A Green New Deal: Is This the Only Climate Plan that Makes Sense?

November 15, 2018

Scary ideas

Quartz:

“We need more environmental hardliners in Congress,” she told In These Times magazine earlier this week. “We need a Marshall Plan for renewable energy in the United States. The idea that the Democratic Party needs to be moderate is what’s holding us back on this.”

Ocasio-Cortez wants to make the US run 100% on renewable energy by 2035. Scientists warn that the window of opportunity for staving off dangerous levels of climate change is rapidly closing, and dramatically (and quickly) reducing emissions is the most direct route to avoiding potential environmental catastrophe. Rapidly decarbonizing the US economy by completely shifting to renewables is the best and maybe only way to actually make a difference in climate-change mitigation; any milder approach will almost certainly lead us to miss that window.

The Huffington Post points out that Ocasio-Cortez’s 100%-renewable plan puts her in agreement with a coalition of US mayors who have committed to the goal of complete decarbonization within their own cities. But Ocasio-Cortez, who has an economics degree, also couples that plank with an economic plan she is calling the Green New Deal.

“The Green New Deal we are proposing will be similar in scale to the mobilization efforts seen in World War II or the Marshall Plan,” she told the Huffington Post. In short, Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal would temporarily redirect the US economy towards avoiding catastrophic climate change. “We must again invest in the development, manufacturing, deployment, and distribution of energy, but this time green energy,” she said.

Huffington Post:

Voters who cast ballots in the midterm elections overwhelmingly support giving unemployed Americans green jobs and charging companies pollution fees for greenhouse gases, a new poll found.

In a nationwide YouGov survey, 38 percent of respondents said they “strongly” support giving any unemployed American who wants one a job “building energy-efficient infrastructure.” Forty-six percent said they strongly support levying pollution fees on “companies that emit high levels of greenhouse gases.”

Add in the people who said they “somewhat” back such policies, and the support levels surge to 66 percent for both ideas. Subtract those who somewhat or strongly oppose the policies, and the net support for a polluter fee came to 48 percent, and the net support for such green jobs came to 54 percent.

The survey of 3,215 people who said they’d voted in the midterms, conducted between Oct. 27 and Nov. 7, found that 22 percent neither supported nor opposed the green jobs idea or didn’t know. That figure was 16 percent for the polluter fees.

Democrats were more likely to back both ideas. Seventy-five strongly supported a polluter fee and 56 percent favored the green jobs proposal ― numbers that jump to 90 percent and 83 percent, respectively, when those who somewhat support the policies are added.

Just 15 percent of Republicans strongly supported a polluter fee and 18 percent felt similarly about green jobs. But much larger percentages somewhat backed the ideas. In total, 40 percent of Republicans expressed at least some support for a polluter fee and 48 percent at least somewhat endorsed the green jobs policy.

“It’s encouraging that 40 percent of Republicans would support and only 36 percent would oppose a polluter fee,” said former Rep. Bob Inglis (R-S.C.), now the executive director of RepublicEn, a group that urges Republicans to support a carbon tax.

As for the jobs plan, Inglis said, “Given that we are at or near full employment, the green jobs concept seems a bit distant from our current reality.”

Advertisements

19 Responses to “A Green New Deal: Is This the Only Climate Plan that Makes Sense?”

  1. dumboldguy Says:

    Ocasio-Cortez for President in 2020! Wait!—-she’ll only be 31 in 2020—-make that O-C for President in 2024! (Let’s hope the Green New Deal arrives in time to make a difference).

  2. ecoquant Says:

    As for the jobs plan, Inglis said, “Given that we are at or near full employment, the green jobs concept seems a bit distant from our current reality.”

    It’s pretty clear an abrupt move away from fossil fuels and their combustion technology will result in job losses in primary and secondary industries. Accordingly there will need to be a replacement. Green jobs are it.

  3. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    I generally think of myself as progressive, but the “free college” seems to be a bridge too far. There’s a wide range between the crippling debt of today’s college costs and free college. Make it much more affordable, certainly, but I prefer it if the students have at least some skin in the game.

    • Abel Adamski Says:

      Realistically it would end up not absolutely free, however for interest, I believe American Students can get free college/university in Germany.
      With Free education, you still need to live and pay for text books and student requisites, so still skin in the game

  4. mboli Says:

    Ocasio-Cortez strikes me as a policy airhead. Maybe she is good at sloganeering. Which is OK, because Democrats have been far outgunned in steering the public debate. But I hope she has the good sense to know her own limitations and rely on grounded policy experts when it comes to legislating a “green new deal”, and not become wedded to whatever hooey the speechwriters produce.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      You’ve been awfully cranky lately. She hasn’t even taken office yet and you’re judging her and “predicting” her behavior? DO remember that what politicians do and say to get elected often changes once they succeed, although we can hop that she doesn’t back off too much from her excellent green ideas

      As far as “knowing limitations and relying on grounded policy experts”, that’s a message you should be delivering to the Dumpster Fire in the Offal Office, not to O-C.


