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Klein writes: "Like so many others, I’ve been energized by the bold moral leadership coming from newly elected members of Congress like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley in the face of the spiraling climate crisis and the outrageous attacks on unarmed migrants at the border."

Naomi Klein. (photo: Maclean’s)
Naomi Klein. (photo: Maclean’s)


The Game-Changing Promise of a Green New Deal

By Naomi Klein, The Intercept

28 November 18

 

ike so many others, I’ve been energized by the bold moral leadership coming from newly elected members of Congress like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley in the face of the spiraling climate crisis and the outrageous attacks on unarmed migrants at the border. It has me thinking about the crucial difference between leadership that acts and leadership that talks about acting.

I’ll get to the Green New Deal and why we need to hold tight to that lifeline for all we’re worth. But before that, bear with me for a visit to the grandstanding of climate politics past.

It was March 2009 and capes were still fluttering in the White House after Barack Obama’s historic hope-and-change electoral victory. Todd Stern, the newly appointed chief climate envoy, told a gathering on Capitol Hill that he and his fellow negotiators needed to embrace their inner superheroes, saving the planet from existential danger in the nick of time.

Climate change, he said, called for some of “that old comic book sensibility of uniting in the face of a common danger threatening the earth. Because that’s what we have here. It’s not a meteor or a space invader, but the damage to our planet, to our community, to our children, and their children will be just as great. There is no time to lose.”

Eight months later, at the fateful United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, all pretense to superheroism from the Obama Administration had been unceremoniously abandoned. Stern stalked the hallways of the convention center like the Grim Reaper, pulling his scythe through every proposal that would have resulted in a transformative agreement. The U.S. insisted on a target that would allow temperatures to rise by 2 degrees Celsius, despite passionate objections from many African and Pacific islander delegates who said the goal amounted to a “genocide” and would lead millions to die on land or in leaky boats. It shot down all attempts to make the deal legally binding, opting for unenforceable voluntary targets instead (as it would in Paris five years later).

Stern categorically rejected the argument that wealthy developed countries owe compensation to poor ones for knowingly pumping earth-warming carbon into the atmosphere, instead using much-needed funds for climate change protection as a bludgeon to force those countries to fall in line.

As I wrote at the time, the Copenhagen deal — cooked up behind closed doors with the most vulnerable countries locked out — amounted to a “grubby pact between the world’s biggest emitters: I’ll pretend that you are doing something about climate change if you pretend that I am too. Deal? Deal.”

Almost exactly nine years later, global emissions continue to rise, alongside average temperatures, with large swathes of the planet buffeted by record-breaking storms and scorched by unprecedented fires. The scientists convened in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have confirmed precisely what African and low-lying island states have long-since warned: that allowing temperatures to rise by 2 degrees is a death sentence, and that only a 1.5-degree target gives us a fighting chance. Indeed, at least eight Pacific islands have already disappeared beneath the rising seas.

Not only have wealthy countries failed to provide meaningful aid to poorer nations to protect themselves from weather extremes and leapfrog to clean tech, but Europe, Australia, and the United States have all responded to the increase in mass migration — intensified if not directly caused by climate stresses — with brutal force, ranging from Italy’s de facto “let them drown” policy to Trump’s increasingly real war on an unarmed caravan from Central America. Let there be no mistake: this barbarism is the way the wealthy world plans to adapt to climate change.

The only thing resembling a cape at the White House these days are all those coats Melania drapes over her shoulders, mysteriously refusing to use the arm holes for their designed purpose. Her husband, meanwhile, is busily embracing his role as a climate supervillain, gleefully approving new fossil fuel projects, shredding the Paris agreement (it’s not legally binding after all, so why not?), and pronouncing that a Thanksgiving cold snap is proof positive that the planet isn’t warming after all.

In short, the metaphorical meteor that Stern evoked in 2009 is not just hurtling closer to our fragile planet — it’s grazing the (burning) treetops.

And yet here’s the truly strange thing: I feel more optimistic about our collective chances of averting climate breakdown than I have in years. For the first time, I see a clear and credible political pathway that could get us to safety, a place in which the worst climate outcomes are avoided and a new social compact is forged that is radically more humane than anything currently on offer.

