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Tue Dec 17, 2019, 09:45 AM

If we were fighting climate change like a war we would be winning


We Need a Massive Climate War Effort—Now

Only major spending on clean energy R&D can save us.


I’ll take a wild guess that you don’t need any convincing about the need for action on climate change. You know that since the start of the Industrial Revolution we’ve dumped more than 500 billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere and we’re adding about 10 billion more each year. You know that global temperatures have risen 1 degree Celsius over the past century and we’re on track for 2 degrees within another few decades.

And you know what this means. It means more extreme weather. More hurricanes. More droughts. More flooding. More wildfires. More heat-related deaths. There will be more infectious disease as insects move ever farther north. The Northwest Passage will be open for much of the year. Sea levels will rise by several feet as the ice shelves of Greenland and the Antarctic melt, producing bigger storm swells and more intense flooding in low-lying areas around the world.

Some of this is already baked into our future, but to avoid the worst of it, climate experts widely agree that we need to get to net-zero carbon emissions entirely by 2050 at the latest. This is the goal of the Paris Agreement, and it’s one that every Democratic candidate for president has committed to. But how to get there?

Let’s start with the good news. About three-quarters of carbon emissions come from burning fossil fuels for power, and we already have the technology to make a big dent in that. Solar power is now price-competitive with the most efficient natural gas plants and is likely to get even cheaper in the near future. In 2019, Los Angeles signed a deal to provide 400 megawatts of solar power at a price under 4 cents per kilowatt-hour—including battery storage to keep that power available day and night. That’s just a start—it will provide only about 7 percent of electricity needed in Los Angeles—but for the first time it’s fully competitive with the current wholesale price of fossil fuel electricity in Southern California.


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Reply If we were fighting climate change like a war we would be winning (Original post)
G_j Dec 17 OP
loyalsister Dec 18 #1

Response to G_j (Original post)

Wed Dec 18, 2019, 03:46 PM

1. I disagree

We have been misusing the word war for way too long. We talk about war on poverty, drug war, war on terror, as abstractions while simultaneously sending our volunteer soldiers into combat and there is little appreciation for the one the ground experiences and consequences of what they and their families live through. Even more problematic is the lack of appreciation of the real life consequences for individuals and families affected by drug policies, economic oppression, damage absorbed by the volunteer military.

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