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Mon Nov 16, 2020, 09:12 PM

NYT, Krugman "Why the 2020 Election Makes it Hard to be Optimistic About the Future"

If we can’t face up to a pandemic, how can we avoid apocalypse?

Paul Krugman
By Paul Krugman

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/16/opinion/coronavirus-climate.html

The 2020 election is over. And the big winners were the coronavirus and, quite possibly, catastrophic climate change. OK, democracy also won, at least for now. By defeating Donald Trump, Joe Biden pulled us back from the brink of authoritarian rule. But Trump paid less of a penalty than expected for his deadly failure to deal with Covid-19, and few down-ballot Republicans seem to have paid any penalty at all. As a headline in The Washington Post put it, “With pandemic raging, Republicans say election results validate their approach.” And their approach, in case you missed it, has been denial and a refusal to take even the most basic, low-cost precautions — like requiring that people wear masks in public.

The epidemiological consequences of this cynical irresponsibility will be ghastly. I’m not sure how many people realize just how terrible this winter is going to be. Deaths from Covid-19 tend to run around three weeks behind new cases; given the exponential growth in cases since the early fall, which hasn’t slowed at all, this means that we may be looking at a daily death toll in the thousands by the end of the year. And remember, many of those who survive Covid-19 nonetheless suffer permanent health damage.

snip

Awful as the pandemic outlook is, however, what worries me more is what our failed response says about prospects for dealing with a much bigger issue, one that poses an existential threat to civilization: climate change. As many people have noted, climate change is an inherently difficult problem to tackle — not economically, but politically.

Right-wingers always claim that taking climate seriously would doom the economy, but the truth is that at this point the economics of climate action look remarkably benign. Spectacular progress in renewable energy technology makes it fairly easy to see how the economy can wean itself from fossil fuels. A recent analysis by the International Monetary Fund suggests that a “green infrastructure push” would, if anything, lead to faster economic growth over the next few decades. But climate action remains very difficult politically given (a) the power of special interests and (b) the indirect link between costs and benefits.


snip

last paragraph

Obviously we need to keep trying to head off a climate apocalypse — and no, that’s not hyperbole. But even though the 2020 election wasn’t about climate, it was to some degree about the pandemic — and the results make it hard to be optimistic about the future.


good read, lots more at the snips - sorry about the paywall. I agree with Krugman.

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Reply NYT, Krugman "Why the 2020 Election Makes it Hard to be Optimistic About the Future" (Original post)
NRaleighLiberal Nov 16 OP
handmade34 Nov 16 #1
Hermit-The-Prog Nov 17 #2
Hekate Nov 17 #3
BlueTsunami2018 Nov 17 #4
Celerity Nov 17 #5

Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Mon Nov 16, 2020, 09:24 PM

1. reminds me of Wendall Berry quote

"We have lived our lives by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. We have been wrong. We must change our lives so that it will be possible to live by the contrary assumption, that what is good for the world will be good for us. And that requires that we make the effort to know the world and learn what is good for it."

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Tue Nov 17, 2020, 03:33 AM

2. Let us prepare for the zombie apocalypse; it's easier than educating a Republican.

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Tue Nov 17, 2020, 04:44 AM

3. TY. Paul Krugman is one of the best...

He was a link to sanity during the BushCheney admin — just an excellent liberal and excellent economist.

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Tue Nov 17, 2020, 05:45 AM

4. Every time a Republican takes the Presidency, we inch closer to fascism.

We just barely avoided it this time. After the next time, there will be no next time. I feel like it’s inevitable.

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Response to BlueTsunami2018 (Reply #4)

Tue Nov 17, 2020, 06:02 AM

5. Trump was more like cross-country flight than an inch

thank fuck we stopped him from landing the plane

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