Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has finally released her much-hyped “Green New Deal” proposal. The plan — if you can call it that — is to totally upend and reshape our economy while eliminating all carbon emissions. And she does mean all carbon emissions.
I cannot offer an in-depth analysis of this proposal. The proposal itself is so vague in parts, delusional in other parts, and unbelievably childish through every part, that serious engagement with its ideas is impossible. It reads like something a four-year-old in Soviet Russia may have dreamt up. All I can do, all I need to do, is tell you exactly what it says. You will soon realize why a thorough rebuttal is not necessary.
Here are five highlights:
1. “Upgrade or replace every building in US for state-of-the-art energy efficiency.”
Yes, every building. There are over 5 million commercial buildings in the U.S. Add that to the approximately 127 million households, which is to say nothing of all the schools and churches and hospitals, and you have a project that would cost trillions of dollars and take decades, at a minimum, to complete. And we’re only getting started.
2. “Totally overhaul transportation by massively expanding electric vehicle manufacturing, build charging stations everywhere, build out high- speed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary, create affordable public transit available to all, with goal to replace every combustion-engine vehicle.”
If we are building enough high-speed rail to make air travel “unnecessary,” we would of course need this mythical railway system primarily built across the ocean. There is about five thousand miles separating California from Japan. This railroad would need to span across that entire stretch of the Pacific, which is 13,000 feet deep on average.
3. “A job with a family-sustaining wage, family and medical leave, vacations, and retirement security for every American.”
There are currently about 325 million people in this country, not counting illegal aliens (whom, I assume, AOC would include in this entitlement). Where are these jobs coming from? Who is providing them? What if people don’t want to work?
Cortez does actually have an answer to that last question. She stipulates that “economic security” will be provided to all those “unable or unwilling to work.” So, jobs will be plucked off the magical job tree and handed out to anyone who wants one. If you don’t want one, you’ll be sent to the magical economic security tree where a limitless supply of money awaits. Something tells me the economic security tree will be much more popular than the job tree.
4. “Plant lots of trees.”
That is an actual sentence in the document. It is at least practical, unlike the other items listed. But it is also so vague as to be useless.
5. Abolish cows.
Actually “farting cows,” specifically. Yes, the phrase “farting cows” appears, verbatim, in this allegedly serious proposal written by a United States congresswoman. Here is the full context: “We set a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, in 10 years because we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast.”
The implication is that getting rid of gassy cows is a goal, but it may not be achievable in 10 years. This may be the most reasonable concession Cortez makes. But, longterm, what will happen to the farting cows? Will they be sent off to an island for flatulent bovine? Will they be launched into space? And how will we make up for all of the lost meat and milk that many Americans depend upon to live? Does Cortez have plans to genetically engineer cows who don’t pass gas? These specifics are not provided.
And how will she pay for any of this? She provides few particulars, other than to admit that “even if every billionaire and company came together and were willing to pour all the resources at their disposal into this investment, the aggregate value of the investments they could make would not be sufficient.”
Confiscating all of the wealth in the country is a start, you see. Then we kill all the cows. Then we tear down all the buildings. Then when everyone is broke and homeless and starving, we can figure out where to go from there. A flawless plan, you must agree.
Listen to Matt’s latest podcast.