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Science and Public Policy

How Does AOC Plan To Pay For Her $93 Trillion Green New Deal?

By Investor’s Business Daily

Environmentalism: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has declared herself “boss” of the “Green New Deal.” Maybe she can explain were the money will come from to pay its $93 trillion cost. Because taxing the rich won’t even scratch the surface.

At an event on Friday, Ocasio-Cortez complained about criticism of the Green New Deal — much of it coming from her own party — that it’s a pipe dream. Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, for example, said that “there are things that are great goals, but are unrealistic.”

Ocasio-Cortez’s response: “Some people are like, ‘Oh, it’s unrealistic, oh it’s fake, oh it doesn’t address this little minute thing. And I’m like, ‘You try! You do it.’ ‘Cause you’re not. ‘Cause you’re not. So, until you do it, I’m the boss. How ’bout that?”

Try to do what? Come up with an equally unrealistic plan that would bankrupt the nation? Because that’s precisely what the Green New Deal would do.

Green New Deal’s Gargantuan Price Tag

A new analysis from the American Action Forum finds that the Green New Deal, as laid out by New York Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey, would cost up to $93 trillion in the first ten years.

Remember, the GND isn’t just about converting the entire U.S. energy supply to renewable energy in a decade and establishing a “zero emissions transportation system.”

The plan also includes things like “guaranteed” federal jobs, “universal health care,” and “food security.”

Beyond the bumper-sticker labels, the grandiose plan is vague on any of the details. Still, the AAF, which is headed up by former Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin, was able to rough out the 10-year costs for each of the proposals.

A zero-carbon electricity grid would cost $5.4 trillion, the AAF calculates. A “zero-emissions transportation system,” an additional $1.3-$2.7 trillion. “Guaranteed green housing” will cost anywhere from $1.6 trillion to $4.2 trillion.

Despite the GND’s name, it’s the proposals that have nothing to do with climate change that cost the most. The price tag for a federal guaranteed jobs program could run as much as $44.6 trillion over the next decade. The “universal health care” plan? $36 trillion.

Cost Will Likely Be Higher

If anything, these are lowball estimates.

To calculate the cost of converting to 100% renewable energy, for example, the authors simply assume that no new transmission lines would be needed, and that much of the renewable energy would come from nuclear power. Neither is realistic.

The price tag for a nationwide high-speed rail system that could replace airplanes doesn’t factor in the massive cost overruns endemic to every other government infrastructure project — and which are wrecking California’s attempt to build its own bullet train.

The $36 trillion cost for “universal health care” is in line with other estimates for “Medicare for all.” And as we’ve noted in this space, those are lowball figures.

All told, the cost of the “green” part of the Green New Deal would run from $8.3 trillion to $12.3 trillion over the next 10 years, according to the AAF report. The rest of it would cost an additional $42.8 trillion to $80.6 trillion.

Let’s put this in perspective. At the low end, the GND would more than double the size of the federal government.

At the high end — roughly $9 trillion a year — even taking every single penny earned by tax filers with adjusted gross incomes over $50,000 would not be enough money to pay the costs.

Looked at another way, economists expect the entire U.S. gross domestic product over the next decade to total $266 trillion.

More Than A Third Of GDP

That means the Green New Deal would account for up to 35% of the nation’s economy from 2020 to 2029. That’s on top of existing federal government programs, which already consume more than 20% of GDP each year.

To call this “unrealistic” is the understatement of the year. It would be cataclysmic.

What’s most shocking about the Green New Deal, however, isn’t the unprecedented economic destruction it would cause. Nor is the fact that it will do nothing to prevent “climate change” from happening. Nor the fact that a 29-year-old socialist and her legions of followers think this would be neat.

What’s most shocking about the Green New Deal is that so many leading Democrats, many of whom very much hope one day to be president, are blindly embracing it.


The Green Red Deal

By Paul Kengor • The American Spectator

Watermelons: green on the outside, red on the inside.

Leftist environmentalists hate that. And yet, they do little to eschew the label. Quite the contrary, they earn it in spades.

They have from the outset. Whether sheer coincidence or because the Devil has a sense of humor, Earth Day always marks Vladimir Lenin’s birthday. The first Earth Day, April 22, 1970, just happened to be the centennial of Lenin’s birth.

Given that interesting confluence of dates, it seems more than ironic that so many former communists, when the Cold War ended, ran for the woods. It was the ideal ideological refuge. Rocks and frogs cannot tell the commie “environmentalist” to go jump in a lake. They can’t tell the central planners to take a hike back to their air-conditioned offices in Manhattan or coffee shops in Berkeley. Thus, for socialists, here’s the perfect constituency to wield government power and manage people and property. Continue reading


It’s Climate Alarmists Who Remain in Denial

By Marc Sheppard • American Thinker

It’s hard to believe that we’re just shy of ten years since contents of the so-called “Climategate” folder revealed the fraudulence of the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) scare. Yet, somehow, Climate Alarmists continue to behave as though it was all an innocent misunderstanding; that all evidence of lying, cheating, and exaggeration aside, anyone who doubts the self-serving drivel alarmists have been pushing is a “denier.”

