MALINA (Paris)
Really ? Some of us have been forerunners on this issue. I would be curious to know what you personally renounce to help the climate.
ERC (Texas)
I’d feel better about all this fervor for radical change on the part of our youth if our schools weren’t so abysmal. Are these kids learning science and history or just how to ask provocative questions? I’d also feel better if social reform and climate change remedies were championed by someone with more education, experience, and humility than Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Mari (Left Coast)
You are speaking for the Republican state of Texas, right? Please don’t lump all schools together!
Zejee (Bronx)
I assure you, AOC can read a scientific research paper. She won an international science prize when she was in high school. The New Green Deal has been endorsed by eminent scientists and economists.
Patrick Borunda (Washington)
Enthusiasm goes a long way. So does experience. Most Democratic candidates should clear the stage since they fail at both. My first choice going forward is Inslee. He's the person who most clearly sees that the linchpin to our survival is mitigating climate change. Building a "Moon Shot" campaign around mitigating climate change will bring together and attune macro-economic investment (physical and intellectual infrastructure), environmental policy, employment and education as well as open an opportunity to restore our international leadership in multi-lateral actions. Inslee has a resume that completely outshines every other Democratic candidate; prosecutor, state legislator, six-term congressman, federal administrator and successful two-term governor (including one term with a split legislature). And lets not forget he has bloodied Trump's nose in court several times. Notwithstanding, recognizing the role of political theater, my second choice would be a Warren and Inslee ticket (either order). It would bring together the electricity of visionary leadership with the practical understanding of how to make things work; and also offer geographic and gender diversity. We can't afford to lose...the alternative is mass migrations, coastal inundation, famine and civil unrest on a global scale. If Trump stumbling into a war doesn't get us first.
Mari (Left Coast)
Good point!
Steve Fankuchen (Oakland, CA)
Moral indignation has it's place, but if you don't win the election it remains just that, moral indignation, not policies that are implemented. The 2020 election comes down to changing minds in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. That is who the Democrats need to speak to. It is irrelevant if a million more vote for a Democrat in California or a million more vote Republican in Indiana. But the election is not the only game in town. The fundamental uprising of the 60s against the "system" was not electoral. It was a generation that largely eschewed electoral politics almost entirely in favor of creating alternative institutions (e.g. free clinics, food conspiracies, tenants unions, alternative newspapers, etc.) and obstructing business as usual (e.g. sit-ins, mass demonstrations, boycotts, civil disobedience, etc.) Those were the dynamics that eventually pushed politicians to come around. The electoral system did not lead; it followed. The propelling struggles for civil rights and against the Viet Nam War (which served as catalysts for the women's and gay movements) did not occur on TV or in the halls of Congress but in the streets. Unless and until the current younger generations get uncomfortable enough to stop complaining on their gadgets and get on the streets, nothing will change. A slogan from the 60s, unfortunately still relevant: "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised." Unless the twitterati and commentariat realize reality is not online, 2016 will be repeated.
Zejee (Bronx)
AOC won in my Congressional district because young people came out and pounded the pavement with her.
sm (new york)
Climate change is real and it's already too late ! No new green deal will change the damage done ; perhaps slow it down , but one needs to see and recognize the very evident signs . The dead zones in the seas , fires , flooding , droughts , deadly heat waves , melting of the polar areas ; I applaud the young for their efforts but this is their inheritance . Humanity is very interconnected to our polluted environment ; as long as no one is willing to give up their smartphones , their cars , their air conditioning , plastic water bottles , then we have doomed ourselves .
Barbara T (Swing State)
When young people can be counted on to participate in federal elections like older people do, their voices will be taken seriously. Right now, I look at these rallies and think -- that's nice, but will they show up in November 2020?
sk (New York)
I was excited about the Green New Deal, until I actually took the time to read it. It doesn't target climate change specifically, which it should. It's everywhere: guaranteed housing, guaranteed basic income, free healthcare, free college; reparations for anyone who's not a non-rural straight white male. The climate change plans are vague too and without data on how much benefit each would return. There's no plan to pay for all this stuff except "quantitative easing" and the economy will flourish. It just didn't seem like a serious attempt to solve a very serious problem.
John Doe (Johnstown)
@sk, so you really think promising . . . . (O) providing all people of the United States with— (i) high-quality health care; (ii) affordable, safe, and adequate housing; (iii) economic security; and (iv) clean water, clean air, healthy and affordable food, and access to nature. . . . Is slightly idealistically nonspecific? Personally I would just entitle the platform, “died and gone to heaven” unless that’s already copyrighted?
Zejee (Bronx)
I wonder why the Union of Concerned Scientists as well as many other science organizations have endorsed the New Green Deal.
Jessica (Cambridge, MA)
This assertion is simply untrue. It even specifically discussed helping deindustrialized areas and agriculture. I encourage anyone with these concerns to read it for themselves and make their own decision.
Casual Observer (Los Angeles)
People tend to forget how they felt in their twenties verses their forties and how that affects approaching life’s challenges. Reality is determined by the way that the details are addressed not by inspirations from the big ideas. One does not know this in one’s twenties but one is beginning to find out. The problem with the radical Democrats is one of disregarding the details, dismissing them as irrelevant. It’s a set up for failure.
Jessica (Cambridge, MA)
It is a good thing then that the civil rights movement was made up of this people in their 20s. Otherwise they would have been too “pragmatic” to dream of a world without lynching and Jim Crow.
Casual Observer (Los Angeles)
The Civil Rights movement took decades to achieve. Lawyers funded by the NAACP filed numerous cases and won preparing for Brown v The Board of Education in the mid-1950’s. That was the case that delegitimated Jim Crow. Then it required the years of protest and mass media coverage to motivate popular support for equals rights with the Civil Rights laws of the mid-1960’s. It was all hard and all working through all the boring details. That as it proved did not resolve the matter. Changing the hearts and minds of everyone, remains. Real change is not done as swiftly as it is in the imagination.
Mike Tucker (Great American West)
These young people who are fighting the good fight are not afraid to speak truth to power, and the more old-guard Democrats, like Pelosi and Feinstein and Biden, who do not stand and fight with them for serious investment in solar power, wind power and all that is good and just and right, the more the Democrats will lose. The Democrats have got to stand and fight and against Trump and the Republicans, tooth and nail, and young people understand that completely. And it was the old guard Democratic party that got its head handed to it by a real estate guru with zero experience in politics, in November 2016. You cannot beat Trump with jabs. Nobody every won a street fight throwing jabs, and politics is a street fight. You cannot beat Trump by "playing to the center," which means, "We're too afraid to stand and fight for real change, so we'll pretend that we can win voters to our side with something other than real change." FDR faced monumental challenges BUT HE RAN TO WIN, he fought to win, he embraced the changes that he knew were necessary to bring real change to America. FDR didn't waste any time on identity politics---he identified with all Americans, as an American--and he understood the uselessness of trying to out-Republican the Republicans. So do these young people, who are the future of America and the world.
akhenaten2 (Erie, PA)
As noted in many comments here, the "Left" or "Leftist," "Fringe," etc., has been fundamentally critical to the well-being, if not survival of the population in general, if not in total. Many reputable studies of opinions about *policies* show a majority of citizens in this country favoring the progressive kind promoted by Sanders in particular. He points out that fact to anybody who will listen, more patiently than I'd ever be. Based on these findings, these young people are *not* "dividing the [Democratic] party"--they're firing up and uniting the country. The basic problem that few seem to highlight has been in the trend of non-voting majority. Maybe that trend has shown a turnaround in 2018, with record amounts that produced some progressive winners. I hope so! Let's end having those other "winners" basically by default of non-majority voters like the ones whom Trump would never lose even if he shot somebody on 5th Avenue.
bd (nyc)
I and many in my sphere, while watching all this disparity in the democratic party, are desperately praying that come election day, no matter who the democratic candidate may be, that all come together and vote for that candidate. If this does not happen, a 2016 repeat of the 'not voting, protest voting, voting for some russian produced lesser of two evils', etc., will hand Trump another four years... and this democracy along with the world, will never be the same. The damage will be irrevocable. Allow this to happen and it won't matter a whit who was center, left or too far left.
cherrylog754 (Atlanta,GA)
Those youngsters aren't pushing this old timer any further left. They already had to extend that left marker for me a decade or so ago.
Samuel Tyuluman (Dallas Texas)
Innovation - not change, makes America, well AMERICA. Innovations like Democracy, Democratically rotating the leader of the nation (King) once every four years, capitalism, only to name a few innovations that have given us this wonderful place to live. Socialism is not innovation - history shows that expanding the "safety net" further and further soon becomes nothing but a snare.. USSR, Venezuela, California...
Jessica (Cambridge, MA)
I would beg to differ-our leader is not a democratically elected king. That’s why american innovation gave us 3 coequal branches of government, as spelled out in the constitution.
jim guerin (san diego)
The last line of this video contradicts every article on global warming the NYT has published for the last year. The final speaker says electing Trump would be a disaster. The real disaster is unfolding slowly every year, leading to imminent scale of suffering and death that will break every disaster known to history. We will be on our knees and praying to any God we can summon. Within a space of years. Politics must be done within the paradigm of the Green New Deal, not outside of it. Period.
Bill (Atlanta, ga)
The Democratic party use to be the party of working Americans. It has changed. They are now the party of non Americans and rich donors.
Satyendranath (Connecticut)
@Bill - they are more concerned about letting in everyone, open borders, than preserving our jobs.If there are 125,000 monthly when we try to make the border difficult there will be two or three times as many, maybe more, if we make it easy. And they didn't, and still haven't appropriated money to house these people. Meanwhile, the jobs they are coming to get have already gone to China (and Mexico ironically).
Murray Bolesta (Green Valley Az)
Turn sharp left and WIN.
Sci guy (NYC)
@Murray Bolesta Mutually exclusive.
DRS (New York)
These people will grow up, hopefully. They will become more conservative as they have more to conserve.
