Bernie Sanders’ Green Energy Poverty
Bernie Sanders may have ended his presidential campaign but his progressive views, especially on energy and the environment, will live on. A whole generation has been taught about the evils of fossil fuels and the threat of climate change. Bernie Sanders doesn’t need to believe it himself. No, he, like all good socialists, needs to make sure others believe it.
And they do.
A new generation of politicians makes outlandish exclamations like “the world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change.” That was uttered by freshman Congressman and Sanders surrogate Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. And who can forget the nonsensical rhetorical flourish of another presidential hopeful, Andrew Yang, when proclaimed at a debate “we are too late” to deal with climate change and we “need to start moving our people to higher ground.” Neither the moderators nor the other candidates even raised an eyebrow. I fell out of my chair.
Last I checked New York City had more serious problems to deal with. Funny how in the case of a real crisis climate change seems to disappear like a first world luxury. “I’m off fossil fuels” was scrapped as quickly as “I’m off gluten.” When we aren’t quarantined fearing for our lives and watching our wealth disappear, climate change will reemerge as a pressing priority, but for now no one waiting two hours in line to buy toilet paper asks the clerk about the store’s carbon footprint.
Bernie Sanders did his job. The solar-powered torch has been passed to the next generation. The risible irony is that he owns multiple homes and spent over $1 million a quarter on private jet travel all while declaring climate change to be our biggest national security threat. That’s a fascinating paradox only achievable by a politician.
But just as Bernie was never really asked about this campaign choices by a hostile press, he was never asked about a brutal, ugly reality about the green technology future he wanted to force on Americans. How very discriminatory (and dare I say it? Can I say it? Racist) it is. Going green costs people a lot of money, and it targets underprivileged communities most of all. That part of the “policy” was never addressed. Instead the “idea of policy” was lavishly praised in some bizarre application of transcendental metaphysics onto political theory. Something the environmental left relishes.
We aren’t allowed to judge environmentalists on what their beliefs will do. No, we are only allowed to judge by what they intend to do. Kant would be pleased, if pleasure were allowed.
Let’s explore a few places where green policies have been applied and see what’s happened.
Europe is far more “green” than we are. All member nations of the EU are still part of the Paris Climate Accord, and most of these nations have taken steps to “transition” their economies to a green future. Sounds charming. What does that mean for real people? Cost. European nations pay on average more than twice what we do for electricity. It’s even worse when it comes to gas. Filling up at the pump currently costs Americans on average $2.40 a gallon. In the UK it’s $5.29. In Italy it’s $6.08.
High prices affect one group of people more than another, and no, it’s not the Bernie Sanders campaign. The average American pays $111 per month on utilities. Now double it, for the earth. The average American spends $386 per month on gas. Now triple it, to tackle climate change.
Back of the envelope calculations: (electricity x 12) plus (gas x 12) = $5,964 on just these two energy necessities per American. Now, let’s assume Bernie’s green philosophy is as successful as our European allies, and we can bring that cost to 2(electricity x 12) plus 3(gas x 12) = $16,560.
Congrats, you’re now doing your part for the Earth.
This shocking reality is why civil rights leaders recently warned against abandoning fossil fuels too quickly. “I think people are concerned about the affordability and they are concerned about being left in the cold,” said Al Sharpton. And that was no metaphor.
In England, skyrocketing electricity costs in the UK brought about by the green mandates have left their seniors quite literally in the cold. Caroline Abrahams, Director of the charity Age UK, was forthcoming: “because high heating costs are prohibitive for many, resulting in large numbers of older people finding it virtually impossible to stay adequately warm.” Two winters ago 46,000 British seniors died from the cold.
Think about that. 46,000 English seniors, the greatest generation, who survived the blitz and song “God Save the Queen” died because they could not afford to heat their homes. England went “green,” thousands died, and it barely got mention in the press.
Bernie was never asked. Nor was he asked about what the real cost of his green technology would be, and not just to taxpayers, but to individuals. And he never will be asked because it’s not the policy that matters, it’s the idea of policy, the intention, that counts. That’s the joys of being green: having the luxury of first world functioning, inexpensive, reliable energy grids and gas pumps to travel on private jets and demand it cease to be. And not have to suffer the consequences in human costs.
Bernie’s campaign is done. His terrible, expensive, even deadly ideas live on. And we as a nation are no better for it.
Daniel Turner is the founder and executive director of Power The Future, a national nonprofit organization that advocates for American energy jobs. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @DanielTurnerPTF