There a couple plans for the “Green New Deal” circulating in the U.S., UK, and elsewhere, all supposedly intended to tackle the causes of climate change with sweeping measures to de-carbonize society. Except as Tim Worstall of the UK’s Adam Smith Institute points out, much of the British version of the GND has nothing to do with, you know, the environment. Indeed the non-environmental aims jump off the page in a proposal describing forthcoming legislation, presented by Green Party MP Caroline Lucas.
Lucas sums up the legislation’s purpose: “Working with the Labour MP Clive Lewis, I am launching the full version of a Green New Deal bill (formal title, the decarbonisation and economic strategy bill), which sets out a transformative programme driven by the principles of justice and equity. It aims to move our economy away from its harmful dependence on carbon, at the scale and speed demanded by the science, and to build a society that lives within its ecological limits while reversing social and economic inequality.”
As Worstall notes, the principles of “justice” and “equity” have nothing to do with climate change, a scientific problem. They are ethical concepts pertaining solely to human beings in their relations with each other — not all humanity in its relationship to nature.
The real agenda becomes even clearer with that last phrase, which imagines a piece of ostensibly environmental legislation also “reversing social and economic inequality.” Again, it’s unclear how reversing social and economic inequality (if such an aim is in fact possible) would contribute to mitigating climate change, a technical task.
Worstall concludes: “Climate change is being used as an excuse to impose an extremely partial meaning of the words justice, equity, social, economic, inequality. A meaning which very large portions of the population don’t agree with – as evidenced by the fact that no plurality, let alone majority, has ever voted to impose the meanings being used here upon us all.”