AOC’s Pitch for the Green New Deal Is Unhinged From Reality

By James D. Agresti

Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently gave an impassioned pitch for her “Green New Deal” on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. After stating that her opponents were misrepresenting the legislation, she read the full text of it into the Congressional Record and claimed that the reason it is “so, so controversial” is “because for years we have prioritized the pursuit of profit at any and all human and environmental cost.”

That statement, along with the actual text of her bill, are at odds with numerous facts about pollution, regulations, and the economics of energy.

Environmental Trends

Contrary to AOC’s allegation that the U.S. doesn’t prioritize the environment, the nation’s air has become significantly cleaner over the past 40 years. Under federal law, the EPA monitors the outdoor concentrations of six major “criteria pollutants” that are widespread and likely “to endanger public health or welfare.” According to the latest and earliest primary measures of these pollutants, the average U.S. outdoor levels of:

· carbon monoxide declined by 84% from 1980 through 2017.

· ozone declined by 32% from 1980 through 2017.

· lead declined by 99% from 1980 through 2017.

· nitrogen dioxide declined by 60% from 1980 through 2017.

· 10 micron particulate matter declined by 34% from 1990 through 2017.

· 2.5 micron particulate matter declined by 41% from 2000 through 2017.

· sulfur dioxide decreased by 90% from 1980 through 2017.

Beyond criteria pollutants, the EPA estimates the emissions of 187 hazardous air pollutants, which are those that present “a threat of adverse human health effects” like cancer and birth defects. Combined emissions of these substances have declined by about 50% since the earliest available data, which stretches back to the 1990s.

Outdoor hazardous air pollutant levels have become so minimal that the EPA estimates they increase the average risk of cancer over a 70-year-lifetime by 0.004 percentage points. For comparison, the average lifetime risk of developing cancer is 38% for women and 40% for men.

Yet in accord with misinformation spread by politicians, educators, journalists, fact checkers, and environmental activists, 41% of voters believe that the air in the United States is now more polluted than it was in the 1980s. This includes 52% of people who plan to vote for a Democratic president in November and 28% of people who plan to vote for Trump.


Also contradicting AOC, the U.S. has been enacting reams of energy-related environmental laws and regulations for decades. As the U.S. Department of Energy reported in 1992, “the effort to deal with environmental concerns has become a central feature of federal energy policy,” and “there are so many government regulations concerning energy that it is difficult to identify and analyze all of them.”

Since then, the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations, along with Congress, have added considerably to these laws and regulations. For one of countless examples of how they have manifested, a 2012 Government Accountability Office report “identified 679 renewable energy-related initiatives” in the federal government. For another example, Oak Ridge National Laboratory reported in 2010 that regulatory costs for hydropower “have increased six times over the past thirty years.”


Another delusive aspect of AOC’s statement is her finger-pointing at “the pursuit of profit.” In reality, ordinary people—not corporations—are the main beneficiaries of the low-cost, abundant energy that characterizes the U.S. energy market. As explained in the textbook Introduction to Air Pollution Science, “The availability of affordable electric power is essential for public health and economic prosperity.” A diverse array of other scholarly publications make the same basic point, noting that high energy prices drive up hunger, drive down wages, stoke unemployment, and harm people in a wide variety of other ways.

A simple fact of economics is that consumers “prefer a lower price and sellers prefer a higher price.” Yet, regulations and subsidies like those required to implement the Green New Deal raise energy costs. This harms consumers while increasing the revenues of corporations. Such policies have already guaranteed corporations double-digit profits on certain energy projects and supplied them with funds for executive bonuses.

In Germany, where government is more aggressive than the U.S. in forcing the use of renewable energy, the average price of household electricity is about three times that of the United States. Yet, Germany is still nowhere close to the Green New Deal’s mandate of “meeting 100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources.” In 2018, wind and solar provided 24% of the Germany’s electricity, compared to 9% in the United States. Those percentages are not for the nations’ total energy—just their electricity.

The costs of getting to AOC’s 100% figure would be multiplicatively greater than the three-fold premium paid by German households. This is because when wind and solar generation increase, so do the costs of backing them up for the inevitable times when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing. Per the Institute for Plasma Physics in the Netherlands:

If the share of wind and solar power grow, great care has to be taken to guarantee the stability of the electricity supply. In most cases, back-up systems fueled by fossil fuels will be necessary.

