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As Cuomo Touts Green New Deal for New York, Critics Warn 'Empty Rhetoric' Just as 'Dangerous as Inaction'

As Cuomo Touts Green New Deal for New York, Critics Warn 'Empty Rhetoric' Just as 'Dangerous as Inaction'

Jessica Corbett, staff writer

Climate campaigners on Monday responded to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's 2019 Justice Agenda—which includes a pledge to pursue a Green New Deal for the state—with demands that the Democratic governor push for even bolder policies than those he is promising.

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He’s Lying.

Cynthia Nixon was New York’s best chance.


There’s climate reality and there’s fake-face. Here’s my reality:

  • We’re a technological society. We keep improving things if and only if we keep re-engineering them, and all of this is true for every displacement of fossil fuels. Real is engineering and fake-face is no engineering at all, the redneck attitude that “we have all the engineering that we need”. If we displace just about all fossil fuels quickly and otherwise control catastrophic climate change with key technologies, we’ll do ok. If we wait for some unicorn to do the work, we’ll eventually see lots of starvation on Eaarth. So what will it be, public servants, do critical work or wait for that unicorn?

  • Real is engineering that will displace gigatons of greenhouse gases in perhaps ten years, maybe less, and the more gigatons the better. Fake-face is “clean coal”. Fake-face is hydrogen fusion R&D. If you want to see fake-face you can see it in the Department of Energy’s requests for SBIR/STTR research projects. Clean coal and hydrogen fusion projects are wanted. Solar thermal projects are not wanted. You’d think that the Koch brothers wrote the list, and they most probably did.

  • Real is merit-based funding. Fake-face is capitalism-based funding – if you put up the first million dollars for your stupid idea your government will put up the second million because obviously you’re filthy rich and so you need more cash, but if you just have the best ideas, get lost. We need provably honest decision-making committees, not a crony system.

  • Specifically, real is solar thermal displacement of all the natural gas being burned to heat houses. Real is solar thermal (or other renewable) displacement of the natural gas being burned to provide night-time electricity. Real is a new transit system that’s 90% more lifetime energy-efficient than freeways. Real is organics-based carbon sequestration. Real is partially or wholly protecting the Arctic from a meltdown that releases a teraton of CO2 and methane.

Now, I trust activists when they imply that Mr. Cuomo’s green new deal is kind of fake-face. I’m waiting for real.


Putting this in context, Cuomo is probably better on climate change than at least 45 governors and maybe as many as 49. So why isn’t most of the criticism directed toward governors who are worse on climate change? It should be kept in mind the despite NY’s population it is below several states with smaller populations such as Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Louisiana in total CO2 emissions. If fact, on a per capita basis it has the lowest emissions of any state. It is lower than 9 tons per person. That isn’t much higher than the EU countries. To effectively reduce US emissions the focus should be on states that are the biggest emitters. One state to focus on is Texas which accounts for about 13% of US emissions, New York only accounts for about 3%.


They named a Bridge after this guy! This pisses me off big time! I will always call it the Tappanzee, never the Mario M Cuomo! Word!

So do the Japanese. Fukushima is still leaking. I think this poses a greater danger than anything New York.

The “decision-makers” don’t want solar thermal heating houses. They can’t meter solar thermal. They don’t want any “displacement” of cash cows. They only consider “solutions” that involve endless revenue streams for themselves.


The whole concept of “Green New Deal” is watered down here.

The New Deal was about wealth distribution, income distribution, and real economic power, about empowering the working class against the malefactors of great wealth. It did not go far enough but it went far enough to make a real difference to millions of people for several generations. It’s pretty much all been lost now after 40-plus years of neo-liberalism since Reagan.

A “Green New Deal” worthy of the name simultaneously embodies the class warfare that enabled the first New Deal, and rolls in ecological economic transition as well.

The class warfare part is [intentionally] lost when tools like Cuomo drop it from their proposals and propaganda. We should not fall for it. We need a NEW DEAL, in the original meaning. We need to STOP the looting class from defining everything. WE need to define how the economy works for us… and for the Earth, which is the “Green” part of the phrase.

Such a program needs to be national, and global, in scale. NY State can’t pull off anything like realignment of economic class forces.


No, the bridge was renamed after this guy’s father, who is probably turning over in his grave.

with transportation now the leading sector for carbon emissions it seems strange that no mention of that topic here. Cuomo can be criticized for letting NY subways and commuter rail deteriorate, but even in the progressive world there are many that drive when they could walk, bike, or take transit, or at least carpool and many seem to think renewable energy, even with all its impacts, is the full answer. I wish.