George Hasara – Columnist
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal is a predictable end game to the decades-long cataclysmic warnings concerning global warming and its predecessor, global cooling. Too many dire predictions have gone past their expiration date and it’s best that a bold move be made before the public’s climate fear-factor evaporates. Her 10-year plan is reminiscent of the USSR’s five-year plans with its dogmatic faith in central planning. The vast scope of the proposed Green Deal with its restructuring of society and the economy, is on par with Mao’s Great Leap Forward (1958-62). Of course, due to massive starvation, not everyone made the leap.
However, the point at hand is not to dissect or debate the pros and cons of man-made climate change but rather to suggest that politics are significantly influencing the environmental narrative. The plans for a greener planet seem to be constructed with all the same talking points. Not only is skepticism toward the current climate consensus labeled as “denial,” but approved methods of saving the planet has its own orthodoxy.
The agenda for a cleaner environment has a narrow scope, concentrating on technological upgrades. Transitioning to wind and solar power, electric vehicles, and, depending on who you ask, nuclear energy, are the usual talking points. Government subsidies, taxes and regulations are a central part of that calculus. Saving the planet doesn’t come cheap but it can be quite profitable for those who know how to work the system.
What if there were ways to reduce emissions and other types of pollution without more taxes and regulations? Wouldn’t that be worth discussing? In fact, one might think it would be imperative to explore all the possibilities for reducing the shoe size of that proverbial carbon footprint. The following are a couple of crucial issues in their own right that have unrecognized but significant ecological components.
A strong case can be made for reducing the size and scope of our military. An interventionist foreign policy creates trip wires and flashpoints for the ultimate ecological disaster – World War III. Even without the advent of Armageddon, the energy requirements of the Department of Defense are enormous with annual fuel usage in the billions of gallons and electric consumption in the tens of thousands of gigawatt hours. More precise numbers are hard to track down since the Pentagon has a rough time with audits. A leaner military is a greener military.
Though you can’t get more boring than talking about abolishing the Federal Reserve and returning to a gold standard, there is a significant environmental component embedded in the topic. Without going too deep in the monetary weeds, the Fed, since its inception in 1913, has devalued our currency. This promotes consumption and diminishes savings. A debt-based financial system encourages individuals and governments to live beyond their means. Resources are churned up in the process. When a perfectly fine sports stadium that’s only 24 years old, the Georgia Dome, is demolished in order to make way for an arena on steroids known as the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, something is out of kilter. However, I don’t expect to hear AOC or others talk about the need to return to sound money due to capricious consumerism negatively impacting the planet.
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