There is a war on prosperity in the Big Apple and Bill de Blasio has just conscripted New York City property owners to fight on the side of the environmentalists.
Deciding that there are few things in this world as important as clinging to Al Gore’s cause celebre, the mayor has announced that the city will reduce its “greenhouse emissions” by 80 percent by 2050.
Municipal buildings will be the first volunteers in this war on global warming, with more than 3,000 structures being retrofitted. Soon after the city dedicates millions of dollars to changing out some incandescent light bulbs with over- priced compact fluorescents, Gracie Mansion will take aim at all those greedy capitalists who dare to own private property within the five boroughs.
According to the progressive mayor’s outline, businesses will first be given incentives to “clean up” their act. But mandatory compliance will ultimately be the tool of choice for the environmentalists who run the Big Apple. And regardless of cost or inconvenience, New York City will soon be the green utopia about which de Blasio apparently daydreams.
Of course this kind of green statism
isn’t free. New York is already seeing a devolution of ingenuity and business growth thanks to an overzealous bureaucracy downtown. Former-Mayor Michael Bloomberg spent years trying to encourage corporate growth and rejuvenation to Midtown Manhattan, and de Blasio is already struggling to bring the business sector around Grand Central back to life. The largest obstacles to robust economic growth in the heart of Manhattan have been bureaucratic burdens, zoning inconsistencies, and almost oppressive levels of government regulation. But, leave it to a big city liberal to think that a little more needless regulations will pan out by 2050.
The great plan for the green transformation of New York comes at a time when it is becoming painfully obvious that global warming is little more than a well-connected set of conmen (I’m looking your way, Al Gore) perpetuating a hoax with the willing cooperation of progressive politicians.
After all, there has been no warming for more than 18 years. Carbon, as it turns out, is actually beneficial to environmental conditions, and almost every prediction from the enviro crowd in the last decade has been fully debunked.
Remember when Gore said the ice caps would be completely melted by 2014? Yeah, it doesn’t seem to have happened. NASA satellites actually confirm that Antarctic sea ice exists now as a greater footprint than any time since space-based measurements began in 1979. Even the Arctic ice has been grow- ing in recent years, lending even less credibility to claims that the seas will rise and the liberal East Coast will become the next Atlantis.
Of course, let’s not allow those little inconvenient data points (also known more generally as “facts”) get in the way of some fear-inspired statism, right? In announcing his plan to reimagine New York as a model for energy efficiency, de Blasio was quick to point to the destruction caused by Superstorm Sandy. Bloomberg News was also happy to oblige, noting that the storm managed to flood and devastate portions of New York that had previously been “safe and dry.” The Left’s newest climate-change claim—that intense weather events are becoming more prominent—is almost as disingenuous as the claim that subway systems in NYC have previously been “safe and dry” during hurricane season. As recently as 2012 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded that there had been no demonstrable uptick in either the frequency or intensity of “extreme” weather events.
So, sure, Sandy was devastating. But let’s face it: Any big storm is going to be pretty unpleasant for a densely populated metropolitan area.
Even when we suspend our disbelief of global warming, and ignore the regulatory cost to businesses, de Blasio’s plan seems to be a solution in search of a problem. After all, it’s not as if New York City is covered by a series of 19th century smoke stacks. New York is the fourth largest provider of hydroelectric power in the United States, and the foremost provider east of the Rockies. Few methods of energy production have proven to be cleaner for the environment than hydropower, and New York has already proven such technology to be abundant, cheap, and effective.
While New York copes with real problems regarding education, business investment, real estate values, and violent crime, the progressive in Gracie Mansion has decided to wage war on an intangible, scientifically questionable, boogeyman. With the U.N. climate chief asking the free world to adopt communism in the fight against global warming (no, seriously), and Gore apostles running around the U.S. asking for redistributive justice to fight carbon, it’s not hard to see why a far-left mayor of New York City would embrace the idea of imposing environmentalism on his subjects. After all, a touch more cronyism couldn’t possibly hurt de Blasio’s chances of pushing New York a little further Left.
It might be about time for America to declare a new capital of the financial industry, maybe somewhere with a little less government, and a little more corporate sovereignty. •