A Message From the Future With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez


Ahh, the bullet train from New York to
D.C. It always brings me back to when I first started making this commute. In
2019, I was a freshman in the most diverse Congress in history — up to that
point. It was a critical time. I’ll never forget the children in our community.
They were so inspired to see this new class of politicians who reflected them
navigating the halls of power. It’s often said, “You can’t be what you can’t see,” and
for the first time, they saw themselves. I think there was something similar with
the Green New Deal. We knew that we needed to save the planet, and that we
had all the technology to do it. But people were scared. They said it was too
big, too fast, not practical. I think that’s because they just couldn’t
picture it yet. Anyways, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start with how we got
here. 1977, New York. A senior scientist named
James Black made a presentation about how burning fossil fuels could
eventually lead to global temperatures rising 4 or 5 degrees Fahrenheit.
Within two years, one of the world’s biggest super tankers was outfitted with
a state-of-the-art lab to measure CO2 in the ocean, gathering more data about
global warming. Guess who was doing all of this research. Exxon Mobil, the oil and
gas company. Oh yeah, Exxon knew this whole time, as did our politicians. Ten
years later, James Hansen, NASA’s top climate scientist, told Congress he was
99 percent certain that global warming was happening and caused by humans.That was
1988, the year before I was even born. So did Exxon listen to the science,
including their own? Did they change business models, invest in renewables? No.
The opposite. They knew and they doubled down. They and others spent millions
setting up a network of lobby groups and think tanks to create doubt and denial
about climate change. It was an effort designed to attack and dispute the very
kind of science they themselves had been doing — and it worked.
Politicians went to bat for fossil fuels and these massive corporations
kept digging and mining drilling and fracking like there was no tomorrow.
America became the biggest producer and consumer of oil in the world. Fossil fuel
companies made hundreds of billions while the public paid the lion’s share
to clean up their disasters. We lost a generation of time we’ll never get back,
entire species we’ll never get back, natural wonders gone forever. And in 2017,
Hurricane Maria destroyed the place where my family was from: Puerto Rico. It
was like a climate bomb. It took as many American lives as 9/11.
And in the next year, when I was elected to Congress, the
world’s leading climate scientists declared another emergency.They told us
that we had 12 years left to cut our emissions in half or hundreds of
millions of people would be more likely to face food and water shortages, poverty,
and death. Twelve years to change everything: How we got around, how we fed ourselves,
how we made our stuff, how we lived and worked. Everything. The only way to do it
was to transform our economy, which we already knew was broken since the vast
majority of wealth was going to just a small handful of people, and most folks
were falling further and further behind. It was a true turning point.
Lots of people gave up. They said we were doomed. But some of us remembered that as a
nation, we’d been in peril before. The Great Depression, World War II. We knew
from our history how to pull together to overcome impossible odds. And at the very
least, we owed it to our children to try. The wave began when Democrats took back
the House in 2018 — and then the Senate and the White House in 2020 — and launched
the decade of the Green New Deal, a flurry of legislation that kicked off
our social and ecological transformation to save the planet. It was the kind of swing-for-the-fence ambition we needed. Finally
we were entertaining solutions on the scale of the crises we faced
without leaving anyone behind. That included Medicare for All, the most
popular social program in American history. We also introduced the federal
jobs guarantee, a public option including dignified living wages for work. Funnily
enough the biggest problem in those early years was a labor shortage. We were
building a national smart grid, retrofitting every building in America,
putting trains like this one all across the country. We needed more workers. That
group of kids from my neighborhood were right in the middle of it all, especially
this one girl, Ileana. Her first job out of college was with AmeriCorps Climate,
restoring wetlands and bayous in coastal Louisiana. Most of her friends were in
her union, including some oil workers in transition. They took apart old pipelines
and got to work planting mangroves with the same salary and benefits. Of course
when it came to healing the land, we had huge gaps in our knowledge.
Luckily Indigenous communities offered generational expertise to help guide the
way. Ileana got restless, tried her hand as a
solar plant engineer for a while but eventually made her career in raising
the next generation as part of the universal child care initiative. As it
turns out, caring for others is valuable, low-carbon work, and we started paying
real money to folks like teachers, domestic workers, and home health aides.
Those were years of massive change and not all of it was good. When hurricane
Sheldon hit southern Florida, parts of Miami went underwater for the last time. But as we battled the floods, fires, and droughts we knew how lucky we were to
have started acting when we did. And we didn’t just change the infrastructure, we
changed how we did things. We became a society that was not only modern and
wealthy, but dignified and humane too. By committing to universal rights like
health care and meaningful work for all, we stop being so scared of the future —
we stopped being scared of each other — and we found our shared purpose. Ileana
heard the call too, and in 2028, she ran for office in the first cycle of
publicly funded election campaigns and now she occupies the seat that I once
held. I couldn’t be more proud of her — a true child of the Green New Deal. When I
think back to my first term in Congress, riding that old-school Amtrak in 2019,
all of this was still ahead of us. And the first big step was just closing our
eyes and imagining it. We can be whatever we have the courage to see. you