A. Stanton (Dallas, TX)
"In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, “I don’t see the use of this; let us clear it away.” To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: “If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it." --- G.K. Chesrterton, from his 1929 book, The Thing, in the chapter entitled, “The Drift from Domesticity” This is Chesterton's way of saying you should not be talking about taking a fence down until you thoroughly understand the reasons why it was put up in the first place and the purposes it served. Before the Young Activists get too far with their climate-improving and Medicare-For-All proposals, I hope they step back for a moment to consider the question of whether they might be knocking down a fence that would have prevented Trump from enjoying another four years in the White House.
Taoshum (Taos, NM)
Unfortunately it might take "Blood In The Streets" to get the actions needed just like it did in the 60's for Civil Rights, Voter Rights, Women's Rights, ending the Vietnam War, ending slavery in the Civil War... The fate of our species and many others hangs in the balance. It does make one wonder what it will take to convince us to pay attention.
julcub (sf)
@Taoshum I think it might take "Rivers of Blood" if you know the reference.
Sara (New York)
Please don't call Biden the Democratic frontrunner. That's based on limiting polling data and it's too early for that kind of media feedback loop.
Chris (10013)
This is democrat's version of the tea party. It just happens to be in sync with the Nytimes and the progressives. Put out unrealistic proposals with the view that you energize people to vote, create boogeymen out of the opposition, use media to promote. The NRA, the Tea Party do this. The Pro Choice and Pro life movements do this. Unfortunately, it may engage people but in the end it fuels the great divide with policies which never make sense
van schayk (santa fe, nm)
The NYT has to be especially judicious in its election political coverage. While the Dems welcome the energy and boldness of a small but vocal cohort of new young activists, and the media is eager to tell us all about them, their national influence should not be exaggerated by that coverage.
Me (Nyc)
The winner is....whoever has the right algorithm to identify and target the few thousand undecided voters in relevant backwood locations. The rest is just noise to sell tv commercials. Same as 2016.
Steve Fankuchen (Oakland, CA)
@Me Agreed, except I would add that once you identify the people, you need to have a candidate who knows how to speak to them and their needs as they define them, not as aspirational Democrats wished these people defined them. Otherwise 2020 will be, in Yogi Berra's words, "Deja vu all over again."
Steve Fankuchen (Oakland, CA)
@Me Agreed, except I would add that once you identify the people, you need to have a candidate who knows how to speak to them and their needs as they define them, not as aspirational Democrats wished these people defined them. Otherwise 2020 will be, in Yogi Berra's words, "Deja vu all over again."
Iris Flag (Urban Midwest)
@Me You are absolutely correct, and that reality is unfortunate. The Electoral College and long-term stealth by the Republican party has made all of us vulnerable to the wants and needs of a narrow margin of voters. To change this reality, Democratic candidates MUST appeal to a cohort of Independents and disgruntled Republicans, as well as Democrats, people of color and white people, women, and the old and the young voters, in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ohio. It is a tightrope walk and we will need to learn what they will vote for. If we don't, it is all speculation. First and foremost we need to unseat Trump, hold on to the House, and, if possible, take the Senate. When we do that, we can engage in a progressive agenda and perhaps dissolve the Electoral College, empower the EPA to address climate change, and outlaw Citizens United and gerrymandering. Please don't shoot the messenger. I don't like it either.
Phil M (New Jersey)
It is imperative that young people are active in our Democracy and well being. The real help will come if they have the stamina, intestinal fortitude and focus to keep it up. Corporations and politicians will not give them what they want easily.
Daniel (Kinske)
@Phil M Pretty sad in America that the children are brave and the adults are cowards. You should all be embarrassed to even be breathing.
Sang Ze (Hyannis)
@Phil M Remember the 60s & 1968 especially. The young activists, who were dubbed a different name then, were destroyed by the establishment.
Blackmamba (Il)
@Phil M There is not nor has there ever been any' our Democracy' in our divided limited different power constitutional republic of united states. Every state has two Senators. The Electoral College selects Presidents. Presidents and Senators pick judges for life. And the size of the House and Electoral College is capped to the disadvantage of more populous states. However people other than white Anglo-Saxon Protestant men who own property are now divinely naturally created equal persons with certain unalienable rights of life. liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Instead of reading The Mueller Report more Americans need to read and understand their Constitution.
geofnb (North Beach, MD)
Too far left? If that means protecting and preserving the ecological foundations of life on this planet we're really not in any danger of going to far left. I can understand the mindset of people who think they are going too far. All through out human history, we've skillfully exploited every resource available to us on this planet. There have been localized disasters as result but we've always found new places to go and given a chance nature can regenerate. The trouble is, there are over 7 billion of us now and there is no where else to go and we still haven't learned to live with the hard physical boundary that we're confronted with.
Let me help you with that. Too far left means Donald Trump gets another four years to destroy the climate even more so. It’s that simple.
Not that someone (Somewhere)
@JPM And the rest of you right along with him. The reason moving far left is not the answer - and indeed all this weak hand wringing about what anything means is that the paradigm must shift. In case iI am not being clear - I am saying that geofnb has show the tip of an iceberg (image selected for poetic irony) of global change that MUST happen. We can lead it, or we can suffer the consequences. In these images I see nothing but self serving materialistic waste going no where.
DC c (Georgia)
If this is something so important, why are many on the left demanding that the entire cost be paid for by those earning $250,000 or more, rather than shared sacrifice? If it is so important, why is the far left combining it with wealth redistribution / social justice and demanding guaranteed jobs costing $50,000 when all benefits and taxes are considered?
Tom (Pennsylvania)
Terrifying! America is sliding down the drain.
Gabriel (Los Angeles)
I think it is very presumptive and arrogant for America to think that because we won't use plastic straws, fossil fuel the world will follow us. Climate change is real but not a man made disaster. This is not the first time we have climate change. America , get educated and not be blindsided by die hard "in the moment "socialists ideology.
A Feldman (PA)
For those interested in seeing where the consensus that the Climate Breakdown is real and human caused comes from, find the facts here
reader (cincinnati)
The article should be titled the “The Young Activists Helping to re-elect Trump”
Michaela (United States)
Good luck convincing my family...Democrats, vote in support of ‘free’ health insurance for illegal aliens, defacto open borders and sanctuary from immigration law enforcement, medicare for all and the elimination of private health insurance, the transfer of $Billions of student loan debt onto taxpayers, slavery reparations....Need I say more? Want to save the planet? Better get serious about HUMAN OVERPOPULATION. The earth cannot sustain 10 billion human energy consumers (by year 2050). Meanwhile, my family will be voting Republican for the first time in our lives. Good job, Dems!
julcub (sf)
@Michaela let's give communism a chance, It killed more than 100 million people. At least, it fights overpopulation.
RLS (California/Mexico/Paris)
@julcub. The levity was welcome, thank you.
Nonpartisan (nyc)
Good intentions aren't enough. We also need to reach out to the average Democratic voter (and yes, republicans), and make the case for a strong economic and environmental policy for the future. The current strategy will not work. Raucous activism, apologism for violence (punch a "Nazi") and calling everyone one disagrees with a racist. If you believe you occupy the high ground, then go back down and help others up. Don't shout at everyone from your lofty perch.
mr (Newton, ma)
All giant steps are scary. These children are literally facing a hell on Earth and their future is up against ignorance, wishful thinking, greed and blindness. The GOP knew that these young politicians are their threat to power and money and have wielded all of the propaganda they have learned over the last 50 years against them. Every means necessary needs to be undertaken to get them out in front of all people. Use the systems that the GOP have used for years. Listen to these young politicians and you realize that they are smart and strong. Embrace them and promote them with every means necessary.
Chuck (CA)
Young activists, generally speaking, are the engine of energy that pushes for change. Nothing wrong with that... but we all have to be mindful that youthful energy often gets misused and misdirected by special interests through clever disinformation schemes. As such the young activists would be served better by promoting change, but doing so in an evolutionary rather then revolutionary manner. Revolution always leaves rampant chaos and opportunists can and will swoop in to hijack any such movement for their own ends and means.
Sang Ze (Hyannis)
@Chuck Remember Tianamen.
Jgrauw (Los Angeles)
@Chuck. Climate change and environmental degradation cannot wait for "evolutionary" change. It's not even revolutionary either, it's just there for all to see and fear, it's survival, plain and simple.
Karen (Phoenix)
@Chuck Youthful energy? They are terrified for their lives. They see a future without a future. They don't have the luxury to accept incremental change at this point.
The kids featured in this clip are not taking a "radical" approach, they are fighting for their lives, quite literally. If you were given a terminal diagnosis, yet were informed that decisive lifestyle changes would prolong your life and improve your experience of life, wouldn't a rational person pursue that decisive change? So why is it considered "pragmatic" to argue that we take slow, incremental action against climate change when that is our terminal diagnosis. In this scene, Ms. Feinstein seems to think politicians know better than everyone how to address climate change, which is a bit like thinking you know how to treat cancer because you run a think tank on healthcare policy. She's getting the terminal diagnosis from the doctor and saying, "well, I know more than my doctor, and I'm going to take an incremental approach to treating this disease."
Rev. E. M. Camarena, PhD (Hell's Kitchen)
Pushing democrats left? Oh, for Pete's sake. History shows that democrats always run to the left in primaries, then rush to the right in the general. They always justify this farce by saying they still support their primary positions but... "This is not the right time." Remember: a progressive democrat is a democrat who, at election time, promises to enact policies that democrats have been promising to enact since 1945.
DecliningSociety (Baltimore)
The party has been going far left for the last 20 years and since they have been pushing the end of personal responsibility and all the politically correct nonsense.
The Green new deal is poorly thought out and not sponsored well. The last New Deal we had in the 30’s had better people behind it and more reason for the idea to succeed and it did not. This iteration is even flimsier.
Moe (Def)
The young (Social) feel good Turks are a wake-up call for anyone with a job who pays taxes! They are influencing the POTUS debates too, as the candidates vie to “out free-stuff” the other candidates and it is chilling to witness what a Social Democrat America would look like if they win! Deplorable...
