Republican Sen. Rand Paul recently challenged progressive firebrand Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s claim that there is a 12-year deadline to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half to combat climate change, Newsweek reports. Immediately after, Ocasio-Cortez shot back.
According to Paul via Twitter, action must be taken within the next 500 million years. He noted proposals to create a “space shield” to protect Earth from the sun’s “increased luminosity.”
“I do think we should also begin genetically altering O2 producing organisms to send to Saturn’s Titan and possibly the closest planets outside of our solar system,” Paul continued. “What say you AOC?”
Ocasio-Cortez hit back at Paul and compared the GOP’s approach to climate policy to Spaceballs, the satirical science-fiction comedy from the 1980s.
“Hey Senator! Would you like me to also take your comments out of context and pose them as your earnest position, as you have chosen to do with me? I assume the answer is yes, especially given that the GOP climate agenda is about as fictional as Spaceballs anyway.”
Per The Hill, Ocasio-Cortez has been a staunch advocate for climate change action. Her reference to a 12-year deadline for such effort comes from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report published in the fall of 2018. According to the report, which summarized over 6,000 relevant scientific studies, humanity must take action to limit the effects of climate change within approximately 12 years.
The 30-year-old congresswoman was also behind a Green New Deal resolution, which was introduced by Sen. Ed Markey in the Senate. The five-page resolution proposed a “national, social, industrial, and economic mobilization” framework for clean energy, job creation, and upgrades to infrastructure. The bill has been endorsed by some Democratic presidential candidates, including Bernie Sanders, who Ocasio-Cortez has been campaigning with.
I thank public housing residents for sharing their stories with us today about their struggles and what green jobs could do for their communities.— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) November 14, 2019
I am more committed than ever to work with @AOC to pass a Green New Deal and make dignified housing a human right. pic.twitter.com/dIIjRMXwVI
The proposal has been met with opposition from Republicans such as Paul, as well as President Donald Trump, who has reportedly denied the existence of climate change on many occasions. The Trump administration has reportedly rolled back numerous environmental regulations, and the White House is also eyeing changes to the National Environmental Policy Act. While the act requires environmental assessments before infrastructure construction is completed, the president’s proposed changes would allow for such development to finish without environmental assessments.
According to Trump, such environmental regulations represent “big government at its absolute worst.” He reportedly said that the proposed changes to the National Environmental Policy Act would allow for the creation of “bigger, better, and faster” infrastructure at “less cost.”