Heartland: Special Edition Devoted to the Green New Deal

Reposted from The Heartland Institute

February 1, 2019

Climate Change Weekly #313

The much-hyped Green New Deal (GND) is being pushed by a rump group of progressive-socialists in the Democratic Party, including prominent members of the Senate with stated presidential aspirations. If enacted, GND would constitute a complete socialist makeover/takeover of the economic system of the United States.

With costs in its first 10 years estimated at nearly $50 trillion dollars, GND would be by far the most costly social and economic experiment in U.S. history. For comparison, the United States has accumulated $21 trillion in debt over its 241-year history.

While recognizing GND would destroy the economy if adopted, I think is it much less dangerous as a proposal than the much more modest and varied iterations of a carbon dioxide tax that have been floated by various members of the Democratic and Republican parties. Why? Simply because GND is so far-reaching and economically wrenching, so enormous in scope and intrusive into peoples’ lives and livelihoods, it is far less likely to be enacted—at least in whole, in one massive piece of legislation—than a tax on fossil fuel use. The public is already used to paying gasoline taxes at the pump, along with surcharges on electric power bills and to airlines. Imposing a percent charge or dollar fee on fossil fuels, allowing its costs trickle down throughout the economy in the form of higher prices for goods and services, would allow politicians to escape the blame for the enormous damage the tax would do.

Most people complaining about the higher costs will mistakenly blame businesses for the raising prices, leaving the politicians and bureaucrats whose actions actually necessitated the higher costs scot-free. And if the past is any guide, the mainstream media will eagerly promote this false view of who is really to blame for higher prices.

GND, by contrast, is in your face. Voters will know whom to blame when it all goes wrong, costs skyrocket, unemployment rises, and electricity reliability declines. Given that the United States has regular, relatively free and fair elections, huge vested economic interests, and a history of periodic political whiplash in response to much more modest policy changes in the past, it would be virtually impossible to pass GND. That is why even the vast majority of the Democratic caucus is not yet supporting it.

In short, although taxing carbon dioxide emissions would cost billions of dollars, increase unemployment, hurt the economy, and limit personal freedom, it is entirely possible a carbon dioxide could pass. It’s unlikely with the current split Congress and with Donald Trump as president, but some relatively near-future Congress and president could certainly take the plunge.

GND, by contrast, would impose dramatic, wrenching changes that are simply not politically possible. (For the purposes of this essay, I’m limiting my discussion to the energy and environmental transformation that would be necessary to end fossil fuel use by 2030, though GND is also chock-full of social-justice and –engineering wish list items.)

Although it is possible to draw up a scenario in which GND could happen, with the stars aligning perfectly and every policy and economic change necessary to meet the goal of eliminating fossil fuels accomplished successfully, the real world is messy. People, politicians, and countries have differing, often competing, aspirations and visions of what the good life entails, and they make mistakes, fail to find expected and desperately needed resources, and miss deadlines. Those factors and the simple physical requirements of eliminating fossil fuels in 11 years mean GND is impossible, for all practical purposes.

Consider, for example, the massive change to the electric power grid and the U.S. transportation system necessary to replace fossil fuels with renewable power plants and electric vehicles in just 11 years. The electric grid and the transportation system were built up over 80 years or more. GND calls for replacing all of this in just a decade.

To meet current electric power needs, estimates are millions of wind turbines would have to be erected, millions of solar panels installed, and billions of battery packs stored in millions of homes or at tens of thousands of centralized battery farms that would have to be built. Wind turbines would have to cover one-third of the continental United States, or solar panels would probably have to cover more than 20 percent of the countryside, just to meet current demand. We would also have to erect thousands of additional electric towers and string thousands of additional miles of transmission lines to get the power from the locations where the wind blows and sun shines regularly—which is where the wind and solar farms will have to be built, of course—to the cities and towns where the power is needed. Talk about a devastating impact on wildlife and wilderness!

Of course, that’s just to meet the current demand for electric power. If domestic demand grows, we will need even more turbines, panels, and transmission lines than estimated. More likely, the havoc GND is almost certain to cause in the economy would result in the largest sustained depression and economic decline in the history of the United States, causing energy demand to fall as it has consistently done during previous recessions and depressions. For GND proponents, that might be a feature and not a bug, though they certainly aren’t going to tell you that.

Consider also the billions of dollars cities and investors would lose when the coal and natural gas powered municipal power plants and those operated by investor-owned utilities were idled prematurely by force of law. Stock portfolios would plunge, blowing a gigantic hole in retirees’ pension payouts. Taxpayers would likely be on the hook for billions of dollars to companies and investors when they are forced to close fossil fuel power plants before they are paid off and before the end of their productive lives—facilities which various state public utility authorities licensed and approved. The cost to taxpayers to pay off these stranded assets would be astronomical. Residents of cities with municipal power systems would still be paying off the debt for the bonds used to build their publicly owned power plants idled by GND long after the federal government stopped them from generating power.

