I have elsewhere offered a criticism of the Green New Deal, and have yet to receive any response to my criticism. My point is that the Green New Deal is not a plank or even a policy platform; it’s a philosophical goulash of unrelated components. I agree that the two primary threats to our society are, first, climate change, and second, inequality. But the Green New Deal is, for the moment, a vague collection of aspirations, not a policy proposal that we can rationally discuss. As such, it runs a big risk of disillusionment among its supporters when we get to the point of making policy.

For example, a revenue-neutral escalating carbon tax is a policy proposal more likely to accomplish a big reduction in carbon emissions. Yet any bill for such a policy could well be opposed by those who perceive the Green New Deal as primarily a means to reduce inequality. Indeed, they will likely want to make it not revenue-neutral but redistributionist — making the bill an increase in net taxes, which will surely trigger the ire of the millions of staunch anti-tax crusaders. A carbon tax that is revenue-neutral rather than redistributionist would not bring all those warriors out of the woodwork.

Thus, the two primary goals of the Green New Deal are at cross-purposes, with the likely result that nothing will be accomplished. The perfect is the enemy of the good.

Master of Science, Physics, 1975. Computer Game Designer. Interactive Storytelling. www.erasmatazz.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store