The Green New Deal-usion

It pains me to say so, but if you look at the big picture, the Green New Deal is a grandiose delusion.  Each individual part looks like an excellent idea on its own. However, when you put them all together, in context ~ it’s a disaster.  

Increase the use of ethanol in fuels?  Great idea!  Except, ethanol is made from corn.  Corn requires enormous amounts of water to grow – 600,000 gallons per acre.  That’s 3000 gallons of water to make 1 gallon of ethanol.  California now limits residents to 100 gallons of water per day, there’s such an extreme shortage of water.  Many other western states are considering similar rules (just look at the current US Drought Map).  A month of household water for one lousy gallon of “green fuel”?

Americans drive giant SUVs and pickups because the highways are in such horrific shape that small, energy-efficient vehicles are a nightmare to drive – dangerous! – on the roads, much less the havoc the roads do to the suspension and frame.  Nobody is going to buy small cars unless we spend $2 trillion to repave all the roads in America.  Congress can’t even agree on $800 billion ($500 billion after you deduct all the “administrative” political costs and extreme unionized labor wages).

Biden wants to install tens of thousands of wind turbines.  Where will they all go?  The entire eastern seaboard north of New York is ideal for wind energy ~ like, millions of wealthy people are going to let the government destroy their million-dollar vacation homes and the entire seacoast ambiance?  Billions of birds migrate along that coast every year – and we’re going to build meat grinders to obliterate every last one of them?

Biden wants to install 50 million solar panels.  The cost per panel equals a 20-year payback – it takes 20 years to pay off the investment.  However, large, commercial installations are much more expensive.  You have to build a whole new road network, powerlines, and the substructure/foundation (can’t just put them on a house). Then you have to build whole communities to house workers to maintain the equipment, cut the grass, and entertain the workers.  That increases the payback to 30 years – and solar panels only have a 20-year lifetime, if that much.  So you would lose close to half the cost of the installation. (Meaning $2 trillion more needed from Washington in 20 years – every 20 years!)

Where are you going to put all those solar panels?  Pave the great plains?  Red states?  Tornado alley?  There’s zero available land that’s not being used elsewhere.  Cut down a million acres of forests in the south and east?  Eliminate all those trees that keep the air clean, preserve the soil, replenish the aquifers, and sequester carbon?  Then you’ll have to conserve the soil by artificial means, figure new man-made ways to keep aquifers full, and engineer ways to sequester the carbon that trees do for free.  That will add another 5-10 years to the payback of the solar panels. 

California will require all-electric vehicles within 5-10 years.  Biden wants to do the same for all of America.  There are 300 million vehicles in the US.  If you make all cars and semi-trucks electric, that uses up practically the entire world’s known reserves of lithium and cobalt (for the batteries).  4% of the world’s population using 100% of the world’s electric batteries?   I don’t think so.

When Bill Clinton was in office, 20+ years ago, he wanted to spend $1 trillion to upgrade all the nation’s public schools to current building standards (HVAC, mostly).  Didn’t happen then, or since.  Now the tab is up to $2 trillion, accounting for inflation and further degradation of the facilities.  And that $2 trillion only gets you up to 1990 standards – much less 2020 green building standards.

The bill has come due for America.  Decades of low local, state, and federal taxes means no money has been spent on roads, bridges, schools, public buildings, sewer systems, water supply systems, or aquifers.  Now they’re all in a state of abject disrepair.  The worse conditions are large cities and the entire northeast.  Their taxes are already sky-high.  If they raise them more to pay for all the needed repairs, people will just leave. Why spend hundreds of billions of dollars upgrading schools, roads, bridges, and the electrical infrastructure in the northeast when people will probably leave anyway?  

Bottom line?  The only way out of this situation is for individual people to make conscious choices to use less energy.  The government isn’t going to fix this, by their own admission.  Industry isn’t either.  Corporations are only as green as they need to be for your to purchase their products.  The wealthy?  Wall Street?  Overcome generations of destroying the environment for profit?  “Let’s finish the job!”