And that’s just the effect on electric power. All gasoline, diesel, biodiesel, ethanol, and natural gas powered vehicles would have to be replaced with electric vehicles. A lot of people would surely object to being forced to mothball their vehicles, especially because the electric vehicles they would be forced into would be smaller, less powerful, less comfortable, more expensive, and unable go long distances without frequent recharging. People care about these factors more than fuel economy, which is why electric vehicle sales still make up less than 2 percent of the car and truck market despite more than a decade of generous government subsidies.

Transforming the automobile market would require a total revamping of the supply chain from factories to subcontractors. Foreign cars manufacturers would have to buy into GND also, if they wanted to keep sellling cars in the United States. Because other countries wouldn’t be bound by GND strictures, foreign auto manufacturers might decide to abandon the U.S. market for China, India, and elsewhere rather than going through the expensive restructuring and supply chain changes necessary to build only or primarily electric vehicles.

Proponents of GND admit the technological transformation required to hit the zero fossil fuel target by 2030 would be akin to a wartime effort. As in World War II but on an even larger scale, all manufacturing would have to be directed away from whatever products we build now—blenders, pump jacks, computers, etc.—to the production of millions of wind turbines, solar panels, electric vehicles, batteries, transmission towers and power lines, rail tracks, cars, engines, and associated technologies for our new green economy. The government would be conscripting all factories, and by extension their workers, into GND’s warlike crusade against chimeric climate change. And it would all be for naught, because global greenhouse gas emissions would continue to rise as a result of economic growth in developing countries that are not foolish enough to impose GND on themselves.

Meeting GND’s goals for home energy efficiency and resource use would require an unprecedented intrusion of government agents into our homes. They would have to come into almost every home to ensure each is fitted with the latest in energy efficient appliances, insulation, home heating and cooling systems, and windows. Say good-bye to your gas-powered stove, dryer, water heater, or fireplace, and toss out that propane grill. Those luxuries would have to be sacrificed under GND.

Under GND, the government would have to get up close and personal in everyone’s life, requiring, for example, people to purchase government-approved TVs, phones, refrigerators, and other home goods that use less energy. The government would regulate what kinds of houses and neighborhoods people live in, with energy use being the prime factor federal agents will consider in assessing each home or business. Factors such as picture or sound quality, load capacity, the ability to clean clothes or plates quickly, square footage, styles of windows and doors, drivability of neighborhoods, or any other personal considerations—criteria that are often more important to people than how much energy an appliance or home uses when they buy homes and products—would have to take a back seat to the government’s energy-use mandates.

Then there are the labor and foreign relations impacts of GND.

Even if all the millions of truck drivers, gas station and convenience store employees, oil and gas field workers, coal miners, workers at chemical refineries and power stations, and others put out of work by the Democrats’ GND could seamlessly transition to jobs building, installing, and maintaining renewable energy technologies, the United States would have to open its borders to millions of additional migrant laborers in order to get the job done in the truncated timeline required. Perhaps this is why many of the same people pushing GND also favor an open-border policy and amnesty for illegal immigrants. We simply could not build, manage, and maintain the equipment, tools, vehicles, and appliances needed with the labor force currently residing in the United States. The United States did something similar in the nineteenth century when we imported Chinese laborers to help build the transcontinental railway. In immigration terms, GND would be the transcontinental railway on steroids.

Of course, the United States would not have to manufacture all the renewable energy equipment and new technologies required domestically. We could import much of it, as we already do, and likely would be forced to do so because of resource constraints and labor limitations. Importing more batteries, solar panels, wind turbines, and appliances, however, would make our trade deficit vastly bigger than it already is. In doing so, moreover, the United States would simply be offshoring its carbon dioxide emissions instead of reducing them. In fact, that would very likely increase global carbon dioxide emissions and production of various air and water pollutants as countries with lower environmental standards than our own ramp up production to meet the large increase in U.S. demand for renewable power technologies.

The GND would also undermine U.S. national security.

The technologies required to implement GND require tons of minerals and rare earth elements currently unavailable in the quantities required for this transition. Although the United States has many of these critical metals and rare earth elements, federal regulations make mining them virtually impossible. Proponents of GND show little recognition of the limited ability to access these minerals, or indeed, even that they are necessary components of the green technologies the proposal mandates the United States switch to. Under GND, mining is likely to become more difficult, and this is a serious problem from a national security perspective.

Currently, the United States is 100 percent import-dependent on China, Russia, and other nations for more than half of the critical minerals that are the foundation of green technologies. There are competing uses for these minerals. They are not just necessary for the powerful magnets used in wind turbines and to create thin films for solar panels. They are also used in our country’s advanced defense systems, such as jets, missiles, and radar and guidance systems, as well as more mundane consumer items such as televisions, cell phones, computers, and gaming systems.

