Only a bold plan like the Green New Deal can slow global warming, and that won’t happen if powerful Democrats keep calling for moderation.
[…] As Trump denies, though, Democrats delay. On Friday, in an encounter caught on video, Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein told a group of teenage and preteen climate activists that she won’t support the Green New Deal, an ambitious plan to fight climate change introduced by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey earlier this month. “There’s no way to pay for it,” she said, referring to the plan’s pledge to decarbonize the U.S. economy by the year 2030.
The children pleaded with Feinstein to be “brave” and to think about their future. “We’re the ones who are going to be impacted,” one girl pleaded. The 85-year-old insisted she understood, citing her seven grandchildren, but then dashed the schoolchildren’s hopes. “I’ve been in the Senate for over a quarter of a century,” she said, “and I know what can pass and I know what can’t pass.” Later, Feinstein put out a statement calling climate change one of her top priorities and released a draft resolution of her alternative to the Green New Deal.
Feinstein is not a climate villain on par with Trump. She has a 90 percent lifetime rating from the League of Conservation Voters, while Trump is withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris agreement and his EPA is methodically attempting to undo everything it accomplished under President Barack Obama. But the California senator is the bigger threat to the left’s goal of slowing climate change before it’s too late.
Much of Germany’s renewable power capacity is facing uncertainty regarding its business models as generous feed-in tariffs for many wind, solar and biogas plants end in the 2020s.
With the country needing more, not less, renewable power to meet its climate targets, new legislation, direct marketing schemes and blockchain solutions are being floated, experts told an industry meeting in Berlin.
Between 2021 and 2025, 16,000 megawatts (MW) of onshore wind power capacity will stop receiving guaranteed payments, as will over a million small-scale solar PV producers during the 2020s, according to experts at an event organised by the Clearingstelle EEG|KWK in Berlin.
Natural gas from the U.S. is flooding Polish markets as the European country seeks to loosen Russia’s grip on its energy security, The New York Times reports.
Russia supplies roughly half of Poland’s fuel, but long-term contracts with American companies signed by Poland’s state-owned gas giant PGNiG could displace all of Russia’s supply. U.S.-based companies Cheniere Energy, Venture Global LNG and Sempra Energy have all signed agreements with Poland in the last six months.
Gazprom is Russia’s state-controlled gas company. Gazprom and Europe have a decades-long history of disputes over fuel supply and prices that have caused fuel shortages in many countries across the continent.
A major pipeline connecting Russia with much of Europe passes through Ukraine. Feuds between Gazprom and Ukraine have caused gas shortages across Europe. The disputes usually involve Gazprom negotiating with Ukraine to raise prices.
As the two countries work towards a deal, potentially millions across Europe, including Poland, may be left struggling to stay warm in the dead of winter. Such an event happened in January 2009, after which Poland began trying to diversify its fuel supply away from Russia.
U.S. President Donald Trump greets Poland’s President Andrzej Duda in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., September 18, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Gazprom choked off fuel supply to Ukraine completely in the winter of 2008-2009 and accused the country of stealing fuel meant for sale elsewhere.
“For us it is a new world,” Wozniak told The NYT. “If I pay to Americans, I pay to my NATO allies.”
President Donald Trump has pursued an “energy dominance” agenda consisting of cutting regulations and expanding access to U.S. fuel resources. Trump’s agenda, paired with the shale fracking revolution that swept the oil and gas industry, has grown the U.S. into the world’s largest oil producer.
Does all that sound ridiculously arrogant and scientifically illiterate? Of course it does. Yet, that’s basically how new Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) has responded to the critics of her Green New Deal. We’re all idiots. She’s a visionary.
AOC’s remark to “come up with your own ambitious, on-scale proposal” is precisely the sort of uneducated statement a person who knows literally nothing about a topic says. It’s reminiscent of the anti-vaxxers who say, “If vaccines are so safe, show me the evidence!” There are entire research papers and books dedicated to energy policy. AOC just hasn’t bothered to read any of them.
As it turns out, the solution to climate change isn’t all that complicated. It won’t be accomplished in 12 years; we couldn’t even rebuild the World Trade Center in 12 years. But it can be done. I wrote a brief, 550-word articlethat gives a general outline. If even that’s too long, here’s the TL;DR version:
Start building Generation IV nuclear power plants right now. Not next year. Not tomorrow. Right now. They are meltdown-proof and the best source of carbon-free energy on the planet. Research suggests that the entire world could be on nuclear power within 25 years.
In the meantime, phase out coal while embracing natural gas. Natural gas burns cleaner than coal. If you object to this, then do #1 faster.
Upgrade our energy infrastructure with a smart grid, smart meters, better capacitors, and better transmission lines. All of this is necessary if we want to rely at least in part on solar and wind. (But solar and wind aren’t really necessary; see #1.)
Invest in solar and fusion power research. Current solar technology is too inefficient. The breakthrough we’ve been seeking in solar hasn’t happened yet, but it could. Similarly, fusion is theoretically the best source of energy (even better than nuclear), but scientists haven’t figured this one out yet. It turns out that recreating the sun on earth is kind of hard.
As our energy infrastructure improves, electric car technology will improve along with it, making fossil fuels largely obsolete. (Airplanes might always need fossil fuels, though, much to AOC’s chagrin.)
That’s it. It’s not a sexy plan, but it’s a realistic one. We could actually accomplish this, but so far, there has been no political will whatsoever to do it. Oddly, the biggest opponents are environmentalists, people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.