Green Party presidential long-shot, Jill Stein, recently told the Washington Post that she proposes “to end all use of coal, oil, gasoline and nuclear power by 2030,” a plan the Post called “poorly formed and wildly impractical.”
Stein defended her wildly impractical “Green New Deal” by saying it would actually improve the nation’s health. Her evidence? After the collapse of the Soviet Union cut off the steady supply of oil and gas to Cuba, Cubans quit smoking, stopped drinking alcohol, and lost weight … because their economy collapsed.
According to this 2013 article in The Atlantic cited by the Post, “Gasoline quickly became unobtainable by ordinary citizens in Cuba, and mechanized agriculture and food distribution systems all but collapsed. … Cuba teetered on the brink of famine. Cubans survived by drinking sugared water, and eating anything they could get their hands on, including domestic pets and the animals in the Havana Zoo.”
So yeah, the lack of oil and gas crashed their economy which led to widespread starvation and involuntary “clean living” and ultimately improved their health. But it seems like a pretty high price to pay to get back in shape.
And if Stein and the Keep it in the Ground folks ever got their way, the overall effect on the nation’s health would be catastrophic since modern health care as we know if would literally cease to exist without the countless medical products that depend on petrochemicals for their very existence.