Green New Deal will only happen if we go back to the moon – by Mark R. Whittington (The Hill – January 11, 2019)

You have to hand it to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio–Cortez (D-N.Y.). For someone who was, just a year ago, a bartender, she has some ambitious plans now that she is a member of Congress.

Among Ocasio–Cortez’s projects is something called the Green New Deal. The plan would mandate that the United States transform its energy infrastructure from one based on fossil fuels to one based on renewable energy, such as wind and solar power. Thus, the problem of climate change will have been solved and the Earth would be saved. Big-pocketed people like Tom Steyer, an environmentalist billionaire donor, view the idea with favor.

Lots of reasons exist to dismiss the Green New Deal, it being a product born more of delusion than sound analysis. However, if the government were to embark upon making it a reality, the scheme might have an unintended side effect of supporting a return to the moon.

The Green New Deal would require a lot of minerals called rare earths, which are increasingly a part of many high-tech products such as smartphones and electric cars, as well as solar-powered generators and wind turbines. The proven supplies of these materials are nowhere near enough to accommodate anything on the scale of a Green New Deal and mostly come from countries hostile to the United States, such as China.

The United States is searching for sources of rare earths within its borders. However, even if sources could be found getting at them will require a process called hard rock mining, which is dirty, expensive and not environmentally benign.

For the rest of this article:

Comments are closed.