  5. […] via A Green New Deal: Is This the Only Climate Plan that Makes Sense? — Climate Denial Crock of the We… […]


  6. The Atlantic had an interesting article on Ocasio-Cortez and the Green New Deal. I linked to it on my blog: https://erdman31.com/2018/12/05/ocasio-cortezs-green-new-deal-is-a-winning-climate-strategy-the-atlantic/

    I think the Green New Deal has a lot of promise, along with Medicare-for-All, in many ways, but it seems to be a political winner, something that’s gaining momentum. The rhetoric is more like FDR and less like the conservative and technocratic policies of old Dems like Obama and the Clintons.

  7. ecoquant Says:

    Friday or Saturday I came across this piece in The Atlantic. In part, it cites an open letter by a large number of progressive environmental organizations, including some associated with faith movements. It describes an agenda for action on climate.

    Unfortunately, it appears uninformed by the realities of science, engineering, and economic transitions. Setting aside a new kind of nuclear power, the agenda includes:

    [W]e will vigorously oppose any legislation that: … (3) promotes corporate schemes that place profits over community burdens and benefits, including market-based mechanisms and technology options such as carbon and emissions trading and offsets, carbon capture and storage, nuclear power, waste-to-energy and biomass energy…

    (I added emphasis.)

    Now, “carbon capture and storage” can mean different things, but if the authors don’t know the distinction between stack capture and storage and clear air capture and storage, that in itself is problematic. Assuming they do, I take this to mean they are opposed to all.

    Achieving the drawdown they seem to seek with the goal of <+1.5C they seem to seek is tough, even if all emissions were stopped on a dime. It cannot be down with natural measures alone (estimates of no more than 30% that way, references available), and these themselves need to be weighed carefully, because they have ecosystem and albedo implications. Furthermore, there are lags in systems, these are unavoidable, and policy ought to recognize their reality. But that doesn't seem to be recognized.

    Looks to me like this is a group which is trying to hijack the urgency of the climate emergency to advance their own set of objectives.

    Now, I don't know what the relationship is between this large group and the remaining Green New Deal people. It's not monolithic, I'm sure. But, as I see it, hastily putting forward a program and plan without studying its mechanics is not a good way to begin.

    And even the measures proposed will need corporate skill and organization.

    I can't support any program which isn't based upon evidence, and find this as a key proposal from the Green New Deal disheartening.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Looks to me like ecoquack is suffering from the engineer’s typical inability to understand the English language, as well as the engineer’s tendency to focus on technology as the answer to all human problems.

      Ecoquack has cherry-picked and then badly misrepresented the contents of the open letter. Here’s the cherry-picked paragraph, and plucking (3) out of context and leaving off the last sentence about “fossil fuel companies paying their fair share” is misleading and dishonest, as is all his maundering BS and “opinionizing” in the remainder of his comment

      “Further, we will vigorously oppose any legislation that: (1) rolls back existing environmental, health, and other protections, (2) protects fossil fuel and other dirty energy polluters from liability, or (3) promotes corporate schemes that place profits over community burdens and benefits, including market-based mechanisms and technology options such as carbon and emissions trading and offsets, carbon capture and storage, nuclear power, waste-to-energy and biomass energy. Fossil fuel companies should pay their fair share for damages caused by climate change, rather than shifting those costs to taxpayers”.

      If ecoquack could climb out of his engineer’s silo and really see what is being said, he would realize that the key words are OPPOSE CORPORATE SCHEMES THAT PLACE PROFITS OVER COMMUNITY BENEFITS, INCLUDING MARKET BASED MECHANISMS.

      Looks to me like ecoquack is a trying to hijack the urgency of the climate emergency to advance his own set of objectives.

      • ecoquant Says:

        @dumboldguy,

        Characterize it as silo or not, touched up with the usual spittle put on your opinions of my comments, but, as important as the other issues wrapped up in the open letter are on their own, I don’t see what they have to do with mitigating climate change.

        As I have remarked in many places, the probability of achieving an event X, or P(X) is necessarily no smaller than the probability of X given event Y, for any Y. So, making the probability of mitigating climate change, P(X) conditional upon a bunch of other events, Y, just means that X will be less likely to happen, because, most of the time, P(x) > P(X|Y). [Sorry, don’t know if LaTeX works here.]

