Official Washington is all atwitter today over the release of the “Green New Deal” by New York freshman Democrat Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey, also a Democrat. The proposal bundles many long-desired goals of the environmentalist movement into a neat legislative package, described by left-leaning Vox in this way:
The resolution consists of a preamble, five goals, 14 projects, and 15 requirements. The preamble establishes that there are two crises, a climate crisis and an economic crisis of wage stagnation and growing inequality, and that the GND can address both.
The goals — achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, creating jobs, providing for a just transition, securing clean air and water — are broadly popular. The projects — things like decarbonizing electricity, transportation, and industry, restoring ecosystems, upgrading buildings and electricity grids — are necessary and sensible (if also extremely ambitious).
NPR describes the plan as “massively ambitious“, with the Wall Street Journal aptly noting that “Soviet five-year plans were more modest.” One wonders if the “extreme ambition” of the plan might have some impact on the supposed “sensibility” of the proposal, but keep in mind that the world is going to end in, like, 12 years if we don’t do something!!!
Perhaps you feel like you’ve heard all this before (and you have). But here in these United States we have reason to be thankful! Invariably, whenever such a crisis arises, there are politicians who spring into action, ready to conjure up yet another group of bureaucrats who will set about the important work of regulating and rule-making and fee collecting and budget-chewing, which is of course how all problems get solved. Naturally, this will require all of us to sacrifice a bit of our money, and maybe a bit of our liberty. But it’s TOTALLY going to give us super clean energy, and everybody will get a job, and to top it all off, we’re also going to finally get all that economic, social and racial justice we’ve all wanted for so long!
In summary: The world is going to end unless you let a group of politicians take control over significant portions of the economy and do a bunch of stuff that—coincidentally, I’m sure—they’ve always wanted to do but never seem to be able to get the broad public to agree to. And if you let them do it, not only will they stop the world from ending, but they’ll solve a bunch of other problems to boot!
To be honest, I have my doubts about the honesty and motives of the people pushing this plan. Back in 2006, we sat down with Fred Smith from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and he reminded us that fearmongering is a potent tool for politicians and groups looking to acquire power. I think we’d do well to heed his words today.
In the video below, Representative Ocasio-Cortez lays out just how little time we have left to act!
UPDATE: “The green dream or whatever they call it, nobody knows what it is, but they’re for it right?”