Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., spoke out on Monday about the urgency to take on climate change, comparing it to World War II.
Speaking at an event commemorating Martin Luther King Day, Ocasio-Cortez expressed how the issue of climate change is a “generational” issue that younger people are more focused on.
“Millennials and people, you know, Gen Z and all these folks that will come after us are looking up and we’re like: ‘The world is gonna end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change and your biggest issue is how are we gonna pay for it?'" Ocasio-Cortez said.
The Democratic Socialist said the fight against climate change is war and that it’s “our World War II.”
While a steady stream of international reports have raised alarm about climate change, they stop markedly short of predicting the end of the world.
A widely publicized study last fall by a United Nations panel said the world should take “unprecedented” actions to cut carbon emissions in the next decade – this, to avoid rising past 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit above preindustrial levels.
In November, the White House released another report that found the impacts of climate change are being felt across the country, and “extreme weather and climate-related events” are going to worsen in the years to come -- with a significant impact on the economy.
The National Climate Assessment found that extreme weather disasters “ have already become more frequent, intense, widespread or of long duration and have cost the U.S. nearly $400 billion since 2015.”
Ocasio-Cortez has forged a reputation for making bold, at-times factually incomplete statements. She recently lashed out at fact-checkers, accusing those scrutinizing her statements of "false equivalency" and "bias," before backing down on the criticism.
Ocasio-Cortez has made waves ever since she won the upset victory in New York against incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley, who was a top Democrat in Congress at the time. She is now the outspoken advocate of the Green New Deal, which is meant to address economic inequality and climate change.