And yet it is they, the climate hucksters, who continue to refuse any honest debate on the subject, resorting instead to the same worn out tactics of the pre-Climategate era: false claims of a “consensus” and demonization of dissenting opinions and facts. Those of you who have been paying attention know that you can fertilize your lawn with claims of “consensus.” Continue reading


Ocasio-Cortez backs green policies that would hurt the poor and cripple our economy

By Liz Peek • Fox News

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez promises that going green – removing all fossil fuels from our energy mix – will “establish economic, social and racial justice in the United States.”

In fact, her proposal would cripple our economy and hurt our poorest citizens.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez has admirable passion, but needs some schooling in energy economics. The cost of renewable energy is dropping fast, but is still more expensive in many applications than traditional fossil fuels like coal or oil. That’s one reason that adoption of wind and solar power has been slow, and that many countries, including the United States, underwrite renewables with subsidies and tax credits. The International Energy Agency predicts in its 2018 report that “the share of renewables in meeting global energy demand is expected to grow by one-fifth in the next five years to reach 12.4% in 2023.” Continue reading


Is There Anything Environmentalists Won’t Blame On Climate Change?

Investor’s Business Daily

CNN this week published a huge story saying the source of the migrant caravan wasn’t so much corrupt Central American governments, violence or lousy economic policies. It was climate change. This is just the latest attempt by environmentalists to blame any and all bad news — even acne and animal bites — on climate change.

The CNN story, complete with pictures, videos and charts, claims that climate change is responsible for the drought in parts of Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua that forced thousands to flee for the U.S.

Well, not “responsible,” exactly. The author admits part way through that “Studies have not definitively tied this particular drought to climate change.” Continue reading


The Media Got It All Wrong On the New US Climate Report

By Bjorn Lomborg • New York Post

Activists tend to exaggerate the impacts of climate change while underestimating the costs of tackling it. The reception to the new US climate assessment was instructive. The report largely attempts to remain soberly scientific, and follows the even more careful global report by the United Nations’ climate-science panel, known as the IPCC.

Sadly, accurate science doesn’t make for good television; predicting the end of times does.

Among many others, widely quoted climate scientist Michael Mann talked up the report to NPR and CNN, saying its predictions are already borne out in today’s “unprecedented weather extremes.” Continue reading


Terrorism and Environmental Crime

By Peter Huessy

Although foreign aid is considered by many Americans to be largely a waste of money and primarily a benefit to American NGO’s and recipient government officials, not so U.S. conservation assistance used to fight both environmental crime and promote environmental conservation.

When I worked at the newly formed United Nations Environment Program 45 years ago, and subsequently as an assistant to the Secretary of the Interior, key issues were to preserve fisheries, forests and grasslands, while also working to sustain the expanded production of fish, lumber and animal products.

Little did people think that decades later the biggest environmental crooks would be terrorists and international criminal cartels running a quarter of a trillion-dollar illicit enterprise in scope just behind drugs, weapons and human trafficking. As a recent UNEP report concludes, exploiting natural resources has become big business. Continue reading


Paul Krugman’s All-Renewable Delusion

By Robert Bryce • National Review

In 2008, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman was awarded a Nobel Prize for “his analysis of trade patterns and location of economic activity.”

Unfortunately, when writing about energy issues in the Times, Krugman doesn’t bother to do any analysis at all. Instead, as he proves yet again with his April 16 column, “Earth, Wind and Liars,” Krugman likes to make glib pronouncements about renewables and how they can save us from climate change while making us richer and sexier. In this latest edition, Krugman completely ignores wind energy’s massive footprint and the growing backlash against the wind industry. Further, like his many fellow travelers on the left, Krugman refuses to acknowledge that if we are going to be serious about slashing carbon dioxide emissions, nuclear energy must play a major role. (I’ve written three articles in these pages about Krugman’s energy silliness. See here, here, and here.) Continue reading


Climate Change Trial Starts on Rough Footing for Environmentalists

by Haris Alic • Washington Free Beacon

A civil suit playing out between five American oil companies and the municipalities of Oakland and San Francisco started off poorly for climate change activists.

In preparation for California v. Chevron, the date for which has yet to determined, U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup ordered the litigants converge for a “climate change tutorial” in an effort to ensure all parties understood the scientific foundation that would form the basis of the trial. The city attorneys of San Francisco and Oakland, the suit’s plaintiffs who are championed by climate change activists, were reportedly thrilled by the prospect. Some activists even compared the tutorial to the infamous Scopes Monkey Trial, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The suit accuses the energy companies–BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Conoco Phillips, and Shell–of contributing to climate change and conspiring to cover up their knowledge of the associated detrimental effects.

The lead attorney for the plaintiffs, Steven W. Berman, is expected to argue that because of the companies’ contributions to climate change, municipalities are now being forced to commit financial resources to combatting environmental changes.

