It’s no longer right-wing paranoia to argue that many climate change proposals are Trojan horses for eradicating capitalism and implementing the left’s collectivist economic agenda.
“The interesting thing about the Green New Deal is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all,” Saikat Chakrabarti, chief of staff to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, said in May. A reporter for The Washington Post Magazine was at a meeting with Mr. Chakrabarti for a profile piece released last week.
“We really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing,” Mr. Chakrabarti said.
Now you know why proposals to fight climate change have dovetailed so perfectly with the desire by progressives to undermine free markets and cede more power over the economy to central planners and government bureaucrats. What could better convince voters of the need for your drastic proposals than an impending global apocalypse?
Just look at the Green New Deal, as presented by Rep. Ocasio-Cortez. She wants to “move America to 100 percent clean and renewable energy.” She also wants to guarantee “economic security for all who are unable or unwilling to work.”
The latter would indeed be a transformational idea. But what does it have to do with climate change? America’s free-enterprise system rewards those who work hard, spend less than they earn and invest wisely. Providing economic security for those “unwilling to work” would undermine the principles that have created the greatest economy in the history of the world.
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez isn’t alone. The climate plans of many Democratic presidential candidates envision a radically reworked American economy. Joe Biden called for “a 100 percent clean energy economy and net-zero emissions no later than 2050.” That would require the elimination of natural gas and coal power plants and gasoline-powered cars and airplanes, barring a breakthrough in carbon capture technology.
Sen. Bernie Sanders wants to “build out high-speed passenger rail, electric vehicles and public transit.” Sen. Elizabeth Warren wants to “invest $2 trillion over the next 10 years in green research, manufacturing and exporting.”
The desire to remake the American economy explains why global warming alarmists aren’t celebrating the progress that has been made. The United States has reduced its annual carbon emissions by 10 percent over the past 20 years, releasing fewer greenhouse gasses today than it did in 1993 despite a growing population, economic expansion and its withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord.
For many on the left, fighting climate change is primarily about increasing government control over the economy, not carbon.