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Op–Ed by Jack Adam Weber: Climate denial is suicidal

Climate system

Re: Alan Greenberg’s Aug. 27 Op-Ed, “Green New Deal will spell the end of the United States as a world power”:

Millions of new jobs (https://bit.ly/3yCt0lU) and a boost to the economy will result from implementing renewable energy at scale via a Green New Deal. (Read “The Green New Deal could create lots of great jobs — so why all the hate?” published by the Climate Reality Project (https://bit.ly/3t65lZT).

 

Climate-related damage costs the United States hundreds of billions of dollars. By 2100, that amount will be around $1.9 trillion per year (https://on.nrdc.org/3BOdd5x) should we fail to mitigate climate crisis.

The Green New Deal will not “spell the end of the United States as a world power.” Not implementing it will. Besides, when the future of humanity and the planet are at stake, who is primarily concerned about being a world power? Climate deniers are. The GND is the least we can do, especially because it’s not even enough (https://bit.ly/3Bu4J2Y).

Mr. Greenberg writes: “Scientists will tell us that wind and solar, even expanded by a huge amount, can never come close to replacing the output of fossil fuels.”

To which scientists does Mr. Greenberg refer? In a Stanford newsletter (https://stanford.io/38wIHAv), Stanford professor Mark Jacobson is reported to have found “low-cost, stable grid solutions in 24 world regions encompassing the 143 countries. They project that transitioning to clean, renewable energy could reduce worldwide energy needs by 57%, create 28.6 million more jobs than are lost, and reduce energy, health, and climate costs by 91% compared with a business-as-usual analysis.”

A recent report (https://bit.ly/3DDl8nH), by think tank Carbon Tracker, reveals:

“Solar and wind are inexhaustible sources of energy, unlike coal, oil and gas, and at current growth rates will push fossil fuels out of the electricity sector by the mid-2030s. By 2050 they could power the world, displacing fossil fuels entirely and producing cheap, clean energy to support new technologies such as electric vehicles and green hydrogen.”

1. Mr. Greenberg contends: “With no oil, myriad applications will cease to exist.”

No proponent of the Green New Deal, or any other reasonable person or organization, proposes “no oil” in our future, if only for the obvious fact that all renewables require petroleum to be produced.

Net zero does not mean “no oil.” It means achieving a balance between the greenhouse gases put into the atmosphere and those taken out. Getting to net zero means we can still produce some emissions, as long as they are offset by reducing greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere.

2. Just because China’s industrialization is booming does not mean that the Green New Deal is flawed. Again, it’s the least that we need, especially to encourage other nations to follow.

3. Mr. Greenberg writes: “And these Green New Deal leaders want to convince us of the benefits of shutting down our 247 remaining plants in order to ‘save’ the planet. The point here is more than obvious: Whatever the United States does or doesn't do will not make any difference unless the rest of the world, especially China and India, reduce almost all of their coalfi red power plants as well.”

The idea is that we set an example and by doing so make a big dent in reducing global emissions to save whatever we can of the planet. We want to reduce all non-essential fossil-fuel burning ASAP and coordinate with the rest of the world to reduce emissions.

We are at the end or our climate rope and hanging by a thread. Look no further than California. Climate scientists report that virtually every disaster tearing across our nation from wildfires to hurricanes to droughts and floods is fueled by climate change. Disinformation is being peddled by corrupt, sociopathic fossil-fuel companies. There is no place for such climate denialism; it’s hard enough to mobilize and make the changes we must, even with everybody on board with reality.

— Jack Adam Weber of Ojai is the author of the book “Climate Cure.” He founded the Ojai chapter of Extinction Rebellion (a global climate-action group) and runs a climate discussion and support group in Ojai every other week.

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