Phony 'Justice' through Phony Climate Policy
Would you be surprised to learn that of the five goals pronounced in the so-called “Green New Deal,” three of them focus on some form of social or economic “justice?” Or that the two that don’t instead use language right out of the UN’s globalist playbook? Well, they do, and, if you’ve been paying attention, you shouldn’t be all that surprised.
Indeed, the convergence of climate “science” and social “justice” is nothing new. Some argue that it dates back to 1972, when an unlikely blend of legitimate environmental activists, dyed-in-the-wool Marxists, and assorted anti-establishment 60’s leftovers met in Stockholm, Sweden to discuss the planet’s ills. And from that marriage of global environmental and social-justice concerns was born the IPCC’s parent organization – the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and its socialist-environmentalist manifesto – the Stockholm Declaration.
Others point to the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro (a.k.a. the Earth Summit). There, the event’s Secretary-general, Maurice Strong, told the opening session that industrialized countries had “developed and benefited from the unsustainable patterns of production and consumption which have produced our present dilemma.” Yes, this was the gathering which spawned the infamous Agenda 21 [PDF], a global contract that pledged governments around the world to a UN plan to change the way people "live, eat, learn and communicate" all in the name of "saving the earth” from mankind’s mistakes, particularly global warming. (See IPCC: International Pack of Climate Crooks for details).
But these were non-binding international agreements typically not worth the paper they were then written on, not proposed legislation for a sovereign nation which would immediately impact the lives and wellbeing of hundreds of millions of citizens.
And yet, the draft released last Thursday by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass, of their “Green New Deal” Bill was, in fact, as long on “social justice” as it was short on common sense.
News conference introducing the GND (CNN screengrab)
Its rough framework first claims not one, but two crises -- a climate crisis purportedly caused by manmade greenhouse gas emissions and an economic crisis of wage stagnation and growing inequality. And, while it fails to establish either, according to its preamble, the Green New Deal can address both.
Five Steps to Solving Both Crises
- To achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions through a fair and just transition for all communities and workers
- To create millions of good, high-wage jobs and ensure prosperity and economic security for all people of the United States
- To invest in the infrastructure and industry of the United States to sustainably meet the challenges of the 21st century
- To secure for all people of the United States for generations to come:
- clean air and water;
- climate and community resiliency;
- healthy food;
- Access to nature;
- A sustainable environment
- To promote justice and equity by stopping current, preventing future, and repairing historic oppression of ‘‘frontline and vulnerable communities.”
Conspicuously missing from the resolution was the promise of “economic security for all who are unable or unwilling to work,” found in its accompanying “overview.” Perhaps it’s destined to be subtly “airdropped” in later.
And if expressions the likes of “sustainably meet the challenges of the 21st century” and “sustainable environment” sound familiar, they should. The expressed goal of Agenda 21 was “achieving global sustainable development in the 21st Century.” The term is lib-speak for tackling “poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice” as a single issue with essentially a lone antagonist. Surely, many of these individual goals are genuine and quite laudable; still, many have no place in a piece of U.S. Climate Legislation. So once again, we’re faced with a fraudulent attempt to address the left’s laundry list of woes in the name of meting out imaginary “climate justice.”
The Fake Victims List Grows
And just who are the “frontline and vulnerable communities” mentioned several times throughout the text? It’s simply another term championed by “climate justice” organizations. These groups no longer deny their treatment of climate change as a political, ethical, and ultimately a reparations (wealth-redistribution) issue, rather than one that is environmental or physical in nature. As enumerated in the GND, these communities include:
- indigenous peoples
- communities of color
- migrant communities
- deindustrialized communities
- depopulated rural communities
- the poor
- low-income workers
- the elderly
- the unhoused
- people with disabilities
- and youth
That’s quite a list. In fact, if they can agree upon exactly which group the sanctuaried illegal immigrants belong in and then throw in the LGBTQ community, they’ll have included the entire Leftie Fake-Victims List.
And according to Paragraph 3, these “victims,” along with labor unions and other progressive darlings will be guaranteed a place at the table for all decisions made in the development and execution of this GND.
