Tuesday, January 05, 2021

What a 'Green New Deal' Will Look Like

 In light of the strong probability that a Biden administration will soon take office in the White House, Americans must prepare for the cold reality that one of Joe Biden’s foremost objectives will be to fulfill his party’s pledge to “decarbonize the power sector” by implementing “all zero-carbon technologies.” Toward that end, the Democrats will seek to enact a “Green New Deal,” the highly prized centerpiece of their environmental agenda. What, exactly, will that mean for the everyday lives of Americans.

The origins of the term “Green New Deal” — an idea founded on the premise that the greenhouse gas emissions (especially carbon dioxide) associated with human industrial activity are responsible for potentially catastrophic “climate change” — can be traced back to Richard Murphy, a British tax scholar and political economy professor, who in 2007 collaborated with a number of newspaper editors, economists, and environmentalists to form a “Green New Deal Group.” This group proposed massive public expenditures to fund: (a) the development of a zero-carbon-emission transportation infrastructure wholly reliant on renewable (wind, water, and solar) energy sources; (b) the wide-scale insulation of homes to make them more energy-efficient; and (c) the establishment of training programs to develop a national corps of workers to carry out these objectives. To raise the money required in order to enact this initiative, Murphy advocated a combination of tax hikes on wealthy people and corporations, “straightforward deficit spending,” and the implementation of quantitative easing – a strategy whereby the government would establish a green infrastructure bank that would issue bonds which the government, in turn, could buy back. On July 21, 2008, Murphy’s “Green New Deal Group” published a report detailing its specific recommendations.

In a similar spirit, on October 22, 2008, the United Nations Environment Programme’s executive director, Achim Steiner, unveiled a “Global Green New Deal” initiative designed to simultaneously strengthen the world economy and curb climate change by creating jobs in a wide array of “green” industries. The following year, the United Nations drafted a report explicitly calling for a “Global Green New Deal” to promote government stimulus spending on renewable energy projects...MORE

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