The Green New Deal — Everything That’s Wrong With Environmentalists?

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.

One thought on “The Green New Deal — Everything That’s Wrong With Environmentalists?

  1. The title seems to intentionally conflate The Green New Deal with the letter to Congress addressed in the article. These are two entirely different documents. The Green New Deal, in fact, has almost nothing to say about economic formula, but is rather an aspirational, non-binding resolution. It does little more than assemble the best environmental intelligence we have as a species, articulate a number of admirable qualities of future industry and infrastructure, and name sorts of injustices that are rarely given recognition in our Federal politics.

    A simple “control-F” search in the PDF of The Green New Deal returns no mention of the terms “nuclear”, “hydropower”, or “market”.

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