17 Insightful Quotes About the Green New Deal

Last Updated:
Thu, 2019-05-30 00:06

For the last few days, we've been done a fast-paced limited series on the Green New Deal. To catch up, check out these two articles:

What is the Green New Deal?

The People Behind the Green New Deal?

We're publishing this limited series not only because the proposed legislation is timely and newsworthy but also because it's been close to 10 years since we've seen such demand for serious legislative action against climate change. And the excitement and intrigue is infectious.

There are countless articles popping up about the Green New Deal, and honestly, there is TOO MUCH information to smash into one summarized article.

In addition, there are so many passionate activists involved in the movement and thoughtful reflections on the legislation that it would not do the topic justice to merely summarize it.

So, we've picked out our favorite quotes that explain the Green New Deal and/or its goals. Let's let the original speakers' and writers' words stand for themselves.

Green New Deal leaders

Quotes from the Sunrise Movement

"We are not looking to the right or left. We look forward. Together, we will change this country and this world, sure as the sun rises each morning."

Why we like this quote:

Explains the movement's name (sure as the sun rises each morning)

Implies nonpartisanship, unity, and betterment for all

If you like this, see:

Sunrise Movement - just read all of it, each page is so well-written

Quotes from Varshini Prakash (Sunrise Movement)

Varshini Prakash

"I’m 25 years old. We’ve known about the climate crisis for twice as long as I’ve been alive in this planet and we have yet to do something that scales our action and economic activity to combat the crisis. [Fighting climate change] is about survival and existence. Are we going to take action over the next 10 years to ensure our generation has a livable future, or are we going to continue to kick the can down the road and resign ourselves to live a life filled with chaos, violence, and uncertainty?"

"It’s clear that any politician who wants to be taken seriously by our generation needs to have the courage to stand up to the fossil fuel billionaires and back a Green New Deal."

Why we like these quotes:

Really highlights how long we've had a chance to do something…

Challenges our existence and integrity - are we just going to sit back?

Identifies how political candidates can earn the millennial vote

If you like this, see:

The Green New Deal Championed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Gains Momentum - from Refinery 29

Cory Booker, Likely 2020 Contender, Says He Supports Green New Deal - from Huffington Post

Quotes from Evan Weber (Sunrise Movement)

Evan Weber

The key is to "connect [the Green New Deal] inextricably to the economic pain that so many Americans still feel, and show people that there’s a way to build a better economy and improve their lives through action on climate change."

Why we like this quote:

Not just for tree-huggers and hippies, the Green New Deal offers social and economic improvement opportunities

If you like this, see:

The Green New Deal, Explained from Vox

Quotes from Jesse Meisenhelter (Sunrise Movement)

"Our campaign work helped flip the House by mobilizing the largest voter turnout in a century. We didn’t just elect any Democrats—we helped elect the most progressive, young, and diverse Congress in history."

"The 2020 'ideas primary' has begun, and presidential hopefuls are racing to lay the planks of their platforms.  The Green New Deal is an opportunity to define a bold and clear future under Democratic leadership. This should be the first Democratic primary where every contender has taken the No Fossil Fuel Money pledge. It’s imperative that rising Democrats, including presidential hopefuls, demonstrate their commitment to an ambitious and timely climate platform if they want young people to turn out again in 2020."

"Our generation has a right to good jobs and a livable future. The Green New Deal is a winning plan for both. Now the only question is: will the Democrats embrace it? Our survival, young and old, depends on it."

Why we like these quotes:

Shows the power of political movements to enact change

Offers an empowering message to all that we need to stop researching & start acting

Explains several ways that voters and politicians can begin acting

Clearly lays out what the movement is looking for in a 2020 presidential candidate

If you like this, see:

Want the Youth Vote in 2020? Champion the Green New Deal from The Nation

2018's Record-Setting Voter Turnout, in One Chart from Vox

No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge

Quotes from Saikat Chakrabarti (Brand New Congress)

Saikat Chakrabarti

"The two options are, either we’re going to intentionally do the big things we want, or big things we don’t want will happen to us."

"What does America get if Dems take power in 2020? Either that can be a boring, crappy vision that no one’s going to get excited by, or it’s going to be an exciting vision that people will want to come out and vote for."

Why we like these quotes:

Powerful positioning statements

Echoes Jesse's views about thinking ahead to 2020 elections and maintaining high voter turnout

If you like this, see:

POLITICO Power List 2019: Saikat Chakrabarti from POLITICO

Quotes from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

"This is going to be the New Deal, the Great Society, the moon shot, the civil-rights movement of our generation."

"We don’t have time to sit on our hands as our planet burns. For young people, climate change is bigger than election or re-election. It’s life or death."

"Our goal is to treat Climate Change like the serious, existential threat it is by drafting an ambitious solution on the scale necessary — aka a Green New Deal — to get it done. A weak [select] committee misses the point & endangers people."

Why we like these quotes:

Shows how impactful the Green New Deal can be on our legacy and planet

Explains why the Green New Deal needs to have bold actions with a swift deadline

Reiterates why "more of the same" on climate change is not sufficient

Quotes from Other Supporters

Nick Engelfried (youth climate activist):

Nick Engelfried"The 'youth climate movement' of today looks very different from the one of 2007. To become more effective it has both narrowed and broadened its focus. The narrowing is a result of it zeroing in on winnable campaigns like divestment and stopping pipelines, while the broadening is due to a growing focus on building bridges with other movements. Done effectively, both of these approaches may succeed in generating the kinds of incremental wins that could cascade into a national wave of climate and progressive victories."

Michelle Romero (national director of Green for All):

Michelle Romero

"The Green New Deal has really picked up steam because Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been brave enough to demand it as a solution. Climate leaders and environmental justice leaders have been doing the work, but when she showed up [to the sit-in], she lent her platform to give greater visibility to the movement and she really deserves credit for that."

"The movement that 10 years ago made climate change a top issue of the 2008 presidential debate really has paved the way for this next wave [of activism] we're seeing now. Through that, we got the Green Jobs Act and some renewable and energy-efficient funding from the 2009 stimulus package. There were some real, concrete things we were able to get done then. Now that Democrats regained control of the House, it's a real opportunity for [the party] to pick up where they left off."

Ken Kimmell (Union of Concerned Scientists):

Ken Kimmel"Two reports were released this year that couldn’t make it clearer that we are quickly running out of time to keep the worst impacts of climate change in check. The federal National Climate Assessment stated that climate change is happening right now in every part of the country—contributing to dangerously high temperatures, rising seas, deadly wildfires, torrential rainfalls and devastating hurricanes. The report concluded that these climate-related impacts will only get worse and their costs will mount dramatically if carbon emissions continue unabated. …The Green New Deal reflects that urgency…."

Waleed Shahid (communications director for Justice Democrats):

Waleed Shahid"It’s infuriating to see a fellow Democrat basically parrot the talking points of the Koch Brothers when it comes to the very common-sense idea that any politician who accepts donations from the fossil-fuel corporations should not be allowed to legislate on climate change." 

Photos by: Sunrise Movement, Simone Weber, MSNBC, Getty Images, Green for All, Union of Concerned Scientists & Now This