The Green MacGuffin

 

The British screenwriter Angus MacPhail is credited with coining the term “MacGuffin,” though it is usually attributed to Alfred Hitchcock. In drama, the MacGuffin is anything the pursuit of which serves to drive the plot forward. The MacGuffin may not itself be of any intrinsic interest; what is important is that the protagonists of the story are desperately seeking to acquire it.

In House Resolution 109 – Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal, the environment — the “Green” bit — is the MacGuffin. Though the proposed legislation is ostensibly aimed at saving the planet from the looming carbon apocalypse, that really isn’t the point of this proposal. Rather, climate change is simply the excuse used to justify broad and deep changes to our economy, and drastic restrictions of our choices, prosperity, and freedom. It is a truly fascistic resolution masquerading as a noble pursuit of clean water and blue skies.

It’s also a very dishonest bit of work. It begins with a recitation of falsehoods about increased severe weather events and a claim of anthropogenic global warming that is not supported by evidence. It then trots out the ludicrously tenuous projections of economic impact four score years from now and cites them as a justification for a truly draconian forced transformation of the economy.

The environment is really not what the resolution is about. All the talk of “renewable” and “Green” and “clean” this and that is simply the MacGuffin intended to move this ugly bit of central planning forward. What the resolution is really about is social justice, government control, and socialism.

That’s why it spends so much time talking about “indigenous peoples” and “communities of color,” and why it invokes the common — but not environment-related — leftist tropes of income inequality and racial/gender divides.

That’s why it promises to (all bold text taken verbatim from the resolution):

promote justice and equity by stopping current, preventing future, and repairing historic oppression of indigenous peoples, communities of color, migrant communities ….

Maybe those are noble goals (though I actually think they’re mostly victim-baiting and grievance-mongering), but they aren’t environmental goals. They’re simply more of the left’s redistributive, identity-group social engineering.

What else does it offer? Free education:

providing resources, training, and high-quality education, including higher education, to all people of the United States ….

Union jobs:

high-quality union jobs that pay prevailing wages

Guaranteed wages, benefits, vacations, and retirement for everyone:

a job with a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations, and retirement security to all people of the United States

More stuff for unions (because we love our unions):

strengthening and protecting the right of all workers to organize, unionize, and collectively bargain

More business regulation and micro-management:

strengthening and enforcing labor, workplace health and safety, antidiscrimination, and wage and hour standards across all employers, industries, and sectors

A big nod to the American Indian community:

obtaining the free, prior, and informed consent of indigenous peoples for all decisions that affect indigenous peoples and their traditional territories, honoring all treaties and agreements with indigenous peoples, and protecting and enforcing the sovereignty and land rights of indigenous peoples

And providing — that’s the word it uses — every American with:

high-quality health care

housing

economic security

food

and access to nature.

Got it? This supposed “environmental” legislation would: guarantee you a house, a job, food, a college education, and health care; strengthen unions; and provide reparations and special advantages to all sorts of “aggrieved” groups including Native Americans, the young, the handicapped, women, and minorities.

Why don’t they simply call it the Turn America into Venezuela Proposal? Because that wouldn’t sell (and, let’s be honest, because they’re too foolish to appreciate that that’s where this would go). So instead they wrap it in a dishonest claim of imminent global catastrophe and use that as the justification for calling for de facto state control of industry and commerce, education and health care, our jobs and our homes and our lives.

The new fascists are cute and perky and full of themselves, but they’re still fascists.

There are 38 comments.

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  1. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Henry,

    The Green MacGuffin.

     

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #1
  2. Cow Girl Thatcher
    Cow Girl
    @CowGirl

    Remember how crazy it seemed when the LGBT folks started talking about gay marriage–like REAL marriage? And how everyone just laughed it off, and rolled their eyes and scoffed-I mean MARRIAGE…it’s been between men and women since the beginning of time–duh! Marriage—it only means one thing!!

    So, how did that work out? It only took a couple of years for the meaning and definition of marriage to be completely turned on its head, and all of us traditional marriage folks were just standing there looking at the wreck and wondering how that had happened.

    Don’t laugh too much at the Green New Deal–dig in and work against it. There is nothing that cannot be instituted with a little effort from the Left.

    • #2
  3. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Henry Racette: The new fascists are cute and perky and full of themselves, but they’re still fascists.

    Exactly, so let’s call them on it, and apply the label heavily: would be Eva Perons, would be Asma al-Assads, (would be Eva Brauns?). 

