Perhaps the oddest reaction to the financial meltdown and looming recession comes from environmental activists and bureaucrats who see it as a rationale to transform the economy along green lines. They argue that the old brown economy has shown itself to have reached the point where it no longer generates wealth, and that it is time for a paradigm shift towards an environmentally sustainable economy. For a description of this agenda, check out the UN’s Global Green New Deal.

To listen to them, the economic problems have little to do with things like Fannie or Freddie or policies pushing subprime mortgages in a housing market that was bound to cool. No, the slump was caused by too many coal-fired power plants and not enough wind turbines, too much gasoline and not enough cellulosic ethanol, and a severe lack of organic foods and recycling programs.

The general idea is that economic growth and prosperity will be restored by heavy handed federal mandates and subsidies for a bunch of politically correct alternatives that couldn’t survive without massive handouts. This bizarre opportunism would be funny if were knew that the new Congress and President won’t take it seriously, but they very likely will.