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How Biden Should Tackle the Climate Crisis

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/12/07/how-biden-should-tackle-climate-crisis

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January 5th is a big question mark in all of this. Legislative measures are more powerful than executive actions. Get out the vote Georgia and make yourself Blue, the climate needs you!

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Encouraging news truly. Pessimism will undoubtedly not be swayed by this one appointment or one seeming commitment to the perils of climate change caused by man’s pollution, and for very good reasons indeed.
Far too many instances of policy determined by the gross polluters in the past to be overjoyed just yet.

But I think we should applaud this effort if only to encourage Biden to further such appointments and policy positions. FDR said to the people, if you want something, make me! Contrary to the opinions of some ,I think Biden a basically decent guy who may very well be evolving in his positions, as his current statements are a far cry from his leanings decades earlier.

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This quote from the Biden Plan “Massive investment in renewable, clean, green energy infrastructure, such as, shifting all federal, state, and local fleets to electric vehicles,"

…can only be considered an “honest” appeal by including plug-in hybrid drivetrain models for ALL vehicle class, weight and purpose. Literally, “1” freight truck 100,000+ miles a year its 550kwh battery. Divided to serve 100 PHEV Prius/Asian 5kwh battery pack capacity that last 10 to 15 years, capacity could possibly go to “1000” Household PHEVs that keep lights on in grid outage, indefinitely when “matched” to rooftop solar and neighborhood mini-grid. This is not the ONLY advantage PHEV tech offers over BEV tech. You guys think you’re so smart. haH!
The most advanced PHEV on the road is the Chevy Volt. Period.
Yet GM doesn’t want to make more of them? Ford too giving up
on Fusion muscle car sedan PHEV? Keeping the Lincoln PHEV?
Freight Truck class PHEV pack is about 100-150kwh
but should last years longer.
Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

The roll of government is about law not social change.
For example while China may currently be the world’s biggest polluter the USA is the world’s largest consumer of Chinese goods.
The USA has no annual budget, National debt is currently 23.3 trillion dollars, the current national deficit is 3.1 trillion dollars, current US auto loan debt is 1.36 trillion and rising, the US has borrowed 4.5 trillion dollars this year. All this is with a population of 328 million people.
The point is not that we as human beings leave the lights on all night around the world but that we as human beings living on a planet with finite resources can not depend on laws or government to curtail human nature.
We do not have a problem until we acknowledge that we have a problem. Human nature must be addressed before our particular solar system is left with no more than a charred planet where our blue globe once shown.

It is the KISS principle. Without making carbon more expensive by a direct tax on carbon they are kidding themselves.

What a surprise, Wellan/Wells posting off-topic lies.
Here’s some of the antidote:
~https://grist.org/politics/a-record-6-native-americans-were-elected-to-congress-heres-where-they-stand-on-climate/#comment-5176141439

Kerry does seem to care about the climate crisis. But not as much as he cares about keeping the US empire’s privilege and position intact, continuing to dominate domestically and foreignly. So the only solutions that will actually help solve anything at this point will continue to be too radical for him or any of the other corporate gray Democrats to consider. Thus we drive toward unparalleled catastrophe.

A massive emergency Green New Deal with inseparable social and equalizing measures–universal health care, universal basic income now for COVID aid that will actually aid those who need it.

Nationalizing and shutting down the fossil fuel, agro-chemical, ICEV, rail, banking and other industries who have demonstrated intransigence on climate. They need to be replaced with public, worker-owned, non-profit forms, and with efficiency, wiser lives, and clean safe renewable energy.

A nationally and internationally coordinated transport system with a high speed rail network hooked into LD rail, local rail and bus hubs. Leased battery EVs where necessary.

A transformation of chemical-industrial ag to small-scale low-meat organic permaculture, and industry to closed loop benign biomimicing forms.

And lots more.

Photo caption:

Woman looking down to text while marching causes hair to almost bump into Christmas-color-themed sign.

From the article:

"[the task force] demands “100 percent clean, renewable energy by 2030 in electricity generation, buildings, and transportation.”

What the source for that actually said:
“The recommendations set a number of specific near-term benchmarks that Democrats would promise to reach. They include moving all electric power off fossil fuels by 2035; achieving carbon-neutrality in all new buildings by 2030; and installing 500 million solar panels in the next five years.”

The word “renewable” doesn’t even appear in the cited source.

“Biden’s original plan mentions carbon capture, use, and storage. Importantly, the task force opposes the use of carbon offset strategies and carbon capture and storage to meet these reductions”

Biden and his leading energy secretary candidates support exploring carbon capture and sequestration. I expect this recommendation against it will be ignored. I also think that’s a good thing.

Nuclear energy: Biden’s original plan said it would work to “identify the future of nuclear energy,” stating that “to address the climate emergency, we must look at all low- and zero-carbon technologies.” Ernest Moniz’s name has been floated as a possible Secretary of Energy. … That prospect concerns many climate advocates”

The problem with Moniz is not that he would support nuclear power, it’s that he was fine with incrementalist and gradualist approaches, and also didn’t see anything wrong with old-tech nuclear. More aggressive candidates that environmentalists generally like include Inslee and Arun Majumdar (my preference) who both support the development of better kinds of nuclear, while recognizing the problems and shortcomings of old-tech nuclear.

