I don’t expect much sense to be spoken at a “climate town hall” event hosted by Vermont socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders in partnership with publications like The Nation and NowThis. Even though it was live-streamed on the internet free, I literally had anything better to do.
However, I probably ought to have perused the list of speakers at Monday’s “Solving Our Climate Crisis, a National Town Hall” a bit closer. Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was on the bill. There was at least a fighting chance that she was going to give us a profoundly stupid soundbite.
The Notorious AOC certainly didn’t disappoint, saying that renewable energy would finally bring “racial justice” to America.
“The idea that we’re going to somehow lose economic activity — as a matter of fact, it’s not just possible that we will create jobs and economic activity by transitioning to renewable energy,” she told the audience.
“But it’s inevitable that we’re going to create jobs. It’s inevitable that we’re going to create industry.
“And it’s inevitable that we can use the transition to 100 percent renewable energy as the vehicle to truly deliver and establish economic, social and racial justice in the United States of America.”
“So when we talk about existential threats, the last time we had a really major existential threat to this country was around World War II,” Ocasio-Cortez told an audience in October.
“And so we’ve been here before and we have a blueprint of doing this before.”
“None of these things are new ideas. What we had was an existential threat in the context of a war. We had a direct existential threat with another nation, this time it was Nazi Germany and the Axis, who explicitly made the United States as an enemy, as an enemy.
“And what we did was that we chose to mobilize our entire economy and industrialized our entire economy and we put hundreds of thousands if not millions of people to work in defending our shores and defending this country. We have to do the same thing in order to get us to 100 percent renewable energy, and that’s just the truth of it.”
Of course, the blueprint we have of doing this before involves building a lot of fighter planes, submarines and tanks and powering them with fossil fuels. And then killing a lot of people on the other side — by the millions.
At least that had the sort-of-kind-of connection to reality by envisioning total mobilization of an economy to a cause, even if it was a ridiculous cause for which total mobilization would be impossible. In what world is this going to create “racial justice?”
Are windmills going to end racism? Are we going to get tidal power up and running and suddenly the alt-right and the New Black Panthers are going to hold hands and sing “I’d like to buy the world a carbon credit?”
And on economic and social justice — are solar panels going to make income inequality go away and convince every Republican to ask new friends what their preferred gender pronouns are? I’m kind of drawing a blank on how the particulars of this are going to work.
That’s all right, though — I get the feeling Rep.-elect Ocasio-Cortez was drawing a bit of a blank herself when she said it. This is just a jumble of words that was supposed to signal how capital-P Progressive she is. It worked, but at the expense of her own already-tattered reputation
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