Pelosi and Ocasio-Cortez Agree

Pelosi is not one to kowtow to upstarts like Ocasio-Cortez. In the House, Speaker Pelosi is the quarterback, not some pushy newcomer who wants to call the play. Yet, apart from this trifling friction, these two agree on one thing: Man-made climate change.

Pelosi made the point this past January: “We must also face the existential threat of our time: the climate crisis – a crisis manifested in natural disasters of epic proportions.” On that score, she added: “That is why we have created the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.” She left Ocasio-Cortez off the group, but they still agree that there is a “climate crisis”.

Of course, there is no such crisis. Neither is there man-made climate change, or even climate change distinguishable in any way from natural fluctuations.

Earth may shrug some day, causing Los Angeles to fall into the Pacific. Yellowstone may erupt some day and cause huge dislocations. The world may be wracked with a new ice age or fry in extraordinary heat. Earth may wobble. Radiation from our sun may vary radically. Floods of biblical proportions may occur again. All sorts of radical climate change are possible, judging from our planet’s natural history. Then, if a few of us are alive in our arks or caves, we may justifiably speak of crisis and existential crisis.

But is there now a “crisis”? A few severe hurricanes differing in no significiant way from past storms do not make a crisis. Pelosi is deluded to think that these are of epic proportions and further deluded to think that climate is changing in such a way as to threaten our very existence. Ocasio-Cortez shares her madness.

Man-made climate change will take its place in history as a prime example of an extraordinary popular delusion stemming from the madness of crowds. Charles Mackay quotes Millot: “Il est bon de connaitre les delires de l’esprit humain. Chaque people a ses folies plus ou moins grossieres.”

“The Green New Deal would be paid for ‘the same way we paid for the original New Deal, World War II, the bank bailouts, tax cuts for the rich and decades of war — with public money appropriated by Congress,’ Ocasio-Cortez said.”

Amazing. With one exception, Ocasio-Cortez has produced a list of huge programs of wasteful government spending. Green New Deal will be among them, if enacted.

Her Green New Deal, if ever passed, will utterly destroy the American economy, by making much of the capital stock worthless or obsolete or unproductive; and by investing in higher cost or less productive alternatives. It will be a disaster far in excess of any climate change now being seen or that can be foreseen. Piecemeal passage will cause death through many smaller blade cuts that bleed the corpus American.

Ocasio-Cortez has it right that Congress must appropriate funds, and these are drawn from the Treasury. That money, not an inexhaustible pool, has only a small number of sources, primarily taxation and debt issuance. (Asset sales, contributions and fees make only a small contribution.) Both taxation and debt issuance draw funds away from private uses and convert them into the kinds of wasteful public uses that she lists: New Deals, Great Societies, New Frontiers, World wars, regional wars, wars on terror, bailouts, subsidies. However, we have to exclude “tax cuts for the rich” from wasteful uses because returning taxes to one income class or another simply produces a lower net amount of taxation and lowers the diversion of funds from private to public (wasteful) uses.

The Green New Deal will be as wasteful as fighting a world war. The conception of it is as looney as they come. Imagine New Yorkers praying for wind to drive vast fields of windmills built by inner city youths happy to find jobs in the new Civilian Conservation Corps. Meanwhile, energy sources more easily accessed and used are forbidden.

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2:18 pm on February 7, 2019