Time to act is now to save our planet

“Time is now to embrace Green New Deal” (June 7, Kent Reporter) gets it right. The international scientific community has announced we have only a decade left to cut greenhouse emissions at least in half to have any hope of preventing “catastrophic” global warming (IPCC/National Academy of Sciences).

Clean energy is something Americans of both parties overwhelmingly support. They just don’t want to have to pay more for it. Now they don’t have to. Solar and wind energy are now as cheap or cheaper than any fossil fuel (Lazard). The faster they scale up, the cheaper they get (Scientific American). The Green New Deal will do just that, meaning solar and wind energy would be “essentially free” by 2030 (Financial Times, UBS, Aug. 2018). Imagine that.

Add to that the economic benefits of creating 8 million high-wage, local, permanent (40-year) jobs with good benefits (Stanford University’s solutionsproject.org). Then there’s the fact that the Green New Deal’s energy plan, despite what the GOP’s been saying, can more than pay for itself.

Gov. Jay Inslee’s new 38-page, detailed version of the Green New Deal, The Evergreen Economy Plan, says two-thirds of the money – $600 billion annually for a decade – will come from private investment – so, not socialism.

The rest – $300 billion for a decade – could be paid for by the fossil fuel mega-corporations that knowingly caused the climate crisis and lied about it (Scientific American, New York Times, Union of Concerned Scientists, insideclimatenews.org, greenpeace.org). There’s already a bill in Congress that could make that happen: H.R. 763, “Carbon Dividends”

The Congressional Budget Office (citizensclimatelobby.org) says it would add $360 billion annually to U.S. GDP.

Without GND-scale emissions cuts now, future climate disasters will cost the U.S. economy more than $160 trillion (Forbes, April 2019). Climate disasters have already cost Americans more than $1 trillion and those costs are now going up sharply, hundreds of billions every year (NOAA, NASA). Just a half-degree increase in global temperatures will cost the U.S. $13 trillion and we’re guaranteed a 1.5C degree increase and headed for over a 3C degree increase (IPCC).

“The Green New Deal is affordable. The cost of inaction in incalculable” — Forbes

– Pete Kuntz

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