Last Friday, newly minted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez fired a now-infamous shot across the bow at senior Democrats in Congress, with whom she was been warring, and the American people at large: “If you don’t like the Green New Deal,” she tweeted out, “then come up with your own ambitious, on-scale proposal to address the global climate crisis. Until then, we’re in charge – and you’re just shouting from the cheap seats.”
A day later, she followed up by stating that until someone comes up with a better idea, she’s “the boss.” Of whom she didn’t specify, though you’re safe in assuming she means you.
The only problem with all this childish strutting and posturing is that if the challenge that elevates you to cock of the walk is to “come up with your own ambitious, on-scale(?) proposal to address the global climate crisis,” then Ocasio-Cortez had better get in line because she didn’t come up with the Green New Deal. Not even the name is hers. The New York Times Editorial Board acknowledges as much in its endorsement of the Green New Deal last Saturday in which it opines, “The ambitious plan has … changed the national conversation. That alone is reason to applaud it.”
So who did hatch this monstrosity that experts say will cost the country $90 trillion? Via the Times:
The term Green New Deal appeared in a column in The Times by Thomas Friedman in January 2007, in which he called for a vast public and private investment program that would throw everything under the sun (including, actually, the sun itself) — wind, solar, nuclear power, energy efficiency, advanced research, tax incentives and a price on carbon — into a massive effort to build a more climate-friendly energy system while also revitalizing the American economy.
If Ocasio-Cortez gets credit for anything, it is for adding a bunch of silly-on-their-face bullet points to the plan that make it sound like the work of a third-grader.
This is essentially what the Mr. Markey and Ms. Ocasio-Cortez had in mind when they rolled out their resolution on Feb. 7. Unfortunately, that rollout was anything but smooth, due largely to the bungling of Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s staff, which posted on her website a set of pugnacious and poorly written talking points (later disavowed) that scared even moderate Democrats. Apart from bold if probably unattainable objectives (a total transformation to renewable energy in 10 years), the talking points dismissed as unacceptable three strategies that many experts say are necessary to any solution: nuclear power, technology that allows fossil fuel plants to capture and store their own emissions, and market-based solutions like a carbon tax or the kind of cap and trade bill that Mr. Markey worked valiantly and unsuccessfully to get Congress to approve 10 years ago. The talking points made other dubious promises, including jobs even for Americans “unwilling” to work. The immediate result of this amateurish mess was to hand Mr. Trump and other climate deniers irresistible political talking points.
The idea of a government takeover of effectively everything — Friedman in his 2007 column warns (admits?) that the key to an enterprise of these epic proportions is massive government regulation — is idiotic regardless of whose mind gave rise to it. It is rendered only more idiotic by Ocasio-Cortez’s fake claims of authorship.