“[T]he future temperature impacts of the zero-emissions objective would be barely distinguishable from zero.”
An extensive study of New York Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal,” concluded the impact of the plan’s zero-emissions objective would be “barely distinguishable from zero.”
The 112-page report was released Wednesday by the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute.
While many Democrats — including presidential candidates — have rushed to support the Green New Deal, AEI researchers determined the policy “would yield no benefits while imposing substantial economic and social costs.”
“A GND policy would yield no benefits in its central energy, environment, and climate context, but it would impose very large economic costs,” Benjamin Zycher, the study’s author, said in a summary of the report.
Ocasio-Cortez has made bold claims about what her plan will accomplish — such as reducing America’s carbons emissions to “net zero” by 2050. But, according to AEI researchers, her plan is unlikely to achieve its objectives, even under a best case scenario.
“The GND’s central premise is that global temperatures must be kept below 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrialized levels to avoid the most severe impacts of climate change, and achieving this end will require a ’10-year national mobilization’ to reduce US greenhouse gas emissions to ‘net zero’ by 2050,” Zycher wrote in the study’s summary. “However, despite assertions from GND proponents that their proposal is essential to prevent dire climate phenomena, the future temperature impacts of the zero-emissions objective would be barely distinguishable from zero: just a 0.173°C difference by 2100, under the most favorable assumptions.”
When it comes to reducing carbon emissions to net zero, the study concluded it would be virtually impossible. Even if every home were outfitted to rely on alternative energy, there’d still be temporary brownouts across the country because of lack of wind or sun.
The astronomical costs of the program are another obstacle.
“The electricity component of the GND is the least ambiguous. A highly conservative estimate of the aggregate cost of that set of policies alone would be $490.5 billion per year, permanently, or $3,845 per year per household,” Zycher wrote.
Not only would the electricity component cost trillions, but the study contended the policies would actually end up doing more damage to the environment.
“The GND electricity mandate would create significant environmental damage—there is nothing clean about ‘clean’ electricity—and massive land use of over 115 million acres, (about 180,000 square miles), about 15 percent larger than the land area of California,” Zycher wrote.
According to the study, the total annual price tag for the Green New Deal would be $9 trillion. At present, the total annual budget of all spending by the federal government is $4.746 trillion.
Another mark against the plan? The disastrous economic implications on the American economy that would come about as a result of implementing the Green New Deal.
“The use of inflation as a mechanism for the acquisition of real resources for the government imposes its own set of large costs; the literature suggests that annual inflation rates of 10 percent or 20 percent would impose economic losses of about $2 trillion and $4 trillion per year,” Zycher wrote.
While the warnings about the costs echo those of other Green New Deal studies, Ocasio-Cortez insists the costs are worth it if the world is going to stave off the coming climate crisis. But the study makes clear her proposal would do little to change current trends, while calling into question whether a crisis the magnitude the freshmen representative predicts is even likely.
“The current body of evidence on climate phenomena supports the hypothesis that some part of ongoing temperature trends and climate phenomena are anthropogenic in origin, but it does not support the argument that a climate crisis is present or looming,” Zycher argued.
The study concluded by echoing Republican criticisms of the Green New Deal.
“The GND at its core is the substitution of central planning in place of market forces for resource allocation in the U.S. energy and transportation sectors narrowly and in the broad industrial, commercial, and residential sectors writ large. Given the tragic and predictable record of central planning outcomes worldwide over the past century, the GND should be rejected,” Zycher wrote.
When brought to a Senate vote, the proposal was rejected by a 57-0 count.