Yes, it’s AOC time again. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, freshman congresswoman, political It-girl, and self-made voice of the Progressive Left and the Democratic Socialists, has offered up yet another interesting piece of blather.

The headline, which reads “Ocasio-Cortez says growing cauliflower in community gardens is ‘colonial’,” is intended to guide us to a conclusion about her vapidity. However, the real concern lies in the other reveals we find in her words.


…growing plants that are culturally familiar to the community. It’s so important.
So that’s really how you do it right. That is such a core component of the Green New Deal is having all of these projects make sense in a cultural context

Those of us who’ve been paying attention already know that the Green New Deal is about a whole lot more than taking action against global warming. It includes a litany of government coercions intended to achieve “social justice.” The marketers amongst them have dubbed it “environmental justice” in order to piggy-back their agenda onto the global warming bandwagon, but if the threat to the planet is so dire that we have to completely decarbonize the American economy in a decade, why risk the planet’s existence by adding stuff that dilutes the effort?

There’s no need to answer that. The planet will be here long after humanity moves on or goes away, the threat from global warming is likely, at this current juncture, overstated, and the reality is that, even if America totally decarbonizes, without the rest of the world doing the same, the global impact will be woefully below what the alarmists tell us we need. The Green New Deal isn’t really about saving the planet.

Nor is it about really helping the poorest and most disadvantaged, despite all the social justice folded into it. If it were, there’d be no talk of decarbonizing, because decarbonizing will doom billions to remain in poverty and shorten the lives of untold millions around the world.

That’s the dirty secret the carbon-warriors don’t want you to know. Their plan to mitigate global warming will, if implemented as they demand, will do immeasurable harm to the black, brown, and yellow people all around the world who are just now rising out of poverty and subsistence living, thanks to capitalism, free markets, free enterprise, and the technological innovation they spawn.

Energy is what makes our lives better. It warms us in winter, cools us in summer, lets us travel greater distances, allows us to live lives when the sun goes down. It enables us to grow food more efficiently, build homes more efficiently, work more efficiently, clothe ourselves more efficiently, and run the businesses and enterprises that create wealth more efficiently. It enables better sanitation, better medical care, cleaner water, and just about everything else that lets us live better lives than our subsistence ancestors did.

When energy is made more expensive, life becomes harder, and more people will die. Life is a perpetual struggle against an environment that wants to kill us in countless ways, and energy is one of our greatest tools in that struggle.

In America, where real poverty has been essentially wiped out, it’s easy to shrug off the higher costs of living that the GND will impose on the poor. But, as I noted, without the rest of the globe doing the same things, even a total decarbonizing of America won’t have much of an impact on global warming. Extending the Green New Deal’s energy policy globally, as would be necessary if we are to believe the alarmist forecasts, would make energy significantly more expensive for billions, meaning that billions would live shorter, more difficult, and less healthy lives.

Scratch a green and you’ll often find a humanity-hater, a person who believes the planet is overpopulated, that Malthus, despite being proven wrong consistently in the 220 years since he first published his warnings, will eventually be proven right, that revere Paul Ehrlich and Rachel Carson, and to whom radio shock-jock Anthony Cumia’s observation that “the browner they are, and the farther away they are, the less we care about them.” I’ve no reason to conclude, based on our greens’ behaviors, otherwise.

AOC’s Green New Deal, despite its high moralizing, will disproportionately hurt the poor, both in America and world-wide, and that’s before we even begin to contemplate the economic ruin it will precipitate. She asserts the exact opposite, that if we don’t follow her prescriptions, we’ll “have blood on our hands.” The context of that statement lies in the premise that immigrants are fleeing to America because of global warming, that “one major factor fueling global migration” is climate change.

Huh? What?

The major factors driving migration today are war in the Middle East and the poverty and violence (born of socialism, her favorite economic system) in Central and South America. Imagine how much more massive the latter will be should the crushing damage of carbon caps be imposed on the developing world.

Now, let’s consider the rest of her assertions. She’s advocating urban green spaces and community gardens, but asserts that not growing produce that aligns with the locals’ (read: brown and black people) ethnic heritage (e.g. yuca), and instead growing something like cauliflower is “colonial.”

Oh, where to begin.

First, what message is being delivered by telling people that they should stick to their culturally-conforming foods? Are we to conclude that our society will always be divided by race and ethnicity? Is that how it’s to be forever after? Do the social justice scolds see no future where people not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character? Is MLK’s dream never to be?

Second, why pick cauliflower? Is it presumably European, even though its origins trace to wild cabbage in Asia Minor? Is it because, dare I say, it’s white, and she’s trying to align it with the “colonial white oppressor” narrative that’s part and parcel of leftist academia’s persistent efforts at exacerbating racial and ethnic divisiveness? How does that jibe with her assertion that she and her fellow folks of Puerto Rican ancestry “are black; we are indigenous; we are Spanish; we are European?”

Please – don’t engage in perpetual ethnic distinctions and divisiveness while asserting a message of multicultural unity.

Finally, let’s ponder whether tropical yuca and other warm-climate produce would even survive, let alone thrive, in a New York City urban garden.

Oh, wait, let’s not bother. AOC clearly believes that things can be miracled into being they way she wants. She made some noises about how it shouldn’t matter that it’s difficult, because, I suppose, difficulty is merely a matter of political will, not a reflection of the added costs in time and resources. She’s said the same sort of thing about the GND, and waves off the questions of costs with “you just pay for it.”

Instead, let’s contemplate the colonialist attitude associated with asserting that yuca be grown in a northern clime. If AOC demands that we continue to differentiate people based on their ethnic heritage, doesn’t that mean that anyone who’s not of a certain place is an invader. Never mind, bigotry is one-directional, they tell us.

This modern crop of progressives are obsessed with identity, as much as (or, perhaps even more than) they are obsessed with other people’s money. That obsession, sadly, ends at the border. They really don’t give a crap about the poor in other lands, other than the occasional lip service for virtue-signal (see: comments about foreign sweat shops). Progressive opposition to GMO crops costs hundreds of thousands of lives every year, ditto for continued opposition to DDT. But, instead of revisiting these attitudes, instead of actually respecting ‘science’ as they claim, they latch onto protests against blue jeans, because Levis makes them in plants powered by coal. Yes, coal energy is a problem, but not for the reasons our Greens think. Airborne particulates are a FAR bigger health risk to the populations of those nations than coal’s carbon emissions are. Both we and they would benefit greatly if we exported natural gas to them, and, there’s the bonus that natural gas produces a quarter the atmospheric carbon per unit energy than coal does.

Can’t have that, though. It might undermine their relentless advocacy of solar and wind, as would nuclear power. In their actions, they demonstrate that they care less about getting it right than in winning the fight. Showing, yet again, that they really don’t care about improving the lot of the world’s poor, who are overwhelmingly people of color. No, the only PoC they care about are those whose votes will put and keep them in power… and even then, the care they show is mostly a means to that power.

Want to help the poor? All the poor, both within our borders and without? The answer is clear, as the great Milton Friedman explained to Phil Donahue:

The great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn’t construct his theory under order from a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn’t revolutionize the automobile industry that way.

In the only cases in which the masses have escaped from the kind of grinding poverty you’re talking about – the only cases in recorded history – are where they have had capitalism and largely free trade.

If you want to know where the masses are worst off, it’s exactly in the kinds of societies that depart from that. So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear that there is no alternative way so far discovered of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free enterprise system.

The problem is, a free enterprise system does not foster the exploitation of identity politics in pursuit of power. It doesn’t offer the AOCs opportunities to divide and derogate, and it doesn’t give the control that big-government types so desperately crave. It’s all about power, power over other people’s lives, and power over the fruit of other people’s labor. It’s only when we come to terms with this – that every big-government type, whether socialist, soft-socialist, communist, fascist, or what have you, is motivated not by altruism and the desire to make things better, but by personal lust for power, in order to force their views, policies, and whims on the rest of us.

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.


Like this post?