Thursday, January 10, 2019

Tilting at Windmills on the Hill

We have just a little over a decade left to act and then - *poof* – the world as we know it is gone forever.

We have just 12 years to make massive and unprecedented changes to global energy infrastructure to limit global warming to moderate levels.

And while both Republicans and mainstream Democrats have refused to do anything to stop this horror show the next generation has stepped up to the plate:

Young activists, who will be forced to live with the ravages of climate change, find this upsetting. So they have proposed a plan of their own. It’s called the Green New Deal (GND) — a term purposefully reminiscent of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s original New Deal in the 1930s — and it has become the talk of the town. – Vox

So what the heck is it?

The exact details of the GND remain to be worked out, but the broad thrust is fairly simple. It refers, in the loosest sense, to a massive program of investments in clean-energy jobs and infrastructure, meant to transform not just the energy sector, but the entire economy. It is meant both to decarbonize the economy and to make it fairer and more just.

In order to implement this bold plan we will need some Millennials, educated in the Public Socialist Skool of Justice and Fairness for All. And what luck! We’ve got one!

aoc free stuff

The Green New Deal calls for a top-down revolution in the operation of American society so sweeping that it would be disturbing if it weren’t so wholly ridiculous. It shows all the thoughtfulness of a college sophomore pulling an all-nighter to write a term paper for his Millennial Socialism 101 class.

The Green New Deal, as explained in draft legislation to create a congressional committee to pursue it, would transition to 100 percent renewable sources of national power in 10 years. Since renewables only account for 17 percent of U.S. power now (7.5 percent from hydropower, which might not pass muster under the Green New Deal), the plan would require shuttering more than 80 percent of current sources of American power.

…It would build a new energy-efficient grid, itself a massive proposition.

It would upgrade every — not just many, not even most, but every — residential and industrial building for energy efficiency. There are 136 million homes in the United States.

It would eliminate emissions from industry, including farming, offering instead a vision of investment “in local-scale agriculture.”

It would eliminate emissions from transportation, which sounds like mandatory electric cars and hydrogen-powered planes.

Because the Green New Deal aspires to achieve all of socialism in one energy plan, it includes a federal job guarantee with a living wage and perhaps “basic income programs” and “universal health care.”  - New Republic’s take on Millennial Socialism

Whew! Quite the ambitious plan, even for an incoming Congressional freshman. So how are we going to pay for all this? “How many times do I have to tell you? The same way you pay for Medicare for all.”

aoc-medicareforall-notpieinthesky“You just pay for it.”

With other people’s money, off course!

So naturally, as I travelled through my favorite stretch of I-80 the other day, with its once vast, untarnished expanses now landscaped with massive numbers of these green giants -

windmills wy improving on god

I couldn’t help but think of AOC, and the original Don Quixote. Both mad, both tilting at windmills.      

Both thoroughly enjoying their excellent adventures.

“Destiny guides our fortunes more favorably than we could have expected. Look there, Sancho Panza, my friend, and see those thirty or so wild giants, with whom I intend to do battle and kill each and all of them, so with their stolen booty we can begin to enrich ourselves. This is nobel, righteous warfare, for it is wonderfully useful to God to have such an evil race wiped from the face of the earth."

"What giants?" Asked Sancho Panza.

"The ones you can see over there," answered his master, "with the huge arms, some of which are very nearly two leagues long."

"Now look, your grace," said Sancho, "what you see over there aren't giants, but windmills, and what seems to be arms are just their sails, that go around in the wind and turn the millstone."
"Obviously," replied Don Quijote, "you don't know much about adventures.”
- Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote

crashed windmill blade

Whoops, a big wind blew it over.