As much as I agree that catastrophic climate change is the existential issue of the election, no GND proposal yet can possibly resolve that matter nor reduce car-dependency with all-electric Tesla and Robolimo sport sedans. Equitable distribution of battery & charging resources is by far only possible with plug-in hybrid EVs driven less, whereby local economies grow and more travel needs met walking, on modern mass transit and bicycling. Elon Musk is a punk. Jeff Bezos is an evil overlord. Warren Buffett is a misanthropist.
First, I want to list some things that you don’t need to be afraid of concerning climate change:
If heat (and/or coolness) is stored, you can heat and cool your existing house or school building with about 90% less energy use than current use. This is on top of insulating the building properly. Zero-fuel greenhouses in really cold winter climates are available now if you don’t like importing vegetables from Mexico in diesel-burning trucks.
A completely bird-safe version of a solar power tower can be built, and then your community can generate solar-sourced electricity after sunset. There are a number of other ways of generating solar-sourced electricity. The old standby is pumping water uphill. 99% non-fuel electricity with 1% biofuel (wood slash is fuel) is a likely target. Just build it!
I believe that we can get rid of freeways. An above-street system with gondolas that somewhat resemble elevator cars could be as inexpensive as 3 cents per passenger-mile (not counting in-car luxuries such as a fridge, a fold-down cot or a big screen for Skypeing) and the electricity equivalent of 300 mpg. The kicker will be that urban autos on clogged freeways are too slow and dangerous
The West Antarctic Ice Sheet doesn’t have to crumble into the ocean. We can grow more fresh water ice using wind power, which is seriously abundant at the poles, and we can restore polar albedos with snowmaking equipment.
I just saw five different ways to sequester carbon into the soil in Fast Times online. The article’s goal was 2 gigatons per year.
Now for the scary part. The U.S. federal government isn’t within a mile of lifting a finger on solar thermal R&D. Your somewhat liberal state’s government is living in a capitalist fantasy where (1) only earning a profit within 90 days counts for anything and (2) only esoteric R&D plans funded by incredibly wealthy out-of-state corporations have any sway with the state’s political elite. Your world is still headed for an avalanche, this is the time to stop it right now, and it’s not being stopped. The latest stupid scheme is to clear-cut or burn down vast expanses of mature trees and then to plant “one trillion” four inch high monocropped little seedlings.
Well gee whiz, concrete proof that the public is more concerned with the future than are the people we elect to run Our nation. The real problem is that the rich are rich not because they are so much smarter but that they are driven by different goals than are the general populations. Combine this with the idiocy that money is speech and the congress is for sale. Both the congress and its patrons are locked in with the bottom line and there is going to be scant money to be generated by adapting to a threat as serious as Climate Change.
In any sort of calamity there are those who look for a sweet deal. This is regrettable and a frightened population seldom makes good decisions. I offer the Trump Administration as an example of the effects of fear. However a thinking, concerned populace with a desire to thrive is a powerful force.
I’m always curious to note that the US has no bullet-train network.
I can only assume it is an alliance of vested interests - the airlines and the auto industries.
"psychologists are continuing to study ways in which we can encourage people to make behavioral changes—both large and small—so that collectively we can help our planet.”
The only behavior that will make a difference is kicking conservatives out of government, business, agriculture, and non-profits, and replacing them with progressives. To accomplish that it will be necessary to dramatically reduce inequality, and while it’s great to have a large majority, what’s really needed is a small group of very committed people. We already have the second and are well on our way to having the first. With the immense power of the very rich now, controlling politics, media, culture, and corporations, it will take everything we have and everything we can do. The results in Iowa show we’re on the way, too, and New Hampshire is looking so solidly in Sanders’ favor it doesn’t look like both corporate parties together can make it look like anyone else won.
It’s extremely frustrating to many. It’s one of the most important climate solutions for the US and the world–a national/international high speed rail network hooked into hubs of light rail, EV buses, publicly-owned EV jitneys, EV short-haul trucks, etc. The electrical grid, though a flabbergastingly enormous job, is one of the easiest of necessary things to do, and primary energy is mainly efficiency, wiser lives, electrifying and clothesline paradoxing. Switching too small-scale low-meat organic permaculture means taking on very powerful and completely psychopathic agro-chemical corporations, but will also help farmers, switching rural states blue once the ideas get out, across, and accepted. Decarbonizing concrete, steel, and forestry mean denying profits to very rich people around the world. But continental transport is easily fixed with high speed and regular rail.
China has done amazing things with hsr as it has with most solutions, and in an incredibly short time. (See this COMMENT ) Its government’s need to keep the economy growing to emulate US consumption, has undercut much of its good work, but we need a mass uprising to force our government to emulate China’s (Confucian?) seriousness about confronting and solving the problem.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been paying close attention to the climate crisis since the early 80’s, and it is our most pressing issue in the long term; however, in this upcoming election the most immediate pressing issue is defeating the Trump regime. Why? Because if he wins it will embolden the Dominionist Christian-nationalist fascists who surround him in the White House, in Congress and the Supreme Court, it will embolden the White Nationalists who support him in the streets, and it will embolden the cult members among us in the public sphere. The Dominionists don’t care about climate change because they see it as Divine action, and see themselves as agents of their god, and exploiting the environment as a mandate from their god. The sooner we wreck the environment, the sooner their god returns. The White Nationalists don’t care about climate change because it isn’t an issue with them, They care more about their fabled race war, and align themselves with the Domnionists. The Cult doesn’t care because they’re gullible idiots.
We’re on the precipice of going from tyranny-lite to full blown tyranny, my friends. And if that happens the climate will be damned and no progress whatsoever towards mitigation will made, but we’ll rapidly move backwards on the issue. AND, we’ll also have to contend with a Christian-fascist tyranny that will oppress any opposition as they see fit, very most likely by the point of a gun. They already hint at abolishing the Democrat party (or any opposition groups), they shit on the concept of a free press, they are working hard to take away any social programs, whether that be a safety net, healthcare, education, or arts and humanities. They want people to suffer, feel helpless, and divided because that makes it easier to control us; and has the added benefit for them because any attempt at rising up will give them an excuse to further oppress and take any rights we may have. And they want people stupid, because stupid people are more gullible, and, easier to control.
This has been coming for a while, with past presidential regimes, congresses and Supreme Courts (Democrat and Republican) expanding surveillance and militarizing the police, along with a corporate media that actively promotes division among us, the Christian fascists have been given tools and an opportunity to up their long-game and actually begin taking control. We’re up against the wall, folks.
Look, I don’t like the Democrats, especially the old guard Democrats who have been complicit in bringing about the things I mentioned in the last paragraph; but, and I hate to say this, getting them back into power in the presidency, not matter which candidate, may -barring active insurrection (which won’t be pretty)- be our last chance to put a halt (for now) to what is awaiting us if the Trump machine wins reelection. His supporters aren’t going to go away if he loses, but at least their insanity will be curtailed some if he is beaten.
May we be at peace.