Alexandria Ocasio Cortez has proposed a Green New Deal and it's simply batshit. She wants to replace all gas vehicles with electric, replace all power generation with wind and solar, make all buildings energy efficient, etc. This will cost tens of trillions of dollars, and will not generate sufficient economic returns to even pay the interest payments. But, it is a useful meme for us to create our own Green New Deal that will actually grow the economy.
Plank one: Vacuum tube rail. AOC wants to build high-speed rail to replace air travel. That's actually not a bad idea, but for a small increase in price, we can get vacuum tube rail (like hyperloop) that goes 4-5 times faster (150 mph vs. 6-800 mph) and will actually compete with air travel due to its higher speed and much lower cost.
At a cost of about $10-15 million per mile, we can get to all our large cities for about $1-200 billion, and replicate the entire interstate highway (50,000 miles) for $500-750 billion. Current average cost of a flight is about $400, cost to take a hyperloop will be about $20, so we're talking about a 95% reduction in the cost of travel. Total amount spent on domestic air travel is about $300 million, so we're looking at (with an extremely conservative estimate) an investment of $750 billion that returns $285 billion per year. In reality, the amount of travel will increase dramatically as the cost goes down, and we don't need to build that much track to effectively cover all major and medium population centers.
Plank two: molten salt reactors. Nuclear power releases no carbon or air pollution, and even though climate change is mostly a meme, it's a useful meme for us because nuclear power will be much cheaper than even fossil fuels once we actually start to build it. Molten salt reactors are much safer than current reactor designs, as they cannot melt down. They are much more efficient, and require far less shielding (one of the major costs associated with older designs) making it realistic to expect MSRs to get below half the cost of coal once economies of scale are achieved. If thorium is used as the fuel, proliferation concerns are dramatically reduced, and there is an abundance of easily accessible fuel from processing thorium out of coal that is being burned.
Plank three:NAWAPA. The North American Water and Power Alliance was a proposal drafted by the Army Corps of Engineers to build a series of canals, lakes, and dams to bring the abundance of water currently in remote areas of Alaska and Canada to water-starved areas of the United States.
For the United States, the benefits of the upgraded NAWAPA proposal are virtually unlimited. The full-scale project now promises 150 million acre-feet of water per year—a 50 percent increase in the present consumption of 300 million acre-feet yearly. Some 55,000 megawatts per year of surplus electric power would be provided, nearly doubling present U. S. hydroelectric capacity of 70,000 megawatts. Nearly 50 million more acres of irrigable land will become available, almost doubling irrigated acreage west of the Mississippi.
It is more difficult to give a “dollars and cents“ estimate of NAWAPA‘s annual benefit to American industry, agriculture, workers and consumers; but one respected congressional supporter of the original NAWAPA plan reported it would increase the annual national income from agriculture, livestock, mining, and manufacturing by approximately $30 billion.
Instead of raging against the commies, let's use their meme magic against them and actually accomplish something.