All should be happy in Democrat-land where socialism is king and capitalism is a dirty word. Set to take control in the House of Representatives for the first time in eight years, the Democrats look forward to at least two years of endless investigations and impeachment proceedings — whether evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors exists or not. But on the horizon looms a great green monster that the presumed new Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will have to deal with.
Extreme leftists in the party, led by incoming freshman congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, are not meekly entering the halls of Congress with their heads down, thinking only of re-election in two years. They want action on so-called climate-change. And they want it now. Last month, Ocasio-Cortez brought forth the spirit of Franklin Delano Roosevelt by calling for a “Green New Deal” in order to battle climate-change.
House Democrats have announced that they will reconvene a House select committee on climate change that the GOP dumped in 2011. Democrat leaders have pegged Florida Democrat Kathy Castor to head the committee. Castor has said that Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal” contains some “terrific ideas,” but also said, “that’s not going to be our sole focus.”
But it’s unlikely that the new progressives will settle for a climate panel. Ocasio-Cortez has likened climate-change to the fight against the Nazis in World War II. Speaking of climate-change during her campaign, she said, “So when we talk about existential threats, the last time we really had an existential threat in this country was around World War II. And so we’ve been here before, so we have a blueprint of doing this before. None of these things are new ideas. What we have is an existential threat in the context of war. We had a direct existential threat with another nation — this time it was Nazi Germany.”
Thankfully, Ocasio-Cortez’s tortured war analogy (Nazi Germany was never an “existential threat” to the United States) didn’t extend to fighting climate-change with tanks and bombs. “What we did [in World War II] is that we chose to mobilize our entire economy, industrialize our entire economy, and we put hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people to work defending our shores and defending this country. We have to do the same thing if we’re going to get us to 100% renewable energy. And that’s just the truth of it," she declared.
Of course, Democrats will not have the power to enact such nation-changing legislation with a GOP-controlled Senate and climate realist Donald Trump in the White House. But progressives may demand that the attempt be made anyway. Frightened by the widely discredited UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report in October, today’s leftists seem to truly believe that we only have 11 years to fundamentally change the world in order to prevent climate disaster.
Short of a complete and fundamental change of our society, the far Left may accept a tax on carbon as a first step toward that change. But, when given the chance to vote on such measures, Americans have been loath to cooperate. A carbon-tax initiative in reliably liberal Washington State was roundly defeated in November, even after the IPCC’s doomsday report came out.
So Democrats face demands for immediate action on climate-change but don’t have the power to make such action come about. Might they attempt to leverage funding for Trump’s border wall against some sort of new carbon tax to pacify the radical leftists in their party? Would they drop impeachment proceedings in exchange for such a concession on climate-change from Trump? Possibly, but it’s a bad idea for both sides — particularly for Trump and the GOP. Why would they risk instituting a new tax — or fee, or whatever they chose to call it — when last year’s tax cuts were so well received?
It’s unlikely that any “Green New Deal” will occur in America in the near future, but the extreme Left of the Democrat Party bears watching. They’re energized, and they have the UN and a compliant media on their side.
But any overreaction to the hysterical demands of climate alarmists is politically risky. Democrats need only look to France for a cautionary taleson how the public reacts to unreasonable taxes on their fossil fuel.