The "Green New Deal" is Counter-Productive


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with Saikat Chakrabarti, the brains of the operation, who chose her from a field of candidates to run in her district on behalf of the Justice Democrats. The Green New Deal was originally Chakrabarti's idea.

The "Green New Deal" consists of:

  • Radically expanding the size of the public sector.
  • Having the government dictate exactly which technologies will be employed in every context.
  • Having byzantine, detailed regulations describing every energy-consuming activity to be undertaken by anyone.
  • Abundant talk of irrelevant far-left items that have nothing whatsoever to do with the environment:
    • health care reform
    • wage stagnation
    • deindustrialization
    • strengthening trade unions
    • income inequality
    • race
    • gender
    • indigenous peoples
    • homelessness
    • the disabled
    • infrastructure
    • education, including higher education
    • a job guarantee at a wage much higher than current minimum wage
    • "economic security" - whatever that means
    Note that a jobs guarantee is currently implemented at a full scale nowhere in the world.

Text of resolution.

Most supporters of the GND (Green New Deal) are under the mistaken impression that it's all about climate change, when nothing could be further from the truth. It didn't even start out as an environmental measure! It started out as a Justice Democrats wish list, and then they re-dubbed it a "climate measure" as an excuse to justify it. Saikat Chakrabarti, the initiative's original author, told the Washington Post "The interesting thing about the Green New Deal, is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all ... we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.”

An extremely dishonest poll was done by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication which basically asked people "Would you like to solve climate change and create jobs in the process?" with no mention of who was behind it or the many environmentally irrelevant far-left items in the plan.  They told the world that 65% of Republicans support the GND (a figure which is stark, raving, mad) and posted their results on a web page with the title "The Green New Deal has Strong Bipartisan Support".

Most of the environmental movement is so far left that they see all the irrelevant socialism as a plus, rather than a drawback, so they've embraced it. Among environmentalists, support for the GND has become a litmus test for climate action, the whole movement has snowballed, and thus both the environmental movement and the Democratic Party have thrust the fate of the planet into the hands of a 30-year-old, photogenic, overnight social media celebrity with no legislative track record, no college STEM education, little loyalty to her own political party, who speaks to moderates in her own party mostly when she's threatening to primary them out, and who delights in enraging conservatives.

On STEM qualifications, AOC's adoring fans cite the fact that she won a prize in a high school science fair for a biology project, which qualifies her to be an authority on climate science and energy engineering about as much as Sarah Palin had "foreign policy experience" because "You can see Russia from Alaska.".

AOC said in an interview "The world is gonna end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change and your biggest issue is how are we gonna pay for it?”. If she believed that, isn't it hideously irresponsible for her to have hogged the media with a proposal that is saddled with a gigantic burden of completely unnecessary and horribly difficult to pass socialism, rather than keeping her proposal precisely focused on solving this important and pressing problem or at least gotten the hell out of the way?

Drawbacks:

  • Most climate skeptics believe that the climate scientists are lying about the climate, and that the reason that they're lying is to create an excuse to justify a far-left agenda. The Green New Deal completely and totally confirms that suspicion. Not only does the Green New Deal have zero bipartisan potential, it has made other attempts at bipartisanship much more difficult. It has set bipartisan progress back several years, and the problem can't be solved without bipartisan support.

  • Since the GND has become to "gold standard" litmus test for climate action among most of the environmental left, it puts Democratic candidates in a difficult position. If they fail to endorse it, they have trouble getting the backing of environmentalists. If they do endorse it, then the Republicans can rub their noses in all the far-left insanity it contains in the general election to embarrass them.

  • Some of the irrelevant things it mentions as afterthoughts are ridiculously ambitious. For example, it mentions "health care reform". That all it says -- three words, not even a complete sentence. What does that even mean? Given that it's coming from a democratic socialist, it's reasonable to conclude that it means "Medicare for All". That's just dandy, we can't solve global warming unless we can sell the voters on Medicare for All. At the time of this writing (Feb 14th 2020), 2/3 of the Democratic senators won't back Medicare for All. And health care is a huge issue, not something you do as an afterthought to something else. When Obama did health care reform, he started with both chambers and sixty senators, and it took congress talking about little else for about 9 months, a Republican senator crossing the aisle to break the filbuster, and a 5-4 SCOTUS decision to make it happen. Should climate change be held hostage to such a process?

  • The only way it would pass would be if the Democrats took both chambers and the executive, nuked the filibuster, miraculously got the moderate Democrats on board, and passed it. And at that point all the unnecessary parts would disrupt the lives of Americans in so many ways that the voters would vote the Democrats out at the first opportunity, at which point the Republicans, with no filibuster, would just dismantle the whole thing overnight.

  • They're not willing to even consider nuclear energy as part of the solution, which makes decarbonizing the economy a lot harder.

  • If you want to craft legislation to solve a problem, you should start out with a narrow, focused bill that does nothing other than address the problem and add things to it only to lure in reluctant constituencies. This bill starts out ridiculously broad, shamelessly pandering to every far-left constituency imaginable. And those aren't the constituencies that are reluctant to dealing with global warming.

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