Your objections fail to understand how progress is achieved. You seem to seek a panacea that miraculously solves every problem , creates a world in which all vehicles are suddenly transformed into electric power, perhaps by waving a magic wand?

Progress comes in fits and starts, and always has. It comes when people rally together instead of objecting to all and sundry, when we both accept small victories as successes and stop acting curmudgeonly to every step forward.

I’m not objecting to progress with EV technology. I’m not just being contrarian. I’ll admit my perspective is “counter-intuitive” to those who haven’t considered concerns like ‘equitable’ distribution of battery resources; ‘safety benefits’ which only PHEV offers; advanced application for ‘combustible’ hydrogen in ICEngine plug-in hybrid PHEV drivetrain, etc etc.

Plug-in Hybrid tech has more potential to reduce the need for driving than all-battery BEV tech.
Yes, this is a counter-intuitive claim. PHEV tech offers economic incentives like the ‘fuel cost’ for exceeding 50-miles per trip in a Chevy Volt. Daily trips of that length achieve 150mpg, an 80% reduction of CO2 and even closer to zero emission with an equivalent gallon of ‘combustible’ hydrogen.

J4Z never proves a point with insults, slander and loosely associated links. Thank you for not following that lead although you contributed little in the way of disproving my point about effective and equitable battery resource distribution. Progress does NOT occur when environmentally conscientious people are wrongfully misled by automobile-related corporate business interests whose “greenwash” ad campaign agenda is to keep everyone driving with no choice but to drive and replace the car frequently.

In my own opinion you failed to address the points I made in response to you.

Your statement that I seek a panacea to solve every problem is not true. I support BEV tech, but limited to lightweight vehicles. PHEV tech can serve all weight class of vehicle, but especially applicable to freight truck. I also make the claim that PHEV benefits PV solar systems more than than BEV.

I never went to an anti-nuclear power rally back in the 1980’s. I was too busy working full time in the field of home insulation which reduced energy consumption enough to cancel “4” nuclear power plant proposals in Washington and cancel a 5th nuke plant Trojan in Oregon. Homes today are cleaner, more comfortable, healthier, more sturdily build to last as well as more energy efficient.

Maybe you’re like J4Z, only too willing to heap scorn on those who disagree with your opinion? Most environmental activists are ‘followers’ easily misled down the road to nowhere.

Most environmental activists are doing something other than posting empty air here. I can only judge your motives and positions based upon your statements. Those statements to which I responded led me to that conclusion.

So, you worked a job and forget others do as well, then they have time for activism as well. I hjaveno wish to prolong this going nowhere debate…have a nice day.

I don’t expect posters (especially young people) to understand a viewpoint based on experience when their experience as adults has barely begun. I go to this march and that rally not to protest what we shouldn’t do, but to propose what we should do instead. Most attendees are only willing to listen to those whose presentation is either pretentious or inflammatory. Rick DD had nothing of value to contribute. Typical.

Couldnt resist displaying your apparently aberrant personality huh?

First you hadnt the time to attend demonstrations because your job was saving the planet,now you do attend but to council the thousands there? From where and how loud can you shout?

Now that a person has been chosen (~https://www.politico.com/news/2020/12/15/biden-to-tap-former-michigan-gov-granholm-to-lead-energy-department-445782), I’m wondering if either you or @Paul_Swannee have an opinion. Sounds like she has experience in oversight of the auto industry, but I don’t see anything in her background indicating she has a technical understanding of nuclear energy or any other kind of energy for that matter. I’d rather have someone with actual background in energy as opposed to just background in government oversight. But I never really expected Biden has a particular respect for science and would actually hire a capable scientist for the post.

Her base of training is in law, but she has a lot of administrative and political experience, and she’s taken particular interest in healthcare, education, labor, manufacturing, and infrastructure, and she has previously indicated that she sees clean energy and transport as being at the center of those. So she’s been a longtime advocate for wind, solar, and electric cars, and an opponent of tar sands, coal, and the dirtiest fossil fuels. I haven’t found where she has expressed an opinion on nuclear power, other than not mentioning it when she talks about the need to make a transition to clean energy, and some articles have indicated she has no background in nuclear weapons or cleaning up the mess from nuclear weapons. I also watched her TED talk about wind and solar back in 2013, and it was full of optimism, but also seemed like boosterism from someone who doesn’t know much about the subject. However, Moniz had a pretty strong science and technical background, and I thought he was a lousy Secretary of Energy. Rick Perry, on the other hand, came into the department knowing almost nothing about the job and with no science or technical background, and was saddled with carrying out the policies of a pro-fossil fuel administration, and he actually wound up continuing his support for wind and solar that he had as Governor of Texas, and was better about pushing for advanced nuclear development than Moniz–mostly because he picked some good advisers on the subject and he wasn’t so entrenched with the existing nuclear industry as Moniz was. So I think Granholm may be technically weak, but she has a background which may be more useful for the job, her priorities seem generally good, and if she picks the right advisers, she’s got real potential. I would certainly much rather take a chance on her than see the return of Moniz.

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