Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N. Y.) compared the struggle of battling climate change to fighting a "systemic threat to our country" on par with World War II or the Cold War, during a Friday night MSNBC town hall.
"First all of, we've been here before: we've been here before with the Great Depression. We've been here before with World War II, even the Cold War," she said. "And the answer has been an ambitious and directed mobilization of the American economy to direct and solve our problem, our biggest problem."
Ocasio-Cortez went on to say that in all of these instances, America overcame these struggles by centering the entire economy "around war." The same attitude should be true when fighting "our greatest existential threat," climate change, she argued.
"To get us out of the situation, to revamp our economy, to create dignified jobs for working Americans, to guarantee health care and elevate our educational opportunities and attainment, we will have to mobilize our entire economy around saving ourselves and taking care off this planet," Ocasio-Cortez said.
Ocasio-Cortez made similar comments when campaigning for her congressional seat in 2018, comparing fighting climate change to how the United States defeated the Nazis in World War II.
"When we talk about existential threats, the last time we had a really major existential threat in this country was around World War II, so we've been here before, and we have a blueprint of doing this before. None of these things are new ideas, but we have is an existential threat in the context of war," Ocasio-Cortez said. "We had a direct existential threat with another nation and at this time it was Nazi Germany and Axis, who explicitly made the United States as an enemy, and what we did was that we chose to mobilize our entire continent and industrialize our entire continent, and we put hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people, to work in defending our shores and defending this country."