On Friday’s episode of “The Ben Shapiro Show,” Shapiro talks about Bernie Sanders’ idea to toss trillions of dollars toward climate change policies. Video and partial transcript below:
Bernie Sanders has now promoted a $16.3 trillion climate plan on Thursday. The Sanders proposal envisions a significant expansion of the government’s role in the economy. No! Bernie Sanders a socialist? No! He would offer billions in subsidies to replace gas-guzzling vehicles with electric ones by 2030, a new public system of clean electricity generation that could sideline private utilities, and an infrastructure program that would remake much of the economy and employ an estimated 20 million more Americans.
This is one of the beautiful things about being a Democrat. You just say stuff like, “I’m going to spend one bajillion dollars and it will create 20 bajillion jobs.” And we’re like, how? “It just will man!” Remember when Barack Obama was talking about shovel-ready jobs that didn’t materialize and then he was talking about green jobs that didn’t materialize. Now Bernie Sanders is doing the same thing, and the media is like [clapping].
The sheer scale of the effort, which the independent from Vermont compares to FDR’s 1940s mobilization to fight World War II, was central to his message in rolling out the plan. It’s a feature, not a bug, that’s going to destroy the American economy and force us to spend trillions because, after all, we can measure your sympathy in dollars now — your own dollars, and the number of dollars that you wish to take out of somebody else’s pocket. It’s a beautiful, beautiful thing.
Now this does result in a great irony, which is that when Bernie Sanders is called on it, he’s got nothing. So listening to these two clips is pretty funny. He’s at a town hall yesterday. He’s talking about how we have to transition away from fossil fuels, which if you are worried about climate change, then you do want a transition away from fossil fuels over the course of time. There is no way to do it right now. The technology is simply not sophisticated enough.
There are certain things that you can do. We could explore geoengineering, building more infrastructure to prevent against rising sea levels, building seawalls. There are certain things you can do for mitigation. There are certain things you can do to heighten adaptation, making it easier for people to move from particularly low-lying areas as sea levels rise, for example. And then there is stuff that you can do to actually mitigate climate change itself. Some of that involves shooting sulfur into the air has been explored. This is geoengineering. There’s also talk about technological innovation. It’s always funny to me when people say we have to subsidize technological innovation. Ok, well you know who — the person who wins the race to create an alternative energy source that is even nearly as efficient as carbon emissions, you know what their award is? All the moneys. All of them.
If you are the person who discovers nuclear fusion, right, that does not require the heat of the sun. If you are the person who discovers that and makes it cost-effective on a small scale, then you are going to be the wealthiest person in the history of humanity. So that’s a pretty good incentive. Nonetheless, Bernie Sanders says, [Bernie Sanders Impression] We have to transition now! Now we have to! We have no choice, right this very instant!
SANDERS: It’s no secret that we must transition away from fossil fuel. Period. End of discussion. There ain’t no middle ground. There is no middle ground.
There’s no middle ground. Okay so somebody gets up and they say, well, so there’s no middle ground, why are you driving a car? And Bernie’s got nothing.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: You seem adamant about climate change. So what ways would you take to practice what you preach? If you were to become president, I know it’s stressful and you have to travel a lot. You have to use fossil fuels.
SANDERS: No, I’m not going to walk to California. All right. You know, look, you know I understand that, you know, we do the best we can as an example. But I’m not going to sit here and tell you that we’re not going to use fossil fuels.
Oh well, I thought we had no choice. There’s no middle ground. I cannot give you any one, even one specific way in which I am reducing my carbon footprint. But it is a war and we must do something, right? This is the beautiful thing about being on the Left. It’s a war against poverty. But I’m not going to spend my money on it … It’s a war against climate change. All right. I’m going to continue to fly my private jet to Iowa and out of Iowa.
And again sympathy can be measured according to Democrats in how many dollars from somebody else’s pocket you spend. So you get Bernie saying, These people are telling me, Bernie! The plan you just released to combat climate change is expensive. And you know what, they’re right! It is expensive, but the cost of doing nothing is far more expensive.
Yes, this is always the easy thing to say, right? The cost of doing nothing — it turns out, until you reach about. 2.5 degrees Celsius in global climate change — actually the cost of doing nothing is less expensive. William Nordhaus, the Nobel Prize winner in Economics last year, has an entire book I’ve recommended on the show called “The Climate Casino.” He does not reject climate change, he does not reject that the climate is changing, and he actually believes in a carbon tax. But even Nordhaus says, yeah there actually is an economic tipping point at which it is not worth it to actually invest in stopping climate change below a certain point. So, Bernie Sanders is just full of it. But again, it’s about people’s intentions in politics these days, it’s not about their actual activity.