Talk about feeling the Bern — the socialist candidate just told millions of workers that their companies and their jobs and their cars can go to hell.
During a speech Saturday in South Carolina, Sen. Bernie Sanders launched into a harangue against political donations to conservative and libertarian causes from people like the Koch brothers and other energy-industry groups. According to a report from The Hill, Sanders said that climate change allegedly induced by carbon emissions “is already causing devastating problems all over this world.”
Said Sanders: “To hell with the fossil fuel industry. Worry more about your children and your grandchildren than your campaign contributions.”
Earlier this week Sanders blamed global warming for spurring the rise of Islamic State, and at the last Democrat debate he insisted that global warming is “absolutely” a greater threat to the world than terrorism. At least he’s staying on message.
So what does it mean that Sanders wants the fossil fuel industry to go to hell? I take that to imply that he wants all the companies that deal with fossil fuels to go to hell. And he wants all the jobs provided by those companies to go to hell. And all the capital. And all the modern conveniences enabled by those fossil fuels. All to hell.
Just to show what a big deal this is, let’s itemize all the fossil fuel stuff that Sanders wants to send to hell.
First the jobs. There’s about 150 million people employed in this country (full breakdown from the Bureau of Labor Statistics here). But Sanders wants about 10% of those jobs directly dependent upon fossil fuels to go to hell.
To hell with 1 million jobs in the mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction industries.
To hell with another 200,000 jobs for people who produce products out of coal and petroleum — like gasoline.
To hell with about 630,000 jobs selling petroleum products or working at gas stations.
To hell with 7.6 million jobs in transportation and utilities, including 1.9 million who work in truck transportation and 530,000 in air transportation and 260,000 in rail transportation.
To hell with 625,000 jobs in electric power generation, transmission and distribution.
And to hell with the 1.275 million jobs in motor vehicle manufacturing.
So much for creating a socialist workers’ paradise. If there are any workers who need someone like Sanders to stick up for them it’s the coal miners and the roughnecks on oil drilling rigs who have seen their jobs disappearing in the past year. Why would they even consider voting for a guy who thinks their entire industry ought to go to hell?
He’s not going to get much support from green energy workers, because there simply aren’t many — less than 6,000 work installing solar panel installers in the United States.
And he might argue that he really doesn’t want to send all those auto worker jobs to hell. Because: electric cars! But don’t buy that. There are more than 250 million registered vehicles in the United States, and because they run almost entirely on fossil fuels, Sanders must want to at least render them inoperable, if not send them straight to hell.
Don’t think Sanders can find an electric car loophole either. There are about 400,000 plug-in cars on American roads (about 0.2% of all vehicles), but they are ultimately powered by fossil fuels as well — because that’s what we use to make their electricity.
Yep, I guess Sanders wants to send the power plants that generate two-thirds of our electricity to hell. America still relies on coal for 39% of our electricity generation. Natural gas is the runner up with 27%. Send ‘em to hell. Look at Venezuela — they’re loving their socialist paradise and their electricity blackouts.
Sanders says he wants to power America with renewables. Good luck with that. Renewable energy sources provide just 13% of our total electricity supply. Hydropower leads the way with 6%, followed by wind with 4.4%, biomass 1.7%, and solar a measly 0.4%.
By all means, let’s cover the hillsides with wind turbines and cover the roofs with solar panels. Let’s figure out how to generate electricity from ocean waves and make gasoline out of algae. And let’s do it fast, because once Sanders sends all our fossil fuel industries to hell most Americans who already can’t afford solar panels will be chopping down trees like crazy to heat our homes and killing whales to provide oil for our lamps. We’ll huddle around our beeswax candles waiting for the bike messenger to come from the next town with news of who President Sanders is sending to hell next.
There won’t be much left of America after all our fossil fuels are sent to hell, but our carbon emissions will sure be low. And that’s what counts.