We are not on that pathway yet — very far from it. But unlike even one month ago, the pathway is clear. It begins with the galloping momentum calling on the Democratic Party to use its majority in the House to create the Select Committee for a Green New Deal, a plan advanced by Ocasio-Cortez and now backed by more than 14 representatives.

The draft text calls for the committee, which would be fully funded and empowered to draft legislation, to spend the next year consulting with a range of experts — from scientists to local lawmakers to labor unions to business leaders — to map out a “detailed national, industrial, economic mobilization plan” capable of making the U.S. economy “carbon neutral” while promoting “economic and environmental justice and equality.” By January 2020, the plan would be released, and two months later would come draft legislation designed to turn it into a reality.

That early 2020 deadline is important — it means that the contours of the Green New Deal would be complete by the next U.S. election cycle, and any politician wanting to be taken seriously as a progressive champion would need to adopt it as the centerpiece of their platform. If that happened, and the party running on a sweeping Green New Deal retook the White House and the Senate in November 2020, then there would actually be time left on the climate clock to meet the harsh targets laid out in the recent IPCC report, which told us that we have a mere 12 years to cut fossil fuel emissions by a head-spinning 45 percent.

Pulling that off, the report’s summary states in its first sentence, is not possible with singular policies like carbon taxes. Rather, what is needed is “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.” By giving the committee a mandate that connects the dots between energy, transportation, housing and construction, as well as health care, living wages, a jobs guarantee, and the urgent imperative to battle racial and gender injustice, the Green New Deal plan would be mapping precisely that kind of far-reaching change. This is not a piecemeal approach that trains a water gun on a blazing fire, but a comprehensive and holistic plan to actually put the fire out.

If the world’s largest economy looked poised to show that kind of visionary leadership, other major emitters — like the European Union, China, and India — would almost certainly find themselves under intense pressure from their own populations to follow suit.

Now, nothing about the pathway I have just outlined is certain or even likely: The Democratic Party establishment under Nancy Pelosi will probably squash the Green New Deal proposal, much as the party stomped on hopes for more ambitious climate deals under Obama. Smart money would bet on the party doing little more than resuscitating the climate committee that helped produce cap-and-trade legislation in Obama’s first term, an ill-fated and convoluted market-based scheme that would have treated greenhouse gases as late-capitalist abstractions to be traded, bundled, and speculated upon like currency or subprime debt (which is why Ocasio-Cortez is insisting that lawmakers who take fossil fuel money should not be on the Green New Deal select committee).

And of course, even if pressure on lawmakers continues to mount and those calling for the select committee carry the day, there is no guarantee that the party will win back the Senate and White House in 2020.

And yet, despite all of these caveats, we now have a something that has been sorely missing: a concrete plan on the table, complete with a science-based timeline, that is not only coming from social movements on the outside of government, but which also has a sizable (and growing) bloc of committed champions inside the House of Representatives.

Decades from now, if we are exquisitely lucky enough to tell a thrilling story about how humanity came together in the nick of time to intercept the metaphorical meteor, the pivotal chapter will not be the highly produced cinematic moment when Barack Obama won the Democratic primary and told an adoring throng of supporters that this would be “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.” No, it will be the far less scripted and markedly more scrappy moment when a group of fed-up young people from the Sunrise Movement occupied the offices of Pelosi after the midterm elections, calling on her to get behind the plan for a Green New Deal — with Ocasio-Cortez dropping by the sit-in to cheer them on.

I realize that it may seem unreasonably optimistic to invest so much in a House committee, but it is not the committee itself that is my main source of hope. It is the vast infrastructure of scientific, technical, political, and movement expertise poised to spring into action should we take the first few steps down this path. It is a network of extraordinary groups and individuals who have held fast to their climate focus and commitments even when no media wanted to cover the crisis and no major political party wanted to do anything more than perform concern.

It’s a network that has been waiting a very long time for there to finally be a critical mass of politicians in power who understand not only the existential urgency of the climate crisis, but also the once-in-a-century opportunity it represents, as the draft resolution states, “to virtually eliminate poverty in the United States and to make prosperity, wealth and economic security available to everyone participating in the transformation.”

