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Green New Deal is free

20 May 2020 | OP ED Watch

Another major leap forward into fantasy from the Deep Ecologists. In response to criticism from Jonah Goldberg of the prohibitive cost of the Green New Deal (and now would not be a good time) the “your 15 minutes are up” firebrand Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted that the bill is a “non-binding resolution of values” and hence “costs us $0 if passed”. Well, yes. A bill saying it would be nice to do something is free. But if the main argument its defenders can make is don’t worry, it's all just talk, we don't actually want to do it, then they’re admitting it’s a terrible idea. So why support it at any time?

AOC’s tweet had the characteristically shrill tone, starting “Hey there! Totally get it if you’ve never bothered to read the legislation you’re commenting so authoritatively on.” But it went quickly from obnoxious to obtuse, saying “The Green New Deal is a non-binding resolution of values. It does not have a price tag or CBO score and costs us $0 if passed.”

So not only is she not proposing to do it, she has no idea what it would cost if she did propose doing it.

Like Justin Trudeau praising Paris without going there, or the EU deciding the easiest way to cut fossil fuel use is to reclassify oil as not a fossil fuel, or indeed the ongoing purchase of seaside mansions by climate-alarmist celebrities, it suggests that we are late in the period of ritual attendance at the Church of Green, as people tended to go to church through the 1950s for fear of their absence being noticed by their neighbors rather than God, and with actual belief or even interest in the theology a distant memory if that.

Speaking of being seen at church, Joe Biden has asked AOC to be on the panel helping him devise climate policy. If you weren’t used to politics you might find that story odd on another level. Biden has been deeply involved in public policy for nearly half a century: at 77 years old, he was first elected to the United States Senate in 1973, and served for eight years as Vice President to the very climate-woke Barack Obama. Might Biden not be expected already to have a climate policy whose main thrust was clear, considered and consistent?

Even putting that bit aside, does the wily veteran Biden really wants to tie his campaign in any significant way to a flaky kid who wants to pretend to want to do really drastic things without actually wanting to do them and is liable to embarrass him by some wacky comment while on his team or by stalking off in a huff because he’s not sufficiently radical, or insists on measuring costs?

It’s a curious risk to take.

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