I didn’t see any mention of reducing natural gas heating of houses. Heating buildings is 50% of natural gas use in New England.
For the past two winters my zero-fuel and off-grid solar greenhouse has been growing plants in West Greenwich, RI. Getting pretty close to zero fast really isn’t going to be that hard. Nor will retrofitting be that hard for almost all buildings.
"… the [538-page plan ]calls for selling only zero-emissions vehicles by 2035,…
I would humbly request a working test of an aggressively competitive 300 mpg (electric equivalent) transit system with excellent coronavirus protection by 2023.
“… net-zero greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector by 2040, …”
I have three different on-demand electric generating systems for different purposes. I’d be happy to see all three prototyped within three years.
Hydropumping is when you force water to a higher pond with PV or wind and then let it back down for on-demand power. I want to do the same thing with many satchels of rocks or other clean fill, except at lower cost, without the environmental issues and with less energy lost, maybe at a storage cost of 3 cents per kilowatt-hour. That and PV would undercut natural gas and deliver power at night.
I have patent #8823197 for improvements to a mountainslope solar chimney. Costs per kwh of nighttime electricity are rock bottom but I prefer to see a fairly tall mountain, 2000 meters in elevation would be good enough.
Solar power towers are getting in the range of 3 cents per kwh out west. I can do better, and I can completely eliminate their serious bird killing problems. Storing the solar heat is the key to nighttime generation.
We actually have a “political choice”, folks. We can either relatively quickly die or suffer under the incompetence of republicans regarding COVID19, or endure a long, slow death or suffering under the incompetence of democrats regarding the climate emergency.
Or, we can throw both out, and address these two crises along with many others with the urgency and competence necessary.
Kind of a disastrous mindset when the country has been falling apart, we have a pandemic, an environmental crisis that will make this look like a walk in the park and the worst and most inefficient healthcare system in the developed world. Yeah, as a politician she has strategic concerns. She is also corrupt, rich, and has class and ideological biases. Her job though isn’t to win elections, it is to represent people and to create good policies. From what I can tell, she is good at raking in bribes, virtue signaling and stuttering incoherently on TV. She is horrible on the things that matter, same with Hoyer, Schumer, Clyburn and the rest. Worthless.
since the Dems have ignored science for over 50 years and counting–now delivering an industry supporting bill with the MOST DANGEROUS of the fake alternatives–the one that leaves thousands of tons of highly radioactive waste(still with no safe place to store the radioactive waste for the THOUSANDS of years needed to keep it out of our living space)–that has a high CO2 footprint(think mining-manufacturing the fuel-building the plant-the extra electricity needed to keep the reactors cool) -then proposing an industry friendly bill that does not address the crisis in the time period necessary to slow the advance of climate collapse(by about 20 years to slow–the science says we need to do this task by 2030 if we want our ecosystems to survive–see current -unprecedented heat wave in the arctic and Siberia–watch as methane( a much more potent green house gas) --frozen for millennium is released to the ecospear by the heating planet) and they do this so they can continue to rake in the fossil fuel campaign dollars while gas lighting us with programs that are too little -too late to be of any use —this is not only a betrayal of the people of this country --it is a betrayal of the people of the world–they do this for the money–as pathetic as it is tragic–and certainly NOT worth voting for
Despite longstanding cost and safety concerns related to nuclear power, Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.), the committee’s chair, [told] the Post that “where we landed is: if we’re going to get to our net-zero goal as soon as possible, then nuclear needs to remain part of the equation.”
Nuclear is exorbitantly expensive and has no prospect of becoming economically viable. And that doesn’t even get to the threat to the environment and public health, and the risk of proliferation.
We should be pouring our resources into solar and wind power and energy storage, all of which are on a steeply declining cost curve with far less environmental and health risks and no risk of nuclear proliferation.
My guess is Castor and the rest of her cronies that produced this abomination are on the nuclear teat.
My life has been one of optimism, never seeing a reason to be pessimistic. Until these last few years, watching what passes as government robbing us all blind, turning our police into warriors for the corporate state instead of protectors of our freedom, lying endlessly about how Medicare-For-All and Free Public College is too expensive to consider, but a $Trillion+/year is absolutely necessary for the Military to maintain 800+ military bases all over the world.
Am I cynical?
How can anyone who witnesses this farce not be?
Lord willing, I may see 69 later this year.
As a mainly optimistic person, I don’t see the end being near even though with the virus 2nd and 3rd waves coming, we’ll see.
The lead article in the June 2020 “The Atlantic” is about the ‘religious’/conspiracy/evangelical movement Quanon:
I have attached it to a “New Scientist” article, also the lead, 29-October- 2011, titled:
"Unscientific America - A dangerous retreat from reason"
The title speaks for itself, and six years after its publication, ‘Q’ begins posting, and the madman Donald Trump has been elected President by an equally mad populist electorate.
Which brings us to “Planet of the Humans”, and the documentary on Paul Kingsnorth, lead writer of the “Dark Mountain Project” and its manifesto, who now lives in Galway, on a small farm, with his wife and two young children.
It’s not just the climate, and climate denial - is it ?
