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Green New Deal

Deconstructing The Green New Deal

Despite serious flaws, it sparks a needed conversation
Friday, March 8, 2019, 8:49 PM

The Green New Deal (GND) is important as a starting point to have a long, long overdue conversation about energy. Specifically: How are we going to eventually transition away from fossil fuels?

As such, the proposal -- while (very) far from perfect -- should not be ignored and deserves our attention. 

It's also important because it represents the sorts of zig-zags our social and political paths are inceasingly likely to take in the coming future as we're forced to face our looming economic, ecological and energy-related predicaments.

A Symptom Of A Global Disease

The GND is emblematic of the same pressures that brought about the election of Trump, the Yellow Vests in France, Brexit in the UK, the Catalonia breakaway in Spain, the rise of populism in Italy, and the fracturing of the Middle East.

Growing numbers of people are beginning to understand that the outbreak of these social movements share a common cause: the loss of sufficient economic growth to fund both the upper and lower stratas of society.

There simply isn’t enough "growth" left for everyone to share in it.  Surplus economic production requires surplus net energy.  As we've been chronicaling for years, there’s now less and less of that to go around.

And because the wealthy won the class war a long time ago, anemic economic growth combined with a bought-and-piad for political system translates into less and less for the many and more and more for the few.

That is an explosive mix. Eventually it will prove to be the end of ‘good old days’ unless it is self-corrected extremely soon -- though don't hold your breath.  There are precious few historical examples of the wealthy figuring out in time that they’ve gone too far, assumed too much, and shared too little:

People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage.

Intellectual myopia, often called stupidity, is no doubt a reason. But the privileged also feel that their privileges, however egregious they may seem to others, are a solemn, basic, God-given right.

John Kenneth Galbraith – in The Age of Uncertainty

Given that backdrop, we're interested in the GND as an indicator of where we are in the great swinging of the socio-political pendulum.

FYI: there's already been some excellent discussion on the proposal in the Peak Prosperity forums, which is definitely worth checking out as accompanying reading to this article. 

What Exactly Is The "Green New Deal"?

Here’s the skinny.  The GND was introduced on February 7th, 2019 with 64 House Democrat and 9 Senate Democrat cosponsors.

From it’s accompanying fact sheet, the resolution is “a 10-year plan to mobilize every aspect of American society at a scale not seen since World War 2 to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and create economic prosperity for all.”

So far so good.  While we don’t think 10 years is anywhere close to a workable time frame -- it’s much too fast to get to ‘net zero’ emissions (meaning planes and cows are still emitting, for example, but new farming practices are absorbing an equal amount) -- we completely agree with the idea that it’s so late in the game that we need something like the mass mobilization of effort seen in WW II.  Only it might need to be that large, plus an Apollo mission, and a Manhattan project in order to succeed.

Here’s the language in the bill:

In (A) it's not clear what a ‘just and fair transition’ means for all communities and workers.  There will be winners and losers as there are in any massive economic transformation.  Some jobs won’t make sense in an energy-transformed future, and neither will some far-flung communities.   This sort of vagueness of meaning, let alone intent, makes the proposal hard to assess in terms of cost, scalability or political feasibility.

We’ll get to the massive issues involved in an energy transition shortly (and they are legendary.) But, first let’s get through the rest of the bill.

Section (B) leaves us really scratching our heads as we’re a big believer in jobs but we’re really not fans of the idea of government providing make-work just for the sake of keeping people busy. And we're definitely opposed to the concept of "giveaway money" aka Universal Basic Income. As the accompanying fact sheet says, part of the envisioned deal is to provide “economic security for all who are unable or unwilling to work.”  The emphasis is mine, but the idea of providing economic security for those unwilling to work strikes us as a particularly bad idea.  Of course, we're against corporate handouts and bank bailouts, too. [Edit note inserted on 3-11-19:  The Ocasio-Cortez team has since said these FAQs were "bad copy" and released by "mistake" and deleted from the website.  No retraction or clarification has yet been issued] 

In (C), above, we at Peak Prosperity are in strong agreement with the principle of investing in infrastructure, as well as sustainably meeting the challenges of the 21st century. But lacking any more detail than that, there’s not much more to say besides “we think we support this!”  But we’re not actually sure.  Also, it’s not really the “duty” of the federal government to invest in industry, as that’s really not its strong point. 

But, with a gun to our heads, if you asked us if we’d rather see the next $1 trillion of government dollars flow into bank bailouts or into infrastructure, we’d pick the latter in a skinny minute. 

Here's the next paragraph:

To which we reply yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes.  Put us down for all of that.  And also, motherhood and apple pie.  And puppies.

Again, the devil will be in the details. And, again, there are none to be found here (yet).  Just fine and worthy aspirations.

How exactly the government will go about assuring any of these things is unknown at this point. For sure, it will require a lot of healthy debate and planning.

Still, to recognize progress, just seeing such values put in print at the federal level is a welcome development. This can be taken as a good sign if it truly means we are finally beginning to invite proper national discussion about the essentials that actually matter to us and future generations. 

Reading on, we get to the proposd time frame. This is where we start to raise concerns – ten years just doesn't seem realistic:

They're proposing to accomplish all this in the next 10 years (here we summarize the next 15 major sections of the bill):

  • Build resiliency against climate related disasters
  • Repair and upgrade infrastructure in the US
  • Meet 100% of power demand in the US (not just electricity, but all power)
  • Build a nationwide smart grid
  • Upgrade all existing buildings to maximum energy efficiency
  • Spur massive growth in clean manufacturing
  • Remove pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture
  • Overhaul all transportation systems in the US
  • Restore fragile and threatened ecosystems
  • Remove CO2 from the atmosphere through a variety of means including carbon capture and storage
  • Clean up hazardous waste sites

Don't get me wrong -- we agree that those are worthy and wonderful goals. Many of them are essential to our future well-being.

Any one of them would be a tall order to complete with the next decade. But all of these?

And how much will all this cost?  That's completely "TBD" at present.  Costs are not estimated or enumerated anywhere in the GND document. 

And whatever the cost, how will this ambitious set of programs be funded?  Apparently the Fed will just print up most of the money (again from the fact sheet addressing the question “How will you pay for it?”):

The same way we paid for the New Deal, the 2008 bank bailout and extended quantitative easing programs. The same way we paid for World War II and all our current wars. The Federal Reserve can extend credit to power these projects and investments and new public banks can be created to extend credit.

