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2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #52

Posted on 29 December 2018 by John Hartz

A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Dec 23 through Sat, Dec 30

Editor's Pick

Green New Deal: what is the progressive plan, and is it technically possible?

The idea, central to Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign, aims to eliminate greenhouse gas pollution – but lacks key political support

Sunrise Movement Sit-In, Pelosi's Office, Dec 10 2018

Members of the Sunrise Movement advocate for the Green New Deal in Nancy Pelosi’s office on 10 December. Photograph: Michael Brochstein/Zuma Wire/Rex/Shutterstock

Most US voters would support a “Green New Deal”, for the country to transform its infrastructure with a rapid shift to clean energy. But while the idea is gaining attention on Capitol Hill, it lacks key political support.

According to a survey from the Yale Climate Change Communicationprogram, 81% of voters backed its description of a Green New Deal.

Similar plans vary in detail, but all are inspired by the New Deal that Franklin Delano Roosevelt launched to battle the effects of the Great Depression. The idea was central to the high-profile campaign of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the young Democratic socialist from New York who won a US House seat in November. Ocasio-Cortez and the youth-led Sunrise Movement are encouraging Democrats, who will retake the House majority in January, to produce a blueprint.

Their Green New Deal would center around creating new jobs and lessening inequality. Aiming to virtually eliminate US greenhouse gas pollution in a decade, it would be radical compared with other climate proposals. It would require massive government spending.

Dozens of Democrats have signaled support, including potential 2020 presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Cory Booker. This month, New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo said his state would launch its own Green New Deal, seeking carbon-neutral electricity by 2040.

But Nancy Pelosi, Democrats’ nominee to run the House, has not agreed to direct a select committee on climate change to focus on