Thanks to the writers of “Kudzu Won’t Fix Climate Change” (Aug. 7). We certainly don’t want anyone spreading kudzu in a misguided effort to fix climate change! The only thing that’s going to do that is Green New Deal-scale emissions cuts—and fast. The worldwide scientific community is unanimous in saying we must have massive greenhouse gas emissions cuts by 2030, or we’ll cause “catastrophic” climate change (National Academy of Sciences). The future cost of that to the U.S. economy would be over $160 trillion (Forbes, April 2019).
The good news is that solar and wind power, with storage and without subsidies, are now cheaper than any fossil fuel. and the prices keep plummeting every year (forbes.com, Lazard).
The faster they scale up, the faster their prices fall (scientificamerican.com), so a rapid national transition to clean energy will mean they it will be “essentially free” by 2030 (Financial Times, UBS, April 2019).
This means the Green New Deal’s energy plan will more than pay for itself. A new, detailed version of it shows two-thirds of the cost will be paid by private investment (vox.com, May 18) and the final third of the cost will be massively counterbalanced by a $500 billion annual increase in US GDP (IPCC). That will be mainly due to all the free energy and the over 8 million high-wage, local, permanent green jobs it will create—jobs that can’t be outsourced (Stanford University’s solutionproject.org).
There is no longer any technical or economic impediment to rapidly creating a clean energy economy—only a political one. We just need to vote in 2020 for a president and a Congress that understands the how urgent the existential threat of climate change is and how enormous the economic opportunity of clean energy is.
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