China and Russia, among the United States’ top geopolitical rivals, have in the past used their control of critical minerals to extort economic concessions from businesses and countries and political concessions from governments. The United States fought hard to reduce its dependence on foreign oil, seeing such dependence as an economic and national security threat. Thanks to fracking, the United States has become virtually energy-independent, yet GND would once again subjugate Americans to the whims of often-hostile foreign regimes for our energy supply. This would have catastrophic effects on America’s economic health and domestic security.

For all of these reasons, even if GND were logistically possible, it would be a hard sell politically. Homeowners, drivers, businesses, workers, national security hawks, and those few politicians still truly concerned about government deficits would likely work together to defeat it. Politically and practically, GND is effectively DOA.

Most politicians probably aren’t abjectly stupid, and thus they must know GND is impossible. Therefore, one must assume those pushing it have an ulterior motive for doing so. To wit, they are proposing the radical GND to make costly carbon dioxide taxes, increased subsidies for green energy technologies, stricter fuel mandates for cars and trucks, stricter energy requirements for appliances, and more stringent emission restrictions on power plants look moderate by comparison. Any gains they make on these fronts show they are willing to compromise to get things done, they’ll say. They’ll take credit for imposing purportedly environmentally beneficial policies, blame businesses for the price increases and increased unemployment the policies cause, all the while shedding crocodile tears over the fact recalcitrant, environmental blackguards in Congress kept them from enacting the true reform needed, the Holy Grail: the Green New Deal.

  • H. Sterling Burnett
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Serge Wright
February 3, 2019 2:21 am

The GND is just a ploy to enforce extreme socialism. Ironically, those guys don’t want Green jobs, because they don’t want to work and believe the state should provide. The Green ide of work is to recieve a living wage to allow them to spend their days busking in a subway or protesting their favourite socialist cause. Of course the concept of Green jobs is totally flawed in any case. The idea of having everyone in society working to produce their idea of energy should sound alarm bells to anyone who made it past kindergarten, but alas, such is the power of ideology to remove all sense of logic from one’s brain.

Reply to  Serge Wright
February 3, 2019 5:19 am

Did they miss the message that socialism is the most totally corrupt and self defeating political system which is why it has always failed.

Reply to  LdB
February 3, 2019 6:57 am

One of our regulars insists that socialism promotes freedom. Yes, the freedom of those who want to be paid for doing what they want to do.

Reply to  Serge Wright
February 3, 2019 6:13 am

“Most politicians probably aren’t abjectly stupid, and thus they must know GND is impossible.” ?? May I introduce you to Justin Trudeau who is trying to implement a carbon tax even as we speak. If he had his way, GND would be on the menu.

Reply to  Trebla
February 3, 2019 9:41 am

Absolutely, Trebla!

“Most politicians” may not be abjectly stupid, but they are definitely not leaders!
Whenever placed between extreme views, they do their dangest to sit on a fence and will happily support pseudo midpoints of those extreme positions.

These politicians are eager to ride the coattails of successful politicians and causes. This is where the constant onslaught of paid advertising, fake research and mindless media support for causes hurts citizens.
Because politicians are the easiest to delude into thinking they’re grabbing a successful path; especially if their campaigns are receiving substantial amounts of “green” donations.

John the Econ
Reply to  Serge Wright
February 3, 2019 7:37 am

Of all the avowed socialists I knew in school, absolutely none of them envisioned their futures as one of the “workers”. I seriously doubt any of those kids in the picture at the top of this article have any intent or desire for one of those “green” jobs they advocate for.

Reply to  Serge Wright
February 3, 2019 9:34 am

Absolutely, Serge.

Right up in the article’s photo, two of the children each hold up a “Green jobs for all” sign. A protest that apparently attracted a huge turnout of 12-18 kids.

“Green jobs for all”, an oxymoronic concept; even if they intend for more sewage/trash collection/trash processing/manual street cleaners, etc.
Jobs for all is a typical claim by someone introducing socialist notions to a gullible public.
N.B. They carefully keep their green title away from work performed and far from pay scales. Otherwise, even the delusional might spot that except for the bosses, salaries are at miserable levels.

February 3, 2019 2:32 am

I would be very surprised if even the slightly less dangerous Carbon Tax would make it past the two houses in the USA. Even in far more Green inclined Australia it did not last for very long, although one could say that subsidies to renewables are just another form of a tax on CO2.


John Endicott
Reply to  Michael
February 5, 2019 7:37 am

It currently won’t pass both houses of congress, as long as the Republicans can keep their RINOs in check. Even if it did, it won’t get signed by Trump (unless the Dems tie it to funding the wall, something they are adamantly opposed to ever doing). after the 2020 election, whether it would pass or not depends on who wins/retains control in congress and the White house.

Zig Zag Wanderer
February 3, 2019 2:32 am

The proponents of this GND are very much like children. They have no idea of the overall effects, or if they do, they are plain evil.

Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
February 3, 2019 4:06 am

Just plain evil. Members of a cult.

Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
February 3, 2019 6:08 am

Infantile omnipotence comes to mind. That morphs into obsessional neurosis and psychotic megalomania.

On a lighter note, today’s Dilbert is worth a look. 🙂

Rich Davis
Reply to  commieBob
February 3, 2019 7:08 am

Thanks for the Dilbert tip cb, hilarious!

Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
February 3, 2019 6:58 am

These are the same people who declare that having more stuff than they do is immoral.

They are evil.

Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
February 3, 2019 8:48 am

This child-like fixation on newly getting green is rooted in recapturing feelings that arose the 3rd day of breastfeeding when their infant poop normally turns green. When infant poop naturally turned yellow on the 5th day of breastfeeding that change imprinted a sense of loss. The properly educated adherents of GND who were not breastfed dutifully feel the pain of others & internalize the anxiety; some even go as far as feed kale to their young in order to give them the benediction of green poop.

Gerry, England
February 3, 2019 2:39 am

The comparison between GND and carbon tax and who would be blamed for the damage done rings true when considering what has happened with UK electricity costs. The government has placed taxes on it but also added to the grid costs by requiring expensive connections to remote windmills. When prices rise the media are very quick to blame the companies, who generally don’t help themselves by not explaining that government is responsible. They seem scared to take on the government, possibly because they have their snouts in the trough of subsidy cash. One small supplier did make it very clear recently when it raised the cost of its fixed tariff plan – the fixed part only referred to the wholesale energy costs so as they explained, the rise was due to other costs caused by government policy.

Reply to  Gerry, England
February 3, 2019 7:01 am

When government regulators have the power to put you out of business on a whim, it’s generally wise not to PO the government regulators.

February 3, 2019 3:43 am

The wide/wild-eyes in the photo are the tell: GND is based on childlike fantasies of unicorns and beautiful, always-benevolent monarchs. Besides the mountainous financial demands and the perpetual-motion-machine technical challenges, there would be more than a couple of constitutional safeguards (and people willing to fight for them) to overcome to implement such a scheme.

Apparently, none of the proponents or followers are familiar with “Atlas Shrugged.”

Rich Davis
Reply to  Nik
February 3, 2019 7:20 am

Off topic, but I was thinking of Atlas Shrugged yesterday when reading news about Venezuela. The article was headlined “Who is Jaun Guaidó”
(Who is John Galt?)

I doubt the journalists intended the irony or made the connection or ever read Ayn Rand.

George Daddis
Reply to  Nik
February 3, 2019 7:41 am

You are on to something, but still missed the point.
This proposal is the epitome of “intersectionality”. The “face” of it is “Climate and Environment”.

The more mature Democrat leaders who are jumping on the GND bandwagon (like Warren and Harris) know Part A, aimed at climate, is not possible. However it will attract those non thinking “wide-eyes” into their party for the 2020 election. The end game of Part A is votes; they know implementation of Part A requires “fairy dust”.

The real prize is Part B which unveils the full laundry list of progressive “freebies” including free medical care, guaranteed wage, college and remediation of environmental social injustices (whatever they may be); all managed by the Select Committee that would be set up by this legislation. The alarming wave of younger voters in love with socialism may give Part B a chance.

The fact that useful idiots like AOC are fawned over by the MSM only helps their cause.

(My reference to Parts A and B were from AOC’s first written explanation of her GND, which was written by her staff over a weekend. I notice now, Google has “disappeared” this and now only has journalists’ reports which are very short on detail.),/i>

February 3, 2019 3:48 am

You lost me at relatively free and fair elections.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Dennis
February 3, 2019 7:24 am

True. If you allow non-citizens to vote and you help the dead vote and you bus people across state lines to vote fraudulently, then you might not have free and fair elections. Is that what you had in mind?

Reply to  Rich Davis
February 3, 2019 8:19 am

A lot of lefties feel that allowing any one they don’t like to spend money on election advertising means that elections are no longer fair.

February 3, 2019 3:56 am

‘ Green jobs for all’ shakes head.

Reply to  Jules
February 3, 2019 5:16 am

I saw that so what is a green job something like a lawnmower man or a job outside?

Reply to  Jules
February 3, 2019 6:12 am

“During his acceptance speech in 2008, Obama said he would “invest $150 billion over the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy — wind power, and solar power, and the next generation of biofuels — an investment that will lead to new industries and 5 million new jobs that pay well.”

As has been documented several times over, Obama is more than a few windmill blade lengths short of his goal. The most recent analysis shows that his administration has created only 2,298 permanent green jobs, according to the Institute for Energy Research, which used data from the Energy Department’s Loan Programs Office to reach this conclusion.”


George Daddis
Reply to  Ron
February 3, 2019 7:46 am

To make it worse, as an example, diesel buses in my area were replace by electrics. Those same drivers are now counted as having a “green job”.