[W]ind and solar energy are so-called intermittent sources of energy, meaning that they do not deliver energy all the time. This means that you need back-up power, or a means of storing power for times when there is no sun or wind, which adds to the costs of these energy sources.

Zero Emissions Fantasy

The Green New Deal also demands the use of imaginary products, as there is no such thing as the “zero-emission energy sources” that it requires. Though solar and wind create no pollution while they are in use, that is not true of their manufacturing and disposal. As detailed in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, “all” manmade “means of generating energy, including solar electric, create pollutants when their entire life cycle is taken into account. Life-cycle emissions result from using fossil-fuel-based energy to produce the materials for solar cells, modules, and systems, as well as directly from smelting, production, and manufacturing facilities.”

Wind and solar create far less pollutants than fossil fuels, but their environmental benefits are mitigated by the fact their high costs drive people to burn more wood and other fuels in fires and home stoves. These don’t burn fuel as efficiently as commercial energy technologies, and hence, they produce elevated levels of outdoor and indoor pollutants. The added consumption of wood also causes deforestation. Hence, the German newspaper Der Spiegel reported in 2013:

· “With energy costs escalating, more Germans are turning to wood burning stoves for heat.”

· “The number of Germans buying heating devices that burn wood and coal has grown steadily since 2005,” which has “boosted prices for wood, leading many to fuel their fires with theft.”

· “About 10 percent of the firewood that comes out of Brandenburg’s forest every year is stolen….”


While ignoring the harmful effects that high energy prices inflict on the vast majority of people, the Green New Deal promises to “create millions of good, high-wage jobs and ensure prosperity and economic security for all people of the United States.” In truth, “green job” policies mainly benefit corporations, not workers. As documented in the book Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: An Encyclopedia, “Growth in the green jobs sector does not necessarily imply net job creation” or economic progress for the following reasons:

· It is “easy to promote job growth in a given activity by simply encouraging (subsidizing) inefficient technologies that are more costly. We could, for example, use picks and shovels to dig for oil,” but this would reduce the nation’s productivity, which is the primary driver of people’s living standards.

· “The end product of a solar array or a wind farm is” electricity output. “Thus, increasing the amount of” output “produced from alternative energy or green energy sources reduces” the output and jobs “that would have been produced from fossil fuels.” Hence, “net job creation may be zero (or negative).”

· “Given the capital-intensive nature of energy development (green or fossil fuels), it is unlikely that this sector would produce as many direct jobs as alternative uses of government support. The benefits would largely accrue to the owners of capital [i.e., business owners].”


Choosing between different forms of energy typically involves tradeoffs between competing objectives, such as affordability, environmental impacts, and energy security. AOC’s Green New Deal and her rationalization for why it is “so, so controversial” disregard those practical realities while mangling the U.S. environmental record and pretending that one can make pollution-free energy and enrich people by multiplying the costs of their energy. The facts of science and economics say just the opposite.

James D. Agresti is the president of Just Facts, a think tank dedicated to publishing rigorously documented facts about public policy issues.

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March 5, 2020 6:18 am

Thank you for the clarification of these issues in such clear cut language and logic. I now have a better understanding of issues in the Green New Deal.
This is a very well written post.
Who is James Agresti?
OK off to google I go

Reply to  chaamjamal
March 5, 2020 9:46 am

You have NOT received a better understanding of ALL the issues in the Green New Deal.

The author is ONLY writing about energy issues included in the “Ordeal”.

The author failed to mention that a large majority of the (very hard to estimate) costs of the proposal are for socialist programs completely unrelated to CO2 emissions.

Reading the original early 2019 proposal, one would get the idea that it was a plan to implement socialism in the US, and lower CO2 emissions were the secondary goal.

Ms. Alexandria Occasionally Coherent’s Chief of Staff actually said that … and he was fired !

I wrote a short article last year that outlines a cost estimate of the “Ordeal” — note how much money would be for programs unrelated to CO2 emissions:

Reply to  chaamjamal
March 5, 2020 4:22 pm

March 5, 2020 at 6:18 am

Please do not take my reply to you as an insult,
but I got to say, from my point of understanding and position,
you do not seem to understand the beauty of the “punch” of AOC-GND.

