Presidential candidate Andrew Yang is calling for a "Green Amendment" to the Constitution

There is no shortage of proposals from the, um, what's the word for it… huge, group of Democratic presidential candidates this year. But one may stand out from the pack as being not just bold but also necessary; during a CNN town hall about climate change Andrew Yang proposed a "green amendment" to the constitution.

Andrew Yang at the CNN Debate

When responding to a question about federal subsidies to the fossil fuel companies Yang said, "I propose a Constitutional amendment that makes it a responsibility of the United States government to safeguard and protect our environment for future generations."

This is maybe the first admission by a major party candidate that slowing climate change will require an extreme paradigm shift in the way the economy is run and by extension much of our lives, and that it needs to be backed by law.

Related: People with low emotional intelligence are more likely to vote Republican, new study claims

This is not a new idea, back in October of 2018 New Jersey's legislature passed an amendment to its Declaration of Rights to include environmental law, which set the precedent for these kinds of ideas to be discussed on the national stage.

Simply speaking, a 'green' amendment to the constitution would enshrine proposals like the "Green New Deal" into the law of the land. The "Green New Deal" is a set of ideals introduced by New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and endorsed by many progressives, to overhaul the nation's economy to meet the challenges that global climate change poses to humanity.

Andrew Yang is a successful tech entrepreneur turned candidate whose big campaign idea up until now was the UBI, or universal basic income, a not so novel economic concept where a government guarantees a minimum amount of money to every citizen. In Yang's case it's $1,000 dollars every month to every eligible person. Learn more about the history of the concept here.

However, despite scoring a pretty sweet endorsement from futurist and part-time blowtorch enthusiast Elon Musk he is still seen as a long shot ever since entering the race in November 2017.

According to, polls show that he is currently hovering at just around 5% nationally, well behind front-runners like Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren. So let's not rev up our hope-fueled fantasy engines just yet.

Polling numbers to Democratic presidential candidates

But that doesn't mean that the ideals that Yang and other candidates stand for, like the green new deal, are unpopular.

According to an NPR/Marist poll conducted recently it looks like 63% of national adults support it, while 86% of Democrats and 64% are in favor.

That's a decent majority of people in support of change despite conservative attacks on how it will take away our hamburgers. (it won't take away our hamburgers, btw)

With the wild fires and marked increase category 5 hurricanes we can no longer ignore the threat of climate change to us and the planet.

via Apple

When the iPhone 11 debuted on September 10, it was met with less enthusiasm than the usual iPhone release. A lot of techies are holding off purchasing the latest gadget until Apple releases a phone with 5G technology.

Major US phone carriers have yet to build out the infrastructure necessary to provide a consistent 5G experience, so Apple didn't feel it necessary to integrate the technology into its latest iPhone.

A dramatic new feature on the iPhone 11 Pro is its three camera lenses. The three lenses give users the the original wide, plus ultrawide and telephoto options.

Keep Reading Show less
"IMG_0846" by Adrienne Campbell is licensed under CC BY 2.0

In an effort to avoid a dystopian sci-fi future where Artificial Intelligence knows pretty much everything about you, and a team of cops led by Tom Cruise run around arresting people for crimes they did not commit because of bad predictive analysis; Bernie Sanders and other Democratic candidates have some proposals on how we can stop it.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Thomas Kelley on Unsplash

It's fun to go to a party, talk to strangers, and try to guess where they're from just by their accents and use of language. It's called 'soda' on the East Coast and 'pop' in the Midwest, right? Well, it looks like a new study has been able to determine where a Humpback whale has been and who he's been hanging out with during his awesome travels just from his song.

Keep Reading Show less
Governor Grethcen Whitmer / Twitter

In 2009, the U.S. government paid $50 billion to bail out Detroit-based automaker General Motors. In the end, the government would end up losing $11.2 billion on the deal.

Government efforts saved 1.5 million jobs in the United States and a sizable portion of an industry that helped define America in the twentieth century.

As part of the auto industry's upheaval in the wake of the Great Recession, the United Automobile Workers (UAW) made sacrifices in contracts to help put the company on a solid footing after the government bailout.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Maria Teneva on Unsplash

Today, word choice matters, not only at the highest levels of political power in our country, but in our everyday speech, no matter our political persuasion or good intentions. Since the election of Donald Trump, we have seen an increase in hate speech everywhere from public gatherings to social media channels.

The past two months have been especially traumatic for so many groups, including the Latinx community who were targeted by a gunman in El Paso after being called "illegal invaders" of this country; immigrants who were told to "go back where they came from"; and journalists who were deemed disseminators of "evil propaganda" by our president.

These examples are enough for us to make the case, as some already have, that words matter more than ever in the current American public discourse. We must, however, all be responsible for the intentions of our speech (or tweets) and also how they are perceived.

Often, even those of us with the best intentions or the most 'woke' social justice warriors among us, use terms that are unknowingly othering, that contribute to long standing societal stereotypes or that embed violence into our speech.

While it is impossible to ignore the rhetoric stemming from the most powerful office in the land, that must not hinder each of our efforts to employ empathy and respect in the pursuit of a more just and equitable society.

For our team at Elle Communications, word choice is arguably the most important part of each of our days as we work to shape messaging with and for activists, advocates, entrepreneurs, companies, nonprofits, and other groups striving to create positive change in our country and our world.

Here are four things to consider when thinking about the ways in which we choose to move through this world and the words that we use along the way.

Keep Reading Show less