Ned Raudabaugh (Austin)
With instant runoff or ranked choice voting we could show our support for candidates without handing elections to those we absolutely do not want representing us.
Dry Socket (Illinois)
The farther left the better since the GOP has America in the extreme Right-Nationalist (Limbaugh - radio-head) Trumpian dystopia. The journey to the left will auto correct to slightly left of center.
The Falcon (LI, NY)
Since when is trying to mitigate against an existential threat such as climate change, pushing to the left? This is not a right-left issue, it's a greed vs survival issue. History, or whatever is going to be both recorded and preserved will depict who were for humanity's survival or who chose to benefit off our demise.
Simba (San Francisco)
@The Falcon: Well said. Thank you.
Ben (MA)
@The Falcon Considering the right is defined by greed, I'd say this is in fact a left/right issue.
DRS (New York)
@The Falcon - you are also on the far left on this issue, so you don't recognize others as being out there as well. You feel that it's an existential crisis. Most of us feel that it is an important issue to be dealt with, likely with new technology and some conservation, but I'd hardly go rabble-rousing in the streets about it.
Willy (MA)
The attempt to push the party to the left has got to be made and hopefully it will win. This is what has got to happen for the country and the world actually to remain on its current growth axis. The extreme wealth cannot continue to suck up random amounts of money from random areas just because it can. We have got to take control of the money and decide what is important to the future of the country as a whole. The Washington Post is currently running an article on the gradual demise of the North Atlantic right whale "Two percent of the world’s North Atlantic right whales have died in the last two months..." This is the trend that is happening and will continue unless we take action. The old guard in congress right now must be overturned because there is not enough time left.
Chuck (CA)
@Willy Only a center left position will work with a majority of voters. Center right works too.. but I prefer a center left approach. We are simply not a nation driven well by political extremes. So unless Russia decides this time to throw it's weight behind the Democratic party... the resulting minority of total voters cannot prevail in unseating the tyrant in the White House.
On Therideau (Ottawa)
I have news fr the wide-eyed sunrise movement, the green manifesto will not get the democrats power. It was tried in Canada in2015 with some high profile support and it was a disaster. Meaning the green manifesto, while laudable, is a vanity project that sets back the environmental movement.
RLW (Chicago)
As a 78 year-old I have seen the effects of bold ideas from the FDR and Johnson years (I lived the "American Dream". I also saw the incremental destruction of America's social fabric by Nixon, Reagan and Bush2 to the "existential" disaster that is Trump. Like many of my generation, I am cheering on the younger generation who truly want to make America Great Again, by making our governmental institutions work for all Americans. We've seen incrementalism fail under Obama (e.g.Obama-care). It hasn't worked. Now is the time for brave new ideas.
Philip Brown (Australia)
The 'Sunrise Movement' seeks revolutionary measures. They should consider that 'revolutions' are messy, bloody and destructive; they all too often throw up unintended consequences such as Robert Mugabe, the Iranian ayatollahs, Joseph Stalin and Donald Trump. Evolution can also be bloody but the outcomes tend to be much more beneficial to the species and its community. Extreme changes can be frightening and lead to violent backlash. To be effective the evolutionary changes have to survive to replace the ancestral system. That starts, not ends, with winning elections and that requires broad support.
Carolina B. (Los Angeles)
@Philip Brown Unless your citing some socio-historical study of revolution and its impacts on society, which I gather that, even if it was well done, it would still be impossible to extrapolate the conclusions to apply to every society, because all societies and their respective experiences with revolution are different, as the basis for your generalized claims on how best to change society, then your reasoning is questionable, your logic unsound. and your biases apparent.
Kay (Somerville)
@Philip Brown Sunrise seeks to sway public discourse and impact policy through electoral work. They use nonviolent civil disobedience towards these ends. This is, by definition, a movement for reform. So was the civil rights movement, although it was considered too demanding and divisive in its day. However, as JFK said, "those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable." I hope reform is possible, before it is too late.
MC (California)
I think any effort to push the Democratic party to the left and abandon corporate reliance is a positive. I am 50 and the republican party has moved consistently to the right. Look at where we are now. The democrats over that time have merely been able to hold the government in place until the next republican monster runs toward David Duke. My only hope is that the democrats are finally looking at their base and realizing it is best to stop this 40 year trend now. If it costs the democrats the election, then at east the have their ideas and convictions to keep fighting. I however believe this will be a recipe for victory by turning out the base and people that didn't feel represented or energized by cautious conservative centrists like Cinton, Biden, Kerry and even Obama.
Matt Polsky (White, New Jersey)
In your new TV series, please don't unnecessarily maintain the narrative of conflict between moderates and progressives. Yes, they are fighting now, with the dueling narratives we see in the video of Senator Feinstein and the young people. But, like in a lot of areas, if you look for it, they are both right in their own ways. The Senator does have the experience, which will be absolutely necessary later in the process. But the students are saying "business-as-usual" doesn't work. They are right. On the other hand, your phrase: "How they settle their differences" is better. Focus on that. At the end of the day they need each other, both substantively and politically. The GNDers have already moved the VP on this issue, more than anyone expected. Further, if the goal is not just to win the election, but to actually address the issue, then we need the conservatives, too, a whole new thing. So this could be a very different kind of story that I hope you are open to telling. A vision and recommendations on how to get there are in this Report my class and I did, It's also a potential story on revitalizing democracy, greening economies and capitalism, recognizing and mainstreaming the interrelated issue of sinking biodiversity, change as necessarily either only incremental or bold, taking equity seriously. It could be quite a t.v. series!
Toni (Pacific Northwest)
How come the NYT video on the Sunrise Movement shows images or presidential candidates Harris, O'Rourke, Biden and Warren - but fully leaves out Bernie Sanders? And when he's 2nd behind Biden who's in the lead? In my opinion, it's because he's only front-runner who's not for sale to the corporations and the only front-runner who will deliver the kind of transformative change this nation and planet needs. It's just one shallow attempt by MSM to subvert our elections - and we see this day after day with our candidate who is nevertheless in 2nd place despite the media's attempt to write him out of the election. People are so worried about the Russians when the biggest problem are the corporations taking over our elections and our media. It's no longer journalism because it's just a blatant attempt for any astute observers to, not report news, but shape opinion and elections. That means it's propaganda, instead. Hopefully, people will wake up an vote for Bernie anyway. Because otherwise, we're probably going to get a Democratic Party candidate who will, once again, lose to Trump. And ... by playing this game with the media (and we know they're all emailing just like they did in 2016) they're also writing out the end of their own party. So good luck with the rest of that needed change, "Sunrise Movement."
J (CA)
THIS right here, folks. I hope people are really paying attention and see through this charade. For me, it’s obvious. The desperate attempts to shape a narrative that either down right ignores or downplays Bernie’s success is transparent and painfully embarrassing.
Jbugko (Pittsburgh, pa)
Even Winston Churchill is "too far left" in today's society. Over 70 years ago, he was for universal healthcare. Now the GOP would be calling him a "radical leftist" in response to his advocacy. Dwight Eisenhower warned us about the military-industrial complex. Today, the GOP would refer to him as too radical and a socialist. Unfortunately, so are certain newspapers, who are adapting the same language when they should be rejecting it as journalists. These young Democrats are our future, I see them as idealists, but I beg them to vote even if the candidate we get is not their ideal. They have to vote this election cycle. This election will cost us if we do not remove Trump from office, I hope they are aware of the consequences should they decide not to vote because the candidate isn't the exact one they hoped for. They want to hope for something, they have to hope to get Trump out of office. They need to vote the filth-driven lunatic out of office and not get picuune and recalcitrant once the Democratic candidate is on the ballot. E Pluribus Unum. Out of many, one. It's not just them. It's all of us. They can't afford to not vote. We need them to get out the vote and to vote. We need their help, and if they are don't vote and instead decide to have a tantrum, then shame on them. I just hope they realize what's at stake. Vote Trump out AND his GOP court jesters out of office. If they fail in doing that, the future is ours or theirs.
It IS Happening Here (Riverdale, NY)
Trump is more than half way towards becoming a dictator. He orders people to disobey Congressional subpoenas. AG Barr ordered the Justice Department to ignore the court order for Flynn's transcripts and, as Trump demanded, is investigating the origins of Mueller's investigation to discredit it. Trump allocates money in defiance of Congressional allocations. McConnell refuses to bring any legislation that Trump opposes to the floor of the Senate. As Commander In Chief, with a Justice Department that will follow any demand from Trump, and a Senate under his thumb and which will approve any Trump nominee for any position and will not remove him from office if the House impeaches him, Trump is already approaching the power that he admires in strong leaders like Putin. If he wins the election in 2020 and mainstream media uncovers the fact that Russia (again?) changed the votes of millions to give him the victory, Trump will call it "Fake News" and will never give up his absolute power. I used to think the issues of clean energy, healthcare, education and training, progressive taxes, immigration, fair elections, our allies, and trade were the most important steps our nation must take . I was wrong. There is only one paramount issue - preventing Trump from becoming our dictator. Democrats must avoid the temptation to favor the truly wonderful ideas of its progressive wing.
Johan Debont (Los Angeles)
I am getting very disappointed with the NYT as they have increased to call progressives, ‘lefties’ and their programs leftist. I am 75 years old and have seen real leftist in the old Eastern Europe and USSR, what the ‘squad’ (an other horrible name calling), is asking for, has absolutely nothing to do with leftism but with very much needed progressive action that hasn’t been seen in the Democratic party for decades. As expected the status quo part of the party doesn’t like anyone who actually will work to improve the quality of life for all Americans. Not only do they attack the enormous disparity between rich and low income, but want a dramatically improved healthcare system beyond the ever increasing costly limited Obama care and put Climate control on the front burner where it belongs. The media is supposed to be neutral, but the reality is not very pretty. The media is very afraid of real progress and portrays what they call moderates as saviors. What they call Moderates are in fact right of center politicians who are in it out of self interest and resemble in reality the old now defunct Republican party. What this means is that democracy, democrats, democratic leaders have since Trump’ s infantile presidency, turned more conservative. America is on its way to become one giant conservative party geared toward self interest. The media are unfortunately playing a very big part in this downhill direction.