    • #3
  4. Spin Member
    Spin
    @Spin

    I will not have it on a plane; I will not have it on a train…

    • #4
  5. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    I think my favorite part of the Green New Deal is how we are going to replace or upgrade to state-of-the-art energy efficiency every building in the United States, within ten years.  The people who wrote this proposal must be on meth.  They may as well legislate that all citizens must be taller by 2030.

    • #5
  6. George Townsend Member
    George Townsend
    @GeorgeTownsend

    Henry Racette: Rather, climate change is simply the excuse used to justify broad and deep changes to our economy, and drastic restrictions of our choices, prosperity, and freedom.

    I like the above sentence of the essay most of all, Hank. The Left is always looking for ways to curtail our freedoms, believing that they know best how to run our country. The climate issue is but the latest, and the perhaps the most fruitful, way to go about getting the power they desire. This is what conservatives must always on guard against. 

    You wrote another terrific piece, Hank. Congrats.

    • #6
  7. kelsurprise, drama queen Member
    kelsurprise, drama queen
    @kelsurprise

    Henry Racette:

    obtaining the free, prior, and informed consent of indigenous peoples for all decisions that affect indigenous peoples and their traditional territories, honoring all treaties and agreements with indigenous peoples, and protecting and enforcing the sovereignty and land rights of indigenous peoples

    I’m sure that won’t hamper the high speed rail construction at all. 

    • #7
  8. Steve C. Member
    Steve C.
    @user_531302

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    I think my favorite part of the Green New Deal is how we are going to replace or upgrade to state-of-the-art energy efficiency every building in the United States, within ten years. The people who wrote this proposal must be on meth. They may as well legislate that all citizens must be taller by 2030.

    That’s supposed to be a secret!

    • #8
  9. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Like a watermelon there’s a lot more red then green.

    • #9
  10. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Cow Girl (View Comment):
    Don’t laugh too much at the Green New Deal–dig in and work against it. There is nothing that cannot be instituted with a little effort from the Left.

    And some cooperation from the go along to get along folks on the Right.

    • #10
  11. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Cow Girl (View Comment):
    Don’t laugh too much at the Green New Deal–dig in and work against it. There is nothing that cannot be instituted with a little effort from the Left.

    And some cooperation from the go along to get along folks on the Right.

    Like who?  What Republicans in the House or Senate would sign on to the GND? 

    • #11
  12. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    — Now let’s do some word association, Mr. Flicker.  There are no right answers, no wrong answers.  It’s just a formality, really.

    Okay.

    — Ready?

    Okay.

    — Green.

    Grass.

    — No.  Greeeen!

    Money.

    — Ah! New.

    Old.

    — Deal!

    Cards.

    — No!  Deee-al!

    Oh.  Um.  Distribute.

    — Exactly! Green… New… Deal.

    Um, spending my money on socialist make-work projects.

    — Ohh!!

    • #12
  13. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    The whole damned thing’s Red in tooth and claw, and there’s a larf in every graf. How do we do these things? Science money moon shot why do you hate the planet. The details are all hand-waved away like it’s a big Bob Fosse number. The defenders say, well, you have to stake out a bold position, then negotiate from that.

    Okay. How, exactly, do you negotiate the electrification of the freight rail system? I’ve read estimates that put the cost of that endeavor in the 3/4 $trillion range, because you have to replace the locomotives and build power lines along every inch of the rail system. (The estimates do not include the cost of the extra electricity needed to supply this new demand.) Do we use these electrified rail lines for high speed rail? Well, that’s tricky, since the freight engines and cars are taller than the passenger rail cars, so the overhead wires might not work for passenger systems. Assume they go to a third-rail delivery for the juice. Do the bullet train run on the freight lines? That’ll be fun. 

    And so on.  Questions like these are annoying, because they detract from the wonderful goodness of the instant future they believe can be willed into existence if our hearts are pure. Ideas like “liberty” and “freedom” are bitter-clinger oldthink words that imply a revanchist sensibility at best; at worst, they suggest a yearning for the old system of privilege and oppression.  

    What’s really amusing is the name of it all. Green New Deal. I don’t think the average BuzzFeed patron knows what the hell that means, and if they do get the reference, there’ll be some faint high school memory of how President Teddy Eleanor Roosevelt cured Depression with a New Deal.

    To be fair: among the young pundit class, with their excellent education, the term has resonance. It was an awesome government thing that solved a problem, and since they have fuzzy nostalgia for Brain Trusts and government programs with cool logos, and wish they’d lived in a time of great challenges that elevated the technocrats to the ruling clique, Green New Deal is awesome! AOC’s branding is on fleek.

    I’d love for someone to ask all of these young folk to sign a pledge that they will never engage in recreational aviation. Change starts at home, you know. There’s no reason you have to go to Europe, or Belize. 

