A few weeks ago, a coalition of 626 groups sent a letter to Congress, setting forth some principles concerning what should and should not be part of a Green New Deal. Among the policies that apparently should not be part of a Green New Deal are nuclear power, large-scale hydropower and –wait for it – any use of market-based mechanisms. Why not? Because they:
place profits over community burdens and benefits.
In short, the letter is a nearly perfect combination of ideological purity and self-righteousness that has long been the stereotype of many environmentalists. The letter would be ridiculous even if it were right in its policy recommendations. It is even more so given that the single most important thing we can do for the climate is to put a price on carbon.
In fairness, the stereotype is not fully apt here. Most major environmental NGOs did not sign on to the letter, including the Sierra Club, NRDC, EDF, and the Audubon Society. The New Republic noted, though, that many of these groups were timid in their opposition. It will be interesting to see if they are demonized on Twitter by the supporters for their lack of true commitment.
It must be nice to be certain that one is doing God’s work.