Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-NY) Green New Deal (GND) has drawn attention all across the globe. Prominent Democratic presidential candidates have announced their intentions to support it in their bids for the White House in 2020.
Let me mince no words: The GND is America’s worst nightmare, and the precedent it will set for the rest of the world will usher in an era of chaos.
A quick glance at the salient points mentioned in the GND is sufficient to send ripples of shockwaves to experts in climate science and policy makers in the developing world.
The policy openly and unashamedly calls for polarized energy utilization, dietary prohibitions, and even a radical change in transportation choices.
The crux of the GND lies in the assumptions regarding catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW), now commonly referred to as climate change.
While it is true that global average temperature is rising, there are serious concerns surrounding the magnitude of this warming, the underlying causes, and the extent of human contribution.
Even if we forgo the apparent discrepancies with the above factors, there still arises the big hurdle of computer climate model predictions made about the future state of climate.
The GND’s only justification of its policy recommendations is the hypothesis that future global climate will be extremely warm. In fact, Rep. Cortez went on record to say that the world has just 12 years to save itself from climate doomsday.
This claim has its origins in computer climate model predictions—though it goes far beyond them. Scientists who work with United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) designed these climate models to predict future temperatures.
However, they committed a major error by assigning too much significance to carbon dioxide emissions, which come largely from anthropogenic (man-made) sources like coal-burning electric generating plants and the use of fossil fuels in the transportation sector.
This model bias (of exaggerating the role of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions) has resulted in extremely unrealistic predictions about future temperatures. In the past 18 years, the models have failed repeatedly, and by a large margin, to reflect real world temperatures.
While no efforts have been made to correct these model errors, the United Nations continues to promote these archaic forecasts as legitimate data, asserting them as authoritative guidelines for future policies.
The GND relies on these very same predictions to recommend outlandish stone-age era policies that push for a complete abandonment of fossil fuel use.
It aims to “move America to 100 percent clean and renewable energy,” without addressing the huge gaps in the current renewable energy sector.
A 100 percent reliance on renewables technology is nothing short of fantasy. The currently available renewable technologies are not capable of supporting huge cities and industries on their own. They always require backup support from conventional energy sources like coal and natural gas.
Even if renewable technologies improve in future, there will always be lapses, as both wind and solar are limited in their potential to produce uninterrupted, affordable, and stable energy output.
When there is no wind and when there is no sunlight, any energy system with 100 percent renewables will fail spectacularly.
But there is no solar energy for at least 12 hours a day, on average, and wind is volatile, seasonal, and totally unpredictable. Storage technologies have not evolved anywhere close to the capacity of supporting entire cities or heavy-duty industries.
Strangely, the GND calls for a complete transition not only from fossil fuels but also away from nuclear energy. Yet those are the only stable, reliable, affordable, and abundant sources of energy currently available to us. A chaotic, energy-less state of affairs is sure to follow if this comes to pass.
The GND also calls for a “transition to a fully greenhouse gas (GHG) neutral economy as quickly as needed and achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.”
But a GHG-neutral economy and net-zero GHG emissions are mythical concepts. Carbon dioxide, the GHG alarmists most love to hate, is an intricate part of life—exhaled by humans, essential to all plant life, and impossible to neutralize with any kind of “carbon capture” strategy.
The GND conveniently ignores the GHG emission from various natural sources and climate-altering volcanic eruptions that can easily outdo and nullify the proposed massive GHG emission reduction strategies to regulate temperatures.
A similar mistake is committed in the GND’s call for a GHG-free farming sector. Plant life by definition requires carbon dioxide and carbon during every stage. To call for a GHG-free farming sector is to call for farming without plants.
The ridiculous list of suggestions in the GND is unending. They are an insult to scientifically informed people in academia. The GND is anti-science and lacks all common sense.
If the GND were to come true, the U.S, would soon be like North Korea: minimal or no farming, no planes, no electricity, a non-existent economy, and a complete dependence on imports for food and energy. The GND is worse than a nightmare. It is the darkest energy policy of the modern industrial era.
For those like me who live in Third World countries, the GND is a mystery. If the strongest economy in the world embraces a policy like the GND that is regressive, totalitarian, and based on completely unreliable forecasts about the future climate, then it won’t be long before powerful lobbies push the same in developing countries.
Being non-partisan and a non-citizen, my wish for America and the rest of the world is that the next President—regardless of party—should not implement even a single proposal from the GND.
Vijay Jayaraj (M.Sc., Environmental Science, University of East Anglia, England), Contributor for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, lives in Chennai, India.