Green Watch

The World Through Green-Tinted Glasses

You know the Green New Deal (GND) is a dud when even liberal icon Howard Schultz calls it “unrealistic” and “immoral.”

The radical proposal pushed by democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and 66 other House Democrats is classic anti-capitalism disguised as forward-thinking environmentalism. And in true Marxist fashion, the nonbinding House Resolution (H.R. 109) they’ve backed opens with an appeal to the authority of the United Nations and claims the United States “has historically been responsible for a disproportionate amount of greenhouse gas emissions.”

In reality, America had the largest drop in carbon dioxide emissions (which make up the bulk of so-called “greenhouse gases”) in the world in 2017—and for the 9th time this century. According to statistics from the June 2018 BP Statistic Review of Global Energy, the U.S. decreased its carbon emissions by 42 tons in 2017—the third year in a row that it reduced overall emissions—bringing its total carbon emissions to their lowest level since 1992, the year the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change was formed in order to “prevent dangerous anthropogenic (man-made) interference with the climate system.”

That success is largely attributable not to heavy-handed international treaties like the 1992 Kyoto Protocol or 2015 Paris Climate Accord but to hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking” in industry parlance) of natural gas and oil. Besides lowering prices at the pump, it’s accomplished the decades-old dream of making the U.S. virtually energy independent.

Contrast that with the dystopia of Green New Deal America.

The GND would mandate that the U.S. transition to 100 percent renewable energy in the next 10 years. According to the U.S. Energy Information Agency, 83 percent of all American energy comes from carbon fuels (oil, natural gas, and coal) or from carbon-free nuclear power plants. Under the GND, all of that would have to be replaced with “clean” wind, solar, and hydropower sources.

“Clean” energy may sound pleasant, but a renewables-only economy is anything but. Electric grids require a constant supply of energy to function. Provide them with anything less and they don’t operate just less efficiently—they shut off, just like your computer or television. Under the Green New Deal, expect regular rolling blackouts a la Cairo and the rest of the Third World.

And while renewables are marketed by environmentalists as cutting-edge technologies, they’ve actually been around for generations. Photovoltaic (solar) power was invented in the mid-1800s. Wind power, too, is many thousands of years old and provided the bulk of energy production in the pre-industrial world. By the turn of the 20th century, the governments and businesses that established the first electrical grids realized these technologies were insufficient to meet growing energy demand.

Only large-scale hydropower in the form of dams has ever proven effective, but good luck avoiding the wrath of the environmental Left’s International Anti-Dam Movement, which fumes over the “corruption and arrogance of over-powerful and secretive corporations” that build them.

What about nuclear energy, which doesn’t produce any greenhouse gas emissions or air pollution? That’s right out in the GND, which bizarrely lumps it in with the malicious “fossil fuel” and “weapons industries.”

But mandating 100 percent renewable energy has much harsher consequences for everyday Americans. For one thing, it would put an end to virtually every car in the country; in 2016, after all, electric vehicles made up just .22 percent of the 250-260 million vehicles on the road.

It would also mean an end to gas-guzzling airplanes. While electric airplane technology has existed since the mid-1980s, there’s a good reason the $885 billion commercial airline industry doesn’t use it. The fastest single-seat electric plane tops out at a speed of 202.6 mph; compare that with the Boeing 787, which typically flies at 585 mph while carrying 242 passengers.

Replacing them is a network of light rail trains, supposedly the silver bullet “solution” to American air travel. In this, California led the (blind) charge in 2008 with Proposition 1A, which promised voters a “bullet train” from Los Angeles to San Francisco by 2020 that would carry 120,000 passengers each day for a ticket price of just $55.

This week, the $77 billion project—originally billed at $37 billion—was scrapped by California Gov. Gavin Newsom after 11 painful years. In Newsom’s words, “Let’s be real.”

Cost, of course, isn’t part of the GND equation. Even the Green Party admits that the GND would cost somewhere between $700 billion and $1 trillion annually. (The entire U.S. defense budget for 2019 is projected to be $719 billion.) A similar proposal crafted by Stanford engineers in 2015 was estimated to cost as much as $13 trillion by 2030.

But if you think the Green New Deal is really about environmentalism, guess again. Channeling 20th century Marxist-Leninist “anti-imperialists,” the GND also demands the federal government “promote justice and equity by stopping . . . historic oppression of indigenous peoples, communities of color, migrant communities, deindustrialized communities,” and other “vulnerable communities.”

In true grab-bag fashion, the GND guarantees everyone “a job with a family-sustaining wage”; greater protections for “all workers to organize, unionize, and collectively bargain;” “affordable, safe, and adequate housing”; and “high-quality healthcare”—meaning socialized medicine.

That’s because environmentalism is inseparable from socialism. Like American socialism, environmentalism is predicated on a total rejection of our country’s past. As a Green New Deal FAQ fact sheet put it, “this is a massive transformation of our society.”

Like the original New Deal of the 1930s, the GND aims to put the U.S. on a total war footing only seen during World War II. The first New Deal incorporated large-scale socialist ideas lauded by Hitler himself for instilling the “virtue of duty, readiness for sacrifice, and discipline [that] should dominate the entire people” and are “the quintessence of the German state philosophy [National Socialism], which finds its expression in the slogan ‘The Public Weal Transcends the Interest of the Individual.’”

While it’s pretty obvious that the Green New Deal isn’t a serious piece of legislation (yet), it’s clear that adoption of the radical proposal—along with socialized medicine—is quickly becoming a litmus test for Democratic Party politicians. If nothing else it exposes the totalitarian goals at the heart of the socialist Left and its insatiable lust for power.

Hayden Ludwig

Hayden Ludwig is the Director of Policy Research at Restoration of America. He was formerly Senior Investigative Researcher at Capital Research Center. Ludwig is a native of Orange County, California,…
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