On “The Ben Shapiro Show” Thursday, Shapiro discusses Democratic front-runner Joe Biden’s performance at the CNN town hall on climate change Wednesday. Video and partial transcript below:
So Joe Biden, last night, said the Green New Deal, as in AOC’s Green New Deal — you know, the Green New Deal that was supported by zero senators, including co-sponsors of the Green New Deal. [Well, Joe Biden] says that that doesn’t go too far. You know, AOC’s $93 trillion plan for the United States economy. Biden says that doesn’t go too far.
Now the reason he’s saying this, of course, is because he is trying to force Republicans into a position of saying that they don’t care at all about climate change. He’s trying to do with climate change what Democrats are doing with guns right now, which is: We disagree on the solutions to the problem, but [according to the Left], that means I’m denying the problem. So according to Joe Biden and the Left, if I say that your stupid solutions are not in fact solutions — that they’re just dummy garbage — then that’s because I’m a denier. That’s Joe Biden’s shtick here.
COOPER: You’re not saying that you support everything in the original Green New Deal. Do you think it goes too far? Is it unrealistic or is it too much?
BIDEN: No, it’s not. But here’s what it is. It doesn’t have a lot of specifics. But the reason — I don’t know, I’m not opposed to the Green New Deal. What I did was what I thought beyond, at least in more detail, what the Green New Deal is calling for. How to do the things we need to do, when they have to be done, how quickly we should move how much we should invest etc.
Okay, except that he doesn’t actually call for any specificity. He just wants to say that the Green New Deal is a good idea. Because when we get specific, here’s where all the attack ads for Trump start. Last night was a fantastic night for President Trump. Listen to Joe Biden say he’s going to shut down every coal plant in the country. Think that’s going to go well? And the thing is, he’s not going to invest in advanced carbon-capture technology for coal plants. He is not going to talk really about how to move those jobs. Instead, we’re just gonna have to shut down all the coal plants in the United States.
Now the United States is responsible on a global level for about 15 percent of all carbon emissions. So he’s now talking about wiping an entire sector off the face of the American economy. And that sector, by the way, is already in trouble largely because of technological advances. But he’s talking about forcibly killing that sector from above — to [save] what? Maybe 3 percent of total carbon emissions on planet earth? That would be a high, a real high-end, estimate. Here’s Joe Biden:
BIDEN: We set out the rules for what kind of plant and all coal burning plants. No one is going to build another coal burning [plant]. We’ve got to shut the ones down we have. But no one is going to build a new one. Guess what? They’re not efficient.
Ok, well he is right that the coal plants are not efficient, that you’d be better off building natural gas plants — and nuclear plants probably. One problem: The same Democrats who are talking about getting rid of coal plants are also avoiding the talk about how exactly they’re gonna build a new plant.
You’re not building a wind farm to replace those coal plants. It is just not happening. And then Biden says, “You know what? We’d like to reach a point where everyone drives electric cars. That’s my plan. Electric cars, electric cars.” There’s only one problem with that, which is that electric cars ain’t going to do the job. Here’s a study from National Geographic circa 2014:
Electric cars can help limit reliance on imported oil and take a bite out of air pollution from urban traffic jams. But as sure-fire ammunition against climate change, a new study finds, they come up short… The team modeled 108 scenarios… The team reported that even in scenarios that yield the highest levels of EV deployment (high oil prices, low battery costs), plug-ins and hybrids would make up no more than 42 percent of all U.S. passenger vehicles in 2050 and would reduce overall emissions by a slim margin.
But good news: Joe Biden wants to force you to drive one of these newfangled smart cars.
COOPER: Will there be a point or would you’d like there to be a point — and if so, when — that everybody drives an electric car or has to drive an electric car?
BIDEN: Well, I think, look, that’s going to be based upon whether or not we can make it economically feasible. And it is economically feasible. Because guess what? Everybody knows where the world’s going. We have to take combustion engine vehicles off the road as rapidly as we can. But that also could create a significant number of jobs and opportunities for people.
No actually, it’s going to take away a significant number of jobs because it turns out that American-heavy industry and car companies are generally in the business of building light trucks. The manufacturing in the United States is disproportionately not in the electric vehicle industry. It also happens to be the case that, as we already referred to, only about 15 percent of household emissions in the United States come courtesy of your car. So that actually doesn’t solve the problem. So what does solve the problem, according to Joe Biden? A carbon tax.
Now the truth is that if you had a global carbon tax to artificially raise the price of carbon emissions, then that would be an effective way, presumably, of lowering carbon emissions. There is one small problem with that. Do you think that China and India are going to sign onto a global carbon tax? Do you think developing countries are going to be into this? You think this is a thing that’s going to happen?
There are a lot of people who advocate for this, including William Nordhaus who I talked about earlier, this global carbon tax. It does not work if it’s regional. If the United States taxes our own citizens on carbon, and destroys our economy in the process — and presumably hurts other economies in the process also, preventing their upward mobility, because the world economy is dependent on the United States economy — do you think that those economies are more or less likely to rely more on carbon-based fuels in order to spur their economy? A regional tax will not work. You need a global tax. Guess what? The thing that is not happening is any of this.