Maybe Jeff Bezos, of all people, put it best. Asked whether he supported the Green New Deal, the chief executive of one of the country’s most carbon-intensive technology companies waved the question off.
“There are a lot of different ideas for what the Green New Deal is,” he said, “and it’s probably too broad to say too much about that in particular.”
It was a dodge, of course, but not an inaccurate one. Because, really, who does know what the Green New Deal is? Yesterday, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Bernie Sanders announced what they said was the first part of that vision, a “Green New Deal for Housing.” Their $172 billion plan would retrofit a million public-housing units while eliminating 5 million tons of annual carbon pollution. Exactly a year earlier, dozens of young climate activists occupied Nancy Pelosi’s office on Capitol Hill, and Ocasio-Cortez, barely a week off her election, came to speak with them. Their demand: a special House committee to create something they called a Green New Deal.
For the climate movement, the protest seemed electrifying, the start of a new epoch. The Green New Deal, long on the hazy fringes of the policy debate, rocketed to its center. It marked a change for Pelosi, too, who could no longer count on playing the clenched-fist drum major of the Resistance. Now, back in power and with a majority to protect, she could once again be a target of protest.