Is only due to it , that the entirety of the libtard demorats senators had to actually stand the long hours of pain thrown at them from the other side in the Senate,
in the most clownish ridiculing and hilarious show performance,
ever played in the grounds of USA Senate,
when in top of that all,
the whole demorats in the Senate had to actually make sure, and very much so, with no exclusion clause,
of been clearly and affirmatively present there…
(and in the same time been ready in full to take and embrace the whole full pain of that schist as far as it could go and persist, with no any complains whatsoever).
by making very clear and sure that the clause of the quorum rules will not conclude as within the means of
the “breaking of the quorum” in that issue… by them, the Senator demorats.
Hilarious, wasn’t it!!!

Oh well, just a saying of me again.


March 5, 2020 6:23 am

I was disappointed that AOC’s GND omitted justice for the fairies at the bottom of the garden.

Bryan A
Reply to  Glenn Thompson
March 5, 2020 10:02 am

Don’t forget about those Gnomes in Nome

Reply to  Bryan A
March 5, 2020 10:46 pm

Gnome lives matter!

March 5, 2020 6:28 am

The U.S. could literally shut down: every living thing ceases to exist, everything is destroyed, the U.S. is back to its natural state, but emissions would still rise globally. The Green New Deal and its backers only want votes, power, and money. They do not care about reliable electricity, or global health leading to longer lives. The U.S. could have 100% reductions in CO2 emissions, and global emissions will rise, because of China, India, and Africa and their prolific and increasing usage of coal.

Reply to  Ronald Stein
March 5, 2020 7:29 am

try bringing that up on any of the internet forums…..and see how fast all the little communists jump to defend China

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Ronald Stein
March 5, 2020 9:50 am

You are correct. Of course, the GND pushers will tell you that “someone must start the ball rolling by setting a good example, and then the rest will follow”, but why should they? It’s like playing poker where everybody except you are cheating. Sure you are setting a good example, but why do you think they would stop taking your money?

Bryan A
Reply to  Paul Penrose
March 5, 2020 12:15 pm

Absolutely…being forced to go ALL IN on a bad deal is certainly the best way to Lose the Hand and be forced out early on in the game

Reply to  Ronald Stein
March 6, 2020 7:14 am

The Green New Deal is nothing but empty rhetoric. You will recall that it came up for a vote last year: ZERO Democrats voted in favor (2 voted “present,”) and Republicans shot it down 57-0. It’s not even alive. What exactly is the constituency for shutting down the entire American economy to solve a non-problem with an impossible “solution?” They keep pitching this to virtue-signal, because that’s all they have!

March 5, 2020 6:32 am

Loss of wildlife habitat is also much greater under the guise of green energy. Much, much greater. Not just the area lost to installation of solar arrays and wind turbines themselves, but the vast array of roads and transmission lines to install and service them.

Reply to  Bruce Ranta
March 5, 2020 7:07 am

Exactly right. Today’s fossil fuel exploration and production technology is really the most environmentally friendly option.

Steve Oregon
March 5, 2020 6:49 am

The problem is progressive don’t take criticism well.
It hurts their feelings.
They have a lot of feelings to be hurt.
Excessive amounts really.
That’s their defect.
So while much of their “science”, beliefs, agenda and movement is certainly faulty , they do no want to hear how so.
They reject all attempts to provide evidence of how so for the sake of preserving their feeling.

So how dare you try.

Reply to  Steve Oregon
March 5, 2020 8:04 am


Reply to  Steve Oregon
March 5, 2020 9:46 am

Progressives ONLY have feelings–they find facts and logic way too restrictive!

There’s a saying that if you want to make a Republican mad, tell him a lie!

And if you want to make a Progressive mad, tell him the truth!

Joel Snider
Reply to  Steve Oregon
March 5, 2020 1:59 pm

We’ve got plenty of AOC’s here in Oregon – I assume you’re following the Cap and Trade debacle at the capital?
I’m ready to send a Chinese strip-o-gram to Tina Kotek’s office, if that would break up this legislative ‘short session’.

Craig from Oz
Reply to  Steve Oregon
March 5, 2020 6:35 pm

“The problem is progressive don’t take criticism well.
It hurts their feelings.”

The observation here is that Progressives know what is ‘best’.

