MSNBC anchor Katy Tur pushed back on criticism of the left-wing Green New Deal proposal supported by Democrats in Congress, remarking Sunday that "millions and millions and millions of people will die" from climate change if the United States doesn't take dramatic action.
The resolution rolled out by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D., Mass.) was immediately backed by leading Democratic presidential candidates. It calls for a radical transformation of the U.S. economy and energy systems, and it has received sharp criticism for drastically expanding the role of government, as well as being generally impractical and impossibly expensive. Among its detractors is Obama Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.
Liberal Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas praised the resolution as "aspirational" on an NBC "Meet The Press" panel. However, conservative commentator David Brody agreed with President Donald Trump's assessment that the GND could be a political booster for Republicans.
"Donald Trump sees this. He's a master brander," Brody said. "And I believe this is a major, major pothole for Democrats coming in 2020. Big time. Iceberg right ahead."
Tur, who once wondered on the air if her life was pointless because of the possible cataclysmic effects of climate change, disagreed.
"I'm not so sure about that," Tur said. "I think you have some real reporting out there from experts, not just analysts on television, but from actual experts at the [United Nations], from Donald Trump's own administration, saying how dire this is. The U.N. said we have 12 years before complete disaster. Talk to the representative of the Marshall Islands and he's calling it what could amount to genocide if we allow things to go as they are.
"The reports aren't just ‘hey, it's going to get bad,'" she added. "The reports are ‘people will die.' Millions and millions and millions of people will die, and I think that there's an appetite among voters out there, especially Democratic voters, and potentially swing voters to say, let's do something about this now, because it's going to affect our future, and there's real economic damage that can happen as well."
Tur's pushback drew praise from left-wing Justice Democrats communications director Waleed Shahid, who tweeted out the exchange and wrote she "did an excellent job combatting right-wing fearmongering."
On Meet The Press today, @KatyTurNBC did an excellent job combatting right-wing fearmongering about @AOC's Green New Deal by laying in stark terms what leading scientists at the UN have been saying about the climate crisis and its effect on the economy. pic.twitter.com/ZlV5pLucdo
— Waleed Shahid (@_waleedshahid) February 10, 2019
Tur was likely drawing from last year's U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report warning of the millions of lives at risk if the earth warmed more than 1.5 degrees Celsius in the next 20 years, although such predictions have been made in the past. Although Trump was criticized for withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accords in 2017, the U.S. still led the world that year in reducing carbon emissions.
Ocasio-Cortez's office released an "FAQ" document about the proposal that included language like guaranteeing economic security for people "unwilling to work" and seeking an end to air travel. The office later deleted the document, and an adviser claimed falsely on Fox News that some of the language was "doctored."