The Green New Deal: Image shows the earth wearing a sombrero to protect itself from the heat of the sun

The Green New Deal: Yes we need it, but why?

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Cowboy Economist

John T Harvey Ph.D., tell us what the green new deal is and why we do in fact need it.

Summary: The Green New Deal

We’ve heard a lot about the green new deal lately.

While not every Democrat embraces the green new deal, quite a few do.

The ones who do are being described at best as dreamers, and at worst as radicals.

So where should we stand on this, us average Americans?

It has two parts

To analyze it, I broke it up into two parts, the green part, which deals with climate change, and the new deal part, which deals with deep-seated economic problems.

The green part

The green part of the green new deal is predicated on the idea that man-made climate change is real, and is something we need to address.

Is man-made climate change real?

NASA

NASA claims that 97% of all climate scientists say man-made climate change is real.

US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration?

They agree that man-made climate change is real.

American Association for the Advancement of Science

“The scientific evicence is clear. Global climate change caused by human activity is occurring now and is a growing threat”.

American Chemical Society

“Comprehensive scientific assessments of our current and potential future climate clearly indicates that climate change is real. Largely attrituable to emissions from…”.

The Pentagon

“Flooding, drought, and wild fires, driven by climate change pose threats to two thirds of US military installations. This report probably underestimates the full extent of the risk as it only looks at the next two decades”.

Well….

Let’s operate on the assumption there might be a possibility of a problem with the climate.

The new deal part

This is the part addressing what are said to be deep-seated economic problems and there is actually not much controversy here.

Both major US political parties agree the US economy is broken

In the 2016 and 2020 Presidential elections, both major political parties claimed the American middle class is disappearing.

That we have pockets of unemployment and underemployment along with unprecedented levels of consumer debt.

This is what the new deal part of the green new deal is supposed to address.

It contains provisions like:

  • A federal job guarantee
  • Training programs
  • Healthcare
  • Education

And these of course would be directly linked to issues of the green part.

Won’t the market solve these issues?

Markets so far have not done a great job of reducing carbon emissions, cleaning up lakes and rivers, creating safe work environments, retraining workers, reducing consumer debt loads, and reducing unemployment.

This is because the private sector seeks to maximize profits, so they try to minimize the use of labour, while simultaneously not being very enthusiastic about clean air and water when it might but into profits.

Can the two parts be split?

If we do the green part but not the new deal part we COULD create a world we were not over polluting to our own detriment, and it would be full of people who are as economically stressed, if not more economically stressed, as people are today.

If we do the new deal part but not the green part, we can create a strong educated workforce who creates a strong engine of economic growth, and that would be great for the few hundred years until the climate becomes so inhospitable that it does us in.

Some criticize with “people want work, not handouts”

And isn’t that the whole “new deal” part of the green new deal?

To make sure that people do have jobs?

We can’t guarantee that the private sector will create enough jobs for everyone, but the federal government CAN guarantee, through a federal job guarantee, that if you want to work, you can get a job.


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