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Believe It or Not
Perhaps you’ve heard of the Green New Deal. It’s getting a lot of play in the media these days. Among the stories: Mitch McConnell says he wants to bring it up for a vote in the U.S. Senate, presumably so he can poke fun at its radical approach to global warming.

Indeed, there has already been some of this kind of sneering. Senator John Barrasso, a Republican from Wyoming, got up on the floor to accuse the proposal of seeking to put an end to cheeseburgers and milkshakes. (Barrasso, it should be pointed out, is one of several doctor-senators who has repeatedly voted to take health care away from poor people.) I’ve seen some political cartoons that made similar fun by suggesting that the proposal was little more than an attack on cow flatulence (farts are funny, but shame on you, Mike Lester). It may not be Mike’s job to solve the problem of climate change and prevent the ending of civilization, but it most certainly is the responsibility of McConnell and Barrasso. To date, they have not offered any suggestions of their own.

There are even some otherwise sympathetic voices who warn against the world-changing nature of the Green New Deal (GND). They say it only hands a cudgel to the G.O.P. to use against those of us who want a planet that supports life. Shame on these turkeys, too (I’m talking to you, Michael Tomasky). I took the opportunity to read the GND, so you don’t have to (but you may, right here). I wanted to see what all the fuss is about. And let me tell you — it is radical. 100% green renewable energy by 2030. That won’t be easy. But neither is living in a furnace.

I guess it depends on whether you believe the science or not. If you don’t believe the science (despite having witnessed everything science has delivered for our civilization in technology, medicine, wealth, and human understanding), then it’s perfectly okay to make fun. You might even suggest that it’s all a hoax, that the world’s scientists — in every pertinent discipline, from every culture, and speaking dozens of languages — are all part of a titanic conspiracy to fool the rest of us. And not a single one of these scientists (not one!) has ever come forward to expose this monstrous plot…much less explain why a profession founded on discovering the truth would so drastically forsake its core mission.

If you do believe the science, however, I think you might have a different response to the GND. “Finally!” might be one reaction. Or, “Great, but I want more details.” Or even, “Thanks, but it’s already too late.” The GND is short on granular specifics, but it is clear on the big stuff: no carbon-based energy, and go all-out (including the money to pay for it) for every other source, especially solar, wind, tidal, and geothermal.

The plan does mention support for sustainable organic agriculture, but I saw nothing overtly anti-cow. There was no mention of burgers or cheese or shakes or farts. The dairy and meat industries, it is true, would not get the same kind of government help as the producers of more healthy food. They’ll just have to make it on their own. That aspect of the plan goes more to protecting our health generally. To me, the most pressing issue here is global warming.

In that respect, it all makes sense…if you believe the science. And you either do or you don’t, right? Let me repeat, in case you missed it: YOU EITHER BELIEVE THE SCIENCE OR YOU DON’T. And why wouldn’t you believe? Everything you see in the news — rising temperatures, rising sea levels, shrinking icecaps, extreme weather, and the comparative abruptness of these changes — confirms it. Meanwhile, nothing substantiates the claims of the deniers.

There is no doubt that Republicans’ mockery will not help. It will piss you off, but just because they say that the GND is silly and naive does not win the argument. Science does…if you believe the science. And (one more time) you either believe the science or you don’t. So screw them, and screw the political calculus that says we need to go slow. Bring on a vote in the Senate! Let’s get started by hearing the evidence of this unfolding calamity and having it fully debated.

“Radical” may be right, but what are the alternatives? At this point, “radical” and “sensible” are the same thing.
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Trump supporters are people who know what they believe.
~ JC, Bonny Doon