Conservatives by comparison do what is ‘best’ for themselves and those that they care about. Because they don’t know what is best they are in a position to shop around and change their personal ‘best’ to suit changes in the world. For example you, or your parents (sigh… young people) would have decided back in the 80s that VHS was the ‘best’ for home use all things considered and hence purchased a VHS unit. Skip forward to now and everyone either blurays or streams because currently, all things considered, these methods are the ‘best’. No one however has any embarrassment about once proudly owning a VHS because things change.

A Progressive however knows what is best. Everything would be better if only they were in charge, cause, they know best. This is why they tend to have controlling desires – they know best. This is why they tend to hive mind – they know best… and if they don’t then this important person on Twit must know best so I must agree with them totally and absolutely, because they know best.

This knowledge is of ‘best’ is so central to them that to question it challenges them directly. As Steve mentioned, thy don’t take criticism because questioning ‘best’ is to them a personal attack. Everything to them is linked as part of ‘best’ that an attack on one is an attack on all. Confront a conservative on why they like say (first random object in front of me…) black ball point pens and they might say tradition, or they like the contrast of black ink or that it was the last pen in the stationary cupboard or piss off get a life. To them it is just a pen.

To a Left you are questioning them and what they believe. If you question their pen choice you might also be questioning their diet, voting patterns and attitudes towards race. They know ‘best’. You disagree so clearly you do not and if you disagree on one thing you probably disagree on all, because how can someone not subscribe to the complete package of ‘best’. Ergo, if you don’t like my pen you are probably also a racist.

Like people semi seriously joke, Leftism is a mental disease. They don’t just reach different conclusions from conservatives, they reach these conclusions via different mental paths.

shortus cynicus
Reply to  Craig from Oz
March 6, 2020 1:58 am

> Leftism is a mental disease.

“Political Ponerology”, Andrew M. Lobaczewski

Joel Snider
Reply to  Craig from Oz
March 6, 2020 8:26 am

Actually they START with conclusions and work backwards.

March 5, 2020 6:52 am

All climate action proposals contain the implicit assumption that atmospheric composition is responsive to emissions but that responsiveness is not found in the data.

March 5, 2020 6:59 am

Too stupid to know she’s lying.

Joel Snider
Reply to  Gary
March 5, 2020 7:47 am

She’s her own bread of new-style fascist – very fashionable these days.

Reply to  Gary
March 5, 2020 7:55 am

AOC seems to be a victim of the “Dunning-Kruger” (d)effect

March 5, 2020 7:29 am

AOC ’s Pitch for the Green New Deal Is Unhinged From Reality


Ron Long
Reply to  beng135
March 5, 2020 8:45 am

Your fix is right on, beng135. AOC has other problems in addition to the Green Weenie Deal, she eventually will go back to celebrity bar-tending.

Gordon Dressler
March 5, 2020 7:46 am

Wait . . . the EPA as far back as 2009 declared CO2 as a “dangerous” constituent of the atmosphere: ” ‘On Dec. 7 2009, as expectations grew for the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, [EPA Administrator] Jackson signed an endangerment finding that asserted carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases pose a threat to human health when concentrated in the atmosphere.’ The endangerment finding gave EPA the power to regulate those gases even if Congress failed to pass laws to address climate change—which Congress subsequently failed to do.” source:

And: “In GB, CO2 is classed as a ‘substance hazardous to health’ under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH).” Ref:

This appears to be the one area where we haven’t made much progress in controlling/reducing a “pollutant” over the last decade. Both the US EPA and the UK COSHH should be ashamed of their lack of regulation of CO2, given the powers they assumed.

Oh well.


Reply to  Gordon Dressler
March 5, 2020 7:37 pm

“….an endangerment finding that asserted carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases pose a threat to human health when concentrated in the atmosphere.’”

How can 400 ppm be considered as concentrated?

Gordon Dressler
Reply to  KT66
March 6, 2020 6:52 am

In exactly the same way as a 2 deg C rise in lower atmospheric temperatures over 100 years can be considered as catastrophic.

Jan E Christoffersen
Reply to  KT66
March 6, 2020 6:52 am


Perhaps a few people don’t realize that CO2 in our homes is commonly much higher than 400 ppm, especially at night in our closed bedrooms. Levels of + 1,200 ppm CO2 are typical. Do we awaken in the morning coughing, spluttering, gasping for air and thrusting our heads out a window to breathe ambient air at 400 ppm CO2?