        To me this means, that the proponents for these Y don’t really believe that climate change will have serious repercussions, because if they did they would not give up P(X) – P(X|Y) probability of fixing it.

        This is why, at my blog, I have called this attitude one of liberal climate deniers. That’s probably wrong, and it should be liberal climate luckwarmers, but it isn’t that they don’t accept the reality of climate change, they think it’ll be modest enough to play games with how quickly it should be mitigated.

        And, no, I don’t agree I misrepresented, because you aren’t going to get Carbon capture and storage without significant help from large scale corporations. What do they suggest, that everyone in the United States sprinkle biochar on their yards?

        • dumboldguy Says:

          There is no spittle on my observations about your comments, Quacky. They are made with dry mouth from the top of MY tall and broad silo, which vantage point has been informed by decades of reading in many areas beyond the science I studied for my graduate and undergraduate degrees. Want my reading list?

          You again miss the point, just as the author of the Atlantic piece did. It’s not about mitigating climate change and competing “technologies”, it’s about fighting the politicians and so-called “capitalists” that want to prolong the system that gave us climate change in the first place. If we can’t break their stranglehold on what does or doesn’t get done, we are going nowhere.

          And why do you again insist on throwing more maundering BS and self-admiration into your comment? We don’t give a rodent’s rear end that you know LaTeX and use it to crap up what could be said clearly in plain English—-it proves my point about your engineer’s cluelessness about communication.

          And please don’t mention YOUR BLOG here again—-as I’ve said here before, it is not a site worth visiting except to view your self-admiration and egotism. Anyone who doesn’t agree with what they see there will be ignored or quickly banned if they persist.

          You don’t agree you misrepresented, because “you aren’t going to get Carbon capture and storage without significant help from large scale corporations”?.

          Really? Only if the LSC can make a profit from it, which is the open letter’s point. Could not governments research it and make it work even if it made NO profit? You know, for that “community benefit” they speak of in the open letter? And make the fossil fuel companies pay for it?

          What do I suggest? Reality > SA (BS)

          • ecoquant Says:

            @dumboldguy,

            Regarding,

            … [I]t’s about fighting the politicians and so-called “capitalists” that want to prolong the system that gave us climate change in the first place.

            if that is true, then the proponents are creating the chimera which conservatives have always accused climate activists of hatching, that climate change mitigation “just a cover” for wanting to impose some vast Left Wing conspiracy on the world. And, I daresay, this will get nowhere with the solidly cautious bulk of the American (and other) publics, dooming the endeavor to failure. I find the Klein This Changes Everything line self-defeating, too.

            I don’t buy that as necessary at all, as many countries are making progress reducing their emissions, and they care not revolutionary at all. Quite capitalist in fact.

            Like it or not, to make progress it will be necessary to make common cause with many self-described conservatives, and give people something to economically look forward to as well. Recall, Massachusetts has a Republican governor, and, while his policies are far from perfect, he’s accomplished a good deal more in Massachusetts than the progressives who constantly hound him have even proposed. His Democratic predecessor fought expansion of solar PV and argued that the Global Warming Solutions Act was aspirational.

            To two of your other points:

            Only if the LSC can make a profit from it, which is the open letter’s point.

            Well, yes, and the University of Michigan, for example, is looking into what goods captured Carbon might be made. There’s a lot of discussion of sequestering the Carbon in deep wells. I think that’s silly as binding it up as plastic and burying it in deep landfills would work better, if there were no use. Oh, I know, the Green New Deal people don’t like plastic either ….

            Could not governments research it and make it work even if it made NO profit?

            Actually, no. The engineering expertise is in corporations, and academic-corporate partnerships.

            Could not governments research it and make it work even if it made NO profit?

          • dumboldguy Says:

            JFC! Do you never tire of spouting bullshit and then sitting back and admiring how smart you are?

            Now you’re going to say that the “proponents” are part of the great left wing conspiracy to take over the world? Have you even read Klein’s book? I have—a copy sits on my bookshelf, and it is one of the best books ever written about climate change (or rather, as I said, how run-amok capitalism is the REAL problem). What parts of it do you dispute? Cite page numbers and let’s debate her points.

            “….many countries are making progress reducing their emissions, and they care not revolutionary at all. Quite capitalist in fact”. BULLSHIT! The major emitters are NOT making progress.

            Making common cause with conservatives? Massachusetts? What “goods” could be made from captured carbon? You waste our time with even MORE inane Bullshit!

            “The engineering expertise is in corporations”? Actually, it’s drawn to wherever there is money to pay for it, as the government did by spending huge quantities on the Manhattan Project and Going to the Moon.

            You are sounding more like a Republican corporate shill every time you open your mouth. Is it your “objective” to get your hooks into some of that $$$$?


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: