URLs du Jour

2019-02-08

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Well, the big news of late is that Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) (AOC) and Senator Edward Markey (D-MA) unveiled their "Green New Deal". It's a good news/bad news situation.

Bad news: it's full of awful ideas.

Good news: it's completely and obviously full of awful ideas.

  • So let's take a look. First up is the general summary from the Club for Growth: AOC’s Green New Deal Is Really the New Green Unemployment Deal.

    “The Green New Deal is nothing more than the latest job-killing, socialist wish list from the radical left obsessed with climate change, Medicare-For-All, free college, and a total redistribution of wealth,” stated Club for Growth President David McIntosh.

    “The ‘Green Dream’ — as even Nancy Pelosi calls it — would eliminate or transform nearly every job across nearly every sector of the U.S. economy including the military.  The American People should be alarmed to know that extreme liberal socialist Democrats are out to destroy the ‘American Dream.’

    “The Green New Deal isn’t a dream, it is the GREEN NIGHTMARE that the American People need to wake up from and stop before it ever becomes a reality.  It’s economic Armageddon, plain and simple,” concluded David McIntosh.

    Exaggeration? I think not.


  • At Reason, Joe Setyon notes a specific feature: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Green New Deal Aims to Eliminate Air Travel.

    The resolution's aims include "overhauling transportation systems in the United States to eliminate pollution and 19 greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector as much as is technologically feasible." According to an overview of the resolution, this will be accomplished, in part, by "build[ing] out highspeed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary."

    As the article's subhed says: "Sorry, Hawaii."

    Of course, you'll still be able to get there. As long as you are on a watercraft wind-propelled by hemp sails.


  • But what's the fatal flaw of the Green New Deal? At AEI, James Pethokoukis nails it: The fatal flaw of the Green New Deal is that it doesn't take climate change seriously.

    Here’s the problem: While Ocasio-Cortez might truly believe climate change poses an immediate existential risk to Earth and our civilization, her Green New Deal inadvertently gives aid and comfort to the most skeptical skeptics. Certainly if the stakes are as catastrophically high as she argues, nothing would be off the table. Like, you know, reducing the risk of climatic catastrophe through advanced nuclear power

    Moreover, if climate change is the problem — and a problem like no other that humanity has ever faced — then a Green New Deal would put a laser-like focus on reducing global carbon emissions. But the Green New Deal has many aspirations that have nothing to do with climate.

    James lists some of the aspirations:

    Provide job training and education to all. … Ensure that all GND jobs are union jobs that pay prevailing wages and hire local. … Guarantee a job with family-sustaining wages. … Protect right of all workers to unionize and organize. … Strengthen and enforce labor, workplace health and safety, antidiscrimination, and wage and hour standards. … Enact and enforce trade rules to stop the transfer of jobs and pollution overseas and grow domestic manufacturing. … Obtain free, prior, and informed consent of Indigenous peoples… Provide high-quality health care, housing, economic security, and clean air, clean water, healthy food, and nature to all.

    I.e., the "progressive/democratic socialist wish list." Which (to repeat a point I've been yammering about for the past few years): it's not about "saving the planet"; it's about grabbing onto the political power to bend people to your will.


  • But not only that! As National Review's Jack Crowe discovers: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Green New Deal Promises ‘Economic Security' for Those 'Unwilling to Work’.

    Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) and Ed Markey (D., Mass.) introduced a Green New Deal bill Thursday that, in addition to transitioning the U.S. entirely to renewable energy in ten years, promises to provide “economic security for those unable or unwilling to work.”

    Crowe notes that (other than waving away a carbon tax) "there is no mention of any additional taxes to cover the cost of spending." Because once we find the leprechauns' gold…


  • The above criticisms come from the usual radical right wing heteronormative patriarchs. But we can rely on Wired for a measured, sober, science-based look at the pros and cons, right?

    Oh, you are so wrong. Adam Rogers' headline: The Green New Deal Shows How Grand Climate Politics Can Be. Grand, I tells ya!

    If it’s hard to imagine the sweeping changes proposed in the “Green New Deal” actually happening, don’t blame the Green New Deal. It’s just that it has been so long since any politician suggested something so grand. The wildfires, hurricanes, droughts, and sea level rise that climate scientists have long promised are here, but we could get accustomed to that. We could forget that the world of five years ago or a decade ago was any different. And we got used to elected representatives saying predictable things about it, too—doubt and denial, or expressions of concern that climate change is too complicated and too expensive to deal with. We grow accustomed to their farce.

    It's pretty much a total alarmist buy-in at Wired in other words.

    By pouring everything in those silos into one bin, the Green New Deal attempts to build a new coalition. It seems crazy. But really, it’s a last-chance amplification of smaller, incremental, hopeful changes already happening around the country—built into a broader vision for political change. Too wild? Maybe. As the dyed-in-the-wool hacks never say until after the balloons drop: Politics is the art of the impossible.

    Key sentence: "It seems crazy." As I said in a comment: Wired should have started there. And also ended there.


  • But it's not all Green New Deal today. The Google LFOD News Alert rang for an article at Liberty Headlines from Kaylee McGhee: Former Mass. Gov. Switches Back to GOP for Likely Primary Challenge to Trump. I found these paragraphs key:

    New Hampshire Republicans are not keen on Weld, though.

    “Bill Weld ran as a Libertarian candidate for vice president,” Stephen Stepanek, the chair of the New Hampshire GOP and the Trump campaign’s 2016 New Hampshire co-chair, told WMUR. “He’s a Libertarian, and if he wants to run for president as a Libertarian, that’s fine. But we don’t want him back in the Republican Party.”

    The Johnson 2016 campaign pulled just over 4 percent of the vote in the “Live Free or Die” State, which was slightly higher than the national average. Even so, it is unlikely to translate to any sort of primary advantage for Weld.

    Yeah, fine. I am still, nominally, a Republican, likely to vote in the primaries. But it occurs to me that if Stephen Stepanek doesn't want Weld in the party, he probably doesn't want me either.


Last Modified 2019-02-10 3:39 AM EST