Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez takes on New York Post report claiming Uber usage makes her a hypocrite

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez takes on New York Post report claiming Uber usage makes her a hypocrite
CNN
News & Politics

Critics have no problem coming up with ways to pick at freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Depending on the day, she’s critiqued for dancing, not smiling enough, or adding her partner to her Google calendar. Now, she’s critiqued for—wait for it—riding in cars.


How did we get here? The New York Post published an article on what they described as her “giant carbon footprint.” Essentially, their argument was that, based on federal filings, her campaign used ride-sharing services like Lyft, Uber, and Juno when they could have used the subway more instead.

As the cars were assumably combustion-engine vehicles (which is something the Green New Deal hopes to phase out), their argument is basically that she’s a hypocrite for using rideshare services instead of making the more eco-conscous choice of the subway.

Sigh.

Ocasio-Cortez responded to the article on Twitter, saying she’s “living in the world.”

She tweeted:

Criticisms like this are precisely why a systemic, structural change in environmental policy is what we need. Individual choices (while still important) aren't making or breaking anything when compared to what happens on the large scale. For example, 100 companies are responsible for over 70 percent of our global emissions. When you look at it that way, one person’s Uber versus subway usage doesn’t make them a hypocrite.

It’s also important to note that while some transportation approaches are more eco-friendly (the bus, the subway, riding a bike, etc) they aren’t necessarily more accessible. For people with disabilities, for example, subway systems can be near impossible to navigate.  Public transit can also be a nightmare for people traveling with kids, elderly people, or people who have sensory or processing issues. There’s also the simple fact that public transit can be notoriously inconsistent.

These critiques don’t mean that we toss out public transit entirely, obviously, but rather that high-level change needs to happen to make eco-friendly choices accessible and practical. And again, the people (or rather, corporations) at the very top need to do their share, too.

If a white man was the face of the Green New Deal, would anyone be tracking his Uber usage? Not a chance.

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