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Sen. Chris Murphy to Doubters: Green New Deal 'Absolutely Realistic' and the Kind of Plan Needed to Avert Climate Disaster

"Global warming is an existential threat to the planet, so if we don't command this country to think big about saving our nation and our world from destruction, then I don't think we're gonna get close to meeting the mark."

"I frankly think we need to set our sights high," Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) told CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday. (Photo: CNN/Screengrab)

Addressing head-on those claiming that the Green New Deal plan unveiled last week by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) is impractical, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) declared on Sunday that the proposal is "absolutely realistic" and represents the kind of ambitious thinking that will be necessary to avoid climate catastrophe.

After CNN's Jake Tapper invoked objections raised by Sen. Angus King (I-Maine.) and former Obama Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz—both of whom have suggested the goals outlined in the Green New Deal resolution are unrealistic—Murphy strongly disagreed with their assessment.

"I frankly think we need to set our sights high," said the Connecticut senator, who co-sponsored the Green New Deal resolution along with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and dozens of congressional Democrats. "I think there were a lot of people who said it wasn't realistic for the United States to get a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s, when President Kennedy initially outlined that goal. But we did it."

"I have a 10-year-old and a seven-year-old," he continued. "Global warming is an existential threat to the planet, so if we don't command this country to think big about saving our nation and our world from destruction, then I don't think we're gonna get close to meeting the mark."

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In addition to calling for a "national mobilization" to meet "100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources" by 2030, the Green New Deal resolution (pdf) also proposes a federal jobs guarantee, universal healthcare, and massive infrastructure investments.

National environmental groups that have mobilized in support of the sweeping Green New Deal plan argue that it is the only proposal that meets the urgency demanded by the scientific evidence, which says that global carbon emissions must be cut in half by 2030 to avert planetary catastrophe.

"The 'experts' who say the Green New Deal will be 'too hard' or is 'unrealistic' probably haven't grappled with what's at stake," the youth-led Sunrise Movement declared on Twitter in response to Murphy's interview. "If we don't do what science demands ASAP, by the time we're their age, millions will have lost their lives or livelihoods."

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