There is also space for the government to take an equity stake in projects to get a return on investment. At the end of the day, this is an investment in our economy that should grow our wealth as a nation, so the question isn’t how will we pay for it, but what will we do with our new shared prosperity.

Not to be overly cynical, but “this baby will pay for itself!” is not the strongest of arguments for the sponsoring politicians to make as history is extremely clear that those claims very rarely pan out.

Going further and wondering about how we will even manage to share all of the resulting prosperity diminishes the argument even further for me.  It sounds ungrounded, magically-thinking even, especially since no costs have even been calculated.  In our experience, faith-based “investments” are the worst investments.

However, we can clearly see the influence of the 'new darling of modern economics', Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), here. Simply put, it's the idea that the government can simply inject new money into the economy with far more benefit than negative consequence. 

We’re entirely unconvinced by this argument. On monetary terms, but even more so because it assumes resources (such as ever more oil) into existence.

MMT assumes that money is the real substance around which everything else revolves. We hold an exactly backwards view from that.  In our view, money is just a  claim, a marker. What's real is everything else -- everything that money is a claim on (ore, timber, soil, livestock, etc). You can't instantly conjure more of this stuff into existence, no matter how many new dollars you print.

In the context of the GND, we need to point out that many of the bullet points in the above list are multi-trillion-dollar expenditures each

To simply get US infrastructure up to first world standards would require $4.5 trillion according to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

A smart grid?  More trillions.  Carbon Capture and storage?  Many billions maybe trillions. We don’t know at this point because the required technology and processes are not yet scaled up. 

But the biggest challenge of them all is weaning off of fossil fuels.  That’s going to be many trillions if not tens of trillions of dollars.  This includes abandoning stranded investments, taking their value down to $0 (the list includes every oil drill rig, all vehicles with internal combustion engines, exurbs that no longer make sense) and it includes rebuilding/replacing everything that currently uses or runs on fossil fuels – which is pretty much everything.  Literally, just everything in your life is powered by, transported by and/or manufactured from fossil fuels.

Transitioning from fossil fuels will be a monumental challenge; a really tricky, complex operation -- if it’s even possible to do without crashing the economy, or worse.  Converting to lower-density energy sources (which renewables are) is going to be both profoundly expensive and economically difficult. 

Once we dig past the feel-good headlines about wind and solar, a host of complications are revealed.  You don’t have to work particularly hard to unearth them, the details are well-known and easy to find.

For example, here’s a link to an excellent piece on the subject written by Michael Shellenberger, a once-committed alternative energy advocate who, after many years of front-line experience, has since come to believe that wind and solar are not really viable options to replace fossil fuels.   

The sun doesn’t always shine, the wind doesn’t always blow, we don’t have the requisite grid-scale battery storage even close to worked out, dams have other claims on when and how their water is released that are equally compelling, wind towers kill enormous numbers of large birds and bats, solar panels create enormous amounts of waste at both ends of their life cycle, and on and on.

To spend any time seriously considering how to replace the wonderful, easy abundance of high net energy oil, coal and natural gas is to come away gawking at the sheer complexity of the task.

Yet we at Peak Prosperity are in agreement: it has to be done.

One way or the other, we will end up abandoning fossil fuels, either by environmental necessity or because the remaining dregs take too much effort to extract to make it worth the while.

If we're able to transition on our terms, a reasonable future is possible.  If we wait until the limits to growth force our hand, the results will lie somewhere between miserable and utterly disastrous.

And that’s why the GND is a needed starting point for the conversation. Despite being woefully incomplete/unrealistic in its details.

The conversation about intelligently transitioning away from our doomed status quo has to begin somewhere

We're seeing the seed of it sprouting with the striking students of Europe, Brexit, the Yellow Vests and all of the other suddenly emergent expressions of people rising up and saying “Something is very wrong here! We need to switch to a better way of doing things.”

What's Undeniable Is That Action Is Needed

The Green New Deal suffers from being a gigantic grab-bag of mixed proposals that will have to be separated into individual, much more clarifed components if they are to be actually tackled.

Job security, remedying social injustice, a massive infrastructure overhaul, carbon capture, smart grids, revamping transportation -- each is a massive undertaking.

But none more so than energy transition. Our view at Peak Prosperity is that each nation on Earth is in urgent and critcal need of addressing this question: “Where do we want to be when fossil fuels run out and how do we want to get there?”

This really is the single greatest challenge society faces today, far eclipsing the many other contenders. Simple put: our species has fully expanded into its available energy source, and now we need to figure out how we’re going to transition into whatever's next. 

The US had its wake-up call back in the 1970’s when then-President Jimmy Carter laid down a reasonable set of intelligent responses that we’d have done well to heed and implement. But we didn't. Instead the business-as-usual crowd won out and many decades were frittered away, while we continued the build-out of unsustainable living and working arrangements that will be hideously expensive to retrofit or replace. 

But that’s all in the past. We are where we are. 

So, what are we going to do about it now?

In Part 2: Requirements For Any Kind Of Credible "New Deal", we put forth our own proposal of the policy measures that we at Peak Prosperity deem essential at this pivotal point in history.

Yes, we need to think big to address the massive challenges we're facing; but we also need to think practically and logistically. What are the most effective and achievable ways to affordably secure the best possible future for ourselves, our progeny and our planet?

Our mission statement here at Peak Prosperity remains the same it's ever been: To create a world worth inheriting. If you share that goal, join our tribe of conscientious truth seekers trying to make a difference -- and if you have good ideas to contribute -- add your input to our proposal.

Click here to read Part 2 of this report (free executive summary, enrollment required for full access).

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75 Comments

davefairtex's picture
davefairtex
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 3 2008
Posts: 5860
trump & the low-wage worker

Trump isn't very imaginitive.  He is basically taking the playbook of the 1970s Democrat Party.

Here are the two primary tactics that come to mind:

1) strong stance on illegal immigration - keep the third world low wage workers from inundating our US low-wage worker population.  This will help keep wages higher.  Sure, the 1% will have to pay more for their nannies, gardeners and cooks, but - sucks to be them.  [Trump calls it "crime and drugs", but its all about not pressuring the wages of the lower-middle class.  The corporates scream through their proxies at CNN et al and call him RACIST!! but really they're pissed because their labor costs will go up.  And that's their real beef.  But of course they can't say that, because that would look bad.]