What’s more, surely the addition of the latest outraged victims class (women) puts the fake victims well into the majority. In fact, only Well-Off Non-Migratory Properly-Housed And Gainfully-Employed Straight Middle-Aged White Males (WONMPHAGESMAWM’s) are excluded.
It’ll be fun to watch such liberal economics luminaries as Paul Krugman explain how that will work. I suppose as long as the richest one percent (likely WONMPHAGESMAWM’s anyway) pay their “fair share” we should be just fine.
Favoring “Frontline and Vulnerable Communities”
Paragraph 2 contains a laundry list of the 14 “projects” which comprise GND’s sophomorically-ambitious Ten-Year Plan. From meeting 100% of the nation’s power demands “through clean, renewable and zero-emission energy sources” (excluding Nuclear) to replacing air travel with high-speed rail, most are too outrageously simple-minded to be taken seriously. Of course, that didn’t stop 67 (and counting) Democrats from jumping aboard and cosponsoring this laughable bill.
But the true nature of the GND is contained in the “Goals and Projects” laid out in the 15 Subparagraphs of Paragraph 4, each a step closer to an ungovernable government-run economy and many with special considerations to the fake victims of fake “climate injustice” defined as ‘‘frontline and vulnerable communities.”
In fact, each of these “GND Projects” listed in Paragraph 4 specifically state that preference must be extended to these specially entitled victims, even in projects with no links to the environment:
- SubP (C) -- Providing a “high-quality” education, including higher education to all people of the United States with a focus on frontline and vulnerable communities.
- SubP (E) -- Directing investments to spur economic development, deepen and diversify industry and business in local and regional economies, and build wealth and community ownership, while prioritizing high-quality job creation and economic, social, and environmental benefits in frontline and vulnerable communities, and deindustrialized communities, that may otherwise struggle with the transition away from greenhouse gas intensive industries;
- SubP (F) -- Ensuring the use of democratic and participatory processes that are inclusive of and led by frontline and vulnerable communities and workers to plan, implement, and administer the Green New Deal mobilization at the local level;
- SubP (M) -- Obtaining the free, prior, and informed consent of indigenous peoples for all decisions that affect indigenous peoples and their traditional territories, honoring all treaties and agreements with indigenous peoples, and protecting and enforcing the sovereignty and land rights of indigenous peoples;
And where their expanded victim’s list isn’t specifically cited, other politically-motivated preferences often are:
- SubP (G) -- Ensuring that the Green New Deal mobilization creates high-quality union jobs that pay prevailing wages, hires local workers, offers training and advancement opportunities, and guarantees wage and benefit parity for workers affected by the transition
- SubP (I) -- Strengthening and protecting the right of all workers to organize, unionize, and collectively bargain free of coercion, intimidation, and harassment;
So, whether favoring the minority-based majority, a specific minority within that majority, or liberal-favored workers’ groups, you can always count on liberals to call on government to favor someone. However, there’s an old adage, often attributed to Margaret Thatcher, regarding "The trouble with Socialism.”
Eventually, You Run Out of Other People’s Money
In the past, liberals have insisted that the many suffer for the benefit of the few, and, had they not added “women” to their fake victim’s list for its purposes, this bill would have been no exception. However, with the victims’ list now expanded to include all but the few, we’ll likely hear even louder phony claims that “climate justice” (and, by extension, the fiscally-unbalanced programs now implied by it) is demanded by the “majority” of Americans. Indeed, the bill’s “overview” included the preposterous declaration that “92% of Democrats and 64% of Republicans support the Green New Deal,” a claim made before details of the GND were even released.
Needless to say, Ocasio-Cortez’s juvenilely quixotic projections notwithstanding, no “Green Economy” yet-proposed will generate surpluses of any measure, let alone within 10 years, nor enough to subsidize free college, guaranteed high-pay jobs, high-quality healthcare, affordable housing, family and medical leave, paid vacations and retirement security for all Americans. But by defining those who have been treated “unjustly” and carving them out special considerations, fledgling politicians the caliber of Cortez hope to foster the illusion of "justice."
And while it might make for good politics and even better headlines, as policy – its as phony as the crises it claims to solve.
Marc Sheppard is a technology consultant, software engineer, writer, and political and data analyst. He’s been a frequent contributor to American Thinker and welcomes your feedback.