I haven’t done that for a lifetime. Still alive and kicking at 76. Endangerment? B.S.

Gordon Dressler
Reply to  Jan E Christoffersen
March 7, 2020 12:21 pm

Just so!

March 5, 2020 8:07 am

Maybe a suitably enlightened congressperson could introduce a Green NO Deal for consideration.

David Gadziala
March 5, 2020 8:14 am

Quoting from the video:

“As a consequence, I realized many of my colleagues have never read the resolution they’re speaking of. They haven’t opened a single word of it.”

How exactly do you “open” a word? Just curious.

Gunga Din
Reply to  David Gadziala
March 5, 2020 5:39 pm

“You have to pass it to find out what’s in it!”
(I think Pandora said something like that before she opened a certain box.)

Jeff Alberts
March 5, 2020 8:24 am

“AOC’s Pitch for the Green New Deal Is Unhinged From Reality”

Mixing of metaphors. You would say just “unhinged”, or “disconnected from reality”.

March 5, 2020 8:32 am

leading many to fuel their fires with theft.”

I’m not sure what the calorific content of 1kg of theft is but I’m sure it’s not much.

On the other hand, even if you get caught, you still get the heat !

Steve Oregon
March 5, 2020 8:36 am

In short, when Co2 was redefined as pollution global warming became a con job.

Since then the Climate Justice crusade revealed just how much of a sham the whole thing is.
Ulterior motives galore mixed with a cult of rabid left activists, ignorant dupes and people foolishly enamored by wokeness becasue it is the new “cool”.

March 5, 2020 9:05 am

Clearly, AOC is a classic example of Dunning-Kruger bias. In fact, she’s the poster child.

Reply to  Joz Jonlin
March 5, 2020 1:54 pm

Single handedly ending blonde jokes.

March 5, 2020 9:55 am

Nature has already provided the only Green New Deal worth discussing, and it is the Carbon Cycle!

And the most important aspect of the Carbon Cycle is, the more Carbon, the more there is to Cycle, hence the more Green we get!

Progressives should be required to explain why they are anti-Green! And that will expose them for the conniving, power-hungry, selfish tyrants they really are!

Linda Goodman
March 5, 2020 11:29 am

Informative article. Just one thing sticks in my craw: how did ‘consumers’ become the common descriptor of humans and equal to worms & maggots? Was ‘useless eaters’ just too obvious? I think we should all stop doing that.

Steve Keppel-Jones
Reply to  Linda Goodman
March 6, 2020 6:56 am

They don’t want to call us “citizens” because that would be giving us too much individual responsibility.

Lee L
March 5, 2020 11:29 am

“the Green New Deal promises to “create millions of good, high-wage jobs and ensure prosperity and economic security for all people of the United States.”

I’ve heard this malarkey before and I wish I could figure out what they are talking about. If it is energy, then answer me this:
1. Where are most of the world’s solar panels manufactured
By FAR most of the world’s solar panels are manufactured in Asia including China, Malaysia, VietNam and India. Some also are made in the Phillipines. These people are not yet ‘Americans’ and are the main reason that the cost of solar panels has declined. Further, the electronics needed to integrate all these panels are mostly made in CHINA. So….the GND will oversee a huuuuge transfer of American currency to Asia in return for solar and electrical equipment.
Some engineering jobs may be created to replicate the function of things that we already have working. Beyond that, only middleman jobs there and some labor/electrical installer positions.
Further, this equipment is not a one time deal. You have to replace the panels as their efficiency declines and the electronics as they fail, though, so there is a continuing structural transfer of currency to these places embedded in the GND.

2. Everything written above applies to WIND turbines.
3. Good paying jobs need to be paid with something. Where will that come from? Printing presses?

But I could be missing the point.
Can anyone tell me what these good paying green jobs actually are? Curious minds want to know.

Reply to  Lee L
March 5, 2020 12:53 pm

I can’t remember which think tank did the analysis recently, but they extended the Geen New Deal out to include everything it impacted and they calculated it would ELIMINATE ~75,000,000 jobs in the US! With about 160,000,000 people currently employed, that means the workforce would be reduced by ~47%!

