The Green New Deal is no joke
It is tempting to laugh at the Democrats' Green New Deal. This reaction should be reconsidered, but not for the reason you might think. This thought occurred after exploring a report by Peter Wood and Rachelle Peterson titled "Sustainability: Higher Education's New Fundamentalism," published by the National Association of Scholars (NAS).
Their report describes a brilliantly sophisticated and successful plan by the radical left to merge climate-change activism into the old cultural Marxism indoctrination strategy of the Frankfurt School, commonly known as "the long march through the institutions." The old strategy was quite successful in planting the seeds of socialism throughout academia, starting in earnest with the 1960s sexual revolution, but it needed revitalization by the end of the 20th century. By assimilating the new sustainability element, which includes Al Gore's radical anti–fossil fuel, pro–renewable energy ideology, it now offers a much more virtuous appeal.
Colleges and universities in all 50 states took the bait and now offer nearly 460 sustainability degree programs, including doctorates. I googled my own alma mater (Virginia Tech) and was stunned by the number of sustainability offerings. To a biology graduate who once sent résumés to NOAA and the EPA in the early 1970s, many of the degree programs seemed appealing. What young student would not be eager to earn a degree that will help save the planet? However, the degree requirements appeared a bit light on hard science and math and perhaps too heavy on the social justice side. A few observations from the NAS report summarize what is going on:
To the unsuspecting, sustainability is just a new name for environmentalism. But the word really marks out a new and larger ideological territory in which curtailing economic, political, and intellectual liberty is the price that must be paid now to ensure the welfare of future generations.
The movement ... extends well beyond the college campus[.] ... But the college campus is where the movement gets its voice of authority, and where it molds the views and commands the attention of young people.
We ... see in the sustainability movement a hardening of irrational demands to suspend free inquiry in favor of unproven theories of imminent catastrophe. And we see, under the aegis of sustainability, a movement that often takes its bearings from its hostility towards material prosperity, consumerism, free markets, and even democratic self-government.
The environmentalist movement of years gone by focused on getting people to take better care of the natural world. The sustainability movement ... focuses on convincing people to submit to a regime of nearly total social control.
The Green New Deal was no doubt inspired by the sustainability movement. Both are a roadmap to a socialist utopia where all human conflicts, inequality, rising seas, and extreme weather will simply disappear. Unfortunately, this vision is built on a foundation of exaggerations and half-truths, including the fabricated consensus about CO2. Anthropogenic climate change is a minor worry compared to the accomplishment by the left to indoctrinate this fantasy into a massive and ever growing population of smart young adults who will not hesitate to vote for candidates supporting a Green New Deal — a deal that will unintentionally set America on a fast path to national suicide. It may not happen until a Democrat wins the presidency, but it's coming.
These true believers should ponder a 76-year-old quote from The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis. "Man's power over nature is really the power of some men over others with nature as their instrument."