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Denver to Host Open Forum on Green New Deal

A recent poll found that 60% of likely Colorado voters support a Green New Deal, which could include creating a new national network of high-speed rail. (Encino/Wikimedia Commons)
A recent poll found that 60% of likely Colorado voters support a Green New Deal, which could include creating a new national network of high-speed rail. (Encino/Wikimedia Commons)
May 1, 2019

DENVER - A series of community forums in Colorado and across the nation is taking the recent proposal for a Green New Deal seriously, and an event scheduled for Friday in Denver will tackle potential strategies for moving government leaders to action.

Climate change is the defining issue of our time, said Maryah Lauer, grassroots organizing fellow for the group Friends of the Earth, pointing to a stark deadline recently presented in the latest projections from the leading global scientific body on climate.

"We essentially have 11 years before we are over a cliff edge from which we cannot recover," she said. "This is necessary because we not only need to stop climate catastrophe, but we also need to remedy the exploitations in our economic system."

The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned in October that carbon pollution must be reduced to zero by 2050 to avoid the worst impacts, and in February a resolution was introduced in the U.S. House aimed at transitioning from an economy built on fossil fuels to one driven by clean energy and jobs with living wages and benefits.

Some Republicans have called the move a "hard left turn" taken by Democrats, and leaders from both parties have questioned whether the nation could meet emission goals in time.

Quoting Nelson Mandela, Lauer said, "It always seems impossible until it's done." She noted that a Green New Deal is the only proposal so far on the scope and scale necessary to address the challenge. When people attend events such as the Denver forum, she said, they add their voice to the debate, which she believes eventually will move politicians.

"This is something that front-line communities have been working to implement for a long time," she said, "so we can define what the Green New Deal is and we can push Congress to act on it."

A recent poll found that 60% of likely Colorado voters support a Green New Deal, which currently is just a 14-page platform outlining goals including repairing and upgrading infrastructure and power grids, reducing inequality and ensuring just transitions for fossil-fuel workers.

Friday's free public forum is set for 7:30 p.m. at Mercury Cafe, 2199 California St.

The resolution is online at congress.gov, and details of the poll are at dataforprogress.org.

Eric Galatas, Public News Service - CO