Bob (San Francisco, CA)
@Johan Debont Well said. We don't need TWO Republican parties; that's two too many.
Best strategy for Donald Trump: encourage and foster support for "the Squad." And when, like, the millennial, like, don't vote, like, because, like, they were, like, posting pictures of, like, their sandwiches, like, on Instagram - and working- and middle-class female voters in states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin - who once voted for Obama bout not Hillary - fail to be impressed by sanctimonious identity and single-issue politics (no matter how worthy), the young progressives will at least have another four years to bask in their sanctimonious superiority. Prepare for four more years of the Trump nightmare.
Steve (Ky)
"Voting" and "being heard" reinforce each other. Maybe it shouldn't be this way, but the under-30 demographic could help themselves by becoming reliable voters. Not enough just to protest, march, or even canvass and donate. Republicans always vote, particularly in local and state elections. That's one reason they get their way more often.
Paul (11211)
The left would be better off focusing not eat practical aspects for greening America. In this MOST divisive of times (with a White House occupier throwing fire on it), It's the Democrats duty to this country to find another way. When someone claims the moral high ground means someone must inhabit it's low ground. And you can't convince anyone of anything if you're accusing them of being immoral. A reality check might work better. The industrial revolution put millions and millions out of work, then even more millions TO work. It's the nature of technological innovation. I could on with a zillion other casualties of innovation (whale oil, buggy business, etc) that often disappeared overnight. Renewables CAN'T be stopped and not because it's "good" or "Green" but is approaching a cheaper way to produce energy (In some cases it's already surpassed it). Governments have to (if responsible) think usually long term, and renewables, while more expensive short term, are just much cheaper long term. That's why China is leading the world in developing renewable energy tech. It's certainly not because that corrupt government gives a hoot about polluting, it's merely because they can insure a cheaper energy source that will continue to fuel their economic development. The change is already here, our destinies are now bound our acceptance to what already is. Not about good and bad, but about reality vs delusion.
Bob (Hudson Valley)
The Sunrise Movement is helping make people see reality and realize that utmost urgency is needed to address climate change. These young people expect to still be around towards the end of the century and have to experience what happens if climate change is not dealt with. They can see the climate models and I think it really frightens them. Global warming could reach 4C during their lifetimes if much more action is not taken and they don't want to have to face that type of future. If there is a Green New Deal it probably will be something like what they are calling for but not exactly. It will probably look more like Jay Inslee's climate plan that he has put on his website. It is a very ambitious plan and would put the US is a good position to take world leadership on climate change,
Conor D. (San Francisco, CA)
It’s frustrating that action on climate change is perceived — and positioned in the media — as a lefty pursuit. Regardless of political persuasion, the climate crisis poses an imminent existential threat to one’s everyday life, and indeed life itself. The conversation on this topic can not be about whether or not liberal ideology is correct, but how we as a full society will confront the dangers in front of us.
duncan (San Jose, CA)
I am in my mid 70s. I have never voted for a Republican. Well, check that. Most Democrats are Republican Lite. And the results show: Even though inspire of Republicans we have improved the quality of the environment. But it is still headed for disaster. Even though we have improved our supposedly wonderful health care system to "the best in the world", and it should be because we spend twice per capita what anyone else does, we don't have anywhere near the best results. To deal with these issues most Republicans tell us Climate change doesn't exist and their plan for healthcare will do wonders, but they won't tell us what it is. Most Democrats at least admit Climate change exists (Duh!). But they say we just need to make a few changes and our healthcare will be wonderful. Its a bit like wanting to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic and you are already 100 feet under water. We have tried the old ways of making things work. They don't! They don't even come close. Time for a big change. GO YOUNG CLIMATE ACTIVISTS! PUSH PUSH PUSH!!!
Scott Werden (Maui, HI)
If we don't have Medicare for All, we will survive. If we don't have free college education, we will survive. If we don't give out reparations, we will survive. If we do not fix climate change, we may not survive. It is that simple. Keep the Green New Deal focused on the climate and drop the socialist elements.
Diogenes (Naples Florida)
Representative Occasionally Correct- Our new, young leader of Congress, the occasionally correct Representative Ocassio-Cortez, has prevented Amazon from opening in New York City, stopping a 5 billion dollar capital investment to build the new headquarters, 25,000 $100,000+ per year new jobs, a multi-billion dollar infusion of real estate investment and business expansion, and 25 billion dollars in new tax revenue over the next ten years, so the city could give Amazon’s initial 3 billion dollar tax deduction to the poor. That money is tax relief, which will be paid back many times over, not cash. It does not actually exist. She shows us the way to salvation, her Green New Deal. It eliminates all fossil fuels. But ships and planes cannot be powered by electricity (The extension cords are too long). Air travel ends. The agony of a 6 hour jet flight becomes a delightful 6 day train trip. Forget visiting Hawaii. Sea transport ends, except by sailing ships; the dictatorship of global trade ends. And it grounds the US Navy and our military planes. We lose World War III and our freedom forever without firing a shot. She assures us that VA medicine, which keeps patients waiting for treatment for months until they die untreated, is the best in the world. She says US prisoners are “forced to drink from the toilet.” A true genius serving her constituents.
J. G. Smith (Ft Collins, CO)
If Trump wins in 2020, there are three people he should publicly thank: Tom Perez, AOC, and Bernie (their policies and their supporters have decimated the Democratic party and Perez has lost control!). They are the gifts that keep on giving to Trump!
Michael (Morris Township, NJ)
The measure of a proposal being considered “left” is how far divorced from actual reality it is. Curious, isn’t it, how few “revolutionaries” ever actually live by the standards they would impose at the points of govenmentally wielded bayonets? Didn’t we just witness many hundreds of uber-wealthy/famous socialists and climate activists bopping off on their private jets and $400M yachts to discuss saving the planet? Haven't they ever heard of Skype? It’s not that radical proposals are potential electoral poison, it’s that they’re crazy. The left’s policies are ALWAYS based on emotion, not facts or logic. In any of the discussions on any leftist policy, whether climate change or Medicare for All, is there ever any calm, sober, rationale discussion on HOW to do it, what it will cost, and who will pay? Of course not. It's all slogans and hopey-changey feel-good, “Imagine”, aspirational utopianism. And utterly unworkable. So, for instance, anyone who wishes to discuss climate change and can’t pronounce the word “nuclear” without spitting on the ground, and who wants to tear down dams, simply cannot be taken seriously. When you take policy advice from children, you’re going to get childish policy. Where are the adults in the room in the modern Democratic Party?
Matt Black (California)
@Michael If what you're looking for is a leader with rational, detailed, realistic plans, rather than someone who is all "slogans and hopey-changey feel-good" etc., then hop on over to Elizabeth Warren's website. To some,who see leadership as being visionary in broad charismatic strokes, Warren is seen as too wonk; but, it seems that you want someone who is policy-smart and experienced with dealing with political realities in Washington. She'll tell you "HOW to do it, what it will cost, and who will pay." I think Warren's your candidate. On the GOP side, we're still waiting for that "incredible" health care plan (which is accurate: the vague promises they've made are not credible). And how many GOP policies are "based on emotion, not facts or logic?" Let's see: saving "clean coal;" fear of migrant caravans; fear of anyone not white and Christian; fear of the rest of the world (hence extremely overblown military budget). The GOP, with Trump as their apotheosis, are the Party of Fear.
Neal (Arizona)
Far too many of the wealthy, entitled white bernie bros and babes stayed home in a huff when their candidate lost the primary. That was a contributing factor in Trump's electoral College victory. If that happens again the self-styled Squad, none of whom beat a sitting Republican in 2018, need to resign and withdraw from public life.
Alan Einstoss (Pittsburgh PA)
Sure ,we have an abundance of wind and solar facilities ,huge ones especially out west.The problem is that the math shows that they never will even cover a fraction of usage ,which is also growing by magnitudes constantly .The greens wanted coal out so now we have an abundance of natural gas but now that's not good enough.Unfortunately ,straight out of the Marxist method book the actual method is to instill chaos in politics and society which is purely evident in every socialist catastrophe on earth.Its not green energy ,it's stopping everything we have fundamentally and promising to replace it .The fundamentals are to affect energy transmission.Open the Nations borders completely to flood with migrants hungry for the wealth of the United States Treasury and thousand dollars per month automatic payments.Abolition of firearms ownership and law enforcement facilities at the border and major metropolitan areas. These methods have already been proscribed by the new far left and much disguised by environment platforms. Oddly enough the Sierra club ,during the 1990's when immigrants crossing the border became noticed more,condemned too many immigrants as dangerous to our environmental and social financial stability ,which uncontrolled immigration has proven to be.
Stephen Maniloff (Greenwich Village)
Decreasing...Let alone eliminating Fossil Fuels will literally mean the destruction of our modern clean world...anyone who thinks otherwise is a Fool.
Richard Frauenglass (Huntington, NY)
Pushing left. Out of left field and left out of the White House in 2020.
SridharC (New York)
These kids give me hope!
George (Florida)
Hope for the marijuana industry that is.
Resident (CT)
If Trump wins in 2020, the radical leftist democrats like AOC should resign taking moral responsibility of dragging their party too far left for their own selfish political motives.
geofnb (North Beach, MD)
@Resident Is it selfish to want a habitable planet for your self and future generations? If so, I'm all for that selfishness.
Dobbys sock (Ca.)
@Resident Yes, people fighting for the betterment of EVERYONE are certainly selfish. Right Kettle?
Jason (Canada)
@Resident Human survival is a "selfish political motive"?
Kathleen (New Mexico)
There is nothing overtly wrong with the agenda on the left, it's the perception that will kill us along with the loudest of voices. If we want the country to heal from the trauma of an illegitimate president and his White Supremacist supporters, we need to reach out to those who voted for him with logic, not rhetoric. I intend to help primary all four of the squad, even as I endorse their right to speak their truths to power. I disagree with their methods, grandstanding and some of their positions. I believe their districts would be better served by candidates who are less self servicing. I say this as a person who has learned from history, as I helped ensure the election of Richard Nixon by participating in the vile take down an honorable man, Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey. Please learn from our mistakes.
