Green New Deal Is Bad Deal for All Americans
For close to a decade, the left has looked at a "Green New Deal" as the only solution to supposed man-made climate change. According to the eco-left, the Green New Deal – a massive federal government stimulus program coupled with a rapid and total transformation from fossil fuels to renewable energy – is the only way to avert environmental doom.
Just last month, shortly after winning election to the U.S. House of Representatives, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said, "We have 10 years left to plan and implement a Green New Deal before cataclysmic climate disaster."
Although the Green New Deal would be a sweeping piece of legislation that reshapes all sectors of the U.S. economy, it primarily focuses on climate change. Here's a taste of what the Green New Deal would do:
Green Business Investment
Invest in green business by providing grants and low-interest loans to grow green businesses and cooperatives, with an emphasis on small, locally-based companies that keep the wealth created by local labor circulating in the community rather than being drained off to enrich absentee investors.
Unfortunately, this federal funding fantasy would stifle the free market, which is the driving force behind most great innovations and technological revolutions. Not only is this plan subject to rampant corruption, but it eliminates profit incentives and puts our economic future in the hands of federal bureaucrats.
Green Research Funds
Prioritize green research by redirecting research funds from fossil fuels and other dead-end industries toward research in wind, solar and geothermal. We will invest in research in sustainable, nontoxic materials, closed-loop cycles that eliminate waste and pollution, as well as organic agriculture, permaculture, and sustainable forestry.
Deeming fossil fuels a "dead-end industry" is dead wrong. Fossil fuels have increased prosperity and raised the standard of living everywhere they have been used. Additionally, U.S. carbon emissions have substantially declined, while fossil fuel usage has increased, thanks to clean-burning technologies. Not only that, but this section of the Green New Deal gives the government unprecedented power to decide how Americans live their lives through funding research that would reshape where we live, how we live, what we eat, and more.
Provide green jobs by enacting the Full Employment Program which will directly provide 16 million jobs in sustainable energy and energy-efficiency retrofitting, mass transit and 'complete streets' that promote safe bike and pedestrian traffic, regional food systems based on sustainable organic agriculture, and clean manufacturing.
Any time the government tries to "provide jobs," you can expect a boondoggle at best (especially when the number promised is 16 million). The most successful way to create jobs is a business-friendly environment, which is the exact opposite of the Green New Deal's massive regulations, spending, taxes, and all other anti-free-market strategies.
Besides the dubiousness of the left's premise that climate change is man-made and endangers the future of the planet, it is highly likely that the Green New Deal will cause an economic apocalypse while failing to solve a nonexistent climate crisis.
In short, the Green New Deal would destroy the lifeblood of the U.S. economy: fossil fuel energy. Not only would the Green New Deal lead to an economic crash of unforeseen proportions, but it is equally laughable to believe that the rest of the world would get on board.
The Green New Deal would inflict an economic deathblow to the U.S. economy, while making little to no impact on worldwide carbon emissions. Even if you ardently believe in global warming gloom and doom, why in the world would you support a law that would have little effect on the climate and inflict widespread poverty?
Proponents of the Green New Deal claim that it will revive the climate just as the New Deal revived the economy. However, that was not really the case.
Former president Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal was sold as the solution to the immense pain and suffering inflicted by the Great Depression. It unleashed the federal spending spigot that led to a flood of new government programs that would supposedly solve the economic crisis.
Despite what most Americans believe, the New Deal was a colossal failure. After its launch in 1933, unemployment worsened, federal debt increased monumentally, and the Great Depression lingered for years.
If supporters of the Green New Deal believe that it will produce the same effects as the New Deal, they're probably right: the Green New Deal will devastate the economy and give the federal government unprecedented power, not to mention a huge debt increase.
After the New Deal, the federal government began to "solve" all sorts of problems: education, health care, housing, poverty, and substance abuse, to name just a few. However, every single one of these problems has been made worse from the government's intervention. Yet most Americans still believe that the government can solve any and all problems.
This year, as the left packages the Green New Deal as the sole way to avoid climate calamity, hopefully Americans will remember how many times they have been hoodwinked by federal government "solutions."
Chris Talgo (firstname.lastname@example.org) is an editor at The Heartland Institute.