Reply to  Ron
February 3, 2019 6:52 pm

United Nations Sustainable Development

Bank of America

“50 billion, 10 year, Environment Business Initiative”

Action Network: SE4All

Sustainable Development Goal: 7, Energy

SDG 7 includes renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.


$50 billion is a lot of money. There is lot of money flowing into renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Barbara
February 3, 2019 8:20 pm

And Bank of America will lend that money if someone guarantees its repayment. Uncle Sugar?

Reply to  Dave Fair
February 4, 2019 8:23 am

U.S. Department of State

“Sustainable Energy for All”

Launched 2011.
SE4All HQ: Vienna, Austria

Provides a bit of history of SE4All



United Nations

“Sustainable Energy For All: An Overview”, 2 pages

Launched in 2011 and has three objectives to be achieved by 2030 including increased renewable energy and energy efficiency.


Reply to  Dave Fair
February 4, 2019 8:33 am

Instead try,

U.S. Department of State

“Sustainable Energy For All”, Launched 2011.


Reply to  Dave Fair
February 4, 2019 9:44 am

United Nations

Press Release
EN / 262
1 November 2011

Secretary-General Names Members of High-level Group on ‘Sustainable Energy for All’

Includes members list.

Reply to  Dave Fair
February 4, 2019 11:58 am

United Nations
General Assembly
Distr.: General
6 August 2013
Sixty-eighth session

“2014-2024 United Nations Decade of Sustainable Energy for All”
“Report of the Secretary-General”, 45 pages

Re: 2030 goals.

Also includes the SE4All Initiative and other information.


Reply to  Dave Fair
February 4, 2019 12:13 pm
Reply to  Dave Fair
February 4, 2019 12:21 pm
Reply to  Dave Fair
February 4, 2019 6:25 pm

U.S. Department of State

Bureau of Energy Resources

“International Energy Agency, Sustainable Energy for All, Power Africa (IRENA)”

Re: Objectives to be achieved by 2030 and renewable energy.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Barbara
February 4, 2019 9:13 pm

Barbara, I wasted whole minutes of my precious remaining time on earth looking at your governmental documents. But, they do have lots of big words patting themselves on the back for sitting around and wasting taxpayer money.

Reply to  Barbara
February 5, 2019 12:46 pm


United Nations
Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform

Total Initiatives: 120

Includes list of Initiatives participants. Click on any item.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Barbara
February 5, 2019 6:13 pm

Our tax dollars at … work?

February 3, 2019 4:03 am

There’s something seriously wrong with these people. Chasing unicorn farts with only the backing of the global warming scam. Why are they still allowed to walk among us? Jail them all now for attempted economic sabotage – at bare minimum.

Tom Abbott
February 3, 2019 4:09 am

From the article: “For comparison, the United States has accumulated $21 trillion in debt over its 241-year history.”

Ten Trillion of which was accumulated over the last 10 years during the Obama administration, with the assistance of the Republican Congress.

Tom Abbott
February 3, 2019 4:16 am

From the article: “it would be virtually impossible to pass GND”

I agree. Once the details of the GND are made public, people will see the drastic measures being proposed and will reject it. You might sell the public on small changes, but they are not going to sit still for someone trying to turn their entire lives upside down.

The GRD is a socialist fantasy that will never happen.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
February 4, 2019 1:09 am

“GRD”? Green Raw Deal?

February 3, 2019 4:20 am

When GND threatens the pockets/cash loads of politicians, it gets squelched.

This has to play itself out. Whatever gods you pray to, ask for protection from these clowns.

Reply to  Sara
February 3, 2019 5:08 am

When GND promises the pockets/cash loads of politicians, it gets passed.
ObamaCare was passed because the political ruling class wanted to inflict it on us. Remember Nancy Pelosi, “We have to pass the bill so we can find out what is in it.” Apparently, they really did know what was in it because they exempted themselves and their staffs from it.
When big special interest money stuffs enough money into politician’s pockets, legislation gets passed.

Would they really pass legislation which would blow up the country? Would the people vote for it?
The people of Venezuela, including the middle class, did. It can happen here.

Joseph Campbell
Reply to  TonyL
February 3, 2019 5:51 am

To TonyL: “The people of Venezuela, including the middle class, did. It can happen here.”

You are absolutely correct! Scary…

Reply to  TonyL
February 3, 2019 8:46 am

There IS no promise of cash for politicians in GND. There is only “here it what it will cost” in her proposal. If anything, she’d likely take money away from all those wealthy politicians like Pelosi and Feinstein, who would not take kindly to being ripped off by this eager beaver’s plans.

A cost of $40.5 trillion puts it higher than the current national debt, which is $3.57 tr to $4.50 trillion.

