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A Green New Deal Video Workshop

A Green New Deal video workshop is a compilation of TED Talks, YouTube videos, and digital video discussions concerning various aspects of the broad goals listed in House Resolution 109, known as "The Green New Deal". The phrase "Green New Deal" was first used by Thomas Friedman in 2007 but the idea has been around since the 1970's.

The concept of a Green New Deal has recently taken hold strongly. In November 2018 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and seventeen other members of congress introduced House Resolution 109 which sets broad goals for climate change, jobs training, and equality and justice.

The Green New Deal workshop is intended to be used at the congregational level and with small groups to educate and stimulate thought and discussion. The workshop provides four stand alone sessions. Each session has links to both articles that address the session’s topic and videos on the topic. We recommend that you first show the videos and then use the questions provided to stimulating thought and discussion.


Introduction to A Green New Deal

Some questions that can be asked of those attending the workshop both before, and after watching the videos:

  1. Does the need to address climate change feel urgent?
  2. Are the goals of the Green New Deal something worthy of our nation’s efforts?
  3. Do the economic realities of the cost of the Green New Deal have an influence on your support for a Green New Deal? What are your economic concerns surrounding the Green New Deal? Should the environmental concerns out weigh the economic concerns?
  4. Do these videos give you a new way to think and act about the climate crisis?


A Green New Deal workshop I


Time and Date:

What: 44 minutes of TED talks and videos and a UU discussion between videos.

Teaser articles to get you started (read, if you can before the workshop)

The text of the New Green Deal House Resolution 109 can be found at: The legislation sets forth goals, not the means to attain these goals. The goals fall into two broad categories, climate and economic. Roughly the goals are 100% clean renewable and zero greenhouse emission energy by 2030, a living wage for all with adequate family and medical leave, and healthcare and quality education that is affordable for all. The means to attain the goals should be the subject of discussion and debate over the next several months.

New members of Congress see climate solution and jobs in the Green New Deal

What’s the Green New Deal?

Videos, to be shown in workshop

1a. "How Does the Green New Deal Work" a 3-minute overview of the Green New Deal and its goals addressing climate change, green job training, and equality and justice:  At the bottom of this webpage are the links to download the videos either onto a computer or a thumb drive.  Because depending on the internet while you have 10 people waiting can be discouraging, it is recommended that you download the videos before the workshop.

1b. “Comments on the Green New Deal” is a 16-minute C-Span presentation of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez explaining the crossroad that we as a civilization are confronting. She notes that we cannot rewrite history but we can change the future. We can change our future with the Green New Deal: the possibilities for our future can be brighter in a de-carbonized world with a living wage, racial justice, and good jobs. The video can be found at:

1c. “One hundred solutions to global warming” is an encouraging 17-minute TED Talk by Chad Frishman where he points out that there is no small solution to global warming. All are important. Chad Frishman offers viable solutions that can be implemented now. He further points out that these solutions are appealing even without their effective ways to address global warming because the solutions result in enriching the soil, fostering justice,and providing clean energy for all among other things. The TED Talk can be found at:

1d. "Why it is safe for Democrats to push for the Green New Deal" A survey taken shows that 64% of Republicans polled were supportive of the Green New Deal. This was before the media campaign against the Green New Deal was published This 8-minute video looks at attitudes around the Green New Deal.


The need for a Green New Deal

Humans cannot discern a four-degree increase in the average temperature in the world. However humans can feel the hottest day they have ever experienced and see the damaging effects of climate change on our infrastructure, food production, and survivability. The Green New Deal can limit the increase in the average temperature while stimulating the economy and lessening the wealth gap.

Some questions that can be asked of those attending the workshop both before, and after watching the videos:

  1. If we face an existential threat to our existence, then why do you think so little is being done to combat the climate crisis? What can be done to stimulate action?
  2. What is our obligation to future generations to protect the environment?
  3. If green energy is better for the economy and jobs, then why is it seen as otherwise?
  4. Can you step back and envision the not-so-subtle impact the climate crisis will have on all?

A Green New Deal workshop II


Time and Date:

What: 38 minutes of TED talks and videos and a UU discussion between videos.

Teaser article to get you started (read, if you can before the workshop)

United Nations on Climate Change

Videos, to be shown in workshop

2a. “The disarming case to act right now” is an 11-minute TED Talk by a 16 year-old, Greta Thunberg, who explains her confusion given the reality of that climate change and its threatening the existent of life as we know it why are adults doing so little to protect her future and that of her children. The TED Talk can be found at:

2b. “Why we need a Green New Deal” is a 2-minute video by Robert Reich that explains the environmental and economic benefits of a Green New Deal. Robert Reich notes that clean energy is potentially cheaper than carbon-based energy and produces more jobs. He further explains that to maintain the current course will shrink the economy. The video can be found at:

2c. “Climate Change is Happening" is a 14-minute TED Talk by Alice Bows-Larkin, who points out that the world is on a trajectory to a four-degree increase in average temperature. Alice Bows-Larkin explains that our infrastructure isn’t designed for such an increase in average temperature. Our buildings, roads and rails cannot be maintained nor can food production keep at the present level, if the average temperature were to rise by four degrees Celsius. The TED Talk can be found at:

2d. How well does fossil fuel divestment combat climate change? An 11-minute video discussing viewpoints of divestment. Although some people expected divestment to curtail fossil fuel consumption—the main point was to paint the fossil fuel industry with the shame of tobacco companies. The reason? Although funds that have divested have portfolios worth $11 trillion dollars, only a few billion dollars has been divested and pretty much only in coal. One point not mentioned is that by retaining stock, activist stock holders can demand cleaner, more environmentally sound practices to reduce oil companies’ messes. They can also demand honesty…something they cannot do as outsiders.



