The Federalist has a good round up of the ten most insane ideas included in Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal” which was unveiled yesterday:
“Ban affordable energy. GND calls for the elimination of all fossil fuel energy production, the lifeblood of American industry and life, which includes not only all oil but also natural gas — one of the cheapest sources of American energy, and one of the reasons the United States has been able to lead the world in carbon-emissions reduction.
Eliminate nuclear energy. The GND also calls for eliminating all nuclear power, one of the only productive and somewhat affordable “clean” energy sources available to us, in 11 years. This move would purge around 20 percent of American energy generation so you can rely on intermittent wind for your energy needs.
Eliminate 99 percent of cars. To be fair, under the GND, everyone will need to retrofit their cars with Flintstones-style foot holes or pedals for cycling. The authors state that the GND would like to replace every “combustion-engine vehicle” — trucks, airplanes, boats, and 99 percent of cars — within ten years. Charging stations for electric vehicles will be built “everywhere,” though how power plants will provide the energy needed to charge them is a mystery.
Gut and rebuild every building in America. Markey and Cortez want to “retrofit every building in America” with “state of the art energy efficiency.” I repeat, “every building in America.” That includes every home, factory, and apartment building, which will all need, for starters, to have their entire working heating and cooling systems ripped out and replaced with…well, with whatever technology Democrats are going invent in their committee hearings, I guess.
Eliminate air travel. GND calls for building out “highspeed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary.” Good luck Hawaii! California’s high-speed boondoggle is already in $100 billion dollars of debt, and looks to be one of the state’s biggest fiscal disasters ever. Amtrak runs billions of dollars in the red (though, as we’ll see, trains that run on fossil fuels will also be phased out). Imagine growing that business model out to every state in America?
A government-guaranteed job. The bill promises the United States government will provide every single American with a job that includes a “family-sustaining wage, family and medical leave, vacations, and a pension.” You can imagine that those left in the private sector would be funding these through some unspecified “massive” taxation. On the bright side, when you’re foraging for food, your savings will be worthless.
Free education for life. GND promises free college or trade schools for every American.
A salubrious diet. The GND promises the government will provide “healthy food” to every American (because there are no beans or lettuce in your local supermarket, I guess).
A house. The GND promises that the government will provide, “safe, affordable, adequate housing” for every American citizen. I call dibs on an affordable Adams Morgan townhouse. Thank you, Ocasio-Cortez.
Free money. The GND aims to provide, and I am not making this up, “economic security” for all who are “unable or unwilling” to work. Just to reiterate: if you’re unwilling to work, the rest of us will have your back.
Bonus insanity: Ban meat. Ocasio-Cortez admits that we can’t get zero emissions in 10 years “because we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast.” The only way to get rid of farting cows is to get rid of beef. …
She also wants to marry this to extreme political correctness:
.@AOC speaks out against ICE and CPB: "We are standing on Native land, and Latino people are descendants of Native people. And we cannot be told and criminalized simply for our identity and our status." https://t.co/QIKelB4HSF pic.twitter.com/EupRdAYWj3
— The Hill (@thehill) February 7, 2019
I agree with Richard Spencer’s take on this:
There are lots of popular ideas that the Left could embrace like raising taxes on the wealthy, regulating Wall Street, a national healthcare system and free college tuition, but the Green New Deal is a gift to the Republicans and will only be an electoral albatross for the Democrats:
Do you know how popular a "Green New Deal" would be across the board if it focused on…
— Richard ?? Spencer (@RichardBSpencer) February 7, 2019
But no. AOC and the Democrats have to make it about climate change (which is abstract and disconnected from everyday life), the mass migration of millions due to said climate change, and "historical redress" for non-white peoples.
— Richard ?? Spencer (@RichardBSpencer) February 7, 2019
If this somehow ever passed Congress, which is highly unlikely, it would spark a far more extreme version of the Yellow Vests. Can you imagine the impact this would have on the rural South and Midwest where most people don’t have the luxury of taking the Metro to work?
This is the sort of program that sparks revolutions:
“In contrast to both the classical modernizing and class struggle perspectives, I suggest that revolutions occur only when states have embarked on ambitious state modernization programs. Revolutions do not pit modernizers against defenders of an old regime. Instead revolutions happen when the political nation is convinced of the need for political modernization but there are profound disagreements on the proper course of state innovation. For all the emphasis that the approaches of Huntington and Skocpol place on “political and institutional factors,” I suggest, they have missed this crucial point. State modernization, as political aim and as political process, is a necessary prerequisite for revolution. The extent and nature of modernizing social movements may encourage state modernization. These social movements may help to shape the nature of the revolutionary process. But social movements do not spark revolution unless state modernization is already underway.”
Steve Pincus, 1688: The First Modern Revolution, p.33
In 1688: The First Modern Revolution, Steve Pincus argues that the Glorious Revolution in England was caused by competing state modernization programs. James II wanted to modernize England on the basis of French-style absolutism while the Whigs favored the Dutch model:
“By announcing a break with the past, modernizing states create an ideological opening. In order to explain and justify state expansion, state transformation, and the necessary intrusions in everyday life, modernizing states have to proclaim and explain their new direction. In so doing, they are compelled to concede the need for radical change. Would-be revolutionaries are no longer obliged to explain to a potentially skeptical or conservative populace why change is necessary. Revolutionaries have the far less imposing task of explaining why the state’s chosen modernization path is doomed to failure or deleterious. Modernizing states necessarily stir up wide-ranging debates about the means and ends of modernization. Modernizing states create the ideological space for a modernizing opposition. …”
Steve Pincus, 1688: The First Modern Revolution, pp.39-40″
Pincus goes on to explain how conflict over competing state modernization programs sparked revolutions in France, Mexico, Turkey, Germany, Russia, China, Cuba and Iran.
I will be reviewing this book later this month, but it is worth noting how Macron’s embrace of climate change extremism stirred up the Yellow Vest movement. While the French government hasn’t been overthrown yet, Macron has shown how extending the tentacles of the state deep into layers of society that have been undisturbed can easily spark a violent, radical backlash.