The Corner

Elections

Biden Taps Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Craft Climate-Change Policy

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D, N.Y.) and Senator Ed Markey (D, Mass.) at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., February 7, 2019 (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

In an effort to repair the frayed relationship among Democratic Party factions, Joe Biden has created something of a Menshevik–Bolshevik “campaign unity task force” to explore policy initiatives on issues like climate change.

When I say “Menshevik–Bolshevik,” I’m only being slightly hyperbolic. Biden has tapped Trotskyite Bernie Sanders — a man who wants to prosecute “fossil-fuel executives” for climate change, and nationalize then eliminate oil production — to lead these efforts. Bernie, in turn, has picked Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to be the co-chair of climate-change committee.

The last time AOC offered her ideas on mitigating carbon emissions, she proposed the elimination of all fossil-fuel energy, all nuclear energy, 99 percent of all “combustion-engine vehicle[s]” — or most transportation outside of roller skates and sailboats — and all meat, within ten years. Her plan called for the retrofitting of every building in the entire country with “state-of-the-art energy efficiency”; a government-guaranteed “family-sustaining wage, family and medical leave, vacations, and retirement security”; a free education for life; “healthy food” to every American; and “economic security” for all who are “unable or unwilling” to work.

The only thing more irrational than her authoritarian impulse is her complete disregard for the basic laws of economics.

If you’re going to align yourself with the most radical elements of American politics, you should be held accountable. Someone might ask Biden, who predominantly speaks about climate change in platitudes, which of Ocasio-Cortez’s many ideas makes her an ideal person to craft policy?

Biden has voiced support for a national fracking ban, which would not only decimate natural-gas production and spike energy prices — the United States is the top producer of natural gas in the world — but hurt efforts to diminish carbon emissions. That’s not even to mention the thousands of jobs that would be lost.

Now, I was somewhat skeptical Biden will hold this position through the general election, but judging from his committee hires, a fracking ban might be the most moderate Democratic policy position we can hope for.

Most Popular

History

Thanksgiving Is Not a Lie

We live in a time of heedless iconoclasm, and so one of the country’s oldest traditions is under assault. Thanksgiving is increasingly portrayed as, at best, based on falsehoods and, at worst, a whitewash of genocide against Native Americans. The New York Times ran a piece the other day titled, “The ... Read More
History

Thanksgiving Is Not a Lie

We live in a time of heedless iconoclasm, and so one of the country’s oldest traditions is under assault. Thanksgiving is increasingly portrayed as, at best, based on falsehoods and, at worst, a whitewash of genocide against Native Americans. The New York Times ran a piece the other day titled, “The ... Read More
Culture

On Being Grateful

My mother always enjoyed making Thanksgiving dinner. She took a traditional Southern woman’s pride in being a good cook, following her mother’s recipes, and my family made a rare display of kindness by declining to inform her that she was a fairly dreadful cook, one whose kitchen alchemy on the electric range ... Read More
Culture

On Being Grateful

My mother always enjoyed making Thanksgiving dinner. She took a traditional Southern woman’s pride in being a good cook, following her mother’s recipes, and my family made a rare display of kindness by declining to inform her that she was a fairly dreadful cook, one whose kitchen alchemy on the electric range ... Read More
U.S.

Gratitude: What We Owe to Our Country

Editor’s Note: The following essay by National Review founder William F. Buckley comes from the first chapter of his 1990 book, Gratitude: Reflections on What We Owe to Our Country. I have always thought Anatole France’s story of the juggler to be one of enduring moral resonance. This is the arresting and ... Read More
U.S.

Gratitude: What We Owe to Our Country

Editor’s Note: The following essay by National Review founder William F. Buckley comes from the first chapter of his 1990 book, Gratitude: Reflections on What We Owe to Our Country. I have always thought Anatole France’s story of the juggler to be one of enduring moral resonance. This is the arresting and ... Read More
Film & TV

Hillbilly Elegy: Ron Howard’s Inverted Mayberry

Hollywood knows two registers when it comes to the white working class (WWC): sentimentalizing and condescending. WWCs are either cute, neighborly, and folksy, or they constitute a tawdry, alien life form. There are 130 million WWCs in our country, and yet nobody in Hollywood has the slightest grasp of them. With ... Read More
Film & TV

Hillbilly Elegy: Ron Howard’s Inverted Mayberry

Hollywood knows two registers when it comes to the white working class (WWC): sentimentalizing and condescending. WWCs are either cute, neighborly, and folksy, or they constitute a tawdry, alien life form. There are 130 million WWCs in our country, and yet nobody in Hollywood has the slightest grasp of them. With ... Read More
U.S.

Raise the Entrance Fees for Our National Parks

In my role as your go-to purveyor of unpopular opinions, I offer this: We should jack up the entrance fees for our national parks — a lot. One of the many disappointments of the Trump administration is that in spite of his DGAF posturing, Donald Trump has always been a slave to public opinion, which made his ... Read More
U.S.

Raise the Entrance Fees for Our National Parks

In my role as your go-to purveyor of unpopular opinions, I offer this: We should jack up the entrance fees for our national parks — a lot. One of the many disappointments of the Trump administration is that in spite of his DGAF posturing, Donald Trump has always been a slave to public opinion, which made his ... Read More