‘Environmental Extremism And Socialism’ Behind GND

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL (June 12, 2019) – The “Green New Deal” (GND) resolution proposed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA) is a plan they say is mandatory to avert a future climate change catastrophe. Its proponents also claim the GND would improve the environment and bolster the economy. However, the truth is the GND is a dangerous combination of environmental extremism and socialism.

GND

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A new Policy Brief by The Heartland Institute’s Senior Fellow James Taylor, titled “The Green New Deal: A Grave Threat to the American Economy, Environment, and Freedom,” analyzes in-depth the tremendously expensive proposal that would devastate the U.S. economy and cause more environmental destruction than protection.

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Executive Summary

The “Green New Deal” (GND) resolution proposed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA) proports to be a radical plan required to avert a future climate change catastrophe. Its proponents also claim it would improve the environment and bolster the economy.1 However, the truth is the GND is a dangerous combination of environmental extremism and socialism. The tremendously expensive proposal would devastate the U.S. economy and cause more environmental destruction than protection.

Despite extensive coverage, the left-leaning media has refused to conduct a rigorous examination of the Green New Deal’s planks, and it has largely chosen to ignore many of the GND’s unrealistic provisions and promises. Even a cursory look at the proposal shows it would be impossible to fully carry out in 10 years and that it would be economically, socially, and politically detrimental, almost beyond imagination.

Ocasio-Cortez, an avowed socialist, has made it clear the Green New Deal is part of her strategy to replace the free market with the failed policies of the Soviet Union and other socialist nations, including Venezuela, whose economy remains in the midst of a socialism-induced death spiral.2

When put to a test vote in the Senate, no member, not even the plan’s co-sponsors, supported Ocasio-Cortez and Markey’s GND nonbinding resolution. Nevertheless, Democrats in Congress still praise it. Undoubtedly, many will try to resurrect it. Some Republicans already appear willing to do the heavy lifting for them, proposing watered-down Green New Deal plans
under the guise of a “Green Real Deal” or a “Manhattan Project” for renewable energy.

Whether presented as a congressional bill, resolution, or as a mere “aspiration,” the provisions of the Green New Deal pose a dangerous threat to the American values of individual freedom and limited government. It should be opposed at all costs, and in its place, lawmakers should embrace proven pro-energy policies that increase the quality of life for all people.

This Policy Brief will make the following arguments:

1. The Green New Deal Would Harm the Environment, Not Help It

The Green New Deal would not substantially improve America’s current environmental protections, which are already among the most stringent in the world. For example, U.S. air quality is the cleanest among comparable industrialized countries, and it is getting significantly cleaner every year. The Green New Deal’s dependence on renewable energy sources such as wind and solar would cause tremendous and far-reaching environmental harms. For example, wind turbines already likely kill more than 10 million birds and bats each year, including numerous endangered and protected species.3 Additionally, one study found solar panels create 300 times more toxic waste per unit of energy produced than nuclear power plants.4

2. The Green New Deal Would Have Minimal Impact on Global Temperature

The assumption made by Green New Deal supporters is that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuels are causing runaway global warming. However, although global emissions have risen 56 percent since 2000, U.S. emissions have declined by 14 percent during that period.5 Even if America were to completely eliminate its CO2 emissions, Environmental Protection Agency models estimate this would avert less than 0.2 degrees Celsius of global temperature rise by the end of the century, too little to accurately measure.6

3. Scientific Evidence Debunks the Asserted Global Warming Crisis

In 1990, the United Nations predicted global temperature would rise by 0.3 degrees C per decade, but the measured rise has been only 0.13 degrees C per decade, less than half the pace predicted.7 Global temperature throughout human history has, due to natural cycles, been much higher than it is now.

4. The Green New Deal Would Devastate the U.S. Economy

Among other radical provisions, the Green New Deal would effectively ban air travel, mandate the use of costly renewable energy sources, and eliminate efficient agricultural practices for producing food. Converting the electric power grid and all gasoline-powered vehicles to green energy would cost at least $13 trillion, or more than $100,000 per household. The guaranteed jobs and universal health care programs and requiring every building in the country to make “green” upgrades could cost an additional $86 trillion. In total, the Green New Deal could cost nearly $100 trillion in its first 10 years alone—perhaps the most expensive proposal in U.S. history. By comparison, the current federal budget is about $4.4 trillion, and America’s entire annual gross domestic product is a little more than $20 trillion.8,9

5. The Green New Deal Would Impose a Dangerous Socialist System

The Green New Deal aims to create “a massive transformation of our society” by mobilizing “every aspect of American society at a scale not seen since World War 2.”10 This would require a strong, centralized, authoritarian government and an abandonment of democratic checks and balances, similar to what occurred in the Soviet Union in the early twentieth century and in Venezuela today.

Download the full PDF here.


Ocasio-Cortez, an avowed socialist, has made it clear the Green New Deal is part of her strategy to replace U.S. free-market policies with failed socialist policies.

When put to a test vote in the Senate, no member, not even the plan’s co-sponsors, supported the GND. Nevertheless, Democrats still praise it. Undoubtedly, many will try to resurrect it. Some Republicans already appear willing to do the heavy lifting for them, proposing watered-down Green New Deal plans under the guise of a “Green Real Deal” or a “Manhattan Project” for renewable energy.

Whether presented as a congressional bill, resolution, or as a mere “aspiration,” the provisions of the Green New Deal pose a dangerous threat to the American values of individual freedom and limited government. It should be opposed at all costs, and in its place, lawmakers should embrace proven free-market policies that increase the quality of life for all people.

The Policy Brief discusses:

  • The Green New Deal is a dangerous combination of environmentalism extremism and socialism.
  • The Green New Deal’s dependence on renewable energy sources such as wind and solar would cause tremendous and far-reaching environmental harms.
  • Even if America were to completely eliminate its CO2 emissions, EPA models estimate this would avert less than 0.2 degrees Celsius of global temperature rise by the end of the century, too little to accurately measure.
  • The Green New Deal could cost nearly $100 trillion in its first 10 years alone.

The Heartland Institute is a 35-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our website or call 312/377-4000.




About the Author

Jacob Wolinsky
Jacob Wolinsky is the founder of ValueWalk.com, a popular value investing and hedge fund focused investment website. Prior to ValueWalk, Jacob was VP of Business Development at SumZero. Prior to SumZero, Jacob worked as an equity analyst first at a micro-cap focused private equity firm, followed by a stint at a smid cap focused research shop. Jacob lives with his wife and four kids in Passaic NJ. - Email: jacob(at)valuewalk.com - Twitter username: JacobWolinsky - Full Disclosure: I do not purchase any equities anymore to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest and because at times I may receive grey areas of insider information. I have a few existing holdings from years ago, but I have sold off most of the equities and now only purchase mutual funds and some ETFs. I also own a few grams of Gold and Silver