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Opinion

AOC: The Poster Child of the New Green Disaster

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Posted: Feb 23, 2019 12:01 AM
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not represent the views of Townhall.com.
AOC: The Poster Child of the New Green Disaster

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), now universally abbreviated AOC, is no longer a name popular among socialism sympathizers in the Democratic Party. With the unveiling of her “Green New Deal,” AOC has become a household name, and for all the wrong reasons.

As a climate scientist myself, and as a neutral observer from a Third World nation, I was shocked at the appallingly low scientific standard of AOC’s Green New Deal (GND), not only in the hyperbolic FAQs (since walked back by her office) but also in the House resolution itself.

What was more shocking is how major Democratic presidential candidates like Sen. Kamala Harris and Sen. Cory Booker rallied behind it.

Sen. Booker called it “bold” and compared it to “defeating the Nazis and as great as going to the moon.” Sen. Harris said, “I support a Green New Deal …. Climate change is an existential threat to us and we have got to deal with the reality of it.”

Clearly, both senators are trying to win the popular ticket in their party, while trying to appease the climate doomsday elitists who currently hold powerful positions in the United Nations, academia, and mainstream media. 

As many commentators have put it, AOC’s GND can very well be re-phrased the “Green New Disaster.”

Dear Cows, You Can’t Fart

The war on climate change certainly seems to have a special liking for the cattle industry. Already targets of the Eastern philosophy of veganism, cows now find themselves right at the heart of climate change controversy.

Doomsday proponents, including AOC, say the cattle industry releases enough methane and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere to raise the global temperature to dangerous levels, which is why AOC includes “farting cows” in her targets. As the FAQ put it, “we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows [in 10 years], but we think we can … overhaul agriculture … to get to net-zero” carbon dioxide emissions.

But are cow farts really driving global warming?

To test their claims, one needs to do some simple math and answer a very simple question: Is the dramatic growth in the cattle industry and demand for beef causing dangerous warming of global climate? The answer is a straight no. 

The cattle industry grew exponentially and consistently throughout the last 50 years. Global temperature did not follow the same pattern.

The global livestock count for cattle was 1.3 billion in 1998 and rose to 1.47 billion in 2014. The global temperature remained essentially flat.

Not only is there a lack of positive correlation between the growth of the cattle industry and any rise in global temperatures, but there is also no evidence that the cattle industry has any correlation with global temperature at all. 

Claims that raising cattle causes dangerous warming are no more valid than claims that unicorns stampede across the sky.

No More Air Travel

No hypocrisy of the GND is more blatant than the call for the ban on air travel by those who use it more frequently than a common man.

The GND, as explained by the FAQs, calls for “build[ing] out high-speed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary.” AOC’s justification? Carbon dioxide emissions are causing dangerous global warming, and planes emit a lot of carbon dioxide.

Every reporter knows participants fly, many on chartered flights, to the international climate conferences in exotic places like Bali and Cancun. When they do, it’s likely that they emit more carbon dioxide in a single trip than a man in rural Africa would in his lifetime.

This year’s climate conference at Davos saw as many as 1500 private jets, slightly higher than the previous year’s, setting a new record for the number of flights to an international climate conference. When questioned on their use of private jets, the climate alarmists give various excuses. What’s clear is that they think the value of their participation outweighs any harm done by their carbon dioxide emissions through global warming.

AOC is no different. As a freshman Congresswoman and an ardent advocate of socialism, her work would require her to travel by air to meet her various schedules and socialism-promoting events across the country.

Should we ask AOC to stop flying in planes? No. The real question to ask is whether air travel poses an imminent threat to our world.

If carbon dioxide emissions are the key driver of global temperature, the correlation between the two would have shown that during the past two decades, when emissions were at their highest. Yet, the global temperature did not rise as doomsday theorists predicted

NASA satellite temperature measurements, reported by the University of Alabama in Huntsville, show no significant warming between 1999 and 2019 (January). In contrast, global temperature rose sharply between 1970 and 1998. 

But alarmists like AOC dismiss temperature measurements from satellites because they threaten the doomsday narrative.

However, unlike ground thermometers, which are plagued by improper siting, maintenance, and operation plus as Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect, satellite measurements are free from bias. UHI effect is the artificial increase in local temperature, mostly in cities, due to construction and infrastructure development.

Most thermometers situated in cities and near airports are susceptible to UHI effect. Consequently, they showing an increase in temperature levels in correlation to the pace and intensity of development. Since these thermometers aid in their biased reporting of climate change, doomsday theorists prefer them.

These are just two of the many reasons why implementing the GND, with costs in the trillions of dollars to retrofit all buildings and replace the present fossil fuel-based energy infrastructure with one driven by wind and solar, would be a colossal disaster.

The GND’s policy on renewable energy, nuclear plants, and social justice is equally laughable. Like her proposals on air travel and cattle, AOC’s other suggestions too are hinged on the assumption that climate change dooms the world.

It was only a matter of time before radical environmentalists’ crazy propaganda gave birth to a proposed bill that is as scientifically laughable as the GND. 

The document was so out of order that it was taken down from the website shortly after it drew criticism on social media. 

I hope it was taken down permanently. Whether it is or not, AOC is now firmly ensconced as the poster child of the new radical environmentalism where everything and anything wrong is blamed on climate change, capitalism, and democracy.

Vijay Jayaraj (M.Sc., Environmental Science, University of East Anglia, England), contributing writer for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, lives in Chennai, India.