She lay in the shadow of a wave. Hazy were the visions overplayed. Sunshine in her eyes, but moonshine made her cry everytime. Green is the colour of her kind. Quickness of the eye. deceives the mind. Envy is the bond between the hopefull and the damned. I know, I have used these lyrics from the 1969 Pink Floyd song Green Is the Colour before. Composed and written by Roger Waters and sung by David Gilmour, these lyrics ring very clearly today – virtually describing the policy proposals by the socialist wing of the Democrat party.
The media has made a lot of hay with the Green New Deal proposals recently made public by political activist turned Congresswoman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). Much of the coverage has been disparaging both in the left-wing and right-wing media; however, the very fact that a program more likely to be developed by Che Guevara than an American member of Congress, has 68 co-sponsors (almost 16 percent of the Members of Congress) is truly mindboggling.
The fact is, the planks of the Green New Deal are at best a hodgepodge of policies designed to support favored Democrat constituencies, and at worst a platform for the nationalization of the economy.
The proposal is being called a socialist manifesto by some in the media, but it is also a kind of religious document. There have been a number of authors who have discussed how environmentalism has become much more of a religion than either a science or even an attitude. In a letter published on the website of Psychology Today, Dr. Nigel Barber, Ph.D., directly took on the question of whether environmentalism has mutated from a science to a set of dogmatic beliefs.
In his letter, Dr. Barber stated that many popular prescriptions for change make us feel better—like a religious ritual—but may ignore scientific evidence. He looked at two core environmental beliefs: That locally obtained food reduces carbon dioxide emission and climate change, and that recycling of garbage is good for the environment.
Based on actual reported research, Dr. Barber found that even though recycling is not always beneficial and local sourcing is not a panacea, faith in these practices is quickly becoming accepted dogma. He states that the beliefs of environmentalism offer a recipe to live our lives in what are perceived as righteous ways, just like religious rituals.
In another paper, Bruce Thornton of the Hoover Institution suggests that while science does play a huge role in modern environmentalism, old cultural myths influence much of what many people believe about humanity’s relationship to nature. For some, their belief system approaches a nature worship that has little value for solving the environmental problems troubling the world today. Thornton goes on to discuss how myths about nature and our relationship to it are deeply embedded in our culture. The mythical Garden of Eden where man lived in harmony with nature is a constant throughout religions. Science, or knowledge, and the technology that it brought forth separated man from this paradise.
Environmental profit, Al Gore, claims that Western culture suppresses the sense of awe and reverence that used to be present in our relationship to nature. If this is not a religious statement, I really don’t know what is.
Now, don’t take me wrong, I want a clean environment as much as anyone. There is no reason to waste resources, nor is there a reason to pollute when commonsense methods are there to reduce litter or emissions. The Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act have gone a long way toward making America a much more pleasant place to live, and working to save endangered species throughout the world is of particular interest to me personally. But this does not mean that policies should be adopted out of adherence to religion rather than being based on facts and cost benefit ratios. In the past, and even today, governments that were controlled by dogmatic religious movements forced people – often on the threat of death – to abide by their dogmas. This type of thinking is what led to such societal winners as the Salem Witch Trials, the Spanish Inquisition and the rise of the Taliban.
Much of the Green New Deal reflects the religious dogma of its sponsors. Ideas incorporated into this plan like achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions through a fair and just transition for all communities and workers (in effect eliminating the use of fossil fuels); building resiliency against climate change-related disasters and reducing risks posed by climate impacts (something that is much more a belief than a fact); meeting 100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources (bringing the country back to the 1700s); supporting family farming as a way to reduce pollution (something that has no basis in fact); investing in so-called high-speed rail; all of this while somehow growing domestic manufacturing in the United States.
George Washington in his famous letter to the congregation of Touro Synagogue, the first synagogue in the United States, discussed how all Americans, including those who are proposing the Green New Deal, have the right to believe how they believe while not imposing that belief on others. In his letter Washington states, It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people, that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support. He goes on to state, May the Children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other Inhabitants; while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and figtree, and there shall be none to make him afraid.
How different is this from the attempt to legislate religion in the guise of economic or environmental policy. Looking at the supporters of the Green New Deal, we can really see how quickness of the eye. deceives the mind. Indeed, hazy are these visions overplayed.