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The Editors

The U.S. Could Use a Green New Deal

Get the details right, and it would do a world of good.

Promising idea.

Promising idea.

Photographer: Anthony Lanzilote/Bloomberg

America needs a Green New Deal. That’s easy to say. Spelling out what it means, or ought to mean, is harder.

Democrats leading this campaign intend the allusion to the first New Deal — FDR’s multi-front assault on the Great Depression — to convey urgency, ambition, commitment to social justice, and breadth of policy, except this time with the need to address climate change as an organizing principle. All of that is admirable and inspiring, and most Americans seem to get it: Polls say they like the idea. The question is how to make such a program work.