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Reader Comments

  1. Jacob BALDRY

    Its amazing how all the bad people in this video are white. What biased anti-white bullshit this is. AOC you live in a fantasy clown world. You and the squad are not worthy to hold office.

  2. J T

    Basically 7 min and 35 seconds of AOC who is 29 years old and has so far done practically nothing predicting she will be one of the best and most influential people in American history next to George Washington

  3. ummagummaray

    Reading the comments on this I'm sure we're doomed. But hey, I'm an old fart. I'm only going to see the beginning of the end and won't have to live with the consequences. So, go on, I'll be lying in my grave going «told ya».

  4. YuckyPickles

    Great comedy sketch. Well written, clearly not by her. The art work is impressive. At 4:05 AOC says it all began when the "Democrats took back the house in 2018, then the Senate in 2020…" Do you ever wonder this…

    These same altruistic Democrats controlled the House and Senate for two years under president Obama (the environmentally friendly oil president who opened up millions of acres to drilling in the Gulf of Mexico after the BP oil spill. See link below). TWO YEARS! This includes nearly two months with a filibuster-proof Senate. Republicans could not have blocked them. Yet, they did absolutely nothing on: immigration, tax reform, gun control, social security, climate change and many other issues they promised and campaigned on doing. NOTHING!

    Now we're in yet another election cycle during which they convince their dumb and loyal voters (Republican voters are equally dumb) that only if they can take back both houses and the white house they can get things done! These degenerates in DC care about the environment up to election day. Then have a good laugh. Wake up people!
    https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/09/how-obama-became-oil-president-gas-fracking-drill/

  5. Pete M

    I'm just here to experience an ECHO CHAMBER full of victims and climate alarmists. What a shitty place, here's a little advice, Stop hating men, stop hating capitalism – capitalism is the reason you have your shitty echo chamber/internet/electricity, go and talk to China and India – go and live there you could do some "real valuable" work, not this lame virtue signalling man hating. Trump will win the next election. Green New Deal is a communist Manifesto 2019. White straight men will never support this because you hate straight white men. Love and peace – a straight white man x

  6. Archie ferrato

    Brilliant, unfortunately from the people who viewed this as rubbish, is where the problem is today…. People have now been programmed and trained to think that capitalism is the most important ideology in the world… These people are the same people who believe foreign meddling is the problem in the USA…. These people have ceased to think and be objective…. Unless corporate oligarchy feed them otherwise….

  7. Victor Klymko

    This video is about a vision. Every systemic change starts with one. Of course, if you do not have any vision, except a vision of your beer, and you never grew your own thinking ability, then the only thing left is to repeat what corporations in power had put in your heads. Every change had always deemed "impossible" by the people who profit from current state of affairs. But hey, keep repeating what they tell you. As long as it is not scary 'socialism', every stupidity is fine. As soon as you can have China producing your toys, and send your trash to other countries, you will never believe that pollution exists. Why should you, untill you drown in it?

  8. G M

    Scary how this will confuse children in our future, maybe that's tbe reason this is laid out in cartoon format, all this was DEBUNKED the same day it was shown.

  9. bill freiheit

    amazing how many morons there are out there. just a shame there running things now.. sorry dumbasses money isnt everything

  10. Bryan Gilchrist

    Hate AOC or not, laugh at her all you like, but our current way of life is unsustainable. We have reached the precipice. If you can't see this, then I feel sorry for you. Look for something bad to happen by 2021, on a global scale.