The ground for this moment has been prepared for decades, with models for community-owned and community-controlled renewable energy; with justice-based transitions that make sure no worker is left behind; with a deepening analysis of the intersections between systemic racism, armed conflict, and climate disruption; with improved green tech and breakthroughs in clean public transit; with the thriving fossil fuel divestment movement; with model legislation driven by the climate justice movement that shows how carbon taxes can fight racial and gender exclusion; and much more.

What has been missing is only the top-level political power to roll out the best of these models all at once, with the focus and velocity that both science and justice demand. That is the great promise of a comprehensive Green New Deal in the largest economy on earth. And as the Sunrise Movement turns up the heat on legislators who have yet to sign onto the plan, it deserves all of our support.

Of course there is no shortage of Beltway pundits ready to dismiss all of this as hopelessly naive and unrealistic, the work of political neophytes who don’t understand the art of the possible or the finer points of policy. What those pundits are failing to account for is the fact that, unlike previous attempts to introduce climate legislation, the Green New Deal has the capacity to mobilize a truly intersectional mass movement behind it — not despite its sweeping ambition, but precisely because of it.

This is the game-changer of having representatives in Congress rooted in working-class struggles for living-wage jobs and for nontoxic air and water — women like Tlaib, who helped fight a successful battle against Koch Industries’ noxious petroleum coke mountain in Detroit.

If you are part of the economy’s winning class and funded by even bigger winners, as so many politicians are, then your attempts to craft climate legislation will likely be guided by the idea that change should be as minimal and unchallenging to the status quo as possible. After all, the status quo is working just fine for you and your donors. Leaders who are rooted in communities that are being egregiously failed by the current system, on the other hand, are liberated to take a very different approach. Their climate policies can embrace deep and systemic change — including the need for massive investments in public transit, affordable housing, and health care — because that kind of change is precisely what their bases need to thrive.

As climate justice organizations have been arguing for many years now, when the people with the most to gain lead the movement, they fight to win.

Another game-changing aspect of a Green New Deal is that it is modeled after the most famous economic stimulus of all time, which makes it recession-proof. When the global economy enters another downturn, which it surely will, support for this model of climate action will not plummet as has been the case with every other major green initiative during past recessions. Instead, it will increase, since a large-scale stimulus will become the greatest hope of reviving the economy.

Having a good idea is no guarantee of success, of course. But here’s a thought: If the push for a Select Committee for a Green New Deal is defeated, then those lawmakers who want it to happen could consider working with civil society to set up some sort of parallel constituent assembly-like body to get the plan drafted anyway, in time for it to steal the show in 2020. Because this possibility is simply too important, and time is just too short, to allow it to be shut down by the usual forces of political inertia.

As the surprising events of the past few weeks have unfolded, with young activists rewriting the rules of the possible day after day, I have found myself thinking about another moment when young people found their voice in the climate change arena. It was 2011, at the annual United Nations climate summit, this time held in Durban, South Africa. A 21-year-old Canadian college student named Anjali Appadurai was selected to address the gathering on behalf (absurdly) of all the world’s young people.

She delivered a stunning and unsparing address (worth watching in full) that shamed the gathered negotiators for decades of inaction. “You have been negotiating all my life,” she said. “In that time, you’ve failed to meet pledges, you’ve missed targets, and you’ve broken promises. … The most stark betrayal of your generation’s responsibility to ours is that you call this ‘ambition.’ Where is the courage in these rooms? Now is not the time for incremental action. In the long run, these will be seen as the defining moments of an era in which narrow self-interest prevailed over science, reason, and common compassion.”

The most wrenching part of the address is that not a single major government was willing to receive her message; she was shouting into the void.

Seven years later, when other young people are locating their climate voice and their climate rage, there is finally someone to receive their message, with an actual plan to turn it into policy. And that might just change everything.

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+7 # Maybe 2018-11-28 16:17
I am old. I have seen many, many good and necessary ideas destroyed (who killed the electric car in the 1930's's?) I became skeptical because nothing ever panned out. When Obama was elected (and I cheered) I was excited. Maybe I could regain some of my idealism.) But he had a choice - and the one he made was noble - health care. After that he hadn't a chance. Climate change was important to him. But a Republican House and Senate weren't interested. When the old white men that have NO stamped on their foreheads finally die - THEN I will welcome back my dormant ideals and work with those who want reason again. Thank you Naomi.
 
