Legislators Admit Climate “Solutions” Will Bring Economic “Chaos”

February 3, 2020

By Rob Roper

I have been closely following the testimony regarding the Global Warming Solutions Act, currently under debate in the House Energy & Technology Committee. Last week brought some unexpected honesty and clarity to the issue. Two students from the Vermont Youth Lobby came to advocate in favor of the bill, which would make mandatory the greenhouse gas emission reduction goals set out in statute. If the state fails to meet those goals under the proposed law, which it will, anyone could bring legal action to force compliance through the courts.

And here was the moment of honesty: Rep. Robin Chesnut-Tangerman (P-Middletown Springs) asked the kids how much “chaos” they would be willing to tolerate during a transition to a green economy. When the young lady in the witness chair asked for clarification that the “chaos” Chesnut-Tangerman was referring to was economic chaos, not environmental chaos, the Progressive Rep. replied, “They will not be mutually exclusive.” An admission that the policies these folks want to inflict on their constituents will result in economic chaos. Committee Chair Tim Briglin (D-Norwich) acknowledged that the economic disruption brought about by these policies would be significant.

And the moment of clarity came, ironically, with the most unclear spewing of word-vomit I think I’ve ever witnessed. One of the students, answering a question from Rep. Scott Campbell (D-St. Johnsbury) about how much economic chaos/personal sacrifice he’d be willing to put up with, responded with the following:

“For me, um, quantifying that is really hard because of the perspective. The perspective for me is, like Evelyn [the other student testifying] said, it’s all or nothing, so whether or not I’m going to be filling up my gas tank, or whether or not I can drive four hundred miles on a tank instead of five hundred, um, it’s meaningless to me because I’d rather drive four hundred miles than have an earth that’s uninhabitable. I’d rather drive four hundred miles and not be able to fill up my gas tank. I’d rather be composting and focusing on that. Whatever that myriad of things is — not having access to natural gas — I’m willing to suffer those consequences, and I can’t quantify that because I understand the perspective is — it’s that or it’s nothing. Like Evelyn said, it’s all or nothing and with that in mind I think that’s what allows us to look past the shortcomings, the chaos, and to really just focus on managing it because that’s all we have.”

What does that mean? Your guess is as good as mine.

I understand that these are young kids and they are being largely manipulated by powerful special interests in this process, but it is pretty clear from this string of nonsense that they have no idea what it is they’re advocating for, or what the consequences will actually be if they succeed in getting what they ostensibly want. Driving 400 miles instead of 500 miles represents an all or nothing sacrifice to save the planet? Even if you throw in that little bit of composting, you’re not even in the universe of what would be required to achieve these goals. Giving up your driver’s license entirely would be a start. Limit your cell phone charging to enough for just one hour a day of screen time might be helpful. None at all would be even better! But no one on the committee thought to mention or inquire about such potential sacrifices. Let’s not get these kids thinking too much, after all.

Matt Cota of the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association, however, has given some serious thought to what the economic chaos could look like should the Global Warming Solutions Act pass, and here’s what he had to say:

“We have real fears. ‘Swift and decisive action’ in five years [the timeline set out in the GWSA to achieve reductions GHG reductions to 25% below 1990 levels] is right now is unknowable to us, and I can only make assumptions to what it could be. And it could be, possibly, depending upon which lawyer you talk to (and I’m not a lawyer), bans on combustion, bans on burners and boilers and furnaces that use fossil fuels, bans on vehicles that consume fossil fuels. It could be new fees or fines associated with combustion of fossil fuels. I don’t know. I don’t know what ‘swift and decisive action’ is in five years when it’s mandated by a judge.”

Neither do the people who will likely vote in favor of this bill. But, whatever it is, you can count on economic chaos to be the result.

Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute. 

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Virginia Wing February 4, 2020 at 12:38 am

Finally, someone who is challenging this totally absurd, panic-inducing climate solutions rhetoric!! I feel encouraged to know some of our legislators are standing up to all the doom and gloom these people (young and old alike) are trying to spread with no thought of the repercussions to our society. And, as we can see from this article, they have no real thought of how we are to survive in real life if their policies are put into effect. Words, words, words… I hope to hear of more legislators standing up to these ideas. I believe that Mr. Cota of the VT Fuel Dealers Assoc. expresses my feelings perfectly when he says that “WE HAVE REAL FEARS” to these proposed policies!! Common sense, please…

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Rachel Williams February 4, 2020 at 11:20 am

It wasn’t clear to me if anyone on the Committee is actually challenging GWSA. Aren’t Chester-Tangerman and Briglin supporters, who happened to let slip the veil, exposing the truth that chaos will result with this foolish bill? I pray these cracks in the façade of the “Climate Emergency” will lead to more truth and sanity. I am continually flabbergasted by the non-sensical, if not suicidal bills they put forward and pass that depresses our economy bit by bit driving people and businesses out of the state. There is no common sense in the agendas of the super majority in Montpelier, and they clearly are not working for the citizens of Vermont, but rather they are riding on the coat tails of the National Progressive/Socialist agenda.

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Rachel Williams February 4, 2020 at 1:14 am

I actually understood what the young man was saying – based on the enormous and evil lie he’s been told, that the world will end in a dozen years if drastic measures are not taken – he’s willing to drive an electric car that won’t take him as far on a charge as a gas powered car. That’s what he means by all or nothing. The propagandists have done their job well.

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Christin Hale February 4, 2020 at 8:47 pm

Except he won’t be able to afford it because he won’t have a job. Maybe Bernie will hand out free cars.

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Rachel Williams February 5, 2020 at 1:47 am

I found a YouTube video that describes what these kinds of policies look like when implemented. Bottom line – much more expensive and time consuming. Tony Heller does the math: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72tjqfzqlHA

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J Paul Giuliani February 8, 2020 at 1:30 am

It should be obvious to even a casual observer that Evelyn and her unnamed kindred spirit are the products of what passes as public education, but really is compulsory indoctrination. Empirical inquiry and rational analysis gives way to theory de jour, and the taxpayer-supported pied pipers in this exercise give themselves collective onanistic congratulations for “educating each” the kids in their charge.

From what I have been able to discern, the only tangible benefit to be derived from the enactment of TCI and GWSA will be the ability of Todd and Muffy to drive their Tesla their home in Charlotte to their sailboat In Shelburne – at the expense of some working stiff in Lunenburg who is busting his ass to support a wife and a couple of kids .

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Tom Koch February 8, 2020 at 12:28 pm

Twelve years until the earth self-destructs? I think that was first said about two years ago, so now we’re down to ten! I hope I’m still around in ten years so I can hear what all the panic mongers say then!

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gdp February 8, 2020 at 4:08 pm

Like H868, GWSA more climate clap-trap. Any proposed measure which sanctions without specifying actual substantial wrong doing or harm, violates due process of law and is void ab initio. This stuff should never make it to the floor of the legislature. Violates property rights and separations of power. The fact that it does, demonstrates legislative incompetence. Like Jacobin France, they think they can do anything they imagine, harming the polity they are sworn to protect, if only in pursuit of earthly delusion. Will we not rid ourselves of these homophobic earth worshipers?

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Mike February 9, 2020 at 4:41 pm

Rob, the way these folks think if a proposed piece of legislation will screw things up, that in itself is sufficient reason to vote for it. 90% or more of these folks either have not been exposed the Economics 101 or have never heard of it. Sad commentary, but unfortunately close to reality.

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