In “Planet of the Humans”, there is a particularly riveting interview, when Jeff Gibbs visits a psychologist, Sheldon Solomon (see “Planet of the Humans”, minute ~ 48.00 to ~52:30:
Jon Krakauer, perhaps best known for his Everest book “Into Thin Air”, also wrote, in 2004, a book about the Mormons, “Under the Banner of Heaven”, an eye-popper.
The article referred to above in “The Atlantic” specifically mentions the "Seventh Day Adventists and the Church of Latter Day Saints, two American religions of recent vintage, and suggests that Quanon may be the third.
I am, among other things, an agnostic and a geologist, but I worked framing residential homes for some six years with a evangelical man. And I have experience with other members of the ‘religious right’, even to the point of talking with some Mormon Elders in Salt Lake City on a ski trip down there many many years ago.
Most of these people are unreachable thru fact and logic - their faith is literally unshakeable. That is my experience.
Which brings us to now.
It’s not like there is no reason to question authority these days. Obviously we have been led down the garden path so to speak, in ways too numerous too recount.
And so many retreat into fantasy.
How many - what percentage - that is the question which may determine our future.
(Science is a process, and science really does not “tell us” a specific deadline by which specific benchmarks must be reached. i know that some scientists and others use certain projections of certain climate-related data trends to try to gain public attention in an effective way to start to address the causes of the crisis. i really can’t blame them for that! But it frames “science” in a way that detracts from understanding the process of science, and of the scientific discovery of nature.) All that said, and in that context:
The “deadline” for effective action to reverse the human industrial assault on the ecology was a long time ago. That doesn’t mean we should not act! We need to act now, on multiple fronts, to greatly slow and redirect economic activity while taking care of every one of us. i sincerely believe that IF humanity could get more or less on the same page today, and begin tomorrow to implement an instant transition to an economy based on ecology and agroecology (i’m writing in extreme shorthand here, but: end war; end industrial agriculture; end the investor-owned, limited-liability corporation; redistribute land and wealth equitably; invest in local and regional food economies, not global industrial food commodities; get a couple billion of us directly engaged primarily in the practice of ecology and the practice of agroecology; and work as best we can from where we’re at, to begin to withdraw and shrink the human industrial footprint on Earth’s ecology), we’d have a reasonable chance (no guarantee!) to allow the ecology to re-stabilize before the collapse of human civilization and most ecosystems and species. But given the realities of political power, economic interests, and public consciousness, on a practical level, we’re far, FAR too late. i really just don’t see such a swift shift in consciousness and political power happening. Lots of other way more likely scenarios.
Not to be a downer, and we will of course see. Sudden changes always bring other unforeseen changes, so i don’t absolutely write off the possibility of relatively rapid development of popular movements.
The publication of Silent Spring in 1962 was a clarion wake-up call to change the industrial approach to nature. At a moment when “leaders” of powerful industrial states and corporations should have rallied the public to act to avert catastrophe, Rachel Carson and her book were instead viciously attacked by industrial interests. Nonetheless, the subsequent rise of the “environmental movement” in the 1960s, with the launch of Earth Day in 1970 and the publication of Limits to Growth in 1972, could have grown (in sync with other major movements of that time for civil rights, women’s rights, gay rights and against war) to exercise power and shift the economy. These movements did not coalesce and grow, but were instead thoroughly divided and conquered, co-opted and propagandized into decades of powerless siloed sideline activity, while the looting class imposed neoliberalism and actively and gleefully accelerated the global industrial assault to frenzied new heights.
It sure seems to me that: Any objective observer of human industrial activity from the 1950s into the 1980s – noting the acceleration of key negative ecological impacts and their industrial drivers, and noting also the ascendancy of Thatcher and Reagan and the “new” economic orthodoxy of neoliberalism under the rubric of “The Washington Consensus” (even before the Democratic and Labour parties also adopted neoliberalism) – any objective observer would plainly see the accelerating trajectory toward ecological catastrophe already unfolding, and the extremely short time-frame to change direction.
The 1970s was the deadline, to me.
The institutional power in place that is dedicated to continuing to accelerate the human industrial assault on nature, can’t be turned aside by small non-coordinated groups, even if lots of individuals can see there is an extremely serious problem. It takes movements, organizing and seeking to build to the point where they can exercise power. Working through the duopoly is a dead end, without powerful organized movements taking action outside of electoral politics to impose costs on the “interested parties” who carry out the looting class agendas.
Sorry for the essay, it’s not really a direct reply to you.
But we had these incredible great artists: Beethoven, Mahler, and writers, all kinds of creators who tapped into the beauty of the spiritual, agnostic or not. In the balance of things, don’t they outweigh the capitalists and greed-mongers? In my book they do, but it’s not enough to save us. It’s enough to feel completely devastated that their good work may be lost to the humans left to pick up the pieces, if there are any.
That’s debatable because without humans to control such things as nuclear reactors etc the planet will suffer “fall-out” from radiation. The book “the world without us” by alan weisman explains this and other consequences.
I thought President Obama fixed climate change with that 100-year supply of miracle bridge fuel brought to us by super clean fracking…that didn’t work? No worries. Nothing a little more incrementalism can’t fix, just like it has fixed the rest of our pressing problems since the 70s. Anyway, The Guardian says that the Dems have made bold proposals. And I just know they are doing the best they can to save us.