You knew it was going to happen. Sooner or later conservative voices would begin a drumbeat of “It won’t work,” and “It’s too expensive” which is about all you need today to frighten people into doing nothing. We’re talking about the Green New Deal, of course. And so it begins, here’s a sample.

An Arizona congressman said the proposed Green New Deal isn’t really about energy.

“The Green New Deal is a prospect. There’s only 15 percent that’s energy related,” said Paul Gosar (R-AZ), member of the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources and the chairperson of the Congressional Western Caucus.

“It is fundamentally a manifesto of socialism moving forward.”

Who knew communists were doing all this? I thought they just messed up elections.

But there’s more on the plus side for instance town hall meetings are springing up across the country.

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Dedham [Massachusetts] to host Green New Deal Town Hall

Illinois Paving Way for State’s ‘Green New Deal’

South Floridians Discuss Green New Deal, Climate Change At Hollywood Town Hall

So if you’re at all interested in climate change and saving what we have that makes this planet habitable, try not to feed ammo to the opposition. They ought to have to work harder. One way to contribute is to show up at the town halls, they’re part of a grass roots effort to effect change. But if you get involved and if you go to these things, please study the issues enough to be able to state your case well.

It’s too expensive

Actually, it’s not expensive at all, here’s why. It was expensive to bring cable (or gas or water and sewer or electricity or telephone) to your home. There’s a pattern to this–the free market did all that by soliciting investors and building companies that generated profits that the investors wanted to put their money into. The GND is no different. Remember, we’re running out of fossil fuelsso we need to do something to protect our way of life and that depends on energy. That’s enough to get the free market involved in developing renewable energy and capturing and sequestering carbon from the environment. Good news: It’s already happening.

The one thing that should be abundantly clear is that this is NOT a situation where government ought to pour trillions of taxpayer dollars into new industries that will reap huge profits later. Let the free market do its job. Then you won’t have to say it’s expensive because it’s part of Capitalism, and, at this point, survival on earth.

It won’t work

A hundred years ago the wise guys all said that if God wanted us to fly, he’d have given us wings. Right. Invention happens because a small bunch of inventors get together and do science. They figure out needs and how to meet them. That’s what Wilbur and Orville did. It wasn’t fancy. They camped out for several years during summer on Kitty Hawk island in North Carolina testing their ideas with scale models and perfecting the first airplane.

More good news. Most of the work to bring renewable energy to market and to remove carbon from the environment has already been done. The free market is already bringing electric cars and charging stations to market. We’re seeing new approaches to heating and cooling buildings come to market. And there are even approaches to taking carbon out of the air. If someone tells you it won’t work, ask them where they got their data and how hard they’ve looked.

Last thoughts

Be careful about suggesting we spend taxpayer funds on all this. The original New Deal was an economic stimulus plan to get the country running again. Since then there have been numerous free market success stories such as in computers, software, and cloud computing. All of that was paid for by investors. The US government put some seed money into research and development for the early computer industry and to build the defense precursor of the Internet (it was called DARPANet). But it didn’t hand cash over to private industry with little requirement to deliver.

The infrastructure, better paying jobs, and new industries we all want from the GND will all come out of investment in all things green. It will be a big economic stimulus and it should be paid for by private investment.

Researcher, author of multiple books including “The Age of Sustainability” about solutions for climate change. Technology, business, economics.

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