In defense, the companies’ lawyers don’t seem to be questioning the science behind climate change, but rather their clients’ responsibility. The lawyers are expected to argue that the individuals who burn fossil fuels, rather than companies, are responsible for contributions to climate change. Continue reading


The Stunning Statistical Fraud Behind The Global Warming Scare

Investor’s Business Daily

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration may have a boring name, but it has a very important job: It measures U.S. temperatures. Unfortunately, it seems to be a captive of the global warming religion. Its data are fraudulent.

What do we mean by fraudulent? How about this: NOAA has made repeated “adjustments” to its data, for the presumed scientific reason of making the data sets more accurate.

Nothing wrong with that. Except, all their changes point to one thing — lowering previously measured temperatures to show cooler weather in the past, and raising more recent temperatures to show warming in the recent present. Continue reading


Alarmist Climate Researchers Abandon Scientific Method

by H. Sterling Burnett • American Spectator

So-called “consensus” climate science reaches new lows nearly every day, with many researchers now better resembling dogmatic, fire-and-brimstone preachers — the kind of people who burnt heretics at the stake during the Middle Ages and suppressed scientific discovery — than scientists engaged in the pursuit of knowledge.

I don’t begrudge scientists who either believe their own research shows, or who believe the dominant number of peer-reviewed papers indicate, humans are causing climate change and the changes will be dangerous. But I do disagree with many of the assumptions made by proponents of the theory of anthropogenic global warming (AGW). Data and evidence show most of their projections concerning temperatures, ice, hurricanes, species extinction, etc. have failed. As a result, I don’t think their projections of the future climate conditions are trustworthy, especially not to make the kind of fundamental, wrenching, costly changes to our economy and systems of government that have been proposed as necessary for fighting climate change. I don’t think climate scientists can foretell the future any better than the average palm reader.

Making matters worse, AGW proponents discount, or ignore entirely, powerful studies that seem to undermine many of their assumptions and refute most of their conclusions. Continue reading


Telling tales on climate change

By Peter RoffWashington Examiner

Spurred on by trial lawyers and environmental activists, whose political support is crucial for any up and coming progressive, state and local elected officials have been trying to prove as a matter of law that the nation’s energy companies lied for years to their stockholders and to the American people about the possible impact of global warming.

They’ve been unsuccessful, largely because the charge is untrue — as several of those who’ve already brought these lawsuits have been forced by the facts to admit. Still, it all continues. Local governments in California, where energy taxes subsidize the out-of-control spending in which Gov. Jerry Brown and the Democrat-controlled state legislature engage with such abandon, recently sued 18 energy companies claiming the threat of rising sea levels in future years present a substantial risk to their communities.

The allegation of near-certain future harm caused by rising sea levels stemming from anthropogenic climate change is an old complaint made many times before. Former Vice President Al Gore famously (and incorrectly) predicted the polar ice caps would have by now all melted for the same reasons.

Continue reading


The Climate-Change Doomsday Just Got Canceled

Investor Business Daily

Environmentalism: A new study published in the prestigious journal Nature finds that all those global warming doomsday scenarios aren’t credible. Not that you would ever know based on how little coverage this study is getting.

The study, published on Thursday, finds that if CO2 in the atmosphere doubled, global temperatures would climb at most by 3.4 degrees Celsius. That’s far below what the UN has been saying for decades, namely that temperatures would rise as much as 4.5 degrees, and possibly up to 6 degrees.

Basically, the scientists involved in the Nature study found that the planet is less sensitive to changes in CO2 levels than had been previously believed. That means projected temperature increases are too high.

Of course this is just one study, but it supports the contention climate skeptics have been making for years — that the computer models used to predict future warming were exaggerating the impact of CO2, evidenced in part by the fact that the planet hasn’t been warming as much as those models say it should. Continue reading


EPA’s Pruitt Wants Politics Out, Sound Policy In

By George LandrithNewsmax

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is shaking things up at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). And in a good way! During the Obama years, the EPA was used to pursue radical environmental policies that could not pass Congress, even when the Democrats controlled the House and had a mega-majority in the Senate.

The EPA became synonymous with constitutional end runs, legal chicanery, and subterfuge. EPA’s solutions were reflexively federal government centric, and were increasingly designed to achieve political outcomes rather than desirable environmental results. Pruitt is simply saying enough is enough.

That’s good news for those who want a clean environment, hope to have a strong economy, and who believe that state agencies are often more responsive than federal bureaucracies. Continue reading


Global Warming Alarmist Sues Scientists, Saying Academic Critiques Of His Work Are ‘Defamation’

By Robert Tracinski • The Federalist

If we have such an overwhelming scientific “consensus” about the supposed threat of catastrophic man-made global warming—and about the political and economic solutions to it—then why do advocates have to sue scientists to prevent them from questioning it? That’s the question raised by a $10 million lawsuit lawsuit filed by Stanford engineering professor Mark Z. Jacobson accusing other scientists of defamation for critiquing his scientific work in favor of “renewal energy.”

That’s not how science works. That’s not how any of this is supposed to work.

Jacobson made a name for himself and became something of a media celebrity for publishing a study in 2015 that claimed the United States could provide 100 percent of its energy needs from wind, solar, and hydroelectric power by 2050—and at a lower cost than with fossil fuels. Continue reading