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Jobs, Justice, and the Clean-Energy Future


Jobs, Justice, and the Clean-Energy Future

Jeremy Brecher

Today, there are 400 parts per million (PPM) of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, far above the 350 ppm climate scientists regard as the safe upper limit. Even in the unlikely event that all nations fulfill the greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction pledges they made at the Paris climate summit at the end of 2015, carbon in the atmosphere is predicted to increase to 670 ppm by the end of this century. The global temperature will rise an estimated 3.5 degrees Celsius (6.3 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels.


A very valuable approach. Obviously projections of emissions reductions and job gains may turn out to be off but that should not limit taking action. The main problem with this approach seems to be that the type of measures advocated are being done in blue states with Illinois, Maryland, and Connecticut given as examples. The bulk of greenhouse gas emissions probably come from red states because of so much coal burning in those states. With the US divided into 50 states and each state largely having control of electricity production within the state it is very difficult for the US as a whole to obtain the type of emission reductions that are needed to avoid catastrophe.