No, the world is not going to end in 12 years if we don’t do anything to combat climate change. But you already knew that.
How do you know? Because Al Gore predicted we had about a decade left back in 2006. And in 1989 a senior environmental official at the United Nations said “entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth” if they didn’t dramatically reduce the use of fossil fuels by the year 2000. Yet here we are.
Al Gore and the U.N. were wrong, of course, but it hasn’t stopped the Left’s favorite freshman Democratic representative, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, from making the same claim recently—with no scientific evidence to back it up.
The question is, why?
The Left is using this scare tactic to gain support for their disastrous proposal they call the “Green New Deal.” Not surprisingly, the proposal’s rhetoric mostly focuses on eliminating American-made carbon emissions.
But according to models used by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which is traditionally used by leftists to hyperventilate about catastrophic environmental destruction, if U.S. emissions were completely eliminated by 2020, global temperatures would only be 0.077°C lower in 2050. That doesn’t exactly do much to prevent the End of Days in the next 12 years.
Further, renewables make up just 11 percent of all the power we use, and of that, wind and solar—the only real alternatives for proponents of the GND—are just 3 percent. Nuclear counts for 9 percent. So to eliminate all carbon emissions, the U.S. would have to somehow replace 80 percent of all the power we use.
Here is something a little closer to scientific certainty: we are not going to figure out how to generate all the power we need and use in America from wind and solar in the next decade. We’re not even going to get close. We do not possess the technology to do this, and current advancements in technology are not remotely on pace to accomplish this in 10 years. The Left dismisses these inconvenient truths by calling the GND their “moonshot.” But the actual Moonshot took tremendous planning, time, money, and technological advances, none of which are present in this absurd proposal.
So if the Green New Deal won’t prevent the end of the world, what is the point of the plan? Simply put, it’s a massive tax on every American, now and in the future, to pay for the Left’s wish list of enormous government programs.
The centerpiece of the proposal is for taxpayers to take on truly unfathomable amounts of new debt. It then adds equal parts “wealth tax” and a carbon tax. Because we need energy to make or do anything and, as discussed, 80 percent of our energy comes from carbon-based fuels, a carbon tax is a tax on literally everything. It won’t matter if you’re rich, poor, or in the middle; it won’t matter if you’re a big or small business, an individual, a student, or have a family; it won’t matter if you live in Texas or California, New York, or Florida. Everybody pays.
The Green New Deal is a tax on everything we do, make, wear, eat, drink, drive, transport, import, export, and use. It will mean an enormous shift of resources away from people to the government for the express purpose of creating a massive new bureaucracy that will affect, if not control, nearly every aspect of our lives. It’s all there in the plan.
What is conspicuously absent is any discussion of actually improving the environment. There are no goals for specific carbon reduction levels or lowering Earth’s temperature—which are supposed to be the major factors destroying humanity. It does, however, have a goal of government-run health care, wage controls, income redistribution, and to “deeply involve national and local labor unions” in picking winners and losers in the job market.
It is much more “New Deal” than “green.” So far, most Americans have shown no appetite for massive tax hikes. But hiding one beneath the guise of “environmental protection,” which Americans do want, could allow it to sneak up on us before we know it.
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez predicts catastrophe in 12 years if we do nothing to fight climate change. The real catastrophe would be enacting her plan to do that.
The Honorable Jason Isaac is Senior Manager and Distinguished Fellow for Life:Powered. He previously served four terms in the Texas Legislature.