Or our best chance to save the planet?
“Not interested,” he said.
“What politician or party supports the following goals,” I said, figuring that even a lazy cat like Cat couldn’t resist a softball quiz question. “The goals are:
a) Stop jobs from going overseas
b) Increase manufacturing in the United States.”
“Oh, that’s easy,” Cat said. “It’s President Trump; part of his ‘America First’ program. USA. USA. USA. USA!”
“Wrong, you flunk,” I said. “Both goals are in the ‘Green New Deal’ resolution filed Feb. 7 by Mega-Liberals Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York City and Sen. Edward J. Markey, who’s from Massachusetts, just up the road from us here in Rhode Island.
“Oh, I’ve heard of that,” Cat said. “It’s the Manifesto of the Commie-Loving America-Hating Radical Lefties that Republicans are saying will result in a government takeover of everything, and the downfall of the USA, USA, USA.”
“You’re on the right track, Cat,” I said, “except that Republicans don’t worry about Commies and Pinkos anymore, since Trump became best buddies with the Russians and North Koreans. Their targets threats now are ‘Socialists’ and ‘Socialism.’ But, yes, the Green New Deal is getting a lot of attention – none of it complimentary – from Republicans.”
“It does sound kind of scary,” Cat said. “I heard the Green New Deal is about getting rid of farting cows and grounding air travel.”
“That’s actually not really part of it,” I said. “That’s the GOP’s Sneer & Smear Distortion Machine version
“Even the media,” Cat continued, “are predicting that the Green New Deal is the kind of Lefty Pie-In-The-Sky-Nonsense that the Democrats come up with whenever they’re about to throw an election,” Cat said. “And that means four more years of Vladimir Putin in the Oval Office. USSR. USSR. USSR!”
Click on the image below to link to the
text of the Green New Deal
“WHAT do you actually know about the Green New Deal?” I asked him.
“That it’s too expensive,” Cat said. “Too complicated. Too liberal. Too flaky. And definitely too boring.”
“I’m just guessing here,” I said to Cat, “that you haven’t even read the resolution?”
“You’ve got that right, dog-breath,” Cat said. “But I will. Right after I finish An Introduction to the Standard Model of Particle Physics, 2nd Edition.”
“Well, I’ve read the whole thing,” I said.
“I’m sure you have, Ms. Know-It-All,” he said.
“What did you say?”
“I said that I want to ‘know all about it,’ ” Cat smirked.
“The Green New Deal is simple,” I began. “It prevents two big disasters: The End of the World and the End of Work.”
“I can relate to the End of the World part,” Cat said. “As for the other part, speaking both personally and for all cats in general, the End of Work can’t happen soon enough.”
“So, we’ll start with preventing the End of the World,” I said. “The Green New Deal wants to stop climate change. Scientists say industrial gases are causing overall warming of the planet, with horrendous results for everyone on earth. But if we act fast in the next 14 years or so, we can head off the worst effects.”
“I’m sick of stories and pictures about climate change,” Cat said. “Dying polar bears, melting glaciers, floods, mudslides, hurricanes, droughts, extinctions of entire species, tornadoes, wildfires. I change the channel every time there’s a story about those. Too upsetting. Plus, there’s nothing you can do about it.”
“Wrong again,” I said. “The Green New Deal calls for a “10-year national mobilization” to save the world.”
“A mobilization?” Cat yawned.
“You know, ‘All Hands On Deck,’ everyone working for the same goal, like America did to win World War II. Americans can do anything if we put our minds to it, like sending people to the moon, inventing the atomic bomb (although the Lefties usually don’t point to that one). Think Big. Aim High. Go For It. The Can-do Country.”
“Maybe it will work; maybe not," I said. "But it beats pretending that nothing is happening, which is Trump’s ‘solution.' "
“So what’s the Green New Deal plan?” Cat said.
“Bunch of things, some already known, others to be invented. There's a lot to it, and these are only a few examples:
- Eliminate greenhouse gases by switching to electricity-generating systems like wind turbines and solar panels.
- Build energy-saving transmission systems to get power efficiently where it needs to go.
- Make old and new buildings energy-efficient.
- Cut pollution from cars; increase energy-efficient public transportation.
- Invest in new technologies.
- Work with farmers and ranchers to cut greenhouse gasses and promote better land use.
