Congress is Too Old to Care About Climate Change

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will be 50 years old in 2040, a year that could see global food shortages, massive wildfires, and inundated coastlines, according to a report from the International Panel on Climate Change. Ms. Ocasio-Cortez expects to be alive and well in 2040, which might explain why she’s so concerned about the condition of the world in 2040. It also might explain why she’s one of only a few members of Congress who cares about climate change.

The 115th Congress is old

While it might seem like Congress is getting younger, in fact, the exact opposite is happening – Congress has been steadily getting older since 1981. The average age of Representatives is 57 and Senators is 61. Nancy Pelosi will be 99 in 2040. Mitch McConnell will be 97.

According to a 2018 Gallup Poll, 70% of people between the ages of 18 and 34 are worried about global warming, while just 56% of people over the age of 55 are worried about it. Of course, if you don’t believe you will be around to see the impacts, then why would it worry you? Unfortunately, we currently have one of the oldest Congresses in the history of the United States, and these Congresspeople are making critical decisions that will affect decades that they will never see.

It’s not pragmatic to dismiss the Green New Deal, it’s short-sighted

We know where Republicans stand on climate change (within arm’s reach of the Koch Brothers), but even many Democrats are following Nancy Pelosi’s lead in shrugging off what she referred to as “the green dream, or whatever they call it”. Presidential candidates like Amy Klobuchar and Sherrod Brown are being hailed as rational and pragmatic for their hesitance to support the Green New Deal.

In reality, it’s irrational to believe that we can wait and solve this problem over time with bi-partisan compromises and committees to research the perfect solution. Harry Truman first proposed universal health care in 1945 – look how long it’s taken us to get half-way there. Every day spent without a serious governmental effort to mobilize Americans to combat climate change is one day closer to a horrific reality that people just a generation away will have to live with.

It’s getting worse, not better

In 2018, US carbon emissions INCREASED for the first time since 2005, according to the Rhodium Group. We need to reduce carbon emissions by 45 percent by 2030 in order to avoid a climate catastrophe, but instead of improving, we got worse last year! Why aren’t the alarms going off in the halls of Congress like they are throughout the scientific community?

Climate change is the greatest existential threat of our time

The fight against climate change must be waged by those who care about what the world will look like in 2040 and beyond. For Millennials, we must follow Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ lead and fight like there’s no tomorrow.

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