AOC wants to tax the net worth of the wealthiest people. Per Forbes, the total net worth of the 400 richest Americans is an impressive $2.29 trillion U.S. dollars, which falls FAR short of what her proposed program will cost at $40.5 trillion. In fact, the only way to cover that atrocious cost is to tax other countries, because the majority of wealthy people are not living here in the USA, nor are they Americans living abroad. I doubt that they’d take kindly to it if the US demanded taxes of them.

In regard to Venezula, Maduro may still have the gavel, but he is in hiding. Juan Guaido was elected president a short while ago, and he is trying to get Maduro out of power.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Sara
February 3, 2019 11:38 am

As with all new ‘tax the rich and spend on new jobs’ plans, the proposers incorrectly assume a static populace and invariably low-ball their cost estimates.

New tax revenue will fall short because wealthy people will take tax avoidance steps and/or move to more tax-friendly environs. The middle class always pays the full costs of government.

All poorly defined government projects come in late and over budget, usually by massive amounts. The GND people have no idea the real extent nor the high costs of their dreams.

But, no matter; the U.S. Federal government just prints money (borrows) to pay for its schemes. A $20+ Trillion deficit? Who cares? Just keep up the party and bring on the booze.

Reply to  Dave Fair
February 3, 2019 4:53 pm

The rich can spend on new jobs without the need for government meddling. It’s called investment of capital. 😮

Dave Fair
Reply to  drednicolson
February 3, 2019 8:13 pm

The $20+ Trillion U.S. Federal debt is a living monument to continuous and wildly excessive spending. The GND would accelerate that spending to dizzying new heights. With or without GND, however, this will not end well.

There may be some hope if President Trump’s economic stimulus actions will increase net Federal tax revenues to partially offset our collective inability to just say no. But, as the old saying goes, the government will find ways to spend any new taxes, then some more.

Tom Abbott
February 3, 2019 4:35 am

From the article: “Wind turbines would have to cover one-third of the continental United States”

Not in my backyard.

The absurdity of the idea of running the world on windmills should be obvious to any rational person just on the amount of space windmills would take up. And that is just one of the numerous egregious problems associated with windmills.

We are not going to fill every open space in the US with windmills. It’s not going to happen. I would call on the socialists to wake up to reality, but that’s not going to happen, either. We will just have to outvote these delusional people.

a right-minded lefty
Reply to  Tom Abbott
February 3, 2019 6:57 am

“…The absurdity of the idea of running the world on windmills should be obvious to any rational person just on the amount of space windmills would take up. And that is just one of the numerous egregious problems associated with windmills….We are not going to fill every open space in the US with windmills…
…We will just have to outvote these delusional people…”

I quite agree but for some reason Don Quixote comes to mind…

Reply to  a right-minded lefty
February 3, 2019 10:00 am

Um, I kind of regard AOC as Don Quixote.

Windmills kill birds and bats. Birds and bats hunt and eat bugs that carry diseases, some of which are quite lethal. The volume they consume is enormous and both are know to hunt their prey on the wing. As noted in a previous post about solar furnaces in the Mojave that cook migrating birds, Audubon’s count of birds killed off by that place alone is a high enough volume to increase the spread of these nasty bugs, never mind the number of bats that also hunt the bugs.

If this is brought to this overly-ambitious person’s attention, do you think she’ll care at all, about the impact her plan will have on the REAL environment and the consequences that will follow? I doubt it myself. I don’t think she has a clue about anything in the real world, because she does not have to deal with it. She doesn’t even do her own grocery shopping. I don’t think she’s has the faintest idea just how much damage her brilliant ideas will cause, never mind the real-world consequences.

But we do need to keep her front and center so that she can let us all know just what kind of uninformed person she really is, and also allow us to calculate the cost of her social experiments, which no one can afford.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
February 3, 2019 7:05 am

Leftists tend to be of the mindset that if government orders something to happen, it will happen.
I’ve had several tell me that all we need to do to have batteries good enough for electric cars is pass a law requiring battery companies to start making such batteries.

Reply to  MarkW
February 3, 2019 1:38 pm

I’m sure all of these leftists are willing to line up for government provided housing, right? 😉

February 3, 2019 4:39 am

Without energy, money becomes something other than money and is worthless. It is really not money that “makes” the world go ’round. GND, the plan, is so off the wall and over the top that it is a waste of time to even spend time being concerned about it.

February 3, 2019 4:49 am

Nice enough article.
Another view:
A lot of wasted verbiage. If the GND were put into law, in whole or on part, the US economy would collapse overnight, and our civil society would be destroyed. People would burn through their remaining resources to stay alive. Within 6-12 months the US would become the new Venezuela. (End of article.)

The Carbon Tax:
The US is already overtaxed. Witness that when taxes go up, the economy takes a hit and a recession sets in. When taxes are cut, the economy flourishes. (You will never get a politician to understand this.)