“You’re thinking like a Republican, rather than a human being,” I said.
“Actually, I’m not a human being,” Cat pointed out.
“As you suggest, millions of jobs,” I said. “And that’s the other major goal of the Green New Deal, to create new jobs – good-paying, union-type jobs, jobs that can support a family. Jobs of all kinds: build wind turbines, research new kinds of batteries, reconstruct highways.”
“Not trying to put a claw into your laughing-gas balloon, Phoebe, but I thought we already had plenty of jobs – lowest unemployment in decades, rising wages, blah, blah, blah,” Cat said.
“A lot of those jobs are low-paying, Cat,” I said. “Further, because of Artificial Intelligence and other innovations, a lot of jobs are disappearing. Check out the self-service lanes in a supermarket; go to any auto factory, where robots are doing a lot of the work; self-driving cars and trucks are on their way – think out-of-work UPS delivery people, taxi cabbies and 18-wheeler drivers.”
“That’s progress,” Cat said.
“That’s disaster,” I said. “But the Green New Deal will create lots of new jobs while we figure out what to do when the robots really do take over.”
“I heard that the Manifesto guarantees a job to everyone,” Cat said.
“Correct,” I said. “Page 13: “…’guaranteeing a job with a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations and retirement security to all people of the United States.’ ”
“Sounds unworkable,” Cat said.
“Would you rather have people on welfare, homeless, starving to death?” I said. “I though America believes in work.”
“Can’t be done,” Cat said.
So we went outside, and just around the corner from our house was a sidewalk of concrete, with a small metal tablet bedded in one of the squares.
“And I’m looking at what?” Cat said.
“See the marker?” I said. “It says: ‘Built by Works Progress Administration – 1935-1937.’ During The Great Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt organized the original New Deal to get the economy going, with programs like the WPA and lots of great things got done by 8 million workers, including this sidewalk, which is as good today as it was 82 years ago.”
“But global warming or not, Phoebe, it’s winter and cold out here,” Cat said. “Let’s finish this inside, where you can explain the farting cow and no air travel business.”
It was a stupid, juvenile line that even the Washington Post said was meant to point out that dangerous emissions, whether from cows or jet planes, realistically couldn’t be eliminated in the time period described. That whole Q & A was taken off Ocasio-Cortez’ website and nothing like it was included in the actual Green New Deal resolution she and Markey filed.
But the Republicans found a copy, and their Sneer & Smear Distortion Machine went into action, using that to mock the entire proposal
Mitch McConnell, for example, the world’s second most evil human being as Trump’s Enabler-In-Chief and the derelict Senate majority leader, said: “We’re going to vote in the Senate and see how many Democrats want to end air travel and cow farts.”
“Isn’t that what Ocasio-Cortez and Friends are really thinking?” Cat said.
“No,” I said. “What they are saying is that the earth is in danger of becoming unlivable, and it’s going to take a huge national and international effort to head that off, in the same way the U.S. built an Army, a Navy and an Air Force practically overnight and saved the world from Adolf Hitler and the Nazis in World War II.”
“But you have to admit, Phoebe,” Cat said, “the Green New Deal sounds so overblown. It’s so easy to make fun of. And like I said, lots of people, including Lefty pundits, are predicting that most voters don’t want a huge SOCIALIST program. So, if the Democrats stick with the Green New Deal, what they’ll get instead – what we’ll all get – is four more years of Donald Trump.”
“Listen Cat, do you want to be scared of name-calling Republicans, or are you more scared that the world as we know it is already changing?” I said. “Do you want to listen to climate change deniers, or do you want to save the world? What’s worse? Mitch McConnell’s sarcasm? Or more floods in Houston, more hurricanes in Puerto Rico and New Orleans? And by the way, what do you think will happen to our home here in the Ocean State as sea levels continue to rise?”
“To say nothing of wildfires,” I said, and now I could hear myself screaming.
“Have you forgotten about that Camp Fire in Paradise, California last November, Cat?” I said. “Eighty-five people died; and more than 18,000 buildings were destroyed, most of them in the first four hours. And that’s just the beginning for all sorts of disasters that are going to get worse every year unless we do something.”
“I still don’t know…,” Cat said.
“You don’t know,” I muttered, throwing my paws over my face. “I’m going for a walk!”
“Back to your WPA sidewalk?” Cat asked.
“It’s a good place to start.”