    Ever.

    • #13
  14. WI Con Member
    WI Con
    @WICon

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Cow Girl (View Comment):
    Don’t laugh too much at the Green New Deal–dig in and work against it. There is nothing that cannot be instituted with a little effort from the Left.

    And some cooperation from the go along to get along folks on the Right.

    Like who? What Republicans in the House or Senate would sign on to the GND?

    The type of GOP legislator, bureaucrat, ‘Think-Tanker’ that continues to intentionally obfuscates the distinction between “immigrant” and “illegal immigrant” – there is a reason this New Green Deal makes the distinction between Native Americans and Indigenous Peoples – AOC has alluded to this farce in asserting that the border should be open to those Indigenous Peoples. 

    The same GOP types that were going to repeal Obamacare I suspect will be the same ones that will sign on to this fresh Hell.

    • #14
  15. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

     Well it seems the GOP is on board with some of the Green New Deal anyway.  Senate to vote on it.

    https://www.npr.org/2019/02/12/694060405/mcconnell-plans-to-bring-green-new-deal-to-senate-vote

     

    • #15
  16. GypsyNuke Member
    GypsyNuke
    @GypsyNuke

    I was going to post my thoughts on this ridiculous GND, but then I read Charles C.W. Cooke’s NRO essay, I can’t come close and certainly no better:

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/02/there-is-no-green-new-deal/

    On the Senate vote, I suspect that vote is simply to get Senators on the record, my suspicion is the vote will fall along party lines.

     

    • #16
  17. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Well it seems the GOP is on board with some of the Green New Deal anyway. Senate to vote on it.

    https://www.npr.org/2019/02/12/694060405/mcconnell-plans-to-bring-green-new-deal-to-senate-vote

     

    OK, we’ll see how many Republicans vote for it.  I think McConnell is doing it to troll the Democrats, to show how unpopular it really is.

    • #17
  18. Michael Brehm Coolidge
    Michael Brehm
    @MichaelBrehm

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    What’s really amusing is the name of it all. Green New Deal. I don’t think the average BuzzFeed patron knows what the hell that means, and if they do get the reference, there’ll be some faint high school memory of how President Teddy Eleanor Roosevelt cured Depression with a New Deal.

     

    I would have called it the “Green Leap Forward.” It combines bold, dynamic, forward movement with sustainability and equity for minorities. 

    • #18
  19. Michael Brehm Coolidge
    Michael Brehm
    @MichaelBrehm

    Ryan Saavedra wrote on the Daily Wire this morning:

    “I’ve noted with great interest the Green New Deal,” McConnell said. “And we’re going to be voting on that in the Senate. Give everybody an opportunity to go on record and see how they feel about the Green New Deal.”

    Democratic Senator Ed Markey, who jointly introduced the Green New Deal last week with socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, claimed that McConnell allowing a vote on the bill was Republicans’ way of secretly “sabotaging” it.

    “Don’t let Mitch McConnell fool you: this is nothing but an attempt to sabotage the movement we are building,” Markey tweeted. “He wants to silence your voice so Republicans don’t have to explain why they are climate change deniers. McConnell wants this to be the end, this is just the beginning.”

    “This isn’t a new Republican trick,” Markey continued. “By rushing a vote on the #GreenNewDeal resolution, Republicans want to avoid a true national debate & kill our efforts to organize. We’re having the first national conversation on climate change in a decade. We can’t let Republicans sabotage it.”

     

    • #19
  20. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Michael Brehm (View Comment):

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    What’s really amusing is the name of it all. Green New Deal. I don’t think the average BuzzFeed patron knows what the hell that means, and if they do get the reference, there’ll be some faint high school memory of how President Teddy Eleanor Roosevelt cured Depression with a New Deal.

    I would have called it the “Green Leap Forward.” It combines bold, dynamic, forward movement with sustainability and equity for minorities.

    I though you were going to say: It combines bold, dynamic, forward movement with sustainability and equity for Kermit the Frog. :)

    • #20
  21. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    I picture Green Nuremberg-style rallies but the music would be inspired by Sesame Street.  After overwhelming ICE officers at the border and greeting an entering horde, the Green Shirts and new arrivals would burn Monticello and Mount Vernon on their way to DC all with tacit approval of the New Green Deal Peoples Guides now in control of the Resistance which is still called the Resistance even though they are the de facto government.  As the march heads north, only homes that appeared to be expensive to the newest arriving Americans would be looted and only the tippy top 55% of income brackets would be subject to confiscation, abuse and pillage along with some less well-heeled Americans who deserved it anyway because they were putting on airs and over-consuming.

