In the Unity Agenda, Joe Biden pretty much caved to the vision Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez put forth in her sophomoric Green New Deal. It doesn’t explicitly eliminate cow farts, but it certainly takes over a healthy segment of the agriculture industry. The freshman representative must have felt she was “this close” to the future she envisioned just a few years ago:
Stop laughing. AOC is really serious, you guys. However, she is also about to be pretty disappointed. As it turns out, not even the greenies believe we should be taking up vast swaths of open land with windmills and solar farms just to create good union jobs. Not to mention the community pushback as residents realize they will have their horizons dotted with these monstrosities.
The Biden plan requires we eliminate all greenhouse gases from the electricity grid that powers the country by 2035. As is usual, Biden is an underachieving. We’re all supposed to be dead in 10 years if you believe the climate alarmists. This deadline is just more proof that no one does.
As Reason editor Nick Gillespie pointed out, the current plan is just another way to pander to organized labor. He also correctly pointed out that there is no way we should be spending $2 trillion after all the pandemic spending. However, you can be sure that it will not deter Biden.
However, the Guardian is also pointing out what serious opposition the plan will face. The program requires building tens of thousands of new wind turbines and millions of new solar panels. These numbers are likely an underestimate. Renewable energy sources are very low-density and not well suited to powering urban areas. There are also some areas of the country where neither would be particularly efficient.
From the Guardian:
Should Biden defeat Donald Trump in the November’s presidential election, however, the sheer scale of the energy transformation risks a backlash from communities unhappy with the nearby placement of new solar and wind infrastructure.
“We must decarbonize, but that’s not the only metric. We need to care about other environmental and social impacts too,” said David Keith, a climate and energy expert at Harvard.
In 2018, Keith co-authored research that found America’s transition to solar and wind would require up to 20 times more land area than previously thought. Land development was particularly significant for wind, which has an average power density – measured in watts per meter squared – that is 10 times less than solar.
Huh. You mean Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t understand energy density? Clearly not. She also doesn’t understand physics, as she believes cars and other vehicles will be powered by batteries, that as of today, do not exist. Those batteries require rare metals that have significant environmental impacts where they are mined. Of course, most of them come from China, and they are already communists. So no big deal.
The bizarre, pie-in-the-sky construction of Biden’s climate-change plan is way more about ideology than it is about climate change. It requires massive intervention in the economy and crushing regulations. There is no serious plan to reduce carbon-based fuel in the energy grid that does not include nuclear energy. Even David Keith agrees with that:
“Wind turbines are wonderfully efficient and we shouldn’t abandon them, but we should take their footprint seriously,” Keith said. “You should tilt the energy system towards low land footprints, which means focusing on solar, nuclear and carbon capture and storage, with wind at the margins.”
Or wind not at all. If you have ever driven through Tracy, California, you know why (forward to 3:51):
They also kill a ton of birds and don’t last forever. Nuclear is a very high-density power source that is likely preferable to even the amount of land required for solar farms. However, nuclear power plants create very few high-paying jobs compared to renewable sources. And Biden has consistently said that when he thinks about climate change, he thinks about jobs. That should also tell you that they don’t really believe the climate alarmism.
Then there is that whole federal power-grab thing:
“If there’s a seriousness about a Green New Deal and deep cuts in emissions there will need to be federal legislation that states’ rights people won’t like where decisions are made quickly,” said Keith. “It will need leadership to admit there will be tradeoffs for a shared national goal. Biden will need to be clear there will be local decisions people won’t like. We can’t pretend this is going to be easy.”
While pipeline and drilling protests make the news, there have also been some protests related to the placement of renewable energy. A group in Spotsylvania, Va., organized to oppose a massive solar farm. Residents did not want their sleepy town invaded with the project:
The heart of the solar resistance is in a gated community called Fawn Lake, built around a golf course and man-made lake.It’s not in keeping with the type of setting that people bought houses here [for] — they wanted to be out in the woods, essentially.
“I mean we live at a resort, essentially,” says Dave Walsh, one of the many Fawn Lake residents organizing against the planned solar farm. One corner of the massive project would butt up against the back of the gated community. Walsh says he supports solar, in theory, but not here.
“It’s not in keeping with the type of setting that people bought houses here [for] — they wanted to be out in the woods, essentially,” Walsh says.
The Biden agenda has absolutely no problem ruining established communities. We’ve seen this with his housing policy. An Oahu, Hawaii, community protested the placement of a wind farm in their community. They didn’t want to be surrounded by ugly turbines and were worried about the impacts on wildlife. They also asserted that the wind farm would cause water contamination because of where it would be placed.
$2 trillion is a lot of money, and execution will cause a lot of heartburn for a country whose carbon emissions have already peaked according to climate activist and author of Apocalypse Never Michael Shellenberger. The upside is that if Biden is elected and proceeds with his radical housing and energy policies, we can look forward to Republican majorities in both houses in 2022.