The Green New Deal Kills the Forest for the Trees – The Lowdown on Liberty

Green New Deal

By now I’m sure you’ve heard about the Green New Deal; with its promises to fix everything from climate change and unemployment, to racial and financial injustice, just about every publication on the planet seems to be talking about it. Unfortunately, beside all the ill-gotten praise it’s received, many seem to be “missing the forest for the trees,” even when it comes to criticizing it. The legislation claims to not only save the planet but also boost our economy simultaneously, although how it plans to do that not even Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez knows. Which is why, despite its desired outcomes, the Green New Deal doesn’t just metaphorically shoot itself in the foot, it kills the forest for the trees.

Setting aside the astronomical price expected to accompany this plan (estimates put it upwards of $50 trillion in the 10-year time allotted), and overlooking the ambiguity surrounding the means to pay for it (as AOC says, it’s not a cost, it’s an investment), there’s still a massive elephant in the room that needs to be addressed before we “sit back and enjoy our prosperity.” Generously granting that it will be an investment and not another boondoggle, there are still a few questions one should ask when “investing” their money in future projects. For starters, why has no one asked the experts whose models this proposal stems from what caused the climate predictions of the past half century to be so inaccurate, and theirs not? If I’m a real-estate investor who’s been told by the same group for fifty years that they’ve revolutionized the skyscraper, only to have each one come crumbling down, I’m going to need to know what went wrong and what they’ve done to correct it before I invest with them again. Yet, this question is never answered beyond “climate models are tricky business.” Which is true, and exactly why the last thing an investment like this needs is a hasty sendoff, and why those looking for discussion shouldn’t be so quickly dismissed as “deniers.”

“But we don’t have time to deliberate!” is always the go to response at that point. Okay, so what gives? Why throw the whole kitchen sink at a bill so vital it doesn’t have time for a second thought? That’s like NASA being told in Armageddon to find a drilling team but caring more about its diversity quota. You don’t have to be an expert in political science to know the amount of ticky-tacky details added on will only delay the plans implementation. Now, I’m not making the outlandish claim that politicians might be dishonest, but in lieu of these discrepancies, one could certainly see why people might think that. Did I mention this is a non-binding resolution? Which is what Congress always does when tackling global killers, like congratulating the Patriots on their Super bowl win.

One way to make this bill more viable than it is, however, is by giving it a definitive (and easily overcome) obstacle. Which is exactly what critics are doing by focusing solely on the price. We already know it’s an insane cost unprecedented investment, but focusing on it implies that if the funding were there, there’d be no issue with abolishing the internal combustion engine and the entire airline industry (somehow I doubt her millennial constituents will be pleased with her cutting into their love for traveling). Make no mistake, progressive thinktanks will find the funding one way or another (does $22 trillion in debt ring a bell?), so let’s not hitch our wagon to the pragmatists just yet – although I wouldn’t mind losing those gnarly cow farts.

Luckily, this bill spans the entire spectrum of the progressive agenda, meaning there’s much more to choose from than just the price tag. The most obvious being the fact that the vast majority of emissions and pollutants don’t even come from first-world countries, but rather developing nations like India and China; countries that also plan on increasing their emissions in the future. Or that the environment actually benefits from a free market due to the incentives private industries have to protect it; highlighted by the fact that the US already leads the world in reducing its emission output. Then there’s the fraudulent nature of carbon credits and the abolition of nuclear energy – the cleanest and most efficient energy source in existence (even according to the US government). Which even led thinktanks in the energy research sector to come out against it. And when in doubt, let’s not forget the coup de grâce: the plan has absolutely zero details on how to actually achieve what it boasts; the most descriptive portion consists of building charging stations “everywhere” (considering it’s modeled off of a socialist utopia though, it seems historically accurate and appropriate for it to lack any substantive plan).

Perhaps that’s why many top democrats have avoided discussing it. Nancy Pelosi simply called it “enthusiastic” after refusing to comment on whether she’d even bring it to the House floor for a vote. AOC received so much criticism in fact, she had to pull the proposal from her site only twenty-four hours after releasing it. As Kimberly Strassel put it, if the GOP had come up with a caricature of the left’s most outrageous ideas and put them down on paper, they couldn’t have done a better job. Ironically, the best thing we could do for humanity at this point would be not to recycle garbage ideas like the Green New Deal.

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Thomas J. Eckert

Thomas J. Eckert is the Managing Editor of Think Liberty and Copy Editor for Being Libertarian. With a passion for politics, he studies economics and history and writes in his spare time on political and economic current events. He is a self-described voluntarist.