 
+12 # tedrey 2018-11-28 16:37
It's great to have hopeful messages butressed by stern realities for once. Thanks, Naomi.
 
 
+16 # tedcloak 2018-11-28 19:18
My hope is that by 2020, at least 80% of the U.S. electorate will recognize the need for drastic action. I also hope that too many of us will not have to die from climate effects to make that happen.
 
 
-2 # jazwoman 2018-11-28 19:35
What complete and utter nonsense. The author neglects to note how all those great new Democrats have deep ties to the CIA and "intelligence community," and despite claims otherwise, will undoubtedly keep promoting war all over the planet, one of the primary contributors to climate change. Furthermore, claims we still have a dozen years to turn this around are an outright LIE. To have successfully averted our current trajectory, we needed to begin, in earnest, over 40 years ago. Emissions currently in the atmosphere alone guarantee we will exceed 2°C, and when an honest baseline of 1750 (beginning of the industrial revolution) is used, we are ALREADY at 1.73°C. Let's also look at the impact climate change is already having on agriculture. Crop failures globally this past growing season were significant. It's clear storms, and poor growing conditions, are only getting worse, not better. Storms are increasing in both frequency and ferocity. The upcoming growing season will NOT make up the losses of 2018, and in fact will worsen them significantly. By 2020, what we'll see is the collapse of industrial agriculture, globally, and when that happens, the complete unraveling of civilization will follow fairly immediately.

(I've broken my comment into multiple pieces since you wouldn't allow my entire comment to post).
 
 
+7 # tedrey 2018-11-30 04:21
Some of you claims are valid, some false, many dubious. More importantly:

I have never understood why some people, in the face of absolutely necessary immediate action, spend all their time and energy trying to convince people that all action is impossible, undesirable, and too late to do anything about anyway. Please keep your death wishes to yourself; don't force it on other people. Some of us, if it comes to it, will go down fighting; if anything is salvagable from evolution and from civilization it will be due to us, not you.
 
 
-2 # jazwoman 2018-11-28 19:37
(Part 2 of my comment)

And even in the face of referencing all of these things, NO ONE ever brings up (I can't imagine why) the reality that there are now over 6 dozen irreversible feedback loops currently operant, many of which are about to converse in massive releases of methane from the Arctic ocean. Unlike CO2, whose impact takes at least a decade, if not more, to be felt, there is no lag time between emission and impact with methane (CH4). When methane takes over as the primary driver of climate change, the process will no longer be linear, but instead will become exponential. Temperatures will spike significantly, certainly past 4°C, and perhaps as high as 7-9°C. And when people have abandoned going to work in favor of spending all their time trying to find food, we'll lose the effect of global dimming, i.e. the effect of particulates in the atmosphere reflecting heat back into space. When 9/11 happened, and all flights were grounded for 3 days, that impace alone raised the temperature 1°C. When there not only are no planes flying, but no cars driving, and no manufacturing happening, temps will spike again, easily another 1.5-2.0°C.

Humans have never been on the planet at the temperature we're currently at. It doesn't take a genius to understand that when temperatures are verging on 10-11°C, himans will not be able to either adapt, or even survive. What we're really looking at is Near-Term Human Extinction, certainly within the decade.
 
 
-3 # jazwoman 2018-11-28 19:38
I am more than just a little disappointed that RSN would promote this trite bit of trash from Naomi Klein. ALL of the things I have referenced are available to the public, and the fact that people like Klein walk right by speaking the truth in favor of promoting yet more lies leaves me wondering whose agenda is she actually promoting, because it certainly isn't one thst cares about what is happening in real time right now and how we've already consigned the human race, as well as everything else on the planet, to extinction for nothing other than GREED.
 
 
+4 # JCM 2018-11-29 08:26
"The author neglects to note how all those great new Democrats have deep ties to the CIA and "intelligence community,"". Do you have any references to evidence that the former military and CIA persons elected are still tied to the intelligence community.
For the most part, I agree with your assessment of climate change. For years I have been saying that if you could turn off all pollution with a switch that temperatures will rise due to the climate not catching up to the level of CO2 in the environment. I also realize that there are a number of feedback loops dealing with methane are predicted but I could not find any references about "6 dozen irreversible feedback loops currently operating". I would be thankful if you could reference your source.
 