2) bringing back/keeping manufacturing jobs in country - NAFTA, China trade, etc.  The corporates and elites absolutely hate this policy of his too.  Ever heard the Chamber of Commerce attack a Republican President before?  That's when you know who his policy will benefit.  Yes, it means higher consumer prices for the top 10%, but it means better wages for the bottom 50%.

He won't get richer with either one of these goals.  His hotels hire lower wage workers.  Why on earth would he be against illegals if he was just feathering his own nest?  Illegals help lower costs for his business.

Sure, he's a used car salesman too.  He likes to engage in "puffery" - others call it lying, but, in this startup I did, the head guy was just like Trump, so I guess I'm used to seeing a little exaggeration as a part of the sales technique.  I actually find it amusing because of my experience, but I know it really pisses other people off.  At that startup I actually realized how necessary sales was, and how utterly incapable I am of doing it.  :)

treebeard's picture
treebeard
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 18 2010
Posts: 640
In times like these....

...you certainly need a sense of humor.  Like Gimli (Return of the King) said before the last battle at the black gate, "certainty of death, small chance of sucess, what are we waiting for?".

Of course we don't have Frodo about to toss the Ring into mount doom, which will suddenly make evil run away in disarry.  Our best hope is that Mother nature beats some sense into us before she finishes us off, gives a bit of time to straighten out hopefully.  Anything short of that, and we will continue to do what we are doing now, ego centric, fear based insanity.  Death camps set up by environmentalist for climate deniers, hard to top that one.

Frodo, what did you really do with that ring?

davefairtex's picture
davefairtex
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 3 2008
Posts: 5860
ensuring business stays small

The anti-trust legislation was put in place to do exactly that.  And for decades, the Democrats were the watchdogs on guard against business getting "too big".  Also, Glass-Stegall, which we all know about, was another form of anti-trust legislation.

But once the Dems went full bankster under Clinton, nobody cared about anti-trust laws anymore.  The Democrats were just too busy filling their pockets with Corporate Cash.  (I guess they saw what the Republicans were doing and got jealous).

Right.  So we write and enforce anti-trust legislation that says a company cannot have more than 20% of the revenues in a given market segment, in the same way that no one bank could have more than 5% of US total deposits.

So Google gets broken up.  Facebook gets broken up.  Twitter: broken up.  All the banks get their mergers unwound.  Airlines: broken up.  Defense industry: broken up.  Pharma: broken up.  Sickcare insurance: broken up.  Agro pesticides: broken up.  Microsoft, Intel: broken up.

Either that, or they get turned into utilities.

Google: the search utility.  Hmm.  That has promise.

 

GerryOz's picture
GerryOz
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 8 2019
Posts: 5
cmartenson wrote: Who do they
cmartenson wrote:

Who do they think should be participants in their proposed make-work programs?  What criteria would apply?  What should our societal response be to people who don't want to or are unwilling to work?  What's the current thinking of the GND crowd on this subject?

I'm 60 so I cannot say what young people are thinking, and many support the GND. But I see the "unwilling to work" slip as an ambit claim, a form of BASIC INCOME.

That's not much different to what we have now, with the 'won't works' mostly receiving one form of government benefit or another. It merely formalises it and removes the stigma.

I'm sure the details will be thrashed out in the future, but with the increasing automation of work by robots, as well as the likely contraction of jobs when global warming (and the measures to counteract it) start shrinking economies, it may be very necessary to hand out a stipend to all citizens.

Mark_BC's picture
Mark_BC
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 30 2010
Posts: 536
thc0655 wrote: You do
thc0655 wrote:

You do realize this is exactly what caused the tipping point in France that ignited the common folk to revolt in the Yellow Vests movement, right?  The latest incremental increase in the French fuel tax (imposed in order to save the world from climate change) was the seemingly small straw that broke the French camel’s back.  You and many here have suggested incrementally increasing taxes on carbon, energy and other things as a way to gradually bend the behavior of individuals, corporations and therefore the whole economy to discourage certain behaviors and resource consumption while simultaneously using the revenue raised to to build out our “green” new future.  Others like AOC have been in favor of much more drastic and immediate action, comparing the forced changes they require as similar to a national mobilization like was done for WWII.

 
So far, no one has been willing to acknowledge or discuss the elephant in the room: what should the government do when those “known unknown” tipping points are reached in our near future under the GND when the people revolt?  How much force and violence do each of us believe would be morally justified to enforce the GND? Restrictions on personal liberty and personal economic freedom under a social credit system like the Chinese have set up and are rapidly expanding?  Prison sentences?  Fines?  How should government respond to labor strikes, peaceful street protests, and violent street protests?  Wear riot gear and arrive in armored vehicles?  Water cannon, tear gas, baton strikes, rubber bullets, bean bag rounds?  What will the rules of engagement be for the police and military?  When will live ammunition be approved for use?  Would you approve the use of drone strikes on key climate deniers and journalists?  When would war be justified to save the human race and the planet?  I’ll be retired from the police department in about 8 weeks, so I’m asking for my colleagues who I’m leaving behind and who will be tasked with suppressing the dissent related to the GND.
 
Those pushing the GND have said the fate of our nation, of the whole human race, and of most of the life on the planet hang in the balance depending on what we do to solve “climate change.”  They have used references to WWII and disregarded all warnings about the cost of the GND.  They are describing mortal danger unprecedented in human history.  Everything is on the table.  In that atmosphere, I have to wonder how much force and violence they are willing to use to save the human race and to save the planet.  Would it be morally justified in the eyes of the Green New Dealers to kill a million climate change deniers and to put 50 million in “re-education camps"?  What’s a million people dead in comparison to billions who will die if we don’t save the planet?  Would they be morally justified in killing or indirectly causing the death of one billion people?  They would if they believed that was necessary to save six billion people and most of the plant and animal life on the planet.
 
I think we have to reevaluate our views of the Yellow Vest movement and President Macron of France.  Heretofore, many have seen President Macron as a bold pioneer leading the struggle against climate change disaster.  He has led his country to take some of the most “progressive” steps anywhere in the world to reverse climate change.  His incremental fuel taxes were just part of an overall strategy.  The Yellow Vest people have rebelled against saving the planet from climate change.  They are standing in the way of saving 7 billion people’s lives and countless plant and animal life on land and in the sea.  And if they aren’t stopped millions more will revolt in the future.  Should President Macron let 50,000 protesters stand in the way of saving the planet?  When you put the situation in that light, President Macron goes from looking like a heavy-handed goon to an effete sissy!  These early climate change denial rebels must be dealt with severely to insure the success of the effort to save the planet.  Imprisoning 5,000 and killing about 500 ought to cause the rest to back down, in my estimation.
 