The problem is typical of a centrally-planned economy: the people devising the plan don’t know what they’re doing, which is a polite way of saying they are complete idiots!

Or look at it this way: If their plan had merit and made economic sense, it would already have been done!

My contention is that’s exactly the case–in a free market system, the optimum has already been achieved and is being achieved every day!

Let these crazy Progressives take over and it would be an unmitigated disaster! It would put unqualified, uneducated, inexperienced political operatives in charge of our economy!

It would make the collapse of the Soviet Union look like child’s play because the US economy is at least TEN times bigger and our collapse would take the rest of the world’s economy with it!

These people aren’t stupid–they’re evil! We’re the stupid ones!

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  RockyRoad
March 5, 2020 10:56 pm

It was never a plan.
It is a wish list dressed up with mindless feel-good propaganda, written by people who have no idea of what they are talking about.
They have no idea whether or not any of the crap they wish for is technically possible, let alone feasible.
And they have no idea how to do a single thing they included in their fantasy wish list.
They only know they can imagine getting rid of everything that exists, and replacing how everything is done, with something better…without having any actual knowledge of why anything is the way it is.
Oh, and their plan to pay for it?
“You just pay for it” she craftily reasoned one fine day, even though it would cost more than all of the money/wealth in the country several times over.

This chick who just recently discovered that plants grow out of dirt, and was amazed to learn of a 100+ year old invention called an Insinkerator, thinks she ought to be in charge of our energy, food, transportation, and housing infrastructures, including scrapping it all and starting over, and then also be in charge of dictating a complete restructuring of the actual living arrangements and employment of every person in the country (she feels a small apartment is all anyone needs and should be allowed to have, and that everyone should get well paid regardless of if they wish to do any work), even though she is most certainly of one the very dumbest humans ever to hold elective office, and knows less than the average turnip about the even the very subject she has a supposed college education in.
The future imagined in the movie Idiocracy would be a veritable utopia compared to the world we would have if this delusional jackass ever got put in charge of dictating policy.
We may soon be rid of Ferdinand babbling, thankfully.
Every candidate she endorsed lost their primary on Super Tuesday.
Apparently being the most well known such a in the country does not translate readily into votes.
One problem is, the stoner class which comprises much of her core support, rarely get around to, you know…actually voting.

Reply to  Lee L
March 5, 2020 3:00 pm

The idea that you can have government take money from people who are busy creating good jobs, so that the politicians can give it to their cronies with instructions to create jobs, and from this have a massive increase in the number of jobs, is so insane that only a socialist could believe in it.

Reply to  Lee L
March 5, 2020 7:49 pm

In recent Crazy Bernie adds he claims that his GND will add 20 million high paying green energy jobs while at the same time saving the planet.

The amount of green energy jobs actually created during the Obama years can be figuratively counted on one hand. Kind of like like all those shovel ready jobs.

March 5, 2020 2:12 pm

All Out Crazy AKA Airhead Occasionally Coherent. There’s a reason for these nicknames.

shortus cynicus
Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
March 6, 2020 2:03 am

AOC was coined by Tom Woods:

March 5, 2020 3:57 pm

It almost seems like they had a workshop.
Split up into teams.
Come up with ideas.
Put on sticky notes or butcher paper.
Jobs for poor, health care for all, save environment, manufacture at home not abroad, blah, blah, blah.
Put all ideas in a “plan”
Absolutely, not thought of how to do any of it.

My favourite is more higher paying union jobs AND stoping manufacturing going overseas.

March 5, 2020 4:21 pm

I am hoping that someone can help me understand, why is it, as with this article, that when CO2 is discussed as an issue they don’t include the mining? Given that it is the leftists/greens that consider CO2 such a problem, where do they think the materials come from to manufacture wind and solar? Surely the mining trucks themselves, with their massive tyres and all the fuel used at the mine and in transporting the necessary materials would create substantial amounts of CO2. Not to mention the true pollution created by the extraction process to separate the rare earth materials. Why is this not included in the whole carbon footprint of wind and solar?