Gandalfdenvite (Sweden)
Healthcare is a human right! Healthcare financed by the taxpayers is no more "socialist"/"left" than the military being financed by the taxpayers, it is just common sense!
geofnb (North Beach, MD)
@Gandalfdenvite What if the military was used to defend us from the most dire threat we've ever faced?
Matt Black (California)
@geofnb Our military's carpet bombing and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, and our military's use of drone strikes in the Middle East and Africa that target weddings and funerals, and the torture of prisoners at Baghram Air Base, Abu Graib, and dozens of black sites worldwide, have had the effect of throwing gasoline on the fire of terrorism. Civilians who never thought of taking up arms against the West are routinely radicalized in no small part by the death, destruction, and cruelty inflicted on them and their families by the English-speaking foreign invaders, making them easy recruits for terrorist groups. Military intervention by the U.S. created the Mujahedeen, who became Al Qaeda, and created ISIS. So, if you're presenting the military as wonderful saviors of Americans, you should reconsider. However, if "the most dire threat we've ever faced" is irreversible global warming, please do tell us how the military could be "used to defend us" from it.
sidecross (CA)
For the people under 30 their retribution for those who will vote against the 'squad' and their ideals will be severe and harsh. When the manifestation of climate change comes in future decades and after the baby boomers are deceased their mark on history will not be remembered well.
Poodle Pundit (FL)
I really believe that Elizabeth Warren is our best chance for POTUS in 2020. She is ready and able to take us in the new direction of a clean, green, fair government that is inclusive of all. She will save our democracy and the rule of law. However, we have a Herculean task before us, as the white male Biden establishment is chomping to stay entrenched in power and has the advantage and indecent bloat of vulture capitalists' bucks.
JM (San Francisco)
@Poodle Pundit Agree, but can she resoundingly beat Trump?
Dobbys sock (Ca.)
@Poodle Pundit You mean those same Biden donors that Sen. Warren took just months before she tossed her hat into the Pres. ring?! Those same donors that Elizabeth has already stated she'll gladly accept again if she makes it into the general?! Those same donors that are advising her on educ. issues? TFA is her senior advisor. They are backed by billionaires for Private Profit Charters, like the Waltons and Eli Broad. But sure...those evil vulture capitalists bucks. Who needs them. Apparently Liz does.
Poodle Pundit (FL)
@JM Yes. I believe Warren can win, handily beat Trump. My motto in this case is, "The right way wins the right of way." But we must fight to prevail and spread the word.
M (Rye, NY)
When people are well fed and have all the facilities they look up to do something new. These activist kids are the kids of middle to high income parents who in their free time just want to do some activism to make their CV look good for colleges. These kids haven't seen the countries where capitalism and industrialism helped feeding large number of poor families. Agricultural revolution gave farmers enough to enjoy life. They just believe what they see on their iPhones and iPads that their parents have provided. Green revolution is important, but everything doesn't happen with magic wand in this world. Things are changing slowly for good. People in our area are installing solar panels, using LED bulbs and trying to minimize use of plastic. No government has infinity gauntlet that will just wipe everything off and start green revolution in a day!
Zejee (Bronx)
These “kids “ know that citizens of every other first world nation on earth never have to worry about health care or paying off high interest student debt. These “kids “ understand (they can read and analyze scientific studies) that action on climate change is urgently needed. There is no time to go slow.
M (Rye, NY)
@Zejee These kids just don't know what is 'patience'. Everything should happen immediately for them. Someone has to tell them that they are not watching netflix where they can binge entire series in a day. It took years to destroy the climate, and it will take years to build it back.
I don't understand why these episodes aren't available on NY Times for digital members. It makes no sense whatsoever. If we don't have cable and don't subscribe to Hulu, we're out.
Phillip (Boston MA)
My take away from the 2016 election is this. Democrats had a choice between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton they chose the safer of the two which was Hillary Clinton instead of taking the risk your choice which was Bernie Sanders.
Steve (Ky)
@Phillip My take away is that the second choice of Bernie supporters was Trump, and they got what they wanted.
Richard (Southwest Florida)
@Phillip My take away is that Bernie succeeded in convincing many white working class Obama voters that Obama and the Democratic Party had abandoned them, that the economy under Obama was a disaster, and that China and bad trade deals were why a high school education was no longer the ticket to the good life. In other words, he told them Trump was right, and so they voted for Trump.
Jeff S. (Huntington Woods, MI)
The spirit here in Detroit during the debates was incredibly uplifting. Not only were the young generation continuing to be on the streets but we older folks were right there with them. Why? Climate change. While the deck chairs of Trump's latest nonsensical, divisive actions distract the media, people especially outside the Beltway are consumed by the already here emergency of climate change. I just got back from a road trip with my 16 year old son through Ontario, Manitoba, North and South Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, none of which are liberal hotbeds (Madison not withstanding). Every little diner, hotel, campground, etc we stopped at easily found us talking with people who already see the changes in their local climate, the kinds and numbers of insects and flowers, the quality of the water. People get it, and it's heartening to see politicians at least on the Democratic side stepping up. People are far ahead of where the corporations and the politicians who serve them are. Beating Trump? Of course, for more reasons than I can list in a comment. Climate change? Nothing else matters in comparison because if we don't have a planet to live on....
The Anchorite (Massachusetts)
@Jeff S. Thank you. That's it, in a nutshell. What so many older, evidently not wiser, folks aren't getting is that what these young activists are fighting for is the very survival of our planet, not merely social or political change. This is about more than our species, one generation (or two), or the cycles of American politics.
mike (San Francisco)
The problem with the "Green Deal" is that it tries to solve every issue simultaneously.. It lacks focus..and is therefore likely to get tripped up in its own complexity. .. The Green Deal seeks not only to bring the country to 100% renewable energy (an enormously complex & technical task)... But it also seeks to supply health care, jobs, family leave, retirement.etc.. Its clearly a case of over-stepping..and has been largely scoffed at by the majority of Americans.. ....-- Its main fault is that its overly-broad ambitions threaten to turn the public against more focused efforts to combat Climate Change..
Zejee (Bronx)
Too bad. Dragging our heels—because lack of affordable health care and living wage jobs is ok—will hurt all of us especially our children
JM (San Francisco)
@mike I love that these young people are so zealous. They are the hope for this planet. But I also beg them to support whichever Democratic candidate is nominated and not vote, in protest, for a third party "green" candidate which will only guarantee another 4 years of the consummate climate destroyer, Trump.
Zejee (Bronx)
Do you think they will vote for the candidate who wrote the law excluding student debt from bankruptcy and even refusing to lower interest rates on student loans?
Tom Paine (Los Angeles)
The Times lives on a left right scale. How about using a headline like "Young Activist are Intent to Build a Humane and Moral United States that puts people before profit and knows that healthy, well educated, properly flourished and housed citizens make the best consumers, workers, doctors, teachers and soldiers." - The people want a capitalistic system with responsible regulation, which understands that people are citizens and that giant organizations driven by profit alone can never be citizens and that money is not speech. The Times is living in the past in my opinion. These young Americans are not going anywhere. The squad will grow and one day America will finally claim the moral high-ground and treat its people with the dignity and respect all of us deserve. We are a nation of immigrants and a nation of all people of the world and most of all we are a people who ready to not only ask for but demand justice, humanity, fairness, balance and the end to massive monopolies. We are ready to embrace the world with diplomacy and common sense and not with bluster and war. The time for new leadership by true public servants, a system isolated from the corrupting influence of the super rich and their lobbies, and who's leaders operate from a fundamental basis of care, scientific analysis, a view to making our system incorruptible and to finally actualize the great ideas of our constitution and bill of rights and to do what it takes to save this world from chaos.
JM (San Francisco)
@Tom Paine So worth repeating! "Young Activist are Intent to Build a Humane and Moral United States that puts people before profit and knows that healthy, well educated, properly flourished and housed citizens make the best consumers, workers, doctors, teachers and soldiers."
Matt Black (California)
@JM That's too long for a headline! But it would make a decent lede....
Alison (Raleigh)
I wish that the climate activists would learn what it takes to pass legislation. I am positive more can be done than Feinstein thinks, because she is deep within the culture of congress, and that can limit imagination and creativity. On the other hand, these climate activists and many progressive activists on other issues do not know much about how the system works. They push for Feinstein and others to take positions that would weaken their positions, fail to get results, and possibly end up benefitting McConnell and Trump. I agree that the climate situation is dire. I wish that the activists could adopt a more informed and nuanced approach, so that they might get better results. Interrupting, taking little kids along to push, making set demands, being unwilling to compromise, failing to recognize anything good that the person you are meeting with has done? Those negotiating techniques border on Trumpian, minus the little kids. Trump uses angry working class white men as his pawns.
Dobbys sock (Ca.)
@Alison So we all see that the house is on fire; but we should continue to throw cups of water at it, because actual action like fire hoses might be too hard and our politicians we keep electing are doing what they are paid to do by lobbyists and their 1% handlers. Don't these kids know how the system works? We can only hope for 2 cups of water, maybe, incrementally. You'd think they'd get a clue. Oh look, the house is gone now. If only they'd been less strident. It wasn't our fault. It's those kids trying too hard.
