How “Green” is the Green New Deal?

Via VOX: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) speaks as she and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) unveil the Green New Deal resolution.
 Alex Wong/Getty Images

We’re just a little under two weeks away from the meteorological start of Spring, so of course it’s a perfect time to think about the environment. Specifically, I want us to think about the Green New Deal that was announced at the beginning of February.

You know, the Green New Deal that is a hot topic in the political world, but was deliberately designed to lack any specifics.

And actually, the more you read about the Green New Deal (or GND, in homage to the firebrand U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s now famous shorthand acronym AOC), the more it makes sense that there isn’t a whole lot of specifics. At least initially.

Think about it. If they were to have said “No nuclear power at all”, or “No cap and trade” in the resolution that was put out there, then people could target those specific proposals and destroy the plan before it even had a chance to see the light of day.

A New Green Big Tent

Instead, by being vague, AOC and her Congressional partners in designing the GND could open the canvas of the tent, letting in as many people as possible. This would create a groundswell of support that would make it easier to push the topic and work out the details later.

You see, the idea is to promote wanting to do something to combat the horrible facts facing the environment. They legislators lay those out in the resolution. They are appealing to our “lizard brains,” our emotions. Then, they are presenting facts to make the leap to help us justify the emotional response to the proposition. They are selling us. And by keeping it vague they are making it easier on their end to sell.

A Moonshot on Earth

In all honesty, I was impressed to see that someone in our political “leadership” would put forth a grand plan like the GND. It hearkens back to when President Kennedy announced that we would put a man on the moon. And we did that in eight years.

Do you think we can do the same now?

I have my doubts.

Not because I don’t think we shouldn’t try. We should. We definitely should.

That is the great thing about America. We’re not afraid to try. At least we weren’t.

Back in 1962, we weren’t. And we weren’t when we had to mobilize to save the world from the Nazi darkness. And we certainly weren’t when the specter of Communism reared its ugly head in the 1980s. Or after September 11, 2001.

Yet, the reason I have my doubts is because we are different now.

We are a divided country, one that, rather than look for ways to compromise and find a solution that works, would rather immediately tear down any idea that isn’t mine.

And that sucks. It sucks because we need to do something. The more we argue, the less we get done. And the more the environment will erode. There will be a point where there is no going back. It may well already have passed. I hope not.

Is it naive, or “green” to think that we could accomplish the things laid out in the GND? I don’t think it is. What about you? Can we do it?

Coming out of the rut

As I write this, it’s sunny outside. It’s one of those days when the sun plays mind games because it is cold. So, you look out the window and think “sun = warmth”. When in reality, you better bundle up when you head out, lest you return a popsicle.

And that is kind of how I’ve been feeling lately. Looking out I see there is so much possibility in the world. And I thank God for that. His work in this world is truly amazing.

And yet, there is just something about all of this that has me in a rut. I don’t know how else to describe it. It’s like this nagging feeling that no matter how hard and fast you go at something, how much good work you put in, that there will always be the catch. You’ll never succeed, but will still be running on the wheel.

As a person, I know that there is work I need to do on myself. I realize each day that there is something that I can improve upon. And that is good because it means that I’m still alive and that I still want to grow and learn.

Then you look around and wonder if the dust that we came from – and will one day return to – is just blowing around. In other words, we’re transient.

Image by Free-Photos on Pixabay

Based solely on the human condition, I can confidently say that there is no permanence. This thought can drag us down. It can also build us up, because if there is no permanent way we should be, then we do not have to settle. We do not have to stay put. We can look at the past, examine it, and learn from it. We can chart a new course.

And that is why despite the cold weather and some of the endless routines of life (I mean, we all have laundry to do, right?) it is important to realize when you’re in a rut and that you will come out of it.

The rut isn’t permanent. It’s life.

Extroverted Introvert

When I recently read Stephanie Shirley’s blog post about discovering her introvert tendencies, I thought I was looking in a mirror. In describing herself, I thought she was describing me. Funny thing is, she is also in the Public Relations field and her introverted nature has not stopped her from becoming successful.

Her post opened my eyes to another aspect of my journey along the positive road and happiness highway. It made me see that I’m not alone in feeling the way that I do.

Here’s how I feel:

I’m okay with being alone. When I was a kid growing up, I would hang out in my room listening to music and playing. It was fun. Today, I still listen to music when I’m doing stuff by myself. It gives me the energy I need and I can rock out anytime I want without worrying about my dance moves.

Photo by Jonas Mohamadi on

However, I also know that I need to interact with others. And that is why I have only a few close friends. My wife Laurie, my kids, and my dog Hemingway among them. And when I do hang out with friends, I prefer having meaningful conversations instead of idle chatter. If I wanted to talk about the weather, I would check my weather app on my phone or just reach my hand out the window. Additionally, when I’m with friends I love to play board games though I’m not a fan of solitaire. So there’s that.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on

Now, after growing up in a small town, living in another country with an entirely different family for a year, going to college and getting two degrees, running for public office, and years of working in different settings with all types of different people, I think that I know enough about myself that I can meet people halfway so that we can have productive relationships. On the other hand, I also know that I still have so much to learn about myself and how to interact with others. I’m proud to say that I am a work in progress.

Cold weather dog walking

One of the parts of the day that I most enjoy is walking my dog, Hemingway.

Dog laying next to man who is smiling

He’s cute, right? 

I really like walking him at night. And in the winter it is such a sensory experience. The crisp air makes walking brisk. The way my unexposed skin starts to sting just enough to know it is cold. And the tranquility of the evening when there is no noise except for the random train in the distance and the sound of our feet on the pavement.

It’s truly a fun time and one that I am grateful for the opportunity to enjoy.

Man with headlamp on

I may look like a miner, but I’m actually walking the dog on a crisp winter night.

Do you have a dog? What do you notice the most when you walk him/her?

No Spring for You!

Like the Soup Nazi in Seinfeld, this never-ending winter is not going to give us what we want. There will be no Spring for us. It feels that way, anyway.

I mean, it snowed today. In April. This isn’t too unusual for where we live. However, this year it just seems like Mother Nature and Old Man Winter are just piling on for the fun of it.

And we want it to stop. Spring is a great time of year. The smell in the air after a rain shower. The rebirth. The flowers. The birds. There is just so much to love about this time of year.

If it would ever get here!