Small children are prone to say things that are very true but best not voiced in polite company. There’s been a similar embarrassment described in the Washington Post last week. It involves the chief of staff to one of the so-called fresh faces of the Democrat Party, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, known for headline writers’ convenience as “AOC”. The 29-year-old New York bartender last year became the youngest-ever US congresswoman and maybe also the most socialist.
The progressive media has built her up in half a year to household-name status. She was on the cover of Time as “The Phenom” and twinned in a Vanity Fair cover story in June with veteran Democrat Nancy Pelosi, the House speaker. Vanity Fair saw AOC as a “beacon of hope” and “youthful, charismatic and uncompromising”.
She continues in the spotlight with the “Justice Democrats Squad” of four black/brown congresswomen claiming last week to be victims of Trump’s racist rhetoric. Actually the Squad itself in recent weeks had been hurling racist insults at less-left Democrat colleagues, even including whistle-clean Nancy Pelosi.
AOC espouses a Green New Deal involving a hundred-trillion dollar mobilization of the US nation to go fully green by 2030. Her ten-year emissions makeover outclasses any two of Stalin’s five-year-plans. Adding to the Soviet ambience, AOC says her Deal would be implemented by groups including “worker cooperatives”. You might think, “Why waste time and ink on this?” Why, because left Democrats and the US media are mainstreaming her. Five Democrat presidential candidates sponsored her Deal (including Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren) and AOC claims a total of nine candidates back it.
AOC’s office is chaotic and run by chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti, 33, who seems even more radical than AOC. When he helped organise her election last year, he posed in a T-shirt featuring Indian war-time nationalist Subhas Chandra Bose. That gent raised a legion for Hitler’s SS and recruited troops to assist Japan’s invasion of India. AOC’s radiance in the US media has lit up Chakrabarti by reflection. Thus he got a 3000-word reverential profile by Washington Post senior reporter David Montgomery last week. After 200 words, in what other journos would scorn as “burying the lead”, the scribe reports an exchange between Chakrabarti and Sam Ricketts, climate director for Washington State’s Governor Jay Inslee (Dem), who is running for president almost exclusively on a platform of combating global warming:
Chakrabarti had an unexpected disclosure. “The interesting thing about the Green New Deal,” he said, “is it wasn’t originally” a climate thing at all.” Ricketts greeted this startling notion with an attentive poker face. “Do you guys think of it as a climate thing?” Chakrabarti continued. “Because we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.”
Chakrabarti is not some insignificant kook. The media says he “is emerging as a political celebrity in his own right.” It turned out that Chakrabarti himself had been tweeting racist accusations at Democrats, including a gay native-American congresswoman (that’s a trifecta). Chicago’s Democrat ex-Mayor Rahm Emanuel called Chakrabarti a “snot-nosed punk”. Black Democrat congress members demand that AOC fire him. She won’t.
He is far from the first in the global-warming community to acknowledge that the real game is not climate control but expanding government or UN control. Examples are at the foot of this article. But I’ll initially stick with AOC and her Green New Deal. She announced at a Martin Luther King forum in New york last January that the world would end in 12 years. In her teenager-like syntax she said,
Millennials and people in Gen Z, and all these folks that come after us are looking up and we’re like, the world is gonna end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change. And your biggest issue, your biggest issue is how are going to pay for it? — and like this is the war, this is our World War II.
The audience rose to applaud. She later tweeted, implausibly, that her “world ending in 12 years” thing was “dry humor plus sarcasm” and “you’d have to have the social intelligence of a sea sponge to think it’s literal.”
I’d like to think her entire Green New Deal thing was dry humor plus sarcasm but it ain’t. There are two versions. One is an explanatory document with “frequently asked questions” (FAQs). AOC disowned it, saying, “I definitely had a staffer that had a really bad day at work.” But Left revolutionary Noam Chomsky calls the Deal “exactly the right idea”. Version Two, the resolution she put up for vote in the Senate, was the same stuff slightly censored and with get-out clauses like “to the extent technologically possible…”
The office version says that in moving to a just society, the government would ensure the millions of jobs created by the Green New Deal would be “union jobs that pay prevailing wages”. Here are other highlights from the stronger version – hang on to your hats:
# A complete transition to renewable energy by 2030 to get to net zero greenhouse gas emissions.
# Eliminate fossil-fuelled cars and air travel, in favour of high-speed rail and public transport. (How overseas travel would be managed isn’t explained).
# Upgrade or retrofit all existing US buildings “to achieve maximal energy efficiency, water efficiency, safety, affordability, comfort, and durability.”
# Get rid of “farting cows” (that’s nearly 100 million cattle)
# Decommission all nuclear plants
# Guarantee “all people” of the USA (including illegals) a job with a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations, and retirement security. The lifestyle guarantee would extend to those “unable or unwilling to work”.
# Guarantee “high-quality health care”.
# Guarantee all people “high-quality education”.
The only mention of cost is a $US4.6 trillion “minimum estimate” for upgrading US infrastructure (undefined). Ex-waitress AOC shrugs that it can all be paid for like World War Two was financed with 45-to-50 per cent of US GDP, or the financing of the 2007 bank bailout (around $US13 trillion). Government capital would flow to business and communities for green projects via “public banks” and grants. Her Green New Deal plus associated progressive claims now involve universal health cover ($US32 trillion), a federal jobs guarantee ($US7 trillion), cancelling student loans ($US1.5 trillion) and free college study ($US800 billion). These rather large amounts compare with current US national debt of $US22 trillion, also large.