I think it would be interesting to see how the PeakProsperity community responds to these questions:  1) Do you think the threat to human life and all life on earth from climate change would justify killing fifty million people to accomplish government’s climate change goals over the next 10 years?   2)  Would you PERSONALLY be willing to kill or imprison other people who stand in the way of government’s climate change goals?
 

The yellow vests would go away and become peaceful if "we" eliminated income tax and most sales taxes ("we" is said tongue in cheek because "we" don't have much of any say in the matter so this is largely a theoretical thought exercise). Replace with a wealth tax that targets the elites; plus carbon taxes and a few other excise taxes that attempt to internalise environmental externalities into the maket price. The result would be that government revenues would increase and be able to fund more environmental programs. Taxes to 90% of the population (ie, everyone other than the elites) would go down. People would be better able to get by. The yellow vests are angry because the carbon taxes are going up but as far as I know, the other taxes are not coming down concurrently (someone please correct me if I'm wrong).

I disagree that government needs to be small. Of course I agree that many of the overly bureaucratic and war-mongering sectors of government today need to be severly reduced but I have yet to see any evidence that the private sector will do anything to protect the environment on its own accord. And going forward we will need environmental protection more than ever.

Government isn't necessarily a bad thing, even when it represents a large portion of the economy (and I disagree that a free market on its own can properly and efficiently allocate resources). It all depends on what specific things the government is actually doing. People here tend to get all hysterically anti-communist and anti-socialist to the extent that it becomes illogical. I attribute this to the decades and decades of anti-communism propadanda that Americans have been intentionally brought up with in their educational system and media, which was done to garner public support for all the previous illegal wars fought in the name of protecting us from communism. This blinds people from rationally analyzing what different forms of governments can and cannot do and how government should operate.

Ultimately, the important question is: who does the government answer to? If politicians are afraid of the electorate and the government answers to the people in a democracy with a free press holding everyone accountable, then what's wrong with government? It's doing what the people want. I'd argue that we are very far from that nowadays. Nowadays, government belongs to sociopathic elites and its primary function is to suppress the people.

But the idea that somehow today's private sector is going to be less obnoxious is than the government is laughable. People criticize "the guberment" but actually the criticism could just as easily be levelled on the private sector. Taking it further, of course nowadays there is basically no line between government and private sector anyways, which ultimately is part of the problem. So reducing goverment is not going to solve the problem; in fact I'd say that reducing government isn't even a part of the solution. Instead, we need to completely overhaul the guberment, the private sector, the judicial system, taxation, the Constitutions of all western countries, the monetary system, the press, as a starting point. Central to this is identifing and neutering the elites behind it all.

For years I've been on here pointing out the irrefutable fact that there will be dramatically fewer jobs after the economy stops growing (or trying to grow) and the financial system transitions beyond today's dollar into the new system where the huge zombie portion of the economy can no longer be supported by cheap money printing. How all these newly unemployed people are going to survive, I have yet to hear any specifics.

Everyone seems to jump on the anti-Universal Basic Income bandwagon (and to be clear, I also do not support UBI) but I haven't heard anyone give a plausible explanation of where the jobs are going to come from once the deadbeats are kicked off their government teat, other than some misguided faith in the magic of the free market to conjure up jobs into existence out of nothing.

In fact, I'd actually suggest the opposite is true when it comes to climate change. We NEED people to be supported on UBI in order to tackle climate change. Because this means they will be able to sit at home all day watching TV or Netflix and not burn a lot of resources. The alternative hell which we are suffering through today, in which people spend all their time running around trying to get enough money to scrape by, being "productive" in their minium wage jobs -- in oher words, consuming resources -- is what is preventing us from reducing emissions.

climber99's picture
climber99
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 12 2013
Posts: 189
Back to Front

It is all back to front.

Start by assessing what the Carrying Capacity and the Net energy of the Nation will be by the turn of the Century. Then plan a reduction in population size and consumption accordingly.

Does the GND do this ?

Matt Holbert's picture
Matt Holbert
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 3 2008
Posts: 161
There are better solutions than Universal Basic Income...

Because this means they will be able to sit at home all day watching TV or Netflix and not burn a lot of resources.

There are tens of millions of people who do this already. Indirectly their resource use is off the charts due to lousy health such as being obese. 

We have to create institutions that provide an alternative to the mindless status quo. My idea is creating a series of hands-on universities that teach students who are there because they have the right attitude and are willing to live without television and willing to live without clutching cell phones every minute of the day and night. Scholarship students (lifelong?) will build and operate campuses that are green. Eventually things like healthcare training can be introduced. Approximately one-half of the accomodations on campuses -- likely retrofits of office buildings and other obsolete facilities -- will serve as high end retreats for the those guests who want to detox from the nutty culture. (Hopefully the campuses can exist without being exposed to 5G radiation, but this is unlikely as apparently 5G will soon be coming from satellites.)

I have often wondered why investment colleagues from 20+ years ago are still in the same old jobs. Other than the money, it dawned on me that they don't know how to do anything but sit in front of a computer. They grew up not working with their hands. Once you work with your hands -- and I started at about the age of nine -- it is almost impossible to find self-worth at a desk.

Anything of merit in the future has to include being physically active. UBI doesn't fit the bill.

thc0655's picture
thc0655
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 27 2010
Posts: 1785
I wonder why the GND needs this kind of "support"

...and who's paying for it, and why?

https://www.aier.org/article/fake-poll-green-new-deal

Over 80 percent of American voters support the Green New Deal (GND), or so claim its backers citing a recent survey by a group of academic pollsters. Furthermore, this public endorsement is supposedly bipartisan, with 92 percent of Democrats and 64 percent of Republicans indicating that they either strongly or somewhat support the Far Left package to reshape the entire American economy around “green energy” in the course of the next decade.

A very different story lurks beneath the surface of these impressive-looking statistics. Although the survey was conducted by a team of professors at George Mason University in Virginia and Yale University in Connecticut, it was essentially a “push poll” designed to bias respondents in favor of the proposition.

