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A protester is seen during a climate change demonstration holding a placard that says, 'There Is No Planet B.' (Photo by Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

'If Environment Were a Bank,' Says Bernie Sanders, 'It Would Have Been Saved Already'

Sanders has introduced a $16.3 trillion Green New Deal plan to avert climate catastrophe and create 20 million jobs in the process

Jake Johnson

The U.S. government took decisive action and spent trillions of dollars to bail out Wall Street banks in the midst of the 2008 financial crisis, but it has refused to do the same to rescue the planet from climate catastrophe—a fact Sen. Bernie Sanders highlighted in a pithy tweet on Friday.

"If the environment were a bank," wrote the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, "it would have been saved already."

Estimates of the size of the Wall Street bailout vary widely. When Federal Reserve loans are included in the bailout figures, some estimates put the total number as high as $29 trillion.

Sanders' Green New Deal plan, which the senator released last week, would aim to invest $16.3 trillion in a decade-long effort to transition the U.S. economy to 100 percent renewable energy and create 20 million well-paying union jobs.

According to the Sanders campaign, the proposal would "pay for itself over 15 years" by hiking taxes on the rich and large corporations, slashing military spending, and boosting economic activity with massive public investment.

On top of the human costs of climate inaction, the economic toll would be "unacceptable," the Sanders campaign notes in its Green New Deal platform.

"Economists estimate that if we do not take action, we will lose $34.5 trillion in economic activity by the end of the century," the platform states. "And the benefits are enormous: by taking bold and decisive action, we will save $2.9 trillion over 10 years, $21 trillion over 30 years, and $70.4 trillion over 80 years."


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Markey, Bowman Join Climate Coalition in Urging SCOTUS Expansion

"We cannot sit idly by," said Markey, "as extremists on the Supreme Court eviscerate the authorities that the government has had for decades to combat climate change and reduce pollution."

Brett Wilkins ·


Ocasio-Cortez Says US 'Witnessing a Judicial Coup in Process'

"It is our duty to check the Court's gross overreach of power in violating people's inalienable rights and seizing for itself the powers of Congress and the president."

Brett Wilkins ·


Critics Say Biden Drilling Bonanza 'Won't Lower Gas Prices' But 'Will Worsen Climate Crisis'

"President Biden's massive public lands giveaway in the face of utter climate catastrophe is just the latest sign that his climate commitments are mere rhetoric," said one campaigner.

Kenny Stancil ·


Grave Warnings as Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Case That Threatens 'Future of Voting Rights'

"Buckle up," implores one prominent legal scholar. "An extreme decision here could fundamentally alter the balance of power in setting election rules in the states and provide a path for great threats to elections."

Brett Wilkins ·


Biden Urged to Take Emergency Action After 'Disastrous' Climate Ruling by Supreme Court

"The catastrophic impact of this decision cannot be understated," said Rep. Pramila Jayapal, but "we cannot accept defeat."

Kenny Stancil ·

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