Progressive media of course praised the plan as “bold” and “ambitious”. It is, after all, climate orthodoxy with a few colourful additions like jobs enforced under the union umbrella. But media sanity occasionally broke through: the leftist Washington Post ran columnist Megan McArdle describing the AOC draft New Deal as “lunatic”. In doing so, the Post included itself among the lunatics. It appended to the column what Post editors think are “eleven climate change policies to fight for in 2019” that could “start the planet down a path toward a better future”. The ideas are from “activists, politicians and researchers for climate policy ideas that offer hope.”
These nostrums include ten wish-list items such as smarter air-conditioners, carbon taxes, electric cars and greener farming. The eleventh, amazingly, is “Pass a Green New Deal”, just like the AOC deal their columnist is satirizing. The Post’s Green New Deal, 0.5 or 2.0, would likewise involve “massive government action” on a world-war scale to put millions to work on zero emissions by 2030, and “upgrade every residential and industrial building for state-of-the-art energy efficiency”. The climate contortions of the Post make one’s head hurt.
In the event, Democrat senators recoiled and hid from the resolution that they had previously praised. Republicans taunted them to bring on the Green New Deal for a vote, knowing it was electoral poison. It then failed 57-0 with not a single Democrat backing it.
Finally, apropos chief of staff Chakrabarti and his disclosure about AOC’s socialism priority, here’s other similar disclosures:
# The oft-quoted classic is from Ottmar Edenhofer, now director of the influential dark-green Potsdam Climate Impacts Institute, twinned since 2015 with Melbourne University. He was also a top-level IPCC Working Group 111 co-chair and is described as one of the world’s top climate policy experts. I’ve gone to the original in German and here’s Google-translate’s output. (Warmists claim he was “taken out of context”).
First of all, we industrialized countries have virtually expropriated the atmosphere of the world community. But one has to say clearly: we are effectively redistributing world wealth through climate policy. That the owners of coal and oil are not enthusiastic, is obvious. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy, with problems such as forest dying or ozone hole…
# The latest issue of Foreign Policy (US), a magazine whose website scores 49 million page views annually, has a tract headlined, “Democracy is the planet’s biggest enemy”. The text of that article includes
If electoral democracy is inadequate to the task of addressing climate change, and the task is the most urgent one humanity faces, then other kinds of politics are urgently needed. The most radical alternative of all would be to consider moving beyond democracy altogether. The authoritarian Chinese system has some advantages when it comes to addressing climate change: One-party rule means freedom from electoral cycles and less need for public consultation. Technocratic solutions that put power in the hands of unelected experts could take key decisions out of the hands of voters.
The piece is written by David Runciman, a politics professor at Cambridge University and the author of How Democracy Ends. It’s nice for such people to show their true colors.
This provocative book presents compelling evidence that the fundamental problem behind environmental destruction―and climate change in particular―is the operation of liberal democracy.
Originally a research tract, the abstract says the authors conclude that an authoritarian form of government is necessary, but this will be governance by experts and not by those who seek power. There are in existence highly successful authoritarian structures–for example, in medicine and in corporate empires–that are capable of implementing urgent decisions impossible under liberal democracy.
# Far-left Canadian author Naomi Klein and her well-titled book This Changes Everything is influential enough to have been pushed into hundreds of Australian high schools’ lessons via leftist curriculum-helper Cool Australia. In an unintentionally revealing disclosure, Cool Australia’s Teacher Notes described the supposed climate crisis as “an opportunity for a new economic model that accounts for both people and the planet in a just and sustainable way…” (My emphasis).
# UNEP or UN Environment Program’s Maurice Strong told the 1992 Rio UNFCCC Earth Climate Summit, “We may get to the point where the only way of saving the world will be for industrialized civilization to collapse.”
# The then US Undersecretary of State for Global Issues in the Clinton administration was Democrat Senator Tim Wirth. He told the Rio conference , “We have got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic policy and environmental policy.”
# Canada’s environment minister Christine Stewart told the Calgary Herald in 1988, “No matter if the science of global warming is all phony . . . climate change [provides] the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world.”
# Rio also produced Agenda 21 or the “Sustainable Development Agenda:
Effective execution of Agenda 21 will require a profound reorientation of all human society, unlike anything the world has ever experienced; a major shift in the priorities of both governments and individuals and an unprecedented redeployment of human and financial resources. This shift will demand that a concern for the environmental consequences of every human action be integrated into individual and collective decision-making at every level … Private land ownership is also a principal instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth and therefore contributes to social injustice … The provision of decent dwellings and healthy conditions for the people can only be achieved if land is used in the interest of the society as a whole.
# Here’s Christiana Figueres, when she was executive secretary of the top UN climate body UNFCCC (2010-16):
This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the industrial revolution.
# Venezuela’s late president Hugo Chavez attended the 2009 Copenhagen climate-fest and spruiked his brand of socialism:
The destructive model of capitalism is eradicating life… Our revolution seeks to help all people . . . Socialism, that’s the way to save the planet; capitalism is the road to hell . . . Let’s fight against capitalism and make it obey us.
Maybe Chavez’s model hasn’t worked out so well. Maybe Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal isn’t so practical either. Maybe her chief of staff should have kept his mouth shut. But I’ll say one thing in AOC’s praise: she’s a great dancer.
Tony Thomas’s new book, The West: An insider’s tale – A romping reporter in Perth’s innocent ’60s is available from Boffins Books, Perth, the Royal WA Historical Society (Nedlands) and online here
 Amazon says, “Philosopher and ecologist Joseph Wayne Smith with emeritus professor of medicine David Shearman”.
 It led on to the Kyoto protocol
 He confessed to sabotaging air-conditioning during James Hansen’s 1988 testimony to Congress that kick-started the global warming scare. The TV coverage showed participants sweltering in the heat.