Alison (Raleigh)
@Dobbys sock Definitely not what I am suggesting. I'm sincerely working as hard as I can to PRODUCE actual change. Important synergy is created step by step. I am asking fellow progressives not to waste precious time attacking potential allies, even if they're not apparently aware of the urgency. Many kinds of actions needed simultaneously. Never suggested that people feel satisfied with results in Senate and House. Public action of all sorts is needed in order to change the calculus by changing the composition of the House and Senate. Change can happen but we need the power of the US government to spearhead the climate policy change the whole world needs. I love the showing up and the energy and the songs. Don't go after congressmen and senators who OUGHT to know better with ire. Learn about the challenges they face in getting things done in a Senate controlled by McConnell. Pursue a path that adds to the movement across the board. Confront the climate change deniers every single day with facts, humor, and energy. Point out something good Feinstein did and suggest ways that she could make it better. OR not. Focusing on the shortcomings of should-be allies who have failed to make enough difference is not likely a winning strategy, even if the critique is basically correct. . Build to strengths. p.s. Progressives don't have legislative strength right now. And that matters.
citizen vox (san francisco)
Interesting that the only presidential candidate shown in this video of young upstarts is Warren, who we know just had her 70th birthday. However, she really is as fresh and radical as those young-uns. The difference is that Warren comes to her ideas after decades of experience with overcoming economic hardships, teaching special needs children and a life's work in bankruptcy law. Yes, her ideas are a sharp turn to the left, but she makes this turn with a great depth of knowledge and realistic plans. It is her plans that will be the means to health care reform, a thorough response to our climate change crisis and a patriotic economic investment in middle class America for the 99.09% of us. Warren is probably closer in age to Feinstein but notice the difference in their thinking. Feinstein brushes off the staged confrontation with youth and age with an authoritarian attitude. Warren is using her decades of knowledge to fight for the problems of today; she can and should be the leader of the younger generations.
Dobbys sock (Ca.)
@citizen vox Go figure, the younger generation is backing the mensch who was talking climate crisis over 40yrs ago. Jump to min. 36 for climate crisis.
P. Auermann (Washington DC)
The reality is that for any elements of a Progressive agenda to come to fruition, it will take more than just a Progressive President. It will require a Progressive House and a Progressive Senate. That will require a Progressive Movement in a majority of the states. If the Democratic Presidential nominee doesn’t have a plan, a movement and coattails wide enough to get the House and Senate, we will be in for more stagnation and corruption. As someone amenable to progressive policies, I’m not sure any of the Democratic candidates fully grasp the totality of what’s required to deliver on a Progressive agenda.
Adrian (Sacramento)
They will fail to address climate change unless they are willing to embrace new nuclear. In fact opposition to nuclear energy is more important to them. Their opposition to nuclear energy makes them mathematically worse than trump on climate change.
SolarCat (Up Here)
@Adrian “New nuclear”...just like the old nuclear.
Social (Western NY)
@Adrian It is about power not results. If they truly believed the things they say then their positions would be more logical. The activists in the video said we have 12 years before the "apocalypse" but nuclear is off the table? That makes no sense, it is like saying my house is on fire but we can't use water to put out the fire, we need this really crazy special foam that isn't fully developed yet because that is the best 200 year solution. If your house is really burning down then you focus on the emergency: saving the house and putting the fire out AND then you worry about fire prevention in the future. The climate change claims from these activists are extreme and their lack of urgency for incrementally better solutions makes me wonder if these activists aren't just using climate change to seize political power. It is a sad day in America.
Adrian (Sacramento)
@SolarCat Yeah old nuclear represents 20% of our energy and 60% of our clean energy. If we want to solve climate change we will have to triple those numbers.
james haynes (blue lake california)
I was one of those young activists who helped push the Democratic Party to the far left and It was exhilarating. That was 50 years ago and we lost every election.
Dobbys sock (Ca.)
@james Haynes Oh well. Guess we don't need to try, right? At least the we had ours. Too bad about those behind us.
Zejee (Bronx)
Time to try again. My Congresswoman AOC won.
Eye by the Sea (California)
@Zejee Yeah, and she'll help Trump win, too.
Independent Observer (Texas)
"Representative Ocasio-Cortez has rallied to shore up support for the Green New Deal, but some of her missteps have invited even more criticism from conservatives." If one were to say something about AOC, it's that she provides an interesting balance to what's going on with the right. She's basically the left's version of Donald Trump.
Zejee (Bronx)
What is “left” in the USA is taken for granted in every other first world nation
dre (NYC)
I'm a retired scientist with degrees in earth & planetary science. In this discussion we need a balance between emotion and what is rational, factual and doable. Yes climate change is real, humans are driving it today and it's potential negative impacts will disrupt the lives of hundreds of millions, cost trillions and change the planet forever. As most know, scientists have been warning of the likely trend for 40+ years. We don't have the knowledge to predict precisely what will happen in any specific year or season, but we can project with reasonable confidence what is plausible and likely, the basic trend in other words. And much warming is baked in already. So Yes, we need to change energy paradigms, from fossil fuels to soon as is reasonable. But scientists and engineers who are actual experts and have actual knowledge of what it will take tell us it will take at least 15 years, more likely 20+ years. And to do it in that time frame would take a herculean effort, massive public and taxpayer support...all in the face of half the country supporting the GOP and their total support of Big Fossil. I totally support the goals of the GND, it is climate scientists who outlined most of these goals decades ago. But to enact it you have to win blue and red states, not just those in your ideological bubble. You have to win moderates, independents and some GOP voters. And congress. Idealism alone won't accomplish it. Rational pragmatism will also be needed.
Austin Liberal (Austin, TX)
@dre "Rational pragmatism will also be needed." If you really are a climate change expert, you must realize that climate change is the inevitable result of overpopulation. With a world population around 7.6 billion and growing at 80 million a years -- that's a net growth, not just that year's newborn -- there is no hope for mere changes in energy sources, und so weiter, even keeping pace with the new population's contribution to the problem. So, are you ready to propose legal limits -- enforced limits -- on child bearing? And just how will you convince the poor, exemplified by the hordes of desperate Central Americans invading our southern border, to obey such a dictum? One thing I do expect from a scientist is honesty, and that requires research and clinically unbiased analysis. Your pushing GND as the path to a solution demonstrates you've not done the work needed to understand the problem.
Susan Anderson (Boston)
@dre You downplay what scientists are saying, and more than double their prediction of danger. Seems a mite selective to me. The destruction is here and now now evident, after four decades of doubt promotion and delay and inaction, and the scientists I know (quite a few of them, actually) are saying action needs to start now, not slowly over the next 24 years.
S North (Europe)
@dre But you also need the idealism. You also need the activism. Without it, it will be business as usual. If there is no push now, we won't get 20 years to fix things, even if the climate allows us that time.
John Williams (Petrolia, CA)
When the facts change, opinions and policies should change as well. For the last forty years, the distributions of wealth and income in this country have been growing more and more unequal, and the climate has been getting warmer. Young people seem more aware of these facts; no wonder they want better policies.
Social (Western NY)
@John Williams So true because at 12 years-old you are a fully informed human. We should change the legal voting age to 12! Perhaps activists should stop brainwashing children. These children haven't developed enough to think for themselves and it is disgusting to see them used as props.
Valentin (Boston)
From the video: “radical new direction”, “impatient”. Really? That’s how those of us who accept the scientific truth and urgency needed on climate change are described? No, those who refuse urgency on this upcoming climate catastrophe are “radical”. As for being impatient, we’ve been patient enough to the point where it may already be too late. “Impatient”, that leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
JD Ripper (In the Square States)
@Valentin 'Impatient' leaves a bad taste in my mouth too. The fossil fuels industry has known for decades what they have been doing to the environment and they have lied and hidden the truth to protect their bottom line. We have lost decades of time needed to remedy global warming and now people imply "Be moderate in your approach or I'll vote for the side that's been causing all this." I'm speechless at that bit of logic.
Richard Schumacher (The Benighted States of America)
@Valentin: They are "reactionary", actually, but otherwise, Yes.
Steve's Weave - Green Classifieds (US)
@Valentin Exactly. Impatient??? I yield to the great abolitionist, William Lloyd Garrison: "Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen; but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present!"
lieberma (Philadelphia PA)
corrected- There is nothing the leftists can do now to prevent Trump re-election perhaps by a landslide in 2020. The 4 horse women of the apocalypse are a bunch of far-left disruptors that reflect what the Demos really want. Trump's tweets and rhetoric regarding the Squad is a brilliant strategic move. In 2020 Trump and the GOP will be viewed as the saviors of the country from the ideology of a bunch of far-left communists antisemic, racist and anti-American Demos. He will win in a landslide not only caring his strong tens of millions of supporters but a lot of centrists and undecided who oppose the USA being swamped by uneducated migrants or bullied by enemy countries such as Iran and China. The Economic Boom will be the icing on the cake. The Leftist can already close shop or wait for a humiliating defeat 2020. In any case, the ideology of the Demos Squad ensures that the USA will be a Strong Republic for a long long time. Trump says what Americans really think unmasking the rhetoric of the hypocritical elitists.
Bellingham (Washington)
@lieberma Thank you for sharing your perspective. I wonder 1) Do you really not believe in human-induced climate change? 2) do you believe a Strong Republic is compassionate and flexible or authoritarian and shows "right" through strength? and 3) How do you think we can develop a government that is directed by the elected party yet is able to represent the voices and needs of people who are so completely different?
Multimodalmama (The hub)
@lieberma Has it occurred to you that the likes of Pelosi and Schumer are doing nothing because a Trump reelection would be good for both their unquestioned political dominance and their pocketbooks?
Anonymous (The New World)
@lieberma Every time Trump twitters out bigoted attacks against these women, they get thousands of death threats. We have had bombs sent to the top Democratic leadership and journalists killed in his name. And let us not forget the mass shootings that were all linked to admiration for Trump’s racist tweets. If a regular civilian was spouting this kind of hate they would be banned from social media and arrested. Some brilliant strategy.
ehillesum (michigan)
These young, far left activists are motivated by the same destructive impulses that motivated Castro and Chavez and Lenin and Mao: “it’s not fair. We want what they have.” It is deeply selfish, not thoughtful, and because they are New Puritans with none of the grace, they have no regard and no mercy for any who disagree with them. In short, they are enemies of liberty and of this country’s core values. Consider the prosperous country that was Venezuela and consider what these misguided instincts have wrought there. We must resist them.
