The left continues to try to renovate Van Jones' reputation. Jones, the former green jobs czar who disappeared from the White House in a late-night resignation after it was revealed he had signed a 9/11 Truther petition, is one of the headliners at the Hamptons Institute gathering of lefties this weekend. Jones joins liberal financier George Soros and Craigslist founder Craig Newmark for "a weekend summer symposium gathering some of the greatest minds in the arts, the economy, and the media" this coming weekend. To prep for the event, Jones was interviewed by New Deal 2.0 and he responded predictably - touting massive government spending on eco-goodies and a higher cost for energy. According to Jones, "Higher energy costs are unavoidable in all future scenarios." He tried to spin that cost as minor as long as America acts now, claiming it would be "the equivalent of a postage stamp a day for each American." It sounds a lot worse after you do the math and come up with $50 billion. He doesn't stop at spending $50 billion though. "Government needs to do two things: put a price on carbon and invest heavily in new technologies." Then the numbers get higher. "The President's recovery package (so-called "stimulus" package) put $80 billion on the table for investment; that was a good start. Dramatically more is necessary." So how much is "dramatically more" than $80 billion? After the $787 billion stimulus bill, most Americans would believe anything. Of course, Jones loves hyperbole like the other climate change prophets. "If we do nothing, the ensuing climate catastrophe will wreck our economy - including wreaking havoc on our food production systems. All credible scientists agree on this point." The event is sponsored by the Roosevelt Institute, which describes itself as "carrying forward the legacy, values, and spirit of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt." It "hopes to contribute to bold, progressive change over a generation." Some other highlights from the Van Jones interview include:
- "[T]he government should also directly employ people to do things like coastal restoration, land restoration, reforestation and similar programs that absorb carbon and protect America's beauty."
- Jones called for at least a doubling of renewable energy from its current 10 percent level. "We need to aim high - in the area of 20-25 percent - to create the urgent demand for new technologies, manufacturing plants and green jobs."