The path to a carbon free energy system is not clear. There are many effective avenues to be used in making the transition. There are lessons learned from the past. There are market-based approaches that are promoted by conservatives. There are new technologies. No single path, though is a panacea. All can be implemented and have a positive effect.

Some questions which can be ask of those attending the workshop both before, and after watching the videos:

  1. What is the difference between the 1970’s Montreal Protocol and today’s efforts? What can we learn from the successful efforts to protect the ozone layer?
  2. Do you believe a market-based approach can succeed? What do you see as the advantages and disadvantages of a market-based approach?
  3. If synthetic forest can pull CO2 out of the air, is there still a need to end our carbon based energy system?


A Green New Deal workshop III


Time and Date:

What: 44 minutes of TED talks and videos and a UU discussion between videos.

Teaser articles to get you started (read, if you can before the workshop)

Carbon Farming as Climate Solution”:

How Carbon Farming Could Reverse Climate Change”:

Videos, to be shown in workshop

3a. “Can we solve global warming? Lessons from how we protected the ozone layer” a 9-minute TED Talk by Sean Davis who looks back to the 1970’s when it was suspected that HCF’s and CFC’s were depleting the ozone layer. It was a suspicion, not an absolute certainty, yet in the 1980’s countries came together to enact the Montreal Protocol through which there was an initial agreement to phase out HCF’s and CFC’s. Sean Davis points out we don’t need absolute certainty to act and we should not demand that all action be perfect. The TED Talk is at:

3b. “A climate solution where all sides can win” a 13-minute TED Talk by Ted Halstead that offers what he believes to be a Republican Party business leader solution to global warming. Ted Halstead offers a carbon dividend solution with an increasing carbon tax. the proceeds from the tax are paid back to the citizens government regulation is reduced. He sees paying back the dividend as a way to popularize the carbon tax. He sees this option as a win-win. The TED Talk can be found at:

3c. “The Terraton Initiative” a 4-minute video that posits that the solution to the carbon problem is right under our feet. It is in the soil. Regeneration of the soil can pull the carbon back into the soil and restore a balance. Carbon farming with no till farming, using compost, cover crops, planting trees and managing grazing can provide a means to pull carbon from the atmosphere and store it in the earth. The YouTube can be found at:

3d. “A new way to remove CO2 from the atmosphere” a 14-minute TED Talk by Jennifer Wilcox. She talks about the creation of a synthetic forest to remove CO2 from the air by using chemicals that grab CO2. A synthetic forest requires much less space than a real forest to remove the same amount of CO2 from the air. Jennifer Wilcox explains that a synthetic forest is not the single solution but an added path toward zero emissions. The TED Talk can be found at:

3e. “Stone Barn Center” is a 4-minute video about Stone Barn Center where Connor Stedman explains that proper farming techniques can be part of the climate crisis solution. That with managed grazing, tree planting, and proper soil management, we can pull carbon out of the air. He points out that an acre of land can hold between 10 and 100 tons of carbon. The video can be found at:


How to talk about climate change

How we talk to each other has a big impact on how we are received. Climate change deniers might be convinced of the need for change if we discussed matters of shared values. Rather than talk about the science of the climate crisis, we can talk about protecting the things and people we value. Generally, discussion of the climate crisis has been “gloom and doom” which can create discord even in those who believe in the need for change. Flipping the story to the positive can be motivating, especially for those who do not strongly believe in the climate crisis. The story can be about new jobs, cleaner energy, healthier food, and other positive aspects of change.

Some questions that can be asked of those attending the workshop both before and after watching the videos:

  1. Can you find shared values with climate crisis denier and discuss the positive benefits of change?
  2. Have you ever felt a distance from the climate crisis? Does this distance lessen your motivation for change?
  3. What trends do you see locally, nationally and internationally which are steps toward a carbon free energy system?

A Green New Deal workshop IV


Time and Date:

What: 32 minutes of TED talks and a UU discussion between videos.

Teaser article to get you started (read, if you can before the workshop)

“United Nations on Climate Change”

Your next bar conversation is about climate change: Here is how to do it”:

Five myths about climate change debunked, how to talk to the denier” :

Videos, to be shown in workshop

4a. “The most important thing you can do to fight climate change, talk about it” is a 17-minute TED Talk by Katherine Hayhoe. Arguing facts, Katherine Hayhoe points out, only causes the other person dig into their opinion deeper. She says it is important to talk from the heart. What are the shared values? Is the person you talking with a hunter, a hiker, someone who enjoys the outdoors, do they have children? Are these things they wish to protect? If these cherished things are threatened by climate change do they want to do something to protect them? The TED Talk can be found at:

4b. “How to transform apocalypse into action on global warming” a 15-minute TED Talk by Per Espen Stoknes. He discusses a new psychology of talking about climate change. Many of the current stories about climate change cause dissonance and denial because they are distant and catastrophic. He wants to flip the stories to more positive ones, such as an understanding that the efforts to move toward zero carbon emissions creates jobs, puts you closer in line with your neighbor, is good for our diet and other ways of discussing climate change. The TED Talk can be found at


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