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Op-Ed

No Deal on the Green New Deal

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Thursday morning, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez introduced her “Green New Deal.” Ocasio-Cortez promised it will make the world a just and fair place, in which the poor are enriched, the weak empowered, the sick well, the fat thin, and the dumb smart. The resolution reads like a middle schooler’s book report on the Communist Manifesto. With the stated goal of eliminating so-called “climate change,” the “Green New Deal” isn’t just bananas, it’s the whole jungle.

In addition to the usual leftist heavy breathing about universal access to “high quality health care,” “high-quality education,” “healthy food,” and “retirement security,” the Green New Deal will require — not ask, require — the federal government to transform into an all-consuming entity that would have given Pol Pot a case of the willies. More to the point, it is so, so, dumb.

It will turn out the lights: The Green New Deal demands the abandonment of fossil fuel and nuclear energy production in favor of “renewable energy.” Given the relative efficiency of renewable sources, I’m wondering where we would fit the windmills and soybean fields after we pave the country in solar panels. As for the nuclear and fossil fuel industry workers and their families, they’ll be treated to a “just transition.” It doesn’t explain what a “just transition” entails, but I bet it involves being assigned a new gig in the solar panel, windmill or soybean farming industries; or, as the last guys who tried something this called it, “the Gulag.”

It will empty the refrigerator: Since the internal combustion engine is one of the principal offenders in the “climate crisis,” the Green New Deal will purge it from existence, or “build out high-speed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary, create affordable public transportation .. with goal (sic) to replace every combustion-engine vehicle.” In case walking to the store doesn’t sound like enough fun, with no more machines to help with growing, harvesting and hauling stuff, there won’t be anything on the shelves. From Twinkies to tomatoes, if it involves mass production or preservation, it’s verboten. And what food there is will get less plentiful and less fun to produce. Check the history books for an idea of what farming was like before, say, the cotton gin.

It will require the demolition or reconstruction of virtually every standing structure in the United States: One of the Green New Deal’s “14 infrastructure and industrial projects” would require Americans to “upgrade or replace every building in the US for state-of-the-art energy efficiency.” According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are approximately 138,000,000 housing units in the United States. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates around 6 million commercial buildings. That’s a lot of upgrading or replacing. The Green New Deal commands construction of “green” buildings at a pace of around 400,000 per day. Thanks to the ban on internal combustion engines, those structures will all have to be constructed with hand tools. At least the full employment promises are for real.

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It’s a giveaway to Big Labor: I hope the facts about what the Green New Deal will do to farming and construction don’t scare you too much, because you may well pick up farming or building. And it looks like you would have to pay for the privilege. The resolution requires “all GND jobs to be union jobs.” If you want to pick cotton, you’re going to have to join the International Brotherhood of Cotton-Pickers, or whomever. I don’t know what they give you when you retire, but since life expectancy for cotton-pickers has been traditionally low, I wouldn’t sweat it.

It will bankrupt the nation: And its authors know it. They even admit it. “Even if every billionaire and company came together and were willing to pour all the resources at their disposal into this investment, the aggregate value of the investments they would make would not be sufficient.” As Ocasio-Cortez herself is fond of pointing out, billionaires and corporations have either direct or indirect control of an enormous percentage of the nation’s wealth. As she’s less fond of pointing out, they also happen to pay an enormous percentage of the taxes.

If your plan acknowledges they don’t have enough to foot the bill, then your plan has a bigger gap in it than the one in Ocasio-Cortez’s education. The Green New Deal promises to cover the shortfall with “quantitative easing” and “credit.” Printing more money and creating more public debt won’t make America “green,” it will make America Venezuela.

It mentions cow farts: In the push for “eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from every sector of the economy,” the fact sheet laments the inability to “fully get rid of farting cows.” Bad news for the people building those 400,000 “green” buildings every day, they just lost their team animals. They also just lost steak dinners, hamburgers and baseball gloves. We’re not talking about some wingnut pamphlet from some eco-lobbyist, we’re talking about an official legislative proposal put forth to United States Congress. Just how the Founding Fathers imagined it: “Verily, I say unto thee, thine bovine flatulence is an affront to liberty!”

It can’t work: It can’t even be implemented. The entire Green New Deal rests on the development of new technology, some of which it admits doesn’t exist yet. It bans fossil fuels and internal-combustion engines but requires massive tech advances. Massive tech advances can’t happen without plastics and miniaturization. And plastics and miniaturization can’t happen without fossil fuels and internal-combustion engines.

When it runs up against scientific issues, it offers “plant lots of trees.” When it stumbles over logistical obstacles, it promises to “build charging stations everywhere.”

Even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called it a “dream.” It’s a socialist’s term paper, not a serious piece of legislation. It’s a communist cul-de-sac, and it should stay there.

The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. If you are interested in contributing an Op-Ed to The Western Journal, you can learn about our submission guidelines and process here.

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