 
+11 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-11-29 07:38
The Green New Deal is totally needed and a great idea. We need such major democratic socialist programs to help people focus on the kinds of changes that can be made in the US.

It is a tough and uphill road, however.
 
 
+8 # PaJay 2018-11-29 09:09
I am completely in support of a Green New Deal with a rapid transition away from fossil fuels and nuclear power to renewables. What is missing from this article is the credit that the Green Party and Jill Stein deserve for promoting the GND. It is not a new concept or one created by Democrats. Jill Stein's platform was based on a comprehensive Green New Deal in 2012 and 2016.
 
 
+6 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-11-29 11:48
As I said above, I'm totally in favor of a Green New Deal but I don't think anyone, even Klein, is being honest about what it will entail.


"For the first time, I see a clear and credible political pathway that could get us to safety, a place in which the worst climate outcomes are avoided and a new social compact is forged that is radically more humane than anything currently on offer."


It is time to be honest. Americans consume more carbon based energy than any population on earth. In many cases, they consume 10 or 20 times as much carbon based energy as people in poor nations.

The life styles of Americans is going to have to change. Each person needs to be honest with him/herself about consumption. I use a lot of carbon based energy. I drive a gas hog pick up truck. I now have an F-250 which I bought last year to replace an F-350. I use these trucks in work. My parents were farmers, and although I went into academics, I still do a lot of farm work. I have tractors, a sawmill, and much more equipment that is all diesel or gas powered. I will have to give this up if we are to achieve levels of carbon emission that will "save the planet."

So will almost all other Americans. Heated and cooled houses will have to be a lot colder in winter and hotter in summer. No one wants to give this up. A "carbon tax" is just a tax on the working poor, no matter how any attempts to spin it.


I'd like to hear from those who want to change their lives.
 
 
-14 # BKnowswhitt 2018-11-29 13:56
UN scare tactics based upon non objective science gamed and tweaked data off of speculative models .. anyone can do that today .. Naomi Klein is not up on the real science and once again this is more .. political science by the LEFT ...
 
 
+6 # wilding 2018-11-29 16:49
In 1972 I wrote an essay about how renewables could create energy independence and a strong economy with pride in good jobs. No one would publish it. Jimmy Carter called for the moral equivalent of war. Ecologists have been asking for a green new deal for years although perhaps not with that catchy title. Why has this no brainer taken so long? How greedy, self destructive and stupid are the ruling political classes, the corporates and the people who support them?
 
 
+5 # Wise woman 2018-11-29 19:34
Well,RR,I guess I began changing my life almost 50 years ago when I began recycling glass and paper. My son learned his colors and numbers from chucking bottles into different bins which we had to do in those days. RECYCLE was my first bumper sticker. Today I live alone and have 4 large paper bags of recycling material and one small bag of garbage every two weeks.

I live in a total electric, poorly insulated condo with one large North facing wall. I rely on 3 efficient space heaters to keep me warm. Also lots of fleece. According to my electric company i have one of the lowest heating bills and my heat is in the ceiling - if you can believe that! I gave up eating beef almost 20 years ago. It is not sustainable or healthy. Protein can be found in many other foods. I keep my heat set at 60 degrees and I live in western CT where it gets very cold and windy. Most all materials can be recycled. Some of my living room furniture is from when I was first married almost 50 years ago.I still like it much of it being cheap antiques i picked up way back when. I recycle all the clothes I no longer want or need.

I think I've covered most of the bases. Hope this is of interest to you. WW.
 
 
+5 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-11-30 10:23
Wise -- Yes, it interests me. I think we have all changed. My parents were cattle farmers for the beef market. All of their kids became vegetarians and so they gave up raising beef, mostly for the reasons you cite. Now the land is a horse rescue operation. Abused horses are taken, rehabilitated, and given to good homes. It is also place to help emotionally disturbed children. Bonding with horses is one of the best therapies for kids who come from families where there is little trust or love. They learn trust and love from horses. It is a miracle what this relationship can do for emotionally messed up kids.

But raising hay for horses uses lots of diesel fuel. Are we going to have to give that up? Who will decide?

