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There's A Boston Leader Behind The Push For A Green New Deal10:27
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Environmental activists occupy the office of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, the speaker-designate for the new Congress, as they try to pressure Democratic support for a sweeping agenda to fight climate change, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)
Environmental activists occupy the office of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, the speaker-designate for the new Congress, as they try to pressure Democratic support for a sweeping agenda to fight climate change, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

The "Green New Deal" is an environmentalist spin on FDR's Depression-era social program. We hear about the political movement behind it, and the lofty ambitions to combat the impacts of climate change.

Guest

Varshini Prakash is a Massachusetts native and Boston-based co-founder of the Sunrise Movement.

Interview Highlights

"When we talk about a Green New Deal, what we are talking about is an umbrella term for the kinds of programs and policies that get us off fossil fuels fast, transitioning to a 100 percent renewable energy economy to stop the climate crisis, and in the process creating millions upon millions of good paying new jobs and supporting communities on the front lines of poverty and pollution.

...

"We're talking about a socioeconomic project to rival some of the greatest projects in history."

But what about its big cost?

"[W]hen we think about what it would cost, we're talking about massive investments, we're talking about an actual investment in our country.

...

"[S]omething I do want to point out is that we seem to have the money for lots of things. We seem to have the money for a $1.7 trillion tax giveaway to the wealthiest of the wealthy in this country. So if we have dollars, if we have money to pad the pockets of billionaires and a pay for fighter jets, then I think we can scrape together the money to improve people's access to clean air and clean water and allow people to live out the rest of their lives in peace and dignity."

Why she's a climate activist

"Everything about why I fight on climate has to do with my family and where I'm from. I was born and raised in Massachusetts, but I am the child of two South Indian immigrants, and the way in which the climate crisis is wreaking havoc in India, in places around the world, especially the global south, is heartbreaking.

"In 2015 we saw an extremely strong monsoon season that caused some of the worst floods in China and southern India. We saw a million people being put in refugee camps in Kerala, India, where my family is from. People in my family had to house people for weeks because of the destruction that was caused to people's homes and livelihoods." 

This segment aired on January 10, 2019.

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