  11. Wasteland Courier

    Jesas the wokeness of it all…
    Better discover Marxism young lady, before you turn into yet another expendable and generic political showbiz persona in defense of the status quo. If it's not already the case.

  12. Moon unit

    I used to look to river for political enlightenment. I now feel he has lost the plot. He still hasn’t caught on- left and right are in Kahoots.Doesn’t matter who’s on who’s side, it’s all for show. . Identity politics at is finest – and he buys in to it like a good sheep walking on to the blind indoctrination. He believes in the left – he should believe in neither. They are both there to keep us at each other. Where has you brain gone roger. Sad……. so sad

  13. Dan Given

    What a retarded misandrist bitch. I guess in the future women will grow a penis and hump each other since she obviously feels that men should not exist. Just remember, if you crap on your own bed you will have to sleep in it.

  14. Dennis Carrier

    The demonstration should have shown starving children with distended stomachs. Because non-partisan experts have warned that U.S. agriculture is completely dependent on petroleum. And that alcohol will not possibly be a sufficient substitute. They said the "Green Deal" would disrupt the food chain and cause people to starve to death both here and in the countries to whom the U.S. exports grain. If we get rid of petroleum agriculture should be the last segment cut off.

  15. Fight Club Hamster

    Love the blatant sexism, guess only minority women can be diverse. She is soooo fucking stupid. I’ve officially checked out of society.

  16. Viktor Pervushkin

    Have u noticed that there are almost no white people on her message. And c'mon there plenty of non white women in the Congress. What is she talking about? She is a lunatic. How did she become a politician with the brain she has.

  17. mark thorpe

    This AOC bitch got my kids frightened—-12 years the world will end, BTW global temps dropped 2 degrees this year.Vote out AOC-Elect Scherrie Murray Republican for congress 2020

  18. mstj53

    All of these trolls and climate change deniers on here, I pray you don't reproduce. The planet needs to be saved and obviously you don't.

  19. Flower Fresh

    Thank you all so much for making a modern video to show everybody what's happening in the world. We have 12 years to change the mindsets of others

  20. Apollyon6660

    It's a nice idea, it's a shame we won't see it to fruition and we are all going to die to climate change and money. At the end of the day, it all boils down to money. Money is what gave us climate change. Money is the reason for the lack of action to climate change. Money is the excuse that countries don't want to act unless other countries (in particular the poorer countries) do something with climate change. In today's society (of which I find sick) that money is the reason for the lack of motivation for climate change. After all, everyone can afford electric cars, can't get finance or a loan. So, the fossil fuel industry goes strong, the 1% get richer while everyone else starts to die to heat stroke, dehydration etc. After all, money is power and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

  21. behind you

    that image of the white house is wrong, by the time AOC is done with the place it would look brown, and have a sickle and hammer flying over it….

  22. Larry Sherrill

    Its not to hard to tell them that this plan is a disaster for the environment unless you want to kill everything and possibly everyone.
    First no cars and no transportation, and no fuel means no food. No heat, All of these require fuel and a lot of it to produce food and bring it to the market. No hydro electric and only wind and solar. Well no one can go to work. everyone doesn't live in walking distance or even on a buss line to where they work and shop. So after she throws farmers out of work, and all other workers who have any commute, and everyone who makes cars, and everyone who produces fuel, and all those that insure them, and just everyone…How long will the environment last with thirty million people in california scrounging for a living. People will camp everywhere and foul all water with sewage and death. If this idiot crashes the economy and her plan will she will not save the environment but kill it.
    You think students will find work even if they can lay back at school for several years.
    There are three hundred million Americans and what do you think they will do for heat, cut down every tree. Every fish will be eaten, every dear killed and every turkey and it wont take but weeks.
    Solar and wind sound great but say billions of solar panels needed are not more environmentally friendly than present technologies. They have to be made from raw materials which requires fuel and people to get there to make them more fuel and distribution and more fuel and assembly at sites more people and more fuel. They they work for say thirty years unless more efficient ones come alone then they will have a life of only ten to twenty years, they you have billions of old solar panels that have to be disposed of, torn down by people and hauled away more fuel, and taken apart or buried more fuel. ( Possibly new tech panels may not use the same materials, recycling or burial of materials.) Vast spaces become burial site. The plastics used in these installations are also fuel intensive. and accumulate in the environment.
    The carbon foot print for solar and wind is not that much different than other alternatives today they only seem so to AOC. When ever you have high unemployment the environment suffers throwing tens of millions out of work will not save the environment. People will begin to burn the wood of the environment for heat and cooking and it won't take long for a lot of deforestation to occur. You want to walk miles for a bundle of firewood to cook with, follow her. Or send her back to bartending.

