Ocasio Cortez – Climate change is our generation’s civil rights movement

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made history recently, becoming the youngest woman ever elected to congress, and has continued to make headlines ever since. 

An outspoken social campaigner and environmentalist, Ocasio-Cortez rose to prominence in recent years, by engaging her community and building an impressive social media following in the process. Her honest and open approach to politics, as well as being frank about her own learning curve, is being heralded by many as a refreshing change to the rhetoric and sloganeering which has dominated the electoral process for decades.

Through her motivational Instagram stories, and insightful glimpses into the political sphere, Ocasio-Cortez is making politics relatable and understandable for a generation, as well as becoming an inspiration for people of colour. In one story, the senator addresses her followers by aknowledging that she’s not perfect and doesn’t know everything about the system yet. ‘A lot of  people grow up with political and class consciousness around them‘, she says, “I grew up cleaning toilets with my mom.”

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was taking part on a panel discussion, Climate Change Town Hall, on Monday, which had been organised by Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, with whom she has collaborated for several years.

“It is clear that it is the young people who are at the forefront of the movement,” Senator Bernie Sanders

At the event, Ocasio-Cortez expressed disappointment in the reaction to the recent US climate change study; “It’s unsurprising that the response to any bold proposal that we have is to incite fear,” she said, “To incite fear of loss, to incite fear of others. To incite fear of our future. But the only way we are going to get out of this situation is to be courageous.”

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is one of several politicians who have pledged not to accept corporate donations from fossil fuel companies.

We are dealing with what the scientific community tells us is the great crisis facing our planet and facing humanity, and that is climate change,”  said Sanders, as he highlighted the severity of the situation. “All of these reports make a very simple and profound point. And that is, time is late and as a planet that means countries all over the world, not just the U.S and Russia, are going to have to stand up and take on the fossil fuel industry. … This is a crisis situation, it is unprecedented and we’ve got to act in an unprecedented way.” he added.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

It was Ocasio-Cortez whose statement could become the battle cry for environmentalism; “This is going to be the Great Society, the moonshot,” she said,  “(This is going to be) the civil rights movement of our generation. That is the scale of the ambition that this movement is going to require.” 

Ocasio-Cortez recently took part in a sit-in protest at House minority leader, Nancy Pelosi’s office, to criticise the lack of Democratic plan on climate change and environmental protection. As a result of this protest, Pelosi has committed to restarting a select committee on the subject of climate change.

Colin J McCracken
Colin J McCracken

Director and Executive Editor

Colin J McCracken is an Irish editor and writer of both fiction and journalism. Coming from a background in education and film, his passions are split between the environmental and the entertaining. Constantly striving for a more sustainable existence and trying to balance it while simultaneously buying too many books.