If This Is Paradise, I Wish I Had A Lawnmower

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2019/02/08/if-this-is-paradise-i-wish-i-had-a-lawnmower/

Pity poor Ed Markey. He’s 72 years old, has been in Congress since 1976 – at this writing, 42 years, 3 months, 6 days. A United States senator for 5 years, 6 months, 23 days.

And yet yesterday he felt the need to get his picture taken with and endorse any and every word uttered by a 29-year-old first-term member of Congress who has lost her mind, if she ever had one – all so he won’t get taken out in 2020 by someone as nutty as she is.

Markey is the U.S. Senate sponsor – read:  riding shotgun – of a U.S. House of Representatives resolution put forward by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Bellevue) spelling out the goals of the Green New Deal, which is supposed to decrease the increase in global temperature since pre-industrialized days to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2030. (That’s 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, for those of you who speak American.)

Neither one will tell us how they intend to accomplish these goals.

“We are open to whatever works,” Markey said Thursday during a press conference with the new object of his admiration, whom he earlier called “the great” and “my phenomenal partner.”

“And we’re going to leave it to the committees in the Congress to devise the smartest ways in which those technologies are incentivized,” Markey continued. “… Again, the resolution deals with principles. We don’t deal with any individual approach that would be taken. That’s for the debate now to open up wide, so we can find the smartest ways of going, but to make sure that any taxes are also fair to poor people in our society, as well. A lot of times that was never a consideration, that the poorest paid the most. So, we’re very concerned about that. But it doesn’t mention any one of those specific approaches in the legislation.”

Since they won’t tell us, it’s only fair for us to try to figure it out on our own.

How? Let’s go to the resolution:

 “meeting 100 percent of the power demand of the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources”

Translation:  No oil (which means no gasoline), no natural gas, no coal.

Further translation:  Far fewer cars, no airplanes, no furnaces running on oil or natural gas providing heat and hot water, no factories running on any of these substances.

“upgrade all existing buildings in the United States and building new buildings to achieve maximum energy efficiency, water efficiency, safety, affordability, comfort, and durability, including through electrification”

Translation:  Do you live in a building? Does it meet this standard? If not, if it can’t be sufficiently upgraded it may have to go. But don’t worry. The government will build you a new one. You’ll like it. It may be a project, but it will be a “smart” project.

“Removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and reducing pollution by restoring natural ecosystems through proven low-tech solutions that increase soil carbon storage, such as land preservation and afforestation”

Translation:  No new homes on unbuilt-upon land, and possibly reclaiming land from existing homes.

Further Translation:  Larger, denser buildings for homes to accommodate everybody, or perhaps fewer people to live in homes of any kind, or both.

“providing and leveraging, in a way that the public receives appropriate ownership stakes and returns on investment, adequate capital (including through community grants, public banks, and other public financing) …”

Translation:  The government will own anything needed to further the goals, including any company and any asset. If we have to, we’ll print enough money to pay for everything.

“… build wealth and community ownership … in frontline and vulnerable communities, and deindustrialized communities, that otherwise may struggle with the transition away from greenhouse intensive industries …”

Translation:  Every factory town left in America:  We’re going to take all your stuff and redistribute it.

“guaranteeing a job with a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations, and retirement security to all people of the United States”

Translation:  Breadlines

“… providing all people of the United States with … access to nature”

Translation:  This last one won’t be too hard, since nature will be about all we have left.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was a year and a half from being born in March 1988 when Talking Heads released the album Naked, which includes David Byrne’s song “(Nothing But) Flowers.” A man and a woman are living in something like a state of nature, and they’re wondering where all the factories, machines, stores, restaurants, and food went. Especially food:  “We used to microwave /
Now, we just eat nuts and berries.” The man would also like an efficient way to cut the grass (“If this is paradise / I wish I had a lawnmower”).

By any reasonable measure, Byrne is a left-winger. His song is a left-winger’s critique of environmentalism taken to insane extremes.

In other words:  Everybody cares about the planet. But the planet works for us. Not the other way around.

That leads to a question:  What is the climate change crisis about?

Is all this centrally planned disruption necessary? No matter what effects human beings may or may not be having on climate, why would we rush to destroy our way of life?

That’s what the Green New Deal would do. But it’s not by accident. Destroying the economy is not an unfortunate byproduct of the alleged solution. It’s the point of the alleged solution.

In a way, the peril or lack of peril of the planet is irrelevant. For the Green New Deal serves a greater goal.

Ocasio-Cortez is a socialist. That’s not interpretation. That’s what she says she is. She’s a member of the Democratic Socialists of America.

Socialism is the government controlling all means of production. If the Green New Deal comes to pass, government will control all means of production. If it comes to pass in part, we’ll be closer to government controlling all means of production. So the Green New Deal is a win-win for Ocasio-Cortez.

But what’s in it for Markey?

He’s a lifelong friend of big government, which he has lived off of since he joined the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1973. (Today is his day 16,837 on the public dole.) He’s forever gullible on left-sounding initiatives – he was a sponsor in 2009 of the failed Waxman-Markey bill, an early skirmish in the war on the internal combustion engine. So he may actually believe this nonsense.

But he’s not really a movement socialist. Bending capitalism to suit his short-term needs is more his style.

So why go whole hog on a proposal that even Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is describing in terms a satirist might use? (“The green dream, or whatever they call it. Nobody knows what it is, but they’re for it, right?”)

Sponsoring the major initiative of Ocasio-Cortez in the Senate makes it much less likely that Ocasio-Cortez will endorse a left-wing challenger to Markey next year such as Ayanna Pressley (D-Dorchester), who took out 10-term U.S. Representative Michael Capuano (D-Somerville) last year even though the two candidates disagreed on almost nothing. (The major differences:  Capuano is Irish and Italian and in his 60s; Pressley is black, in her 40s, and usually sounds angry.)

That’s why the most important thing for Markey yesterday wasn’t anything he said on the merits, but making sure to get right the three-word, 11-syllable name of the new member of Congress he has pledged fealty to. That explains why he read from a piece of paper both times he said the words “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.” No “Manny Ortez” or “Osama Obama” moment for Ed Markey.

Helping Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is Ed Markey’s political life insurance policy. He’s just hoping that if he keeps paying the premiums she pays out.

If so, it makes it harder for any left-winger to challenge Markey in the Democratic primary in 2020, even though he’s an Irish Catholic living off his white privilege who will be 74 next election day.

That makes it much more likely that he’ll win re-election.

And for that, Ed Markey would do just about anything.

Because what would he do if he lost?

As David Byrne sings in “(Nothing But) Flowers”:

Don’t leave me stranded here
I can’t get used to this lifestyle