  23. Stan Smith

    Lol. Why are there no Whites in AOC’s fever dream prophecy?
    Oh, there they are! Wearing reflector vests and doing all the work. At least she got that part right.
    In AOC’s dreamland, Black&Brown gals will be in charge and the White slave class will toil at their behest and under their direction indefinitely 😂😂

  24. Kent Christiansen

    Is there anyone more than just a bit Embarrassed and offended it's a strange mix of emotions I only know that the people of her constituency deserve better. Worrying about melting icebergs 40 years from now is nosence. Especially when your district is over run with drug abuse homelessness vermon I thought that's what those people elected her to take care of.

  25. Gerardo Rodriguez

    Heres a link to a response video that gives an interesting take, and debunks some of the things said in this video. https://youtu.be/_fpVqQtr9X4

  26. beingreen32

    What those who haven't been paying attention and have their heads in the sand need to realize is that though this may be a Pollyana presentation, it is also showing the least of what is necessary to make human civilization sustainable in even the near future. We may not yet be doomed, but we have to immediately start thinking about what it actually would take to make humanity survivable in any way recognizable to us now.

  27. Travis Lighty

    Did you people seriously use the Native American knows more about nature stereotype?! Anybody of any race can tell you how to save an environment! I am disgusted as a native that you would use that racist stereotype and I figured you people would know better! Obviously you have surprised me yet again by how utterly ignorant and closet case races you people are. See you in hell Within 10 years when we're all dead

  28. trsk

    It's a pipedream. Not because I don't want this to be true, but because this video does not take into account the many opposing forces and the means they'll use to get what they want. One terror attack that further clamps down on individual freedom, one global war that increases demand for fossil fuel, one foreign upheaval of your politics, can change everything for the worse. Assuming everything goes according to plan is nice, but the past shows it won't. If I were American I'd vote Warren though. Drain that swamp before putting in policy for the future!

  29. Joseph DuPont

    Dear Editor,
    N Y's former bar maid, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her radical Democrat comrades have children depressed worrying about the end of the World in 10-12 years. With an escalating suicide rate and everyone calling for Suicide Prevention programs, how could any respectable member of congress and the media scare kids with the unfounded specter of the world ending in 10-12 years? These are sick demented people. Do you think Obama would have bought his 14.8 million dollar beach front mansion if he thought the polar caps were going to melt?

  30. Barry Bevis

    I will close my eyes and dream, dream, dream. Thank you AOC for that wonderful video and very soon the greed in the world will be overturned and empathy and reason will take it's seat in government. With wonderful caring people like you in government I feel hope. Thank You

  31. Pat TheHombre

    China and India love the Green New Deal so much, they are building power plants faster than I drink coffee.

    They know better.

    As for Occasio Cortez ?….she just happens to be a brainless clown.

  32. John Howard

    Thanks to "Living on Earth" Sept. 22 interview with Naomi Klein, I went and got her book On Fire and have read about half of it – Skipping to the end (as I often do) I learned about this video and just now watched it. Didn't even know who Ocasio-Cortez was, though I've seen her photo often – I've been so repelled by the divisiveness of Social Media I've turned off to it. We need hopeful, positive messages. We need a more robust imagination. But I believe the support for this is massive and growing. I also recommend The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible by Charles Eisenstein. And any of the Civil Conversations interviews conducted by Krista Tippett. And "YES" magazine. Nourish yourself and build your strength. We need to be there for this movement in any way we can.

  33. Diego Hostettler

    Is that why she voted for Trumps war budget? Green future trough increased MIC spending? Soon aircraft carriers with solar panels?

  34. Haleh Niazmand

    As I read the comments, it seems like so many feel the need to push their racist agenda, so much so that they missed the whole point of this video. This is about adaptation to a changing climate and averting an existential catastrophe and not about your political party or your white fragility/entitlement.

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