U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., appeared on MSNBC Friday to address the Green New Deal with host Chris Hayes and discussed the dire world she's convinced lies ahead for Americans if climate change is not addressed.
“So this issue is not just about our climate. First and foremost we need to save ourselves. Period. There will be no future for the Bronx. There will be no livable future for generations coming, for any part of this country in a way that is better than the lot that we have today if we don't address this issue urgently and on the scale of the problem,” said Ocasio-Cortez.
The freshman congresswoman believes America has seen dire situations before and mobilized, but mostly in connection with conflict and war. "Historically speaking, we have mobilized our entire economy around war. But I thought to myself it doesn't have to be that way, especially when our greatest existential threat is climate change,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
"First and foremost we need to save ourselves. Period."
“And so to get us out of this situation, to revamp our economy to create dignified jobs for working Americans, to guarantee health care and elevate our educational opportunities and attainment, we will have to mobilize our entire economy around saving ourselves and taking care of this planet.”
Ocasio-Cortez also addressed critics of the Green New Deal legislation she'd co-sponsored, after MSNBC played a montage of Republicans and pundits, including some on Fox News, criticizing her and talking about “cow farts” and accusing her of wanting to take away their “hamburgers.”
“I didn't expect them to make total fools of themselves,” Ocasio-Cortez said, saying she expected the criticism.
The congresswoman also said Hurricane Maria and the devastation caused on Puerto Rico was a sign that climate change problems are “here,” invoking the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks and criticizing the government for the lack of response.
“You know that this is here. This is not something that's coming. ... On the events of September 11 2001, thousands of Americans died in one of the largest terrorist attack on U.S. soil. And our national response -- whether we agree with that or not -- our national response was to go to war in one, then eventually two countries. Three thousand Americans died in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Where’s our response?” Ocasio-Cortez said to loud applause.