U.S. Presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders recently released his plan for fighting climate change, which he - like A.O.C., is calling The Green New Deal. The plan can be found on the candidate's website.
I'm not going to argue whether anthropogenic global warming is real or a hoax. For the sake of this post, I'm going to assume that the climate of our planet is changing for the worse, and mankind is the chief culprit. I want simply to look at Sanders plan and see if it is at all feasible and if he is capable of achieving the goals he has put forth.
The plan is quite long. At over 13,000 words, the plan prints out to 20 pages. Addressing every point in the document for this blog post would be almost as difficult as Bernie Sanders getting his plan accomplished. I will only address a few points.
Reaching 100 percent renewable energy for electricity and transportation by no later than 2030 and complete decarbonization by 2050 at latest :
Wikipedia defines renewable energy as energy that is collected from renewable resources, which are naturally replenished on a human timescale, such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat. I'm not quite sure how electricity can be produced using rain, tides and waves.
As one article from spectrum.ieee.org explains -To Get Wind Power You Need Oil
"Wind turbines are the most visible symbols of the quest for renewable electricity generation. And yet, although they exploit the wind, which is as free and as green as energy can be, the machines themselves are pure embodiments of fossil fuels."
Solar powered electricity looks inviting to many, but along with the advantages, there are disadvantages:
"Transportation and installation of solar systems have been associated with the emission of greenhouse gases. There are also some toxic materials and hazardous products used during the manufacturing process of solar photovoltaic systems, which can indirectly affect the environment."
There are several upsides to using geo-thermal compared to fossil fuels, but geo-thermal sources aren't available everywhere where electricity is needed. As someone who lives on an island where geo-thermal is the primary source of electricity, I can say the price of electricity isn't cheap.
Ending unemployment by creating 20 million jobs needed to solve the climate crisis:
Not quite sure how this number was attained. Does it factor in the number of jobs that will be eliminated by killing the fossil fuel industry?
Directly invest an historic $16.3 trillion public investment toward these efforts:
Not sure where this $16,300,000,000,000 will come from.
A just transition for workers:
"This plan will prioritize the fossil fuel workers who have powered our economy for more than a century and who have too often been neglected by corporations and politicians. We will guarantee five years of a worker’s current salary, housing assistance, job training, health care, pension support, and priority job placement for any displaced worker, as well as early retirement support for those who choose it or can no longer work."
I suspect this will work as well as Joseph Stalin's Five Year Plans.
As president, Bernie will:Fully electrify and decarbonize our transportation sector.
Does he really believe he can replace every diesel and internal combustion powered vehicle with ones powered by electricity? Even allowing for his plan to provide grants and trade-in programs for people to obtain electrical vehicles, nothing short of outlawing gas powered automobiles, as well as gasoline itself, will prevent people who want conventional cars from buying one.
Progressives, such as the writer of an article at belatina.com support the idea that - ".......if elected as President, Sanders would immediately forgo Congressional approval and declare a national emergency using his executive powers from the White House, a move that would allow his administration to act quickly in implementing sweeping changes to our energy system."
Those on the Left are completely aware that Sanders must employ dictatorial powers and probably martial law to fully implement his Green New Deal. Without such powers, Sanders will find his plan even more difficult to pass than Trump's plan to build a wall.