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Thread: Green new deal- good idea?

  1. #1 Green new deal- good idea? 
    Forum Junior anticorncob28's Avatar
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    Some Democrats want a "Green New Deal" to tackle climate change
    To have U.S. electricity completely disconnected from fossil fuels by 2030 (or even 2035) sounds a little too good to be true to me. Perhaps it would be possible if we started in 1990.
    Cortez seems to be against nuclear power, but it is a necessary to solve climate change.

    In my opinion, tackling climate change in a serious way that actually prevents dangerous warming requires going back in time to the year 2000 (or earlier) and reducing emissions with renewable energy, nuclear power, increasing carbon sinks (so end deforestation), and whatever must stay on fossil fuels should be made as energy-efficient as possible. They only focus on switching out fossil fuel energy for renewables when there is more action we can take.

    The article states that 100% clean energy by 2030 brings the U.S. halfway to hitting its target for the 1.5C limit.
    This assumes that congress and the president will actually implement these policies, and that they actually work, and the rest of the world will follow in suit, and that climate sensitivity is as we estimate. Even then, we are only halfway to the 1.5C target.
    I wish the article would've explained how this plan would work in terms of a 2C, 2.5C, or 3C by 2100 target. Personally, I think the goal to limit temperatures below 2C by 2100 is a fairy tale (and as years pass without significant worldwide action, this becomes truer). After the Paris conference in December 2015, I literally laughed out loud at the idea that at this late date we could prevent 1.5C of warming (I was on a computer at school; it was a bit weird). That is simply not going to happen.

    Potential good news is that this is starting to get some Republicans to want climate action. One GOP senator posted on twitter that he supports a carbon tax (here). Maybe this is just a fluke, but I hope this means that Republicans realize that they will be left behind if they don't start supporting climate action, so our debate will shift from "does the problem exist?" to "what exactly should we do?". This should've been the case decades ago, and I'm not entirely convinced we're heading in that direction today.

    What do you guys think?


    Last edited by anticorncob28; December 30th, 2018 at 03:17 PM. Reason: minor typo
    "A 4 degree Celsius warmer world can, and must be, avoided"
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  3. #2  
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    We'll be lucky to start in 2021.


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    Forum Junior anticorncob28's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathman View Post
    We'll be lucky to start in 2021.
    Unfortunately.
    It's so frustrating, especially now that the United States isn't the only country whose government has been infested with denial; now the newly elected president of Brazil (Bolsonaro) wants to pull themselves out of the Paris Agreement as well, and he wants to get rid of all regulations on deforestation and doesn't care one bit about the environment.
    In the meantime, all we can hope for is the carbon tax to gain traction and pass. Something that, as Lynx_Fox once said, is "quite late to avert a lot of hardships for our children, grandkids, and ecosystems, but it's a heck of a lot better than doing nothing".
    iNow has also stated that at this point we should also try to adapt to warmer temperatures. But it looks like we're going to stick on the RCP8.5 (business-as-usual/worst-case-scenario) path for a while.
    "A 4 degree Celsius warmer world can, and must be, avoided"
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    Samurai of Logic Falconer360's Avatar
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    I've pretty much given up hope that we will avert this crisis. I'm expecting us to just continue on this worst case scenario path until the crisis is in full swing and it's far too late to do anything at all about it.
    "For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampled." Hunter S Thompson

    "It is easy to kill someone with a slash of a sword. It is hard to be impossible for others to cut down"
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    "Only a warrior chooses pacifism; others are condemned to it."
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  6. #5  
    Forum Junior anticorncob28's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falconer360 View Post
    I've pretty much given up hope that we will avert this crisis. I'm expecting us to just continue on this worst case scenario path until the crisis is in full swing and it's far too late to do anything at all about it.
    Anybody who thinks there is still a reasonable chance that we won't avert the crisis is, in my opinion, living in a fairy tale land. That, or they're living a decade or two in the past when there actually was reasonable hope.
    The reason I still talk about policy solutions is because no matter how late the date, action is always better than no action.
    "A 4 degree Celsius warmer world can, and must be, avoided"
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    Samurai of Logic Falconer360's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anticorncob28 View Post
    The reason I still talk about policy solutions is because no matter how late the date, action is always better than no action.
    Oh I definitely agree that action is better than no action. I feel like the current USA administration is drastically setting back any progress we may have made and increasingly slowing our chances of future progress. I think we will be lucky to reach the goal of 100% clean energy by 2050, let alone 2030.

    As much as it weirds me out to say it, but 2030 isn't really that far away. And 100% clean energy is a big goal, a goal which we are still very far from. Especially given the number of decision making officials in our country that are climate change deniers.

    EDIT: Just to add to this, currently the US uses fossil fuels for 81% of its energy needs. The worldwide total is 80% fossil fuels for energy needs.
    "For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampled." Hunter S Thompson

    "It is easy to kill someone with a slash of a sword. It is hard to be impossible for others to cut down"
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    "Only a warrior chooses pacifism; others are condemned to it."
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    Renewable energy is not, by itself, a complete solution but it is something that can be done at significant scale within the messed up politics we currently have, without crossing that arbitrary, opposition inspired "must not significantly raise energy costs" line - a Line that embodies an unquestioning denial and rejection of external costs of climate change - acceptance of those costs making almost any low emission energy choices lower cost in fact than fossil fuels.

    Commitment to high levels of RE now is probably still more symbolic than it is a locking in of policy that cannot be changed. RE's incremental, project by project nature leaves open remaking of policy in light of problems and successes. And in light of (hopefully) less obstructionist politicking. Nuclear may still have it's chance, but it isn't a complete solution in it's own right, has other significant issues and impediments and looks a lot worse than RE for cost effectiveness in current circumstances.

    Ultimately dealing the low to below zero emissions end game - that low cost Wind and Solar alone do not solve - depends on diminished influence of Doubt, Deny, Delay climate politicking, ie we see Right Conservative politics committing substantially to efforts to regain a semblance of climate stability. Whether that is cross continental interconnection of renewables, large amounts of Pumped Hydro or RE produced Hydrogen or new Nuclear, political will is an essential ingredient. More than anything else, nuclear needs Right Conservative commitment to strong climate action; the largest bloc of existing support for nuclear has been rendered ineffectual by being contained behind a Wall of Denial, where the NOT fixing of the climate problem has clear precedence over supporting nuclear to fix it.

    I'm not as familiar with the US situation as Australia where I live but it does look like the most effective and non-technology specific policy option - appropriate pricing of emissions - will continue to be strongly opposed by climate obstructionist Right-Conservative politicking. According to the World Nuclear Association's most nuclear optimistic future scenario, we might achieve a quarter of global electricity supply with nuclear by 2040 - but that is with supportive politics that includes substantial carbon pricing and government support. RE is going to achieve a quarter of global electricity supply within the next decade, so yes, it makes a lot of sense for political parties to support it strongly in the present.
    Last edited by Ken Fabos; January 4th, 2019 at 07:57 PM.
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