The trick behind the outcome may be seen in the question’s wording. Rather than asking voters directly about the GND, the pollsters first presented them with a glowing paragraph-length synopsis that touted the proposition’s fantastical claims:

Some members of Congress are proposing a “Green New Deal” for the U.S. They say that a Green New Deal will produce jobs and strengthen America’s economy by accelerating the transition from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy. The Deal would generate 100% of the nation’s electricity from clean, renewable sources within the next 10 years; upgrade the nation’s energy grid, buildings, and transportation infrastructure; increase energy efficiency; invest in green technology research and development; and provide training for jobs in the new green economy.

Note that this paragraph intentionally leads the respondents toward a favorable view of the program. 

It extols the GND promises of a “green energy” conversion on a scientifically impossible 10-year timeline as if it is a given. It promises an abundance of jobs and economic growth without revealing that these features depend upon the simultaneous adoption of an unprecedented federal jobs-guarantee program that would effectively place large swaths of the economy under direct federal government management.

It offers no indication that the same jobs-guarantee program would likely culminate in an unwieldy bureaucratic disaster of centralized economic planning. It makes no mention of the proposal’s extremist calls to phase out air travel in favor of trains, or to subject every building in America to costly renovation and reconstruction in order to meet new energy-efficiency rules. And it says not a word about the extreme price tag of the entire package, which certainly breaks into the tens of trillions of dollars and may reach as high as $93 trillion when all is said and done.

Instead, all of the pitfalls of the GND are conveniently brushed aside while all of its promised benefits, no matter how unrealistic or expensive, are presented to the survey’s respondents as if they were neutral and factual truths...

Loaded opinion polling of this type is a commonly encountered dirty trick in partisan political campaigns, where marketing firms associated with a certain candidate or policy try to build the illusion of public support (or hostility to the opposing party’s candidate) by asking intentionally loaded survey questions and then reporting the results as if they contained an accurate measure of public opinion. Long controversial, these tactics violate standard practices in survey design and question construction.

Unfortunately, the pollsters in this case are not political campaign consultants — they’re university professors at research institutes specializing in “climate change communication.” Given the way that they skewed their poll results toward the GND with biased and loaded questioning, it’s reasonable to ask whether their research output crossed the ethical line separating scholarship from politically motivated advocacy.

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Perhaps we should make a game of it?

Disturbing as it is creative, gamification is the darker side how major corporate information monopolies are taking advantage of basic human proclivities to track and manipulate them for profit. History is replete with examples of the first efforts of people such as Frederick W. Taylor, to measure the efficiency of workers in order to achieve increased productivity. As large companies turn increasing to monitor and measure behaviors, they will, accordingly, realize the potential of using these proclivities to enhance profits. We all have the potential of being swept up in this net, unawares. Even Chris Martenson's observations of the  number of hits on his Youtube offering are just one of the many examples of harnessing our competitive inclinations to out-do each other. Meanwhile the data collecting specialists are analyzing the behavioral components and devising algorithims to be applied for maximum returns on those behaviors. As the famous surgeon, William J. Mayo,  commented about specialists, "We're learning more and more about less and less". As our science oriented, reductionist culture drills ever deeper into our psyches, society will pay the cost of the benefits to the privileged one percenters. Or, again, am i just being an alarmist?

https://aeon.co/essays/how-employers-have-gamified-work-for-maximum-profit

 

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What would it cost America to go solar?

https://amgreatness.com/2019/03/14/what-would-it-cost-america-to-go-solar/

Interesting calculations.

When you’re talking about this many trillions, you’re talking serious money! Figure at least $50 trillion for the whole deal.

Another consideration is the longevity of the equipment. Solar panels begin to degrade after 20 years or so. Inverters, required to convert direct current coming from solar panels into alternating current, rarely last 20 years. Batteries as well have useful lives that rarely exceed 20 years. If America “goes solar,” Americans need to understand that the entire infrastructure would need to be replaced every 20 years.

Not only is this spectacularly expensive, but it brings up the question of recycling and reuse, which are additional questions that solar proponents haven’t fully answered. A solar array large enough to produce nearly 10,000 gigawatts in full sun would occupy about 50,000 square miles. Imagine tearing out that much hardware every two decades. Reprocessing every 20 years a quantity of batteries capable of storing nearly 40,000 gigawatt-hours constitutes an equally unimaginable challenge.

To the extent the United States does not go 100 percent solar, wind is an option. But the costs, infrastructure challenges, space requirements, and reprocessing demands associated with wind power are even more daunting than they are with solar. Americans, for all their wealth, would have an extremely difficult time moving to a wind and solar economy. For people living in colder climates, even in developed nations, it would be an even more daunting task. For people living in still developing nations, it is an unthinkable, cruel option.

The path forward for renewable energy is for utilities to purchase power, from all operators, that is guaranteed 24 hours-a-day, 365 days a year. This is the easiest way to create a level competitive environment. Purveyors of solar power would have to factor into their bids the cost to store energy, or acquire energy from other sources, and their prices would have to include those additional costs. It is extremely misleading to suggest that the lifetime “levelized cost” is only based on how much the solar farm costs. Add the overnight storage costs. Take into account costs to maintain constant deliveries despite interseasonal variations. Account for that. And then compete.

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Interesting Solar Calcs and Excerpt, Tom!

I found your post a really interesting and useful contribution to the conversation toward further thinking through the GND in depth.  What actually would be required for a transition to renewables like solar and wind, and what would be required to maintain the system on an on-going basis?  I also liked the general idea that utilities might level the playing field by requiring any method be able to deliver guaranteed, 24/7/365 electricity so their cost includes leveling the natural variations in their sources, or held to some variation of that adapted to actual regional or national energy daily and seasonal demand cycles.  

My first reaction to some of the calcs was - What!?  50,000 sq miles is way more solar panel area than is needed to generate that amount of electricity.  I published a news item on a website I manage focused on climate that described the opening of the largest solar panel facility in the world, at 648 Megawatts, coming online in 2017, the Kamuthi facility in Tamil Nadu, India.   In 2017,  India cancelled plans for 14 GW of coal plants based on solar facilties being much less costly to build and to operate.

https://350marin.org/india-cancels-plans-14-gigawatts-coal-power-stations/

(also see the vid below).  If a 50,000 sq mile solar array were built in one place as a square, (which it wouldn’t be) it would be about 225 miles on a side.  So, it would take about 4 hours driving at freeway speeds to just travel along one side of the array!  Thinking I could prove that’s more area than needed, I took the 648 MW Indian facility covering 10 sq km (3.9 sq mi) and projected it out.  The result was 60,000 sq miles!  From the visuals, that’s likely more than 50K sq mile because the India plant is not as densely compacted as it could be.

So, based on real world, current technology, it seems the figure given that 50,000 sq mi area is needed to generate 10,000 gigawatts at peak output is a valid estimate.  Now, on price, at least according to the cost given for the India facility of 648MW for $679 million (and built in just 8 months), it seems that ‘at least $50 trillion’ might be an over-estimate by a factor of 5.  At roughly $1 billion/gigawatt, 10,000 GW = $10 trillion total.  Maybe the $679 million costs for the India facility doesn’t include all real costs, but, in any case, we don’t know the reason for the discrepancy with the article’s figure.

Then, there’s the 10,000 GW figure itself.  I think that comes from an estimate I’ve seen that the US uses 10,000 GW hours/day.  If so, that would mean that, since there are 24 hours in a day, the max load at any particular time would be far below the 10,000 GW figure, though a buffer would still need to be maintained.  If we’re trying to transition more energy use to ‘clean’ electricity as time goes on, that would raise the GW demand on a realtime basis, while powerful conservation measures or integration with other technologies like wind, nuclear, etc could move the solar peak demand way below 10,000GW with conservation and other sources.  These calcs don’t address the variation/storage concerns that you, me & everyone else has about solar and wind.

Overall, in my opinion, thinking about best options to undertake with limited time and finite resources at a larger level is an equation with a lot of variables to work with and consider – conservation, localization of power sources to become more resilient to large grid disruptions, multiple simultaneous power sources from wood & bio-fuels, solar, wind to nuclear.  We’ve got problems that won’t go away.  All the ways forward are hard.  From my point of view, actually, a lot is possible, but it’s all difficult. 

The more we’re able to talk and think openly and bring intelligence to real world calculations, including resource limitations on inputs for various projects, cost of delivery and so on, the better for making decisions that develop sensible doable plans.  Every single plan will have aspects to criticize and risks of failure.  The question will always be, what’s the best alternative proposal or mix of proposals and what are the calcs that support that?  To me, it’s pretty clear that, how ever we are able to adapt, and to whatever degree, it’s going to be a mix of different approaches with a focus on regionalization/localization that provides the most resilience and fits the uncertainties involved.  I don’t think we're ever going to see a solar array 225 miles on a side. ;-)

 

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Solar Maintenance/Replacement Estimates Are Actually Much Lower

I  liked the fact that the article also talked about potential costs related to replacing solar arrays over time.  Because I've been more focused on the need to shift ASAP away from fossil fuel greenhouse gas emissions, I've paid more attention to what's involved in doing that quickly in the next couple of decades to avoid potentially catastrophic ecological and social climate disruption.   Still, inspite of the fact that replacement/maintenance costs are real, as with all infrastructure, the article's notion that we'd need to tear out 50,000 sq miles of panels every 20 years is an obvious, gigantic exaggeration. 

Right now, the US is limping along on aging, inadequately maintained or replaced infrastructure, much of which is decades beyond its intended lifespan.  That's already been noted on this site (eg, the Oroville dam, etc).  Also, the difficulty with our aging infrastructure (which one estimate says would take $4 trillion to replace) brings up the side point that any funds to replace current infrastructure should be put into new infrastructure designed to adapt to the coming lower energy, non-fossil fuel driven world, NOT an in-place rebuild of existing bridges and freeways.

Back to panels - Though the nominal lifespan of solar panels is 20-25 years (under their warranty), the reality is that the degradation of panel performance is mild on an annual basis, and seems to be straight line, from what I see.   As noted in the link below The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) performed a meta-analysis of studies that examined the long term degradation rates of various PV panels.  According to their review, the poorest panel output UV degradation in extreme desert climates may be around 1% per year - eg, they'd still have 75% production capacity after 25 years and maybe 40-50% after half a century.  Panels made after the year 2000 even have much lower degradation rates than that, though, and in moderate climates like the US, are now estimated by NREL to have degradation rates as low as 0.2%/year.  That means they could retain 96% of their production capacity after 20 years, and 90% after a half century!   Either way, the balance lost to aging solar infrastructure would need to be made up by new conservation by users or new solar or other energy production, but wouldn't require ripping out 50,000 sq mi every couple of decades.

https://www.engineering.com/DesignerEdge/DesignerEdgeArticles/ArticleID/...

 

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That’s the macro picture

Our retirement home is 98% complete and it has a 10.65 kW solar array on the roof. The company that installed it (ReVision Energy) sized it that way after calculating it will provide all of our annual electricity needs leaving us with just a maintenance electric bill for infrastructure. We move in May 15 and I’ll be curious to see how close to that estimate we get. And I certainly expect the system to outlive me and carry some residual value when my heirs go to sell it. While we knock around the macro calculations and plans, I’m moving forward with my micro applications of which solar PV is just one part. 

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Interesting

We just downsized. We had solar at our old place long enough to break even (11years). Now someone else will enjoy the benefits well into the future.

We just signed a solar deal on our new place that, at about our current bill rate, will be completely paid off in 5 years and our electricity will be free at least to the warranty life of 25 years. Plus they're throwing in a new service panel.

I even got a veteran's break on the price.

I told the guy if this is some kind of scam I'll come looking for him. I don't think he was intimidated. He's 32, I'm 72.

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Downsized, Checking Out Intentional Community wi Its Own 'Grid'

Cool! 10kw on the roof, Tom - that packs a punch.  We just sold our house with 5kw on top last Sept., in part because, since I do sustainable investment work, it looked like that big stock Bull was about to finally turn into BS, roll over and die into a Bear, and if so, would likely turn housing prices flat to down strongly for a year or five.  We put it on the market on Sept 20, same day as what turned out to be the recent S&P top.  We had sold our last house before in 2006, just as housing peaked, and then rented for 5 years until 2011, when we got a deal on a fixer upper back in the hills.  Unlike my wife, I have no pension except social security, so, our big gains from fixing & selling the two houses are my retirement savings, some of which will buy our next place.