I really despair when people as smart as Klein don't talk about the reality of a "zero carbon emission world." Klein writes, "If you are part of the economy’s winning class and funded by even bigger winners, as so many politicians are, then your attempts to craft climate legislation will likely be guided by the idea that change should be as minimal and unchallenging to the status quo as possible." She flies a lot to give speeches all over the world. She makes a lot of money from these speeches. Flying is a very carbon intensive act. Is she going to top flying?

Carbon based fuel has transformed human life. Zeroing out carbon fuel will be a huge change in life. We should talk about that.
 
 
+4 # Benign Observer 2018-11-30 16:53
Why is there more than a dozen articles about Trump on RSN but nothing at all about what the Democrats are up to?

Despite the huge PROGRESSIVE wave that is sweeping the electorate, we have all the same OLD CORRUPT DINOs in charge -- and now Hakeem Jeffries is Caucus Chair, a position true progressive Barbara Lee wanted.

So, despite the past two years, we still don't have ONE progressive in leadership?

In 2016 Hakeem Jeffries said Bernie Sanders is a 'wholly owned subsidiary of the NRA'. He said Sanders was a 'gun-loving socialist who doesn't know a thing about foreign policy'. Jeffries was supported by Wasserman-Schit lz, is against Medicare for All and he was the keynote speaker at a conference for charter schools, something Republicans like Betsy DeVos love. He is a Cuomo-loving corporatist and now he's in charge of the caucus? wtf!

So what did Ocasio-Cortez and Pressley and Tlaib gain by backing Pelosi as leader, except the ire of those who voted for them?

The Democratic Party will never share power with progressives.

We have GOT to have a 3rd party.
 
 
+1 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-11-30 20:33
Benign -- it is still a fact that "Russiagate" originated with the Clinton campaign as a way to turn the discussion away from the Clinton's and toward Russia and Trump. Then Clinton faithful followers in the FBI, DOJ, CIA were brought in to push the story along. Just a few weeks ago, Hillary was still saying that Trump's Russian collusion was an attack on the US as bad as 9-11.

Russiagate is a huge distraction from the reforms that need to be taking place in the Demo party. Russiagate has sucked nearly all the news validity out of RSN. It now publishes the Guardian, Post, New Yorker, and other corporatist media.

Russiagate will guarantee that the Demo party never becomes a left leaning or progressive party as the US desperately needs.
 
 
+2 # librarian1984 2018-12-01 07:13
And it pisses me off that so many otherwise intelligent progressives have fallen for it. Two years on, with a Republican 'savior' and national security scumbags' support, a couple of sleazy lawyers are in trouble, nothing concrete is tied to Trump and a few Russian telemarketers accused who will never see an American courtroom. With multiple pieces of evidence that this is bullshit, it still sucks up most of the media oxygen, a massive propaganda coup that further stymies reform, ensuring we remain at the mercy of corrupt politicians, corporate psychopaths and a MIIC both in control and out of control.
 
 
0 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-12-02 10:18
librarian -- why do you call these people "otherwise intelligent progressives." They are democratic party drones. Their minds are controlled by remote devices called "the liberal media," only it is not liberal at all. It is corporatist and CIA. To me, that just cannot be intelligence. It is mental slavery.

True progressives can't be intellectual slaves. They have to be independent from the sources of power, the sources that keep the rich in power. These sources are mostly the major media, the thought police of democratic societies (as Chomsky called them). True progressives don't fall prey to the media thought police.
 
 
0 # JCM 2018-12-02 12:23
I agreed with nearly all you say here but your, "We have GOT to have a 3rd party." shows how little you just learned about elections. Do you really think that we would have had this blue wave if we had split Democrats votes. I understand your frustration and feel the same but splitting votes among Democrats will always lead to failure.
Another thing for anyone: If I understand the process to elect the Caucus Chair is the old members vote and not the new coming in, when can the new coming members vote for leadership positions. Couldn't find a straight answer on Google.
 
 
0 # OldSalt65 2018-11-30 19:45
Climate change is a symptom..not a problem. Overpopulation and wealth distribution are at the heart of this and other miseries. Something equivalent to the massive die-off of hominids during earlier ice ages is coming. We might make it "by the skin of our teeth" (Thorton Wilder) or maybe not. We can only hope that as we flounder for existence, some nuclear buttons aren't pushed guaranteeing the end of most if not all life on Earth. Cheers!
 
