Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, “AOC,” as the media calls her, has captured headlines with her “Green New Deal” proposal. The global warming issue has been the darling of the radical left wing of the Democrats for years, but they are now losing their relevancy because of their radical political bias. Sadly, the mainstream media has exacerbated the debate by failing to provide fair and balanced historical and scientific coverage of the issues. There will be no resolution of this debate while it remains a left vs right political issue rather than a thoughtful process devoid of emotion and bias.
In the history of planet earth there have been periods of global climate change. At times the earth was covered with tropical vegetation and creatures such as dinosaurs. The Bible references the Garden of Eden in the Middle East. There was also an ice age. Noah built his ark to save the planet from a massive flood that nearly destroyed mankind.
As this article is written the West Coast states of California, Oregon and Washington are burning up with out-of-control fires that could have been avoided with prudent forest management. Gulf coast residents have been repeatedly flooded by hurricanes, yet they are the ones who built their homes and businesses so close to the water. Any fair-minded historian or scientist would have to admit that these were not man-made phenomena, just the consequences.
Fast forward through time to the 21st century. Our planet has become vastly more populated by humans, their machines, their buildings, their factories and a power grid sustained by fossil fuels. Ironically, these fossil fuels were formed when the planet was covered by vegetation from a previous global warming era that fossilized and is now deemed the cause of our global warming concerns. We have coal, oil and gas in abundance thanks to our prehistoric global warming era.
AOC’s Green New Deal would have us turn the clock back on all the progress made since the industrial revolution by eliminating fossil fuels as our primary source of energy – the fossil fuels that are the source of virtually everything that sustains our economy and the lifestyles we enjoy.
Unfortunately, the USA is not the only source of the pollutants that are allegedly causing global warming. We can only change what we control and provide leadership with technology and trade policies that will inspire China, India and other countries to join us in this fight to save the planet.
Where do we start? Actually, we had already started long before AOC sounded the alarm in her absurd socialist political agenda. Cars have catalytic converters and get far more miles per gallon than just 20 to 30 years ago. We even have hybrid and electric cars. Many truck and bus fleets have converted to natural gas or propane that emit only one-half as much pollution.
Power plants by the 100s are being converted from coal to gas, as have most homes and buildings. Solar and wind power projects are being built everywhere – in spite of their visual pollution of the landscape.
We have the technology to scrub the emissions from smokestacks on every coal powered factory or store them underground.
While we all want clean air and water, common sense tells us it takes time to effect such massive changes in our economy and lifestyles – and that is precisely what has been happening over the past few generations of our eco-conscious younger citizens. Unfortunately, it also takes time for younger folks to learn the virtues of patience and common sense. It would also help if they studied history and economics.
What has been lacking in our quest to save the planet is leadership. Al Gore and many of his save-the-planet contemporaries who got rich from their crusade would do well to look at their own carbon footprints and bank accounts before telling us how to live.
Our elected government leaders could jump start the process by converting all government vehicles and buildings to clean air energy sources. Better yet, let’s also plant billions of trees and build more dams, and let Mother Nature lend a helping hand.
People drive cars and trucks for 10 years or longer. Trees take a little longer to reach maturity, but they reproduce. Industrial equipment wears out or becomes obsolete in about the same time frame and it takes a lot of energy and money to replace it.
AOC has a good idea, but we should be working on a 20- to 30-year plan and not the end of humanity in 10 years. If we make the same progress in the next 30 years as the past 30 years, we will all be singing “America The Beautiful”.
The idealism of our children and grandchildren needs to be nourished and encouraged, not ridiculed. It is our responsibility to channel that energy into realistic goals with the work ethic needed to make their dreams come true.
If we focus on decade-by-decade incremental efforts to solve the global warming problem, as we have in recent decades, the problem will be resolved. The combination of new technologies and citizens’ concerns will in a free enterprise society resolve the global warming concerns – if we allow Mother Nature to lend her helping hand. Government interventions, if any are needed, should be directed to these realities and not the scare tactics of the most radical elements of our society who use global warming as a political weapon and a means to gain power and wealth. The loudest voices are rarely the most thoughtful sources for change. Most certainly, a socialist government managed economy will not solve any problems. Bureaucrats have never been agents for change.