Re “Worry about day of judgment rather than climate change” (Aug 14)
No amount of scientific information is going to change this guy’s mind. So lets’ talk about money: Your money and his and mine.
The solution to climate change is clean energy. You don’t have to understand the existential threat of climate change to understand that solar and wind energy are now cheaper than any fossil fuel and their prices drop substantially every year (forbes.com, lazard.com). If we scale them up nationally, they’ll be “essentially free” by 2030 (Financial Times, UBS, Aug 2018). And it won’t cost us anything to do that. A new, detailed version of the Green New Deal’s energy plan shows it will more than pay for itself, with two-thirds of the cost paid for by private investment (vox.com May 18, 2019). So, not socialism.
The other third of the cost will be massively counterbalanced by a $500 billion annual increase to US GDP (IPCC). That will be mainly due to all that free energy and the over 8 million high-wage, local, permanent (40-year) careers it will create in green energy (Stanford University’s solutions project.org).
Ever-worsening climate disasters have already cost US taxpayers over $1.6 trillion, now regularly hundreds of billions annually (NOAA.gov), an unsustainable economic burden for our country. Whether you believe in climate change or not, you’re paying for it. The really big economic rewards of clean energy will be avoiding the over $160 trillion in economic damage to the US economy we’d otherwise suffer (Forbes, April 2019). Just a half-degree increase in global temperatures will cost the US over $13 trillion (National Academy of Sciences) and we’re already locked into a 1.5C increase and on our way to a 4C to 5C increase (IPCC). That’s what the National Academy of Sciences is warning about when they say that without massive greenhouse gas emissions starting now, we’ll cause “catastrophic” climate change that will “global economic collapse” followed by “societal collapse.” Now we’re talking serious money.
And while we’re on the subject of money, carbon pollution from burning fossil fuels costs Americans over $800 billion in medical bills (forbes.com), not to mention killing over 200.000 Americans every year (MIT.edu) as conditions like asthma skyrocket -- as they have since the 1980s -- as carbon emissions have soared. The Green New Deal is affordable; the cost of inaction is incalculable”—Forbes