When Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez first released her Green New Deal, she also posted a now-deleted FAQ on her congressional website that said something about eliminating air travel.
“We set a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, in 10 years because we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast…” it clearly stated.
Upon learning that, Sen Mazie Hirono’s (D-Hi.) reaction last month was to laugh and say, “That would be pretty hard for Hawaii.”
That was quite the understatement. But now, weeks later, she’s insisting that Ocasio-Cortez’ vast, sweeping Green New Deal is not crazy. The crazy people, she said, are the ones opposing it.
On Monday, Hirono was asked to clarify her position on the Green New Deal in regards to eliminating air travel during an appearance on MSNBC with anchor Andrea Mitchell.
Quoting herself again saying “that would be pretty hard for Hawaii,” Hirono countered herself by explaining that “what the Green New Deal stands for is a recognition that climate change is happening, not sticking our head in the sand.”
“So, what’s really crazy is Trump and all his minions and his ilk thinking that global warming and climate change is not happening, and they’re rather just sticking their heads in the sand,” she argued.
So...eliminating air travel to Hawaii isn’t crazy? Please clarify.
“They offer absolutely zero in terms of what they would propose, so all they can do is mock and attack, and I think that is a crazy position,” Hirono concluded.
Ocasio-Cortez’ camp has insisted that the Green New Deal FAQ is not the same thing as the Green New Deal itself, even though the FAQ was created to go with the plan.
While not in the Green New Deal resolution itself, the FAQ does include the getting-rid-of-airplanes line as well as a section that says the goal is to “build out high-speed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary.” Even if it was mistakenly released, it still shows what was on the minds of the Green New Deal’s creators at some point.
Ocasio-Cortez does not appear to have offered any further clarity.
Since building a railroad to Hawaii is even less feasible than at least some of the goals stated in the Green New Deal, boat travel would be the natural replacement for air travel. It takes about four to six days to get to Hawaii by boat from the West Coast, depending on the weather and the type of vessel. And that’s with fossil fuel powered boats.
Over 20 percent of Hawaii’s economy relies on tourism, which would certainly take a huge hit if five hours of air travel was increased to five days of water travel and if it took longer for travelers to get to the boats on the West Coast due to travel across the U.S. being slowed from air travel to high-speed rail travel.
Meanwhile, Ocasio-Cortez admitted on Saturday that she still flies in fossil fuel burning airplanes despite her insistence that we need to eliminate gas-powered transportation as soon as possible to save the planet.
In other news, Southwest Airlines announced on Monday that they are finally beginning service to Hawaii, according to CNN. As an introductory promotion, the airline is offering one-way tickets for as low as $49 from Oakland or San Jose to Honolulu or Kahului.
Better get there before the Green New Deal supporters take over.