 
+1 # AldoJay69 2018-12-01 11:45
YES! OVERPOPULATION IS THE NUMBER ONE DRIVER!

The consumers of energy (humans) guarantee there will be suppliers.
Demand begets supply. For profit.

We should have learned from prohibition. Consumption of alcohol and drugs never hiccupped when banned.

A Green New Deal is a great short term tool/weapon, but education in the poor nations that drive the population explosion is the where long term hope lies.

Target the energy demand that population incentivizes.
 
 
+3 # Wise woman 2018-11-30 20:20
RR, thank you for your response. I love what you are doing with your land. Dogs and horses are the natural healers of the planet. Their ability to rehabi!itate is astounding. Can your trucks be converted to electric or run on vegetable oil? I agree with you regarding flyjng. I read somewhere recently that they are working on an electric plane. That would be wonderful. Best, WW.
 
 
+2 # Jim Young 2018-12-01 13:21
Quoting Wise woman:
...Can your trucks be converted to electric or run on vegetable oil? I agree with you regarding flyjng. I read somewhere recently that they are working on an electric plane...

Look up the Diamond Aircraft DA40 prototype "twin" engine (actually two electric motors, and a single Diesel engine that should be able to run on bio-fuels). Like Prius Hybrids, it uses enough batteries to boost the power substantially during take off so a smaller engine, more fuel efficient, engine operating at its peak power producing rpm can charge the batteries and provide the current for the two electric motors that produce far more torque from zero rpm.

Clean hydrogen (from water not natural gas), producing appliances are becoming far more affordable than I would have thought possible by now (used in warehouse forklifts, and seemingly adaptable to farm equipment). There has been a lot of research into much better catalyst nano-structures to enable cheaper materials than platinum to be used, and metal hydrates capable of storing hydrogen at much lower pressures.

I just heard of one approach I'd never considered, but gives me far greater hope (if we actually step up to use the new approaches we too often start but let others take to market. Search for "For hydrogen power, two metals may be better than one A novel approach to electrocatalysi s divides the chemical labor"
 
 
0 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-12-02 10:27
WW and Jim -- thanks for this. I've thought about it but I have not done any research because I know the cost would be too high. In reality, it would probably be better to go back for steam power with a wood fired boiler. That keeps oil out of the equation. You can't power an airplane with steam but it would work for any land based vehicle.

We are all so dependent on some kind of fuel to enhance production and reduce the amount of human labor. Controlling carbon emissions will change that. Electicity will be key in keeping as much "power" equipment as we can. But electricity can't do everything. And electricity is not really all that clean. It needs a lot of copper which is a very dirty mining process.
 
 
0 # JCM 2018-12-02 11:29
Interesting, as in many newer technologies to harvest hydrogen none are ready for prime time. Even as a young boy, I was awed at the potential of Hydrogen. God's speed to them all.
 
 
0 # Jim Young 2018-12-04 17:50
They are actually long overdue since they did everything they could to discourage and slow down in situ generation of Hydrogen that would be possible with the types of advancements they made in catalytic converter technology (95% reduction in platinum) with better surfaces and structures, and multiple approaches to lower pressure storage. Aerovironment's Helios (H-03), I think was ready to test a closed loop hydrogen separator for water (exhaust from the fuel cell, split into Hydrogen and Oxygen by solar cells during the day). That hydrogen and oxygen were fed to the electric motors at night much like a very efficient battery.

I believe they had flown an open loop system, taking off with the hydrogen fuel cell and battery power, with oxygen being supplied from the atmosphere. That allows a very quick refill, hard to match with other recharging schemes. They already are using HFC Forklifts in warehouses, and some utility trucks, buses, etc.

Everybody seems tied to thinking you need power from the grid with long, expensive wiring, and maintenance/fir e risk. They have hydrogen generating appliances that can separate the hydrogen using very local solar generation (no big grid needed) if they take the simple next step or two.

Shell considered getting hydrogen ready for prime time by 2020, I think, as one of 3 possible scenarios back in 2007 or before. I'm sure they would have done so if other companies were going to do the same, but not by themselves.
 

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