Ted B (UES)
@ehillesum Sound reasoning here comparing Venezuela's petro dictatorship with a grassroots effort to decarbonize the economy quick enough to avert the worst of a climate catastrophe
George (Florida)
It was the young ones, inspired by the Khmer Rouge, wiping out the older educated Cambodians in the ‘70’s
Zejee (Bronx)
I agree with everything my Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez says. It’s far past time for the USA to join the rest of the first world. Medicare for All, free college education, action on climate change. If investing in the health and education of Americans is not part of our values, what is? Building bombs to drop on Yemeni children?
Confused (Atlanta)
There is little push left. If Democrats are not careful they may fall into the abyss and self destruct. The US is not a country of largely one sided political beliefs, despite what Democrats and the news media would have us believe.
JM (San Francisco)
@Confused I am a democrat who supports border security and well defined immigration laws. I support humane treatment of detainees with swift decisions for asylum seekers. I believe some border wall is useful in a few places but it is obviously a dinosaur solution to a problem requiring high tech, 21st century cyber security measures. I am opposed to decriminalizing illegal border crossings, free healthcare to illegal immigrants and abolishing ICE. AND I am vehemently opposed to separating families who are seeking asylum. I trust I am not alone. Complain to (write) your Congressional representatives as well as Moscow Mitch and Powderpuff Pelosi. They are the people who can do something about your complaints.
Mike (Mason-Dixon line)
It should disturb all of us the someone or some group is exploiting children to convey a political agenda. Look at the age of some of these kids. Who else connects with this age group in these numbers but teachers? The last time I checked, in my state partisan political activism by state employees during working hours was illegal. Oh, the Green New Deal isn't partisan? Only in your own mind......
Ed Davis (Florida)
I've never voted for a Republican. But if these leftist zealots take over the party I will. Guess what? So will millions of other Democrats. The biggest question implied but unanswered in this episode is can Democratic moderates & progressives co-exist in the same party. I would say absolutely not. The voters we need to win back the country have different values. There's no way to bridge the gap. If any of the far-left candidates are the nominees in 2020 we will lose decisively. If this election is about kitchen table issues: jobs & uniting this country there's no way the Democrats lose. If it's about reparations, immigration, & AOC there's no way we win. Democrats have moved left & that's a huge problem in the upcoming presidential election. If progressives want to dismantle border enforcement agencies, eliminate criminal sanctions for illegal immigrants, & give them free healthcare then it's over. This is the only issue that would compel independent swing voters to hold their nose & vote for Trump. I've had it with the leftist fanatics who keep trying to push the Democrats off the cliff or into a circular firing squad. Amazing that after losing to Trump by alienating working-class voters, we're scrounging for issues that will alienate them even more. Free healthcare for illegal immigrants? The more benefits we give, the more will try to get here. It's an impossible equation. If we lose this election you blame it on progressive fanatics pushing divisive issues like this.
Bellingham (Washington)
@Ed Davis: While understanding the discomfort with progressive policies I have to sincerely ask 3 questions 1) Which policies put forth by progressives are substantially different than those propagated in the U.S. in the U.S. after the 30s? 2) (and I know this triggers some people but I mean it honestly) could the fact that these policies are being put forth by a group women of a color be affecting your attitude about the policies? and 3) How could someone who believes in the rights and prosperity of the middle /working class-as the Democratic Party has represented, consider supporting a party that has done much harm and little good, with actual promises to continue in this vein? Trump is not about "holding your nose", he represents selling your soul
facts please (Seattle)
How is demanding action on climate change divisive?
Zejee (Bronx)
So the working class likes paying high monthly premiums, high copays, and high deductibles. The working class likes paying four times as much for their prescriptions as our neighbors in Canada. The working wants their children to graduate college with high interest student debt. And of course the working class does not want living wage jobs! They like working for cheap. And climate change? The working class isn’t hurt by floods, fires, droughts, hurricanes and tornadoes.
William White (Salt Lake City, Utah)
Existential angst seems to be the driving force behind the Hard Left, whereas IMHO, pragmatism should take the wheel.
Kay (Somerville)
@William White It is pragmatic to act swiftly to maintain a habitable climate. It is absurd to do otherwise.
stevevelo (Milwaukee, WI)
This is great. U.S. political and environmental policy being driven by ex-bartenders and Jr. HS students. What could go wrong?? Let’s celebrate!!
Bellingham (Washington)
@stevevelo - does someone have to be from a particular job to become educated and worthy of an opinion, a cause, or an action to combat human induced climate change? What type of person has that right then?
Zejee (Bronx)
Yeah. Investing in the health and education of Americans and trying to save a habitable planet for our children is just so silly! Tax cuts for the rich! Deregulate the EPA! Shut up the scientists! Raise those monthly insurance premiums!
stevevelo (Milwaukee, WI)
@Zejee - gosh, I looked at my comment again, and just can’t find where I mentioned the stuff you refer to. There’s nothing in there about investing in heath of the environment. I didn’t refer to any tax cuts, and never mentioned insurance. Perhaps you’re just making assumptions, and stereotyping me.
Mike Edwards (Providence, RI)
The correct focus. These "young liberal activists" seem to be focusing more on policy than impeachment. Go kids! They've got their priorities right. Hopefully they'll realize that change takes time. Old habits are hard to break. Such changes cannot be something they support only while they are at university. Are they ready for middle-aged liberal activism? Let's hope so.
Mark Stave (Baltimore)
@Mike Edwards You are generally correct about change taking time.... Unfortunately, we have about 10 years to radically reduce carbon emissions, as a species, or we won't avoid catastrophic climate change (disastrous climate change is already baked in). I am afraid that what we (humans) need are radical actions taken right now. I am 61, but these young people will live through these oncoming disasters and possible catastrophes, unless they die in them.
S North (Europe)
@Mike Edwards "Limits to Growth" was written by American scientists in the 70s. Nothing happened these past 30 odd years but more fossil fuel extraction, more pollution, more plastic. How much time will it take?
Independent1776 (New Jersey)
@Mike Edwards Indeed , these radicals who let their emotions rule their thinking, have already started on the wrong foot ,by killing the Amazon deal & losing hundreds of jobs for New Yorkers.Their position on Medicare for all & free Education, is like looking at a portrait of a beautiful landscape, but alas, it’s just a picture.In reality, there are hidden dangers that are over looked by rushing into change. Only the aged & the experienced , will keep us from falling into a precipice. Vote for Biden.
Ted B (UES)
Thank you for covering Sunrise Movement. I joined Sunrise's NYC chapter after reading about their sit-in at Nancy Pelosi's office. Organizing with Sunrise has been extremely rewarding, from watching Chuck Schumer change his tune on aggressive climate action, to pressuring the State Democratic Committee to vote yes on a future climate change debate for 2020 presidential candidates. The Green New Deal is the only existing framework that can save us from the worst of the climate crisis, and I credit Sunrise with making the GND a household name. If you haven't already, join your local Sunrise Movement hub. What are you waiting for?
Richard M. (Detroit)
And how many would be Democrat voters will stay home if the nominee is promising to make their health care plan illegal while also promising free health care to illegal border crossers? That’s where Warren and Sanders stand. It’s a losing proposition. Put another way, wouldn’t the young progressives be motivated enough anyway just to get rid of Trump? Shouldn’t they be?
Richard Winchester (Illinois)
It’s good to see people taking an interest in politics. There is nothing wrong or strange about this new direction for the Democrat Party. Like the Tea Party and other far right organizations, only time will tell if it fails or becomes mainstream.
paul (White Plains, NY)
Green New Deal? Why not call a spade a spade? This "deal" will dismantle American energy production and put millions upon millions of Americans out of work. Anyone who believes that solar and wind power can replace fossil fuels in the immediate future is simply delusional. As with any new technology (and solar/wind are relatively new), it will take multiple decades to adapt industry and consumers to these new power sources. Meanwhile the other demands of advocates of the Green New Deal, and their ridiculous time frame demands, will doom it to failure.
Norman (NYC)
@paul Yeah, let's call a spade a spade. 70,000 Americans die every year from air pollution. It used to be twice as high, before the environmental regulations that Trump wants to dismantle.
S North (Europe)
@paul The truly ridiculous time frame is the 40 years we've known we're heading for climate disaster and done zip about it.
Penseur (Newtown Square, PA)
The Democratic nominee must first of all corral enough electoral votes to get elected. How to do that needs to be the focus. Without that all else is meaningless.
merc (east amherst, ny)
So, where is there any mention of the issue Trump will hang around the neck of the Democrats during the run-up to the 2020 election, their intent on getting him impeached? He'll use it to successfully yammer away at his rallies and at those White House lawn gaggles, "I told you so, no, collusion, no obstruction", Trump will pick that topic like the low-hanging fruit it will be to boast again and again, "No collusion, no obstruction." The Democrats need to hammer away from this day forward about their intent to provide the kind of health care the Working and Middle Classes deserve and want. It is the single most important issue voters mentioned when polled as they handed back the House to the Democrats as a result of the 2018 election. There are not enough votes in the Senate to get Trump impeached. End of story. Guaranteed Health Care for the Working and Middle Classes will win us back the Presidency and get us back the Senate in 2020.
Miriam Osofsky (Hanover NH)
How could Sunrise “be wrong”? The consensus of the world’s top climate scientists is that we have a guaranteed catastrophe If we don’t rapidly decarbonize. To prevent our extinction, we must enact the Green New Deal into law AND we must defeat Donald Trump. Come on New York Times...You report accurately on the climate emergency in some articles and then spread contradictory disinformation, like the last line in this video, or all the fear-mongering Op-Eds (e.g, by Thomas Friedman) urging us to support moderate candidates—- The only thing that will save us is a radical transformation of our energy, transportation, and food systems, and that’s not politics, that’s physics.
Adrian (Sacramento)
@Miriam Osofsky Sunrise is wrong because they oppose nuclear energy. Opposition to nuclear energy is more important to them than solving climate change. It is also the consensus of the world’s top climate scientists that we need new nuclear energy. The IPCC has called for a 6x increase in nuclear energy worldwide.
Becky (Boston)
@Miriam Osofsky The "moderates" have been working to combat climate change -- and losing to Republicans!. Obama signed the Paris Agreement; Al Gore ran for president and lost to Bush; the Trump administration is undoing many rules and regulations passed by Democrats. We need to win, not fight among ourselves over who is more righteous!
