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  • Norman Young

The Art of the Green New Deal

For Americans, concern about "climate change" is inversely related to the immediacy of other other, more serious concerns. When the economy collapses, politicians wisely avoid talking about policies that could increase the cost of gasoline. When tragic events like terrorist attacks or school shootings occur, few politicians are willing to wax lyrical about the "threat" posed by the climate. One odd result of this inverse relationship is that the prevalence of news stories involving "climate change" can be used as a bellwether for American hopefulness about their future. When Americans feel secure, they have time to feel guilty about it and read stories about how their comfortable lives come at the expense of future generations.

As the economy roars along under President Donald Trump, it was inevitable that the Democratic Party would shift its focus toward the climate. The 2020 election was always going to feature Democrats expressing concern about "our future" while Republicans tout four more years of economic success. In a typical fight of this kind, the Republicans would most likely come out on top. As Clinton strategist James Carville once said, it's "the economy, stupid."

In steps Ocasio-Cortez. Before the primary season even begins, the freshman Congresswoman has brought the climate issue to the forefront of Democratic Party. Her initial proposals are so chock-full of absurd go