Democrat Climate Extremism a Boon to Conservatives
If you don't believe me, just ask the Democrats. They're going all in on global warming, believing that — as an issue — climate change will be an election-winning strategy. That's what they say, and apparently, that's what they believe. However, numbers don't lie.
At a ten-year price tag of more than $93 trillion, the Green New Deal (GND) is a phenomenal budget-buster. Once independent voters and — especially — moderate, blue-collar Democrats realize this, they'll turn away from the GND, as well as from those candidates who support this naked power grab.
Why? This sweeping legislation is not about saving the planet. No, it's all about the socializing of America, about giving the government control of industry at every level.
The National Review recently reported that the GND, which was proposed early this year by the media darling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), head of the "Squad," is now embraced by all front-running Democrat presidential hopefuls, from Biden on down. This pie-in-the-sky legislation promises to transition the U.S. economy completely away from fossil fuels within ten years. How this would happen isn't stated, because its advocates don't know. Neither do the world's energy scientists. What GND advocates do know — but would never admit — is that the Green New Deal requires a level of energy technology that doesn't exist and may never exist. Without fossil fuels, the agricultural network that feeds billions, the manufacturers that employ billions, and the transportation net that moves people and raw materials and finished goods from one place to another aren't even theoretically possible.
If the Democrats had the power to enact extreme climate legislation, the negative impact would be profound. America's economy — the pinnacle of the world's economy — is built around fossil fuels. While electric cars are at least nominally practical (just don't ask how the electricity is produced), there is no known technically feasible substitute for the jet engines that power airplanes or the diesel engines that power farm equipment, railroads, and ships. Without practical, low-cost electricity to power our digital economy, and without affordable transportation for goods and people, our global economy would collapse, virtually overnight. Billions would starve, huddling in the dark as their last candles guttered out.
The Federal Bureau of Transportation Statistics noted that 77.4 million passengers flew on U.S. airliners in May of this year. Annualized, that means that our 325 million Americans will fly the equivalent of 928.8 million times in 2019. Shutting air travel down would be economically and socially crippling, especially since the alternatives — railroad and highway transportation — also use huge amounts of fossil fuel. There are no apparent alternatives in the pipeline for hydrothermal-powered airliners, solar-powered railroad locomotives, or wind-powered semi-trailer trucks.
Unable to communicate with their distant provinces by anything more powerful than wind-powered ships or traveling cross-country on horseback, the world's largest (and arguably most important) nations — America, Canada, Russia, China, and India — would collapse. Chaos would ensue as a series of small, self-contained city-states sought to keep the light of civilization flickering.
While the GND would — allegedly — eliminate airborne carbon, what it would really do is eliminate the private sector. Its advocates promise federal jobs for everyone, even as they're killing off the greatest economy the world has known. Though these provisions do nothing to impact carbon emissions, the GND would also eliminate ICE and border security. It would implement a universal health care guarantee for everyone, including illegal aliens. This plan, using "Medicare For All" as its model, would add another $33 trillion to its ultimate price tag. These unrelated-to-energy provisions are part of the reason behind the Green New Deal's astronomical cost.
At her bottom line, Ocasio-Cortez claims that her "climate change" legislation would advance "social, economic, racial, regional and gender-based justice and equality and cooperative and public ownership." Does any of these impact global climate change? Of course not.
Ocasio-Cortez's former chief of staff recently admitted to the Washington Post and the National Review about the Green New Deal: "the true motivation behind introducing the Green New Deal is to overhaul the entire economy." He went on to say, "Do you guys think of it as a climate thing? Because we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing." While it isn't unusual for politicians to use an issue to advance a totally different cause, what isn't common is for them to admit it on the record.
All told, the Green New Deal proposal will cost America an estimated $93 trillion in new government spending over ten years, according to a recent report by the conservative American Action Forum. Putting this in perspective, President Obama increased the national debt more than all previous presidents combined, but still, our entire national debt is "only" $21.97 trillion. This Green New Deal would raise the national debt by a whopping — and unsustainable — 423 percent, pushing it to somewhere north of $115 trillion.
So why is the climate a political hot-button issue?
Many younger Americans who grew up submerged by the horrific message that life as we know it will be over Unless We Do Something Right Now have been taken in by the unrelenting drumbeat of climate-change horror stories. These misinformed Americans don't realize that the shift from "global warming" to "global climate change" was nothing more than a tacit recognition that fears over global warming were unsustainable.
Fortunately for conservatives, the Democratic Party's candidates seem committed to the most extreme, radical climate change positions. When the cost and impact are understood, these positions are sure to cost them votes. However, it's up to conservatives choose to make this a "line in the sand" issue.
After a quarter-century of global warming propaganda, many otherwise moderate voters now believe that man-caused climate change is both real and dangerous. However, pollsters note that moderates have yet to come to grips with the price they would have to pay if the Green New Deal were actually adopted — or the consequences of trying to sustain civilization without carbon-based energy. Politically moderate New Englanders have yet to realize that the GND would deprive them of the fuel oil they need to heat their homes in the winter. We depend on fossil fuel–created energy to heat our homes and workplaces — as well as to get to and from work.
The law of unintended consequences has not been repealed.
Given the overwhelming Democrat fixation on the elimination of greenhouse gas–producing technology within ten, fifteen or thirty years, where does this leave conservatives?
- First, they need to do the math. Even at the low end of the scale, the cost of the GND is astronomical.
- Next, they need to debunk the flawed notion that the Green New Deal would create millions of new "green" jobs, when common sense and a number of recent think-tank studies show that the GND would eliminate tens of millions of other jobs.
- Finally, they should expose the Green New Deal for what it is: a bait-and-switch Ponzi Scheme, a thinly disguised attempt to use a trumped up "crisis" to nationalize industries in America, moving us one giant step closer to a socialist America.
Conservatives should run on the truth about the Green New Deal. It will be a winner.
Ned Barnett is the Las Vegas-based author of 39 published books, a writing coach, and a ghost-writer. As CEO of Barnett Marketing Communications, he's also a political consultant who's worked on three state-level presidential campaigns in the areas of strategy and media. He is currently working on a new book, a popular history of race and politics in America, from the Declaration of Independence to the present day.