The 1970s:
The huge bills from President Johnson’s Great Society programs were all coming due. Tax increases and massive deficit spending were the order of the day. The cutest trick the politicians came up with was the “Bracket Creep” tax. Washington would deficit spend like crazy, causing massive inflation. This inflation steadily pushed the middle class into ever higher tax brackets. Even though people’s real earnings were not keeping up fully with inflation, their tax burdens skyrocketed anyway. And the politicians all skated away from culpability.
The Fallout:
The permanent recession turned into long term economic stagnation. Combined with killing inflation, the economic condition was called Stagflation.

Economists looking back now call the 1970s the “Lost Decade”. Worse, many put the start at 1968, and the end at 1982. A 14 or 15 year long decade is a heck of a big decade to lose. It was a miserable time to be sure, and the political class in Washington professed to have no idea what caused it. They certainly had no idea what to do about it. It was a miserable time, indeed. The middle class in the US never recovered.

These people advocating for a carbon tax have no idea what they are screwing around with.
If they are allowed to proceed, we will all find out, and those of us who were around in the 1970s will get a refresher course.
For me, once was enough. “Been There, Done That.”

Reply to  TonyL
February 3, 2019 7:07 am

Bracket creep ended under the Reagan tax bill. Indexing of the brackets was fought by the Democrats tooth and nail.

February 3, 2019 5:07 am

Bait and switch….the oldest political game in the book
….and a carbon tax will look tame after this…..and that’s what they really want

a right-minded lefty
Reply to  Latitude
February 3, 2019 7:02 am

yup, seems very plausible.

Reply to  Latitude
February 3, 2019 10:14 am

This first push is just the set-up for 10-15 years in the future. Like the failed Hillary Healthcare initiative set the stage for Obamacare’s passage. These people don’t go away they just keep advancing on the weak points until they get their way.

February 3, 2019 5:09 am

The GND would trash the environment in order to … err, achieve nothing.

February 3, 2019 5:10 am

Most politicians probably aren’t abjectly stupid, and thus they must know GND is impossible.
One should not underestimate politicians. Just when you think they couldn’t get any stupider they will surprise you.

Political stupidity remains one of the few truly infinite forces in the known universe. For the want of a suitable interface, all the windmills and solar panels ever envisioned can be powered indefinitely on stupidity alone.

February 3, 2019 5:41 am

The early settlers to America such as the Pilgrims were an early experiment with the green new deal.

Lacking the funds to pay for their passage, the early colonies were organized into socialist communes to spread the financial risk to investors.

However, after large numbers of the colonists died, placing the debt repayment at risk, the socialist model was replaced by a capitalist model and famine was quickly replaced by surplus.

The problem should be self evident. Human beings will work harder to put food on their own table than their neighbors table. Therefore an economic system that rewards individual effort over communal effort will maximize output for the group.

That is the great paradox of economic systems. A system that rewards the individual provides maximum benefit to the group. This is well recognized in many professions. Coaching for example.

A good coach praises the individual and berates the team. A bad coach praises the team and berates the individual. Good managers follow the same model.

These coaching styles are analogs of capitalism and socialism. Many find them counterintuitive which helps explain why many see socialism as a solution, in spite of a poor track record. It ignores the realities of human behavior.

Reply to  Ferdberple
February 3, 2019 6:19 am

In the capitalist system, a lot of people make money by supplying other people’s demands and filling their needs, in ways that governments aren’t interested in. They are normally the innovators, the ambitious, the self motivated members of a society. People are willing to pay their hard earned cash to buy those goods and services and the innovators get “rich”. The “rich” deposit their cash in financial institutions. The financial institutions lend out the money with diligence aimed at successful use of the money by businesses and other innovators. The “system” has ALL the rich people’s money in use. The “rich” people only feel rich because they get a bank statement telling them how much money they have in the bank. In reality, the money is gone and has been lent out to others in a bank/government collaborative agreement. The communist system seeks to confiscate rich people’s bank accounts, socialists to usuriously tax people. If you happen to be “rich”, under those systems, your bank statement shows you your money is really “gone”…..and your ambition to put more money into “the system” is muchly reduced.

February 3, 2019 5:51 am

It appears that GND isn’t very well grounded.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Neo
February 3, 2019 7:34 am

Perhaps we need a GND fault interrupter?

February 3, 2019 6:01 am

Well, in the words of many others before me, the Constitution is not a suicide pact. It matters not what Washington does, a change of this magnitude would result in many red states banding together to form ‘sanctuary territories’ (we thank the Blue States for establishing this ‘right’) where the laws would not apply. Once the East and West Coasts have self-destructed, maybe we will trade with them. Until then, they can get their food from Canada.

