Ethics & Religion
April 4, 2019
Green New Deal
By Mike McManus
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Senator Edward Markey (D- MA) have
introduced the "Green New Deal," a congressional resolution which lays
out a grand plan for tackling climate change.
It aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030. To achieve that
goal the plan calls for the United States to switch to 100% renewable
energy in 10 years. In 2017 only 11% of the nation's energy consumption
came from renewables, with another 9% generated by nuclear energy.
What sparked this initiative were reports by the United Nations and by
federal scientists who warned that if global temperatures continue to
rise, the world is headed for more intense heat waves, wildfires and
droughts. Carbon emissions rose by 3.4% last year in the U.S. and 2.7%
The first major goal is to shift 100% of national power generation to
renewable sources, such as wind and solar. Second, to build a national
energy-efficient "smart" grid. Third, to upgrade all buildings to become
energy-efficient. Fourth, to decarbonize manufacturing and agricultural
industry. Fifth, to upgrade the nation's infrastructure, especially
For example, the government must push for more zero-emissions vehicles,
such as Tesla that uses batteries to provide electric power.
Interestingly, Tesla sales soared from 2,400 cars in 2012 to a stunning
90,700 in the fourth quarter of 2016. It is now America's 4th
best-selling car. Yet it is more expensive than competitive cars of the
However, only about 1.1 million electric cars were sold last year, and
30 million must be sold annually to achieve carbon reduction goals.
One state which is pioneering practical strategies to reduce carbon
emissions is California. It set a goal to achieve a carbon-neutral
energy status within 30 years. At present the state is currently at 32%
of achieving that goal. No state has done a better job of reducing its
California just approved a measure that will require solar panels on new
houses in 2020. Exemptions will be granted to houses that are in shade.
But the new law includes incentives for people to add a high capacity
battery to their home's electrical system, to store sun energy.
The cost of solar panels and other improvements will add nearly $10,000
to the cost of a home - a cost that will balance out over time, due to
lower electric bills that will save $19,000 over a 30 year mortgage.
The state has set a goal for California to get 60% of its electricity
from clean sources by 2030 and 100% by 2045. Analysts have called the
measure "the most important climate law on the books in the United
The new law, signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in his last weeks in office,
also allocates funds to modernize and expand electric-vehicle-charging
infrastructure. It also fast-tracks access to energy efficiency programs
for the state's largest energy consumers (agriculture and industry) and
allows customers to purchase their power directly from independent
sources, rather than utilities.
The "Green New Deal" was obviously inspired in part by Franklin
Roosevelt's New Deal which passed dozens of laws designed to lift
America out of the Depression of the 1930s. It created 47 programs such
as the Civilian Conservation Corps to create jobs and improve the
However, the Green New Deal would also make universal health care
available and guarantee a job to every American. This is a major
mistake. Neither issue has anything to do with reducing carbon emissions
and climate change. They would add hundreds of billions to the cost, and
decrease the odds that the Green New Deal will ever be passed.
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez shrugs her shoulders, telling TIME in a cover story
about her, the Green New Deal is "a statement. It's a vision statement.
And people want to pick it apart to death."
Instead, the whole focus of the Green New Deal should be on
climate-related issues such as a carbon tax that would raise the price
of gasoline - and would prompt more people to consider buying cars with
a hybrid engine that gets better mileage, if not an electric car. (I own
a 2007 Honda Civic Hybrid that gets 38 mpg.)
Of course, hybrid cars cost more. A Kia Optima Hybrid sells for $31,865,
or about $2,000 more than the non-hybrid version. But the gas savings
earn back the cost in 4.5 years.
These are the kinds of issues the Green New Deal should be raising with
voters - not Medicare for All that has nothing to do with climate
Our priority must be to save our planet.
Copyright (c) 2018 Michael J. McManus, President of Marriage Savers and
a syndicated columnist. To read past columns, go to
Search for any topic.
2019: Column 1965: Protecting Girls from Suicide
Eight Reasons To Marry
Ten Myths of Marriage
The Ministry of Marriage 911
The Message by Eugene Peterson
Green New Deal
Christian Persecution Rising Abroad
Gun Control Laws Needed
The Worst Valentine:
Pornography: A Public Health Hazard
Sextortion Kills Teens
Cohabitation: A Risky Business
same sex marriage,
abortion and infanticide,