The leftists/greens scream that they want coal mines shut down, do they not realise that wind and solar renewables start with mines? How many different types of mines are required to create wind and solar renewables? Do they know anything about the lack of ethics in many countries in regard to mining for the necessary materials? Do they know about the resulting toxic byproduct from rare earth extraction? Do they consider that the renewable form of energy in fact needs to be renewed regularly, e.g. after storm events and has it occurred to them that some of the materials used are finite?

Do they know that during recycling (the little there is) some solar panels require the use of acids and other chemicals as part of the process, again creating a toxic byproduct.

I am not against mining as such, but unnecessary mining is criminal and wind and solar is unnecessary! It is not the answer and it was never thought through.

Ian Coleman
March 5, 2020 4:31 pm

I disagree, Gary, that Ms. Ocasio–Cortez is “too stupid to know she’s lying.” She knows she’s lying, but is too stupid to understand that telling the truth matters. People who lie a lot usually assume that everyone else lies a lot too. The believe that lying is a necessary strategy for successful interactions with other people and, if the goals of lying are moral, lying in support of them is also moral, or at any rate, not immoral.

Criminal defense lawyers are bound by oath to defend their clients. All of O.J. Simpson’s lawyers knew just as well as any other person who could think that their client had murdered two people. This in no way impaired their zeal to get him acquitted, and in fact they would have considered themselves immoral people if they had declined to confuse and cajole Simpson’s jurors into voting to acquit.

Same thing with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She has goals, reducing carbon dioxide emissions and redistributing wealth, and she just doesn’t care if she has to lie to further those goals.

Uh, as long as I’m posting today, you kind of notice pretty soon that the posters on this site are overwhelmingly male. In fact, maybe there aren’t any female posters at all. Anybody here have any thoughts on why that might be?

Buck Ladner
March 5, 2020 4:43 pm

Can someone explain how we can ever possibly get to 100% renewable energy when considering the fact that wind and solar produce electricity about 20% of the time? The only realistic way to replace fossil fuel at this time is nuclear.

March 5, 2020 5:23 pm

“For comparison, the average lifetime risk of developing cancer is 38% for women and 40% for men.”

Modern “cancer” risk is not a thing.

“Cancer” is a made up medical concept that is diagnosed, hence increased by more access to “modern” “evidence based” (i.e. Molière’s doctors style “science” aka jargon designed to impressed brain damaged people).

More imaging devices means more “cancers”, more operations, more drugs, more money for both Big Pharma (which is evil) and Big Doctors (which is a word I don’t think I can write here).

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  niceguy
March 5, 2020 11:05 pm

You are not only stupider than I imagined…you are stupider than I COULD imagine.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
March 6, 2020 5:31 am

niceguy, but dim. Named Tim?

Reply to  chaswarnertoo
March 6, 2020 9:43 am

Do you promote breast cancer screening with X-rays, shill?

Do you promote useless vaccines?

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
March 6, 2020 9:41 am

What vaccine have you created, shill?

If the answer is none, then you are SELF dismissed and have no right to express an opinion.

Go away shill!

michael hart
March 5, 2020 5:46 pm

The wider problem is that the facts are essentially completely irrelevant. We have arrived at a situation where a significant fraction of the population are eternally convinced that we need to be doing something to reduce “pollution”. The eternally grateful media, NGOs, politicians, regulators and failed economists are only too happy to oblige, producing an unending supply of new laws, regulations, and boringly repetitive alarmist justifications.

These are, all too often, completely unjustified and come with mounting costs. Costs which are likely not even marginally net-positive for us overall, but net-negative

Pat Frank
March 5, 2020 7:35 pm

Wind and solar create far less pollutants than fossil fuels,

I’d like to see the cradle to grave numbers on that. Color me skeptical.

Also, fewer pollutants, but less pollution.

Lee L
Reply to  Pat Frank
March 6, 2020 12:51 am

And a sh*tload less power.

Reply to  Pat Frank
March 6, 2020 1:27 am


On Panels only you get around 50% of the energy CO2 free or put another way, Watt-hour for Watt-hour Solar emits about half as much as conventional coal (Not HELE). Seems good eh? the problem comes about though if you want to run an economy on them. Then you need to overbuild the solar capacity to give you enough energy for night times and dull days, plus you need to clear land under them (Eliminating CO2 sinks) and add mounting frames, access ways, cleaning infrastructure, transmission infrastructure and backup (Batteries). The overbuild is 25-50 times nameplate and the storage is just legendary in its scale. By the time you add all of this, deduct the energy used to operate all these Solar companies and their hangers on, account for the loss of potential sinks, and account for replacing the solar panels 2 or 3 times over the equivalent life of a Coal fired generator. Solar ends up with a CO2e about 4 times Coal, or maybe 6 times HELE Coal. In places where the excess heat of power plants is used as heating steam Solar could be 8 times worse than Coal, because you have to add more solar capacity to replace the heating steam.

