Why, I’m shocked, I tell you. Shocked.
On a Wednesday morning in late May, emissaries of two of the strongest political voices on climate change convened at a coffee shop a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol. Saikat Chakrabarti, chief of staff to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), was there to meet Sam Ricketts, climate director for Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D), who is running for president almost exclusively on a platform of combating global warming. A newly released plank of Inslee’s climate change agenda had caught the attention of Chakrabarti and his boss, who had tweeted that Inslee’s “climate plan is the most serious + comprehensive one to address our crisis in the 2020 field.” Pleased by the positive reception from the demanding Green New Deal wing of the climate struggle, Ricketts had set up this meeting with Chakrabarti to establish a personal connection and share approaches to climate advocacy.
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.”
“Yeah,” said Ricketts. Then he said: “No.” Then he said: “I think it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s dual. It is both rising to the challenge that is existential around climate and it is building an economy that contains more prosperity. More sustainability in that prosperity — and more broadly shared prosperity, equitability and justice throughout.”
Contra my sarcasm above, none of that should come as any surprise to anyone, of course. No, the actual surprise is here:
Chakrabarti liked the answer. “The thing I think you guys are doing that’s so incredible is … you guys are actually figuring out how to do it and make it work, the comprehensive plan where it all fits together,” he said. “I’d love to get into a situation where everyone’s trying to just outdo each other.” But Chakrabarti couldn’t help adding: “I’ll be honest, my view is I still think you guys aren’t going big enough.”
Ummm…whaaaat? SRSLY?!? Let’s see: complete federal takeover and supervision of the economy. Fossil fuels banned; cars, airplanes, trains, ships, the whole internal-combustion megilla, gone. No more steaks, no more burgers, no more beef, because no more “farting cows” (no, really). “Free” college for everybody. Every building in America “retrofitted”—ie, gutted and/or demolished, then rebuilt—to use outdated, unreliable “green” energy. No nuclear power, natural gas, or coal. Uncountable trillions of dollars thrown down the environmentalist-whacko toilet. Government to provide every American with “healthy food” (presumably vegan), a house, a job, and a guaranteed salary “for all unable or unwilling to work.”
All that—a truly mind-boggling government intrusion into EVERY SINGLE ASPECT of American life, paid for by “massive” taxation—and this loon gripes that they aren’t “going big enough”?
My God. I have not the least doubt that he is one hundred percent serious about all that, too. I’d ask how just how “big” he’d like to go, but I tremble at the answer he’d give.