Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) released her “Green New Deal” on Thursday through National Public Radio (NPR).
As predicted, it is pure socialism.
The legislation, co-authored by Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), is a non-binding resolution that reads, to borrow a phrase from the late Jeanne Kirkpatrick, like a letter to Santa Claus — or, in this case, a wish list to Gaia or Mother Nature.
The “Green New Deal” begins by asserting “human activity is the dominant cause of observed climate change over the past century” — far beyond the “consensus” that humans have some significant impact on global temperature.
It goes on to declare that “a changing climate is causing sea levels to rise and an increase in wildfires, severe storms, droughts, and other extreme weather events that threaten human life” — all speculative claims that even scientists who endorse anthropogenic global warming (AGW) are hesitant to endorse.
It predicts the U.S. will lose $500 billion in annual output by 2100 due to climate change — which, even if true, would be a tiny percentage.
Next, Ocasio-Cortez and Markey claim that the U.S. is experiencing “a 4-decade trend of economic stagnation, deindustrialization, and antilabor policies” — a statement that defies the actual data on economic growth and the revival of manufacturing in recent years, including rising wages for blue-collar workers.
The legislation then laments “erosion of the … bargaining power of workers in the United States” — as if picket lines had something to do with the environment. It also claims that climate change has “exacerbated systemic racial … ” injustices,” among other inequalities.
The latter two concerns have nothing to do with climate change — except in that left-wing environmental policies have tended to increase, rather than decrease, income inequality. Restrictive building codes, for example, have contributed to a housing shortage that has seen the middle class leave coastal cities and suburbs.
The bill also asserts that climate change is a “direct threat” to national security, citing the very indirect threats climate change allegedly poses to “stability” in other countries, and as a “threat multiplier” to the U.S.
It goes on to claim that the New Deal “created the greatest middle class the United States has ever seen,” but that it also excluded “many members of frontline and vulnerable communities.”
To address the failures of the New Deal — the cherished achievement of the Democratic Party for generations — Ocasio-Cortez and Markey propose a “green” version whose goal is to “create millions of good, high-wage jobs” but also to “counteract systemic injustices.”
It is unclear what, if anything, that has to do with the environment.
Indeed, the first goals of the proposed “Green New Deal” include securing “community resiliency” and “repairing historic oppression” of almost every class of victims the authors can imagine.
(Note: the legislation fails to mention — even once — the historic oppression of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer communities. This is a homophobic and transphobic document.)
The core of the Green New Deal is a proposal, within 10 years, to eliminate “pollution and greenhouse gas emissions” and to meet “100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources.”
Not even California, the most ambitious environmental state, proposes to achieve that until 2045 — and even California has no idea how to run the world’s 5th-largest economy on wind and sunshine alone.
Furthermore, the authors say they will proceed “through transparent and inclusive consultation, collaboration, and partnership with frontline and vulnerable communities, labor unions, worker cooperatives [are we literally in the Soviet Union now?], civil society groups, academia, and businesses.”
Ocasio-Cortez, 29, has clearly never participated in a public planning process. Markey is a political veteran at 72; what’s his excuse?
The Green New Deal will also “guarantee” a job with a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations, and retirement security to all people [note: not “citizens” or even “legal residents”] of the United States.” It will also provide “high-quality health care”; “affordable, safe, and adequate housing”; and health and affordable food.” And it bans unfair “domination and competition” from monopolies — except the state, of course.
Funding for all of this is to come through “community grants, public banks [whatever those are], and other public financing.”
There is no mention of the 70% marginal income tax that Ocasio-Cortez has recently proposed to fund what even NPR admits would be the “trillions upon trillions of dollars” it would cost to implement the Green New Deal.
And all decisions are also to be made only after “obtaining the the free, prior, and informed consent of indigenous people for all decisions that affect indigenous people and their traditional territories” — presumably, even outside their present lands.
The Green New Deal, in short, is a document worthy of a 19th-century communist manifesto — or a 21st-century undergraduate student council resolution. It presents claims unsupported by scientific evidence; makes demands for every benefit imaginable; and has no idea how to build or pay for any of it.
It reads like a Republican parody of the Democratic platform.
The best part: they are serious.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.