AOC and Bernie Sanders rally against mediocre climate change action
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks during a rally at Howard University in Washington, DC.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks during a rally at Howard University in Washington, DC.

Image: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has delivered an impassioned speech about her Green New Deal to combat climate change, saying radical action, not a middle-of-the-road approach is needed.

The New York congresswoman joined Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders at a rally at Howard University in Washington on Monday, organized by activist group and big-time GND supporters the Sunrise Movement.

Ocasio-Cortez slammed politicians for not acting on climate change in the past, in particular, for not taking cues from NASA, which first warned Congress of the risks of climate change in 1989.

“I will be damned if the same politicians who refused to act then are going to try to come back today and say we need a middle-of-the-road approach to save our lives,” she said.

She referenced new reports saying that, for the first time in history, we have reached global atmospheric levels of carbon above 415 parts per million. 

“Frankly, there is no reason for us to be comfortable right now. We are at 415,” she said. “And I’m not here to guarantee to you that everything will be ok, but what I am here to say is that we must try.

“Frankly, there is no reason for us to be comfortable right now.”

“We cannot and we will not accept anything less than a solution to save ourselves, and that’s exactly what [the Green New Deal] says.” she explained.

Ocasio-Cortez urged people to educate others on the deal, “elevate our collective consciousness,” and have the big conversations about climate change.

“Our history may be written, but our future is not,” she said. “We are at a crossroads unlike any we have seen before, but the good thing is that the average everyday person has never been more powerful in human history than it is today.”

Ocasio-Cortez slammed disinformation spread about the GND, something she’s done in the past when she took aim at claims that the deal and being concerned about the environment is “elitist.”

“We have never been more powerful and Big Money has never been weaker and that is exactly why they are fighting so hard against the Green New Deal,” she said.

“What we are fighting against is a logic that says we can extract enough off of human life and our environmental resources to the point of destroying our own humanity just to post profit. No more. We will not accept that anymore, we cannot.”

Sanders also made the case for radical action on climate change in his speech, and according to CNN, called for an end to “all subsidies and tax breaks for the oil and gas companies,” in a prior interview.

“When you’re dealing with the future of the planet and making sure that our kids and our grandchildren have a healthy and habitable world in which to live, I don’t know how you go too far,” Sanders said. 

“This is an existential threat, not just to the United States, but to the entire planet.”

You can watch the whole rally on Facebook. AOC comes in around the two-hour, nine-minute mark.

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