    The dream of no more gasoline-powered vehicles would be realized within two years because all refineries would be destroyed.

    The ensuing violence and mass shortages would be called Trump-theft in newspeak.  The horrid social conditions were explained to the masses as the revenge of the rich who took their prosperity secrets with them to the gallows.

    • #21
  22. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    George Townsend (View Comment):

    Henry Racette: Rather, climate change is simply the excuse used to justify broad and deep changes to our economy, and drastic restrictions of our choices, prosperity, and freedom.

    I like the above sentence of the essay most of all, Hank. The Left is always looking for ways to curtail our freedoms, believing that they know best how to run our country. The climate issue is but the latest, and the perhaps the most fruitful, way to go about getting the power they desire. This is what conservatives must always on guard against.

    You wrote another terrific piece, Hank. Congrats.

    Yes. When someone brings up the “Green New Deal,” I start my response with how accomplishing any of what it says requires that the United States be turned into a totalitarian state, and that therefore that is the real goal of the plan. 

    • #22
  23. George Townsend Member
    George Townsend
    @GeorgeTownsend

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    George Townsend (View Comment):

    Henry Racette: Rather, climate change is simply the excuse used to justify broad and deep changes to our economy, and drastic restrictions of our choices, prosperity, and freedom.

    I like the above sentence of the essay most of all, Hank. The Left is always looking for ways to curtail our freedoms, believing that they know best how to run our country. The climate issue is but the latest, and the perhaps the most fruitful, way to go about getting the power they desire. This is what conservatives must always on guard against.

    You wrote another terrific piece, Hank. Congrats.

    Yes. When someone brings up the “Green New Deal,” I start my response with how accomplishing any of what it says requires that the United States be turned into a totalitarian state, and that therefore that is the real goal of the plan.

    well, maybe authoritarian anyway.

    • #23
  24. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    I’m currently reading a 1931 book about centralized labor deployment in the Soviet Union.  It’s by Katherine, Duchess of Atholl, and the title is The Conscription of a People.

    The title would serve very well to describe what is being planned today under the banner of “greenness”.

     

    • #24
  25. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    David Foster (View Comment):

    I’m currently reading a 1931 book about centralized labor deployment in the Soviet Union. It’s by Katherine, Duchess of Atholl, and the title is The Conscription of a People.

    The title would serve very well to describe what is being planned today under the banner of “greenness”.

     

    This Post almost seems to mesh with another Post on prisons and cruel and unusual punishment.  How much can you take, how bad can you make it before it constitutes cruel and unusual punishment?

    • #25
  26. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher
    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo…
    @GumbyMark

    Mock if you must, but you obviously do not understand economics!

    • #26
  27. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    It is extremely difficult today to build major new rail projects.  As a case in point: here’s the Atlanta-to-Chattanooga high speed rail project:

    https://www.railwayage.com/news/fra-selects-tenn-ga-hsr-route/

    Note this part:

    “This combined FEIS and ROD is a product of NINE YEARS’ work from FRA and its state partners,” said FRA Deputy Administrator Heath Hall. ” (emphasis added)

    …and that’s not the end of the paperwork by any means:

    “The FEIS/ROD provides information on train technology, maximum operating speeds and station location options. However, decisions on these issues, as well as the exact alignment within the preferred corridor, will be part of a Tier II NEPA study, if additional funding is secured.”

    And, after the route is finally determined, expect endless litigation, both by environmentalists and by plain old NIMBY’s, objecting to whatever that route might be.

    • #27
  28. Tennessee Patriot Member
    Tennessee Patriot
    @TennesseePatriot

     James Delingpole wrote a book about this in 2011 and has had numerous podcasts making the same point. Here is his book: https://www.amazon.com/Watermelons-Green-Movements-True-Colors/dp/0983347409

    Watermelons: Green on the outside, Red on the inside.

    • #28
  29. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    James Lileks (View Comment):
    I’d love for someone to ask all of these young folk to sign a pledge that they will never engage in recreational aviation. Change starts at home, you know. There’s no reason you have to go to Europe, or Belize. 

    Hot stock tip: invest in clipper ships.

    • #29
  30. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):
    Hot stock tip: invest in clipper ships.

    Lots of career opportunities for people to haul on the lines.  I worry about whether we can achieve gender balance in these roles, though; also, it’s possible that these will turn out to be more Jobs Americans Won’t Do and we’ll have to hire immigrants as crewmen.

    Unless we resort to the shanghaiing approach, which would be quite consistent with the rest of the plan.

    • #30

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