Johann Wundersamer
February 3, 2019 7:27 am

This article will surely tip the greens out of the flip flops while they read this. carefully.

william matlack
February 3, 2019 7:51 am

Im not a scientist and dont understand why this GND is even thought to be necessary.Ive looked high and wide for the study that links carbon dioxide to an undesrable effect on the earths climate. Could someone on this website please direct me to that study. Thanks Bill

Reply to  william matlack
February 3, 2019 9:29 am

Bill, you’ll find maybe hundreds of model based studies claiming that increased atmospheroc Co2 would cause disaster. If we look at observational studies, we can see the world is getting greener thanks partly to CO2 (google “nature paper global greening and its drivers”, the attribution is model based but it makes sense since we all know photosynthesis requires CO2), google “alex epstein’s moral case for fossil fuels data”. Increased human CO2 emissions helped increase health, lifespan and population and helped decrease poverty, decrease environmental pollution (you need power to treat air and water and surplus to provide the education that fosters these improvements). I am not aware of an empirical study showing bad effects of CO2 emissions on climate.

GREG in Houston
February 3, 2019 8:06 am

If a carbon tax enacted, it’s simply the camel’s nose in the tent. They will then have a law they can d!ck with forever.

February 3, 2019 8:26 am

Doesn’t take a great leap to envision cadres of idiots thrusting upward the little green book as the country disintegrates. In the photo one of the banners reads “keep up or step aside” Haven’t we experienced that brutalist sentiment more than enough in the past decades. Totalitarians at heart should not be given the benefit of disastrous experience before we push them back into the darkness. GND perfectly illuminates the importance of the climate issue in our time. This is not an outlier. It is central and we are called to defeat it. The weak-minded, the mentally nasty, the bounders, and fools driving this deranged clown car come ever more into focus.

Good. Makes them easier to point out.

Reply to  troe
February 3, 2019 11:31 am

Push them into the ocean while we hold up banners stating “Swim or drown”. Sends a clear message their banner wasn’t accepted.

February 3, 2019 11:21 am

GND is not merely a cost issue, it is an energy impossibility. The energy consumed to design, manufacture, install, maintain and administer renewables exceeds the energy they produce in their lifetime. The energy consumed to provide necessary energy storage/backup makes it worse.

Without the energy provided by other sources, renewables can not exist.

February 3, 2019 11:45 am

They are trying to do the same in the UK, with the phasing out of our last nine coal power stations. But those coal stations are providing (today) 7 gw of electricity. In great contrast, today wind is only supplying 2 gw (10%) while solar is producing zero.

Yet they still want to close coal down, when there is nothing to take up the slack. And there is no storage if wind goes offline for a week either. No storage has been planned or built whatsoever. The only thing they did build is a 1 gw ‘strategic reserve’ – made up from diesel generators….!! Oh, how clean….!!


February 3, 2019 12:55 pm

I wonder if anyone pushing this economically crippling crap has bothered to do the maths on the co2 increase they so virtuosly want to reduce? Did they consider all the concrete and coal burned to produce the massive amount of steel required for one third of the CONUS being covered in eco crucifixes over an 11 year period simply to cover 2019’s demand?!

Or species extinctions as a result of being splattered? How about proven reduction in wind speed and decline in potential? Or how much it will cost to replace all those turbines with more turbines (more coal, steel, concrete) when they reach the end of the less than expected and underperforming lifespan? Or what to do with the actual physical mountains of knackered solar panels?

And that’s before we even think of the massive social issues such as increased unemployment from destroying industries, increased utility bills, reduced salaries from likely needing to find cheap labour from overseas to construct all this crap.

February 3, 2019 3:06 pm

Occasional Crouton (AOC) is merely the Band Leader of the American Marxists who provide the eminent example that our Education System has indeed Failed the current Generation! There are excellent examples of why 100% Renewables are impossible – NSW, soon to be England and Germany, any Windmill Consortium, and every Solar Furnace Project or Solar Panel Farm. Remove Government Subsidies and “Green Energy” dies a swift death. Besides, there is No Such Thing as “green energy” when you count the cost of the materials to build such things. The closest thing to “green energy” is Hydro-electric and there are only limited locations where this is even possible and none of those have unlimited lifespans! Silting reservoirs, aging concrete structures, and obsolete and unreplaceable generators eventually doom all Hydro. Only Nuclear and the oft expected Fusion Power sources are capable of replacing Fossil Fuels for Power Generation. Nuclear is fading fast worldwide for a number of economic and political reasons, so unless Fusion suddenly decides to become viable, the World is dependent on Fossil Fuels for a Very Long Time!

Paul of Alexandria
February 3, 2019 4:56 pm

From the article: “it would be virtually impossible to pass GND”
All at once, yes. Look for it to be phased in over a decade or so.

February 7, 2019 10:32 pm

“they are proposing the radical GND to make costly carbon dioxide taxes, increased subsidies for green energy technologies, stricter fuel mandates for cars and trucks, stricter energy requirements for appliances, and more stringent emission restrictions on power plants look moderate by comparison.”
I think they’re forgetting something – it’s *all* extreme nonsense. Anyone with half a brain can see through the carbon taxes, etc. No compromise. Not on one single thing.

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