Buck Ladner
Reply to  bobl
March 6, 2020 6:46 pm

Exactly how are we going to store all of that extra power to operate at night or cloudy days?

Buck Ladner
Reply to  bobl
March 6, 2020 6:47 pm

Exactly how are we going to store all of that extra daytime power to operate at night or cloudy days?

James D. Agresti
Reply to  Pat Frank
March 6, 2020 6:03 am

Every fact in the article is supported with links that ultimately lead to credible, primary sources. Simply click on them. For convenience, here are the sources that support that fact:

Paper: “Emissions from Photovoltaic Life Cycles.” By Vasilis M. Fthenakis and others. Environmental Science & Technology, February 6, 2008. Pages 2168–2174.

Paper: “Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Utility-Scale Wind Power: Systematic Review and Harmonization.” By Stacey L. Dolan and Garvin A. Heath. Journal of Industrial Ecology, April 2012. Pages S136–S154.

NOTE: This study only examines greenhouse gases and not air pollutants such as SO2 and NOX. However, because the greenhouse gases emitted in the lifecycle of wind turbines are primarily generated by the usage of fossil fuels, greenhouse gases serve as a rough proxy for qualitative (not quantitative) emissions of air pollutants.

Reply to  James D. Agresti
March 6, 2020 4:37 pm

James, in the report regarding solar, information around CO2 and other pollutants caused in this process were somewhat limited. I’m not sure if they took the fuels used into account during the mining process and the transport of processed materials to manufacturing plants. In regards to the processing of materials, there was mention that liquid and solid wastes were mostly recycled and that these waste materials were not taken into account in the study. Why not? You must be aware of the infamous toxic lake (ten square kilometres) in China and the environmental damage it has done. How can this not be taken into account. They have transferred large quantities of this sludge into enormous vats, but they stil haven’t worked out what to do with it.

The study also refers to a thirty year life cycle of solar panels. They won’t even guarantee them for anywhere near that period. The study also has not taken into account the large numbers of solar panels that need to be replaced in the event of severe weather events and hailstorms. The weather doesn’t care about time frames, the panels may have only been in for a short time. You would have to add to the CO2 levels and other pollutants created all over again, even if it was a reduced number. At least Coal and Nuclear plants really do last their expected life, which is much longer than thirty years and they are not easily damaged by weather events. Of course it would be wise not to build them in tsunami risk areas.

The other point I wanted to raise in regard to the study is that I’m not clear as to what power output was nominated before the solar panel had paid off it’s CO2 debt. If it was taken from the full output capability, being paid off in three and a half years, then that is obviously not possible as at best solar panels can only produce power for 25% of the time. So if the 30 year life isn’t accurate and the calculated and the payback of CO2 to is potentially based on misleading figures over that time, the whole paper is meaningless.

In regards to recycling, given that there is so little of it at this stage it would be difficult to give accurate figures. If we never had wind and solar power, we would never have a need for the massive technology needed to recycle them. I can only wonder how much CO2 and other pollutants were created in the making of this technology, from mining to delivery on the factory floor? Was this taken into account?

shortus cynicus
March 6, 2020 2:08 am

I like that acronym: GND, like grounding, I undestand it’s about grounding economy.

shortus cynicus
March 6, 2020 2:23 am

“because for years we have prioritized the pursuit of profit at any and all human and environmental cost.”

simplified version : … we … pursue … profit at … human costs

we = humans
cost = not profit

after substitution: humans pursue profit at human non profit

simplified: humans pursue profit at non profit

I propose, AOC (Agent of Other Country) should try more to talk by not talking.

William Haas
March 6, 2020 2:32 am

AOC already said that, regarding the ravages of climate change, she was only kidding and that those who believed her were idiots. Apparently the term “idiots” also includes those who voted her into office in the first place.

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