Anthony Flack (New Zealand)
@Adrian - a few questions about that: How long will it take to build these nuclear power plants, and how expensive? Who will be responsible for the nuclear technology and make sure it is not misused? Where will they get their uranium?
Andrew (Philadelphia)
We need a Green New Deal. We need it NOW!
Susan (Marie)
@Andrew Well, Andrew, it's about time to cough up your $70,000 individual contribution to the cause. We'll follow, promise.
Carolyn (Washington DC)
This generation knows the bell curve but needs to see how it applies to American political opinion. There just aren't enough districts like the ones the Squad represent. If we blow this and Trump wins, it will have more repercussions for this generation than mine. After 8 years, the damage done will take their lifetime to repair.
asdfj (NY)
"What's your opinion of the 'Green New Deal'" would be a good interview question, to weed out people who can't do basic arithmetic.
Mike S. (NYC)
Having never heard of the Sunsise Movement, I did a simple Google Search. I found a lot of media attention from NYT, Politico, Rolling Stone, and others lauding their "major impact" on the Democratic Party. I read about "activist boot camps," planned protests, press conferences and 'media presence.' They also seem to be bankrolled by a number of "foundations funding the national litigation effort against energy companies." But the group's actual impact seems to be limited to Democratic election-year campaign promises and a handful of nonbinding Congressional resolutions. So is this truly an earth-shaking grassroots movement, or is their significant media inflation involved? The utter failure of the national media and polls to provide accurate judgements of public sentiment during and since the 2016 election has left me skeptical. I believe it is far too soon to assess the true influence of this Sunrise Movement. And often a flurry of social media posts and public appearances lead to no real change in the end.
MAL (San Antonio)
@Mike S. I don't know if there are the foundations of the kind you suggest that want to sue energy companies behind the Sunrise Movement. But given that Exxon Mobile knew for decades that fossil fuels were contributing to climate change, and silenced its own researchers who reached that conclusion, then the investigation by the Southern District of New York into that cover-up seems worthwhile. Any company whose business model relies on externalities paid for by you and me should be sued.
Francisco Cebollero (Puerto Rico)
Why call "left" environmental common sense and the political pursuit of equality. The labels are wrong and their policies are right.
Mon Ray (KS)
Most of the Democratic presidential candidates are competing to see who can make the most woke and socialist promises: Free college tuition. Medicare for all, including illegal immigrants. College loan forgiveness. Reparations for blacks and gays. Guaranteed basic income. Federal job guarantees. Federally mandated school busing to achieve integration. Green New Deal (eco-socialism). Voting and early release for prisoners. Open borders. All the fabulously wealthy US individuals and corporations together do not have the many trillions of dollars needed to pay for these goodies year after year, and even Bernie Sanders has admitted that taxes would have to be raised on the middle class to pay for Medicare for All, not to mention the additional trillions needed for the other items. (For perspective, the current US budget is about $4.4 trillion, with a deficit of about $1 trillion.) As Margaret Thatcher aptly noted, the problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people’s money. We need to keep in mind that our goal in 2020 is to elect a Democratic president, and that will require appealing to the independents, undecideds and others whom the Democrats did not succeed in reaching in 2016. If all of these progressive (socialist) promises, or even a few, are planks in the 2020 Democratic platform we are doomed to a second term of Trump as president.
Blackmamba (Il)
@Mon Ray The polar ice caps and glaciers don't care how many humans are displaced by rising sea levels that make warmer ocean waters and stronger storms. Only 3% of water on Earth is fresh. And 2% of that is frozen. While 1% is increasingly polluted. Growing human populations plus climate change are going to run humanity out of fresh water that no amount of capitalist money can buy. If only there were any minds in Kansas that accepted and knew or understood any of the science of climate change or evolution or plate tectonics. Dorothy? Toto? The Wizard of Oz? Quantrill?
MAL (San Antonio)
@Mon Ray Sanders's proposal for Medicare4All will cost us LESS than what we currently pay, but with the difference that everyone will be covered. Even the Koch Brothers - Funded report that they commissioned to try to smear Medicare4All ended up concluding that. Also, perhaps you could do a little less copy and paste on your comments; I saw almost this exact comment on another article.
Dick Purcell (Leadville, CO)
The "Green New Deal" is NOT "a groundbreaking climate-change plan." It's a hijacking of public concern about climate to try to change everything else. For combating climate change, it is counterproductive. It will mire us in the mud of arguments about everything else as we pass the point of no return in destroying conditions for human life on Earth. For the future of our human civilization and species, it will have the same effect as re-electing Trump: DOOM. What we are doing to our planet Earth is The Big One, dwarfing everything else. Devastating the futures of our youngest, their children, and the few who will follow them. Starvation from farmlands dying, shootings of those who migrate in search of survival, breakdown of societies and nations as coastal cities on which nations depend are flooded by rising oceans and blown away by more-and-more-powerful hurricanes. We need leaders who focus on minimizing this horror and NOTHING ELSE. Leaders with the combination of Inslee's priority and Warren's capability to go beyond generalities to zero in on specific action with best effects. In our current overload of candidates, no one is offering what we need. Aiming at Medicare-for-All and other goals of economic justice as these changes of Earth get worse and worse is like arguing about positions of deck chairs as our ship of human civilization and life goes down.
99percent (downtown)
My daughter attended her first protest in the 9th grade. Our family was walking down the street, she saw the protesters, and said, "Im going over there!" She was so excited when she came back, saying "I just went to my first protest!" I asked her what they were protesting. She said, "I don't know - but it was fun!" It's easy for the radical left to tempt kids. All they need is something sweet, a tee shirt, a selfie, and a simple slogan they can chant. The kids, for the most part, don't know and don't care about the details - they just want that tee shirt or the selfie. It would be cute if they didn't have a vote, but they do have a vote and it scares the daylights out of me. "They know not what they do" somebody once said.
Randall (Portland, OR)
@99percent I wish that Republicans killing counterprotestors while shouting "Jews will not replace us" scared you as much as a teenager getting a free t-shirt.
Tony (New York City)
@Randall Your statement is so true, If we as parents do our part by educating our children, we will have decent, inspired young people who are very aware of what the process is for change. They are not going to wait for a professional elected official to do their jobs, they will be walking the talk every day. they will be involved with everyone. If you allow your child to self indulge taking selfies, polluting the environment, pretending they are superior, well dont be surprised when they grow up to be a shallow mean individuals . Since Trump has been in office our environment is being destroyed, if these young people dont get involved their will be no future for them. so all you people who care so much about the" unborn" get busy and do something to help the environment.
wdcobserver (Washington DC)
@99percent there's some passionate and informed activists and others who appear to be simply caught up -- my pre-teen niece attended the Women's March with a very superficial understanding of the issues being protested but mostly took away from it that it was a protest against Trump. I think over time she'll better understand but that will take time. Still I was impressed she experienced that at a very young age. My foray into politics was in my late teen years, through a school club, but back then I too had a very superficial understanding of current events.
poslug (Cambridge)
I'm 72 and in 100% agreement with the move to what is now described as "left" but used to be center aka "first world". My only deviation is support for wind as it kills birds where passive solar has a much wider potential and benefits the individual.
alan haigh (carmel, ny)
It's hard to sustain idealism as you get older and bear witness to the power of corporate interests and the nature of the human mind to be drawn to negative narratives. Whichever force composes and disperses the most negativity towards their opposition is likely to have the most influence. The powers that are hugely profiting from warming the planet have the money to control the media narrative- they won't directly defend fossil fuels but they will discredit any plan that might reduce their short term profits, which includes any idea that will meaningfully reduce carbon emissions. That is if their expensive and effective campaign to discredit climate science proves inadequate. The same thing goes for health care. The inefficiency of our system compared to other modern nations renders profits in the trillions for the profiteers. The companies they own are key advertisers for most media outlets and that kind of money is almost impossible to counter with nothing but good ideas and intentions. The Bill Clinton theory of incremental change is not entirely illogical. Until we somehow establish the checks and balances our constitution fails to provide, that may be all we can realistically hope for. So why haven't any of the front running Dem candidates put campaign finance reform on top of their list of issues?
Orange Nightmare (Behind A Wall)
Ocasio-Cortez is a gifted young politician who marries passion and a talent for communicating her ideas clearly, and often, cleverly. If she were on the ballot, she’d be a front runner. I like Harris but am concerned she lacks the policy chops. Warren needs to be the candidate with a well- chosen veep.
Boris Jones (Georgia)
What does "move to the left" actually mean in the skewered political landscape of today? In 1945, Bernie would have been at the very center of the Democratic Party -- a staunch New Dealer still well to the right of Vice-President Henry Wallace. Today, the party's "center" is represented by a former Goldwater Girl who courted suburban moderate Republicans -- and Henry Kissinger, of all people! -- in her failed run to the White House. The Democrats' jettisoning of the New Deal for neoliberalism in the wake of the Reagan landslides led to forty years of accomodation with Republican corporatism, forty years of administrations whose cabinets were stuffed with Goldman Sachs alums no matter which party won the previous election. That created our historic wealth gap, dwarfing that of the Gilded Age, which has completely polarized the electorate, enflamed racial, ethnic, religious and class divisions, and made a President Donald Trump not just possible, but inevitable. The country now faces existential threats on multiple fronts that require bold, not incremental, solutions. The question is not whether some old status quo can be restored, but whether the coming re-ordering of our society is going to come from the populist left or the authoritarian right. I fear the early returns on that are not promising. "Moving too far too fast?" After decades of rightward drift, the country needs a sharp turn to the left just to restore some sense of normality and sanity.
Jerry (Placer County, CA)
It is not just Democrats. The largest group of voters identify themselves as Independents. Bernie SANDERS is an Independent as are so many of his supporters who also support action on climate change. It would be beneficial not to divide Americans but rather talk about them as voters. Not left, right, liberal, conservative, just people who vote.
See also