I guess it depends on your location (latitude, sunrise,sunset, sun angle, transient shading, etc) how many kw you need, but where we were, our 5kw of roof panels covered 100% of our electrical needs for the year, at least when just two of us were there.  When we rented an attached in-law that used an electric stove and some electric heat, our bills would go a little over and get paid out of the rent.   Against recommendations of 2 or 3 solar contractors bidding who said it wasn't worth the extra $2-3K, I put in battery backup just to become familiar with the technology and be able to work at home & on the internet when the power went out, as it did  2 - 3 times a year back in the hills.  It'd stay out for a few hours or up to a day or so.  The emergency backup worked great, and would take over so seamlessly sometimes, we'd be watching TV or something and not notice that the entire neighborhood had gone dark until an hour or so after it happened, when we looked out a window or went to another part of the house.

After we sold the place, there was a storm & we saw a former neighbor post that the entire Madrone Canyon we'd lived in had gone out.  Just for fun, we drove up at night to see how our back-up system was doing for the new owners.  For about 1.5 miles from the entrance to the canyon all the way up, the neighborhoods were pitch black.  No street lights, no electric lights in any houses lining the main road.  The whole drive, we only saw 2 - 3 candles or lanterns through windows.  When we got to our place near the end of the road on the hillside, it was blazing with light, the only place out of hundreds we'd passed that had electricity.  I got a kick out of that - satisfaction in my part designing & building the system with the electrician, even though we didn't own the place anymore.

Now, we’re renting a condo temporarily, but it looks like we might join a multi-generational co-housing ‘intentional community’ that’s buying a few acres north of here.  We’re still checking it out.  Everyone will have their own, complete 2 – 4 bedroom townhome or flat they’ll own outright, plus the group will own a 3700 sq ft common house with big kitchen, dining room, multipurpose & guest rooms, sauna, etc and thousands of square feet of common garden.  If you want to just do your own thing, that’s fine.  But if you want to eat dinner with others a one or more times a week in the common house, you just sign up, then most times just show up and eat, & occasionally come early to help do prep.

One of the things that’s attracted me to check out the project is that I talked to the head of the ‘sustainability committee’, and they’re planning on generating enough electricity with solar to power the entire community, and to have battery back up for the entire community grid as well.  The group is buying the land and running construction as an LLC, then converting to a condo legal structure once the place is built.  They’re also planning to have the community build and own a few single bedroom units on the property the group would then rent to generate some income to cover HOA fees rather than owners having to pay anything on-going. 

I have a few concerns related to location being not far enough out of Dodge when things blow, but my wife has a few more years of work and long commutes before she retires, and is more a city person generally, so this is a compromise that keeps us together. Also, I built an aquaponics greenhouse at our last place.  The fact the community told me they may have access to a large adjacent plot of land owned by the local school for additional food growing they said could support my idea of doing expanded aquaponics operation is a big draw, too.  The food project would be an 'educational project' in coordination with the nearby elementary school, part of their learning experience, with food output generated for our group and the school community.

We haven’t made a final decision, but most importantly, the people we've met seem on the beam and fun. It looks like this model could be a good way to mix community with the freedom to be independent as well.  I've always had some attraction to more communiy oriented, or multi-generation living approaches compared to a strict, more isolated 'nuclear-family' focus - even though, as we all know, other people are often a huge pain ;-) Here’s a link to the group's website that shows some of their plans:

https://www.marincoho.com/

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novato cohousing

Too bad they didnt plan less units and more outdoors, even at a higher cost.  Very small amount of garden beds per unit. 

Their web site says nothng about solar, but even if only the common house had battery backup, that would be an important backup for everyone.  A place to go with lights and community and one fridege where the most essentials could be piled in. 

My biggest worry about this group would be the lack of shared politics.  WHile it may not be so, my experience in this area of California would have me cautious about this group, I would worry about the community demanding in deeds, although not in words, a conformity of thought on the world and politics I would aorry about it being non-diverse on thoughts of how the world realy is and the reality of the 3 E's, let alone if you voted different, this is a co-housing in Novato, after all, and look at the list of who have already signed up, quite an echo chamber

 

On the other hand, if your wife needs to wirk around there, it is an affordable place

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Good Co-Housing Crew, But I Agree with Some of Your Concerns

mtnhouspermi, you have some reactions similar to mine.  I've been looking at co-housing or shared land condo arrangements on and off for a few years, and also would have prefered that the units be a bit sparser with more green space and common gardening area.  There are some long time co-housing set ups in Davis California that are sparser, and in some cases have commonly owned separate groves of fruit and nuts trees they maintain and harvest, as I recall.  Here's one of the oldest, though I don't see groves in theirs:

http://www.muircommons.org/

My concern about the limited planned common gardening space (3000-4000 sq ft)  is made less pressing by the fact, as I mentioned, that there's a large adjoining plot of open land that it seems likely we could use for gardens and aquaponics.  We'll find out more how certain that looks in the coming days.

Since the battery back-up plans aren't locked in yet, I would push for more battery back-up capability rather than less, to cover at least scaled down use of all individual house needs in addition to the common house.  Also, my understanding from my own projects is that, once you set up a structure that's designed to accommodate off-grid type inverters and batteries, you can scale up inverter/battery capacity relatively easily after the fact as long as you're attaching the back up system to a central grid box that feeds the entire the community.

So far, I'm less worried about the politics of the people involved, or their desire to push people around with social pressure - though as you suggest, people in groups can always press for discomfort, conformity, drama if they work on it.  The people we've talked to so far seem pretty much on the same page overall, and importantly, are laid back.  A couple are ex-military, including one of the founders, who lived in co-housing while stationed in Virginia, a few are engineers, business or academic types.  Yeah, given the Bay Area locale, they probably tend more 'liberal' than the midwest.  I talk to people in person and on-line, though, who are across the political spectrum, and am friends with some on pretty different pages politically, at least on some topics.  I'm a person who respects individual freedom, don't try to tell other people how to live much and don't like people to tell me what to do either if I'm not causing anyone else a genuine problem.  If I gather some kind of pressure for 'group think' might evolve, I won't join.

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Try it on them

Take a more non-liberal position than you realy are when talking to people in this group to see how open they are.  I get that YOU are open to various positions,  it is just that my experience from when I lived in that part of CA, and the part of CA I am in now, is that THEY may not be.  It is bad enough not being able to say anything in the local coffee shop here, but that is not part of my "home" as you would expect your common areas in a co-housing to be.  Show up for your interview there in a MAGA hat, even though you dont normally wear one just to sind out how tolerant they are......

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Try it on them

repeat

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;-) Wearing a MAGA Hat Might Be Pushing It a Teeny Bit

it’d be kind of a dramatic statement given I’ve seen pretty much nobody wearing one around here that I can remember, just as I’m sure there were big swathes of the country where Hillary gear & yardsigns weren't seen much before the election.  I’m not a fan of either of those two corrupt characters.

mntnhousepermi, as you say, you'd want places like the co-housing common areas to feel like home, where you can be yourself.  

For that, you kind of need to feel compatible with the people who live there, whatever that means to you or to me.  So far, my wife and I feel compatible with these folks.  Though we haven't talked politics with them much, we're usually pretty good judges of character. 

I've been dealing with John the most, the ex-military guy who's one of the two project leaders, and we really like him alot.  He's got a bright-eyed, direct look, a good sense of humor, and seems very straightforward about the risks and potential difficulties as well as the positive aspects of the project.  There's no interview process - I've already hung out and had meals with most of the group - talked in person and in online Zoom meetings.  So, it's a little late to be faking opinions to test reactions, and not likely the best 'getting to know you' strategy in this situation... though I am chuckling a little bit imagining what would happen if I suddenly showed up in one of those potlucks or online Zoom meeting rectangles with a MAGA hat on.   It would be a WTF moment...

 

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For Sure.  But it shouldnt. 

For Sure.  But it shouldnt.  That is the point.  If one where to put one on as a reminder to the rest of the world of tolerance, just as we used to put on a rainbow pin, just as some women will put on a headscarf for the day. 

If people dont see this as the same, then they are not tolerant, no matter how they say they ae

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kelvinator
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I Doubt You're Wearing a MAGA Hat, mnthhousepermi

based on your description of not feeling like you can speak your mind at the local coffee shop.  If you want to wear one because you feel it conveys a message of tolerance that no one can deny, you should absolutely do that & feel good about it, not try to convince me or anyone else to do it.  I do agree with your wish for a spirit of more political tolerance, just feel there are much better ways to get there.

For me, when I talk to new people and find they like Trump or Hillary, folks I don't support, I'm a lot more interested in trying to stay connected to them as people and actually talking about the differences in how we see things than I am wanting to test them by wearing icons.  IMO, talking is better than 'testing' or wearing symbols, and I have close friends who support Trump or supported Hillary that I have (usually) friendly conversations with in which we challenge each other's thinking.  More in-depth communication is a lot better than symbols when it comes to tolerance for me.

Also, I don't quite see MAGA hats as showing solidarity with 'oppressed people' in the same light as rainbow pins (in support of gays, I guess?), or headscarfs (in support of muslim women's rights?).  In fact, MAGA is just a huge con by a very corrupt businessman, as far as I'm concerned, though many of the MAGA issues Trump appeals to to generate power for himself are quite real.  MAGA supporters elected a corrupt President and are a big force in the country.  They may be a minority in this particular place and therefore deserve tolerance and a hearing, as you suggest - and you wouldn't believe how much time I talk about corrupt liberal elites to my liberal friends.  More and more have moved toward the same page I'm on - I've seen them change as the situation becomes more obvious.  But it's also blazingly clear to me that the policies Trump supports ramp intolerance toward both the other groups you used as examples. The world is a complicated place. We agree that tolerance is good - just have different ways to get there.

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irony
Quote:

 But it's also blazingly clear to me that the policies Trump supports ramp intolerance toward both the other groups you used as examples.

It would be hard to ignore the irony of wearing a MAGA hat as a sign/plea/gesture of tolerance.

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I disagree
Doug wrote:
Quote:

 But it's also blazingly clear to me that the policies Trump supports ramp intolerance toward both the other groups you used as examples.

It would be hard to ignore the irony of wearing a MAGA hat as a sign/plea/gesture of tolerance.

 

We can see right here that you guys are already stereotyping.  

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thc0655
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Insolvent Illinois goes beyond aspirational

https://wirepoints.org/like-alexandria-ocasio-cortezs-green-new-deal-youll-love-what-illinois-wants-to-do/

It’s now moving through the Illinois General Assembly with very broad sponsorship and exceptionally well-organized support. It’s a 365-page monstrosity of bureaucratic overreach, unhinged social engineering, climate extremism and shameless disregard for cost.

It’s called the Clean Energy Jobs Act. It would put specificity and the force of law behind the core concepts of the Green New Deal spearheaded by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez...

The bill calls for 40 million solar panels and 2,500 wind turbines alongside $20 billion in new infrastructure over the next decade. One million gas and diesel vehicles would come off Illinois roads...

The Illinois bill is loaded with social justice goals. There are tedious requirements for a Clean Jobs Workforce Hubs Program; “environmental justice communities”job creation for ex-offenders and former foster children; “energy empowerment zones”; workforce and training including soft skills and math to ensure communities of color, returning citizens, foster care communities and others understand clean energy opportunities; stipends for jobs and apprenticeships, including funding for transportation and child care; access to low-cost capital for disadvantaged clean energy businesses and contractors; and much, much more.

What’s most annoying is sheer indifference to cost, which is probably immeasurable anyway given the bill’s vast complexity. Don’t expect to find an estimate anywhere. National critics of the Green New Deal immediately asked about cost, but in Illinois, it just doesn’t matter. Broke Illinois would somehow have to pay a proportionate share of the multi-trillion-dollar cost estimates for the Green New Deal.

Supporters of the Illinois bill typically duck the question of cost by jumping to claims of new job creation in renewables. But their job claims invariably are one sided, ignoring lost jobs in the carbon-based industries they would destroy. And the jobs primarily are in the initial installation, which is to say they are temporary.

They cite Illinois’ Future Energy Jobs Act to prove success in job creation. It became law in 2017, imposing less grand targets for renewable energy. It authorized $750 million for job training in that industry. “Now we have a report to prove” how many jobs were created by that earlier law, says Ann Williams (D-Chicago), the new bill’s leading sponsor in the Illinois House. But that’s just 1,500 jobs, she says. That’s success? Watch the whole interview with her to get a sense of the mentality behind this bill. I reached out to Williams for comment but got no response.

Supporters like Williams also claim that renewables are simply cheaper than fossil fuel alternatives. What? If the goal were truly to allow the cheapest alternatives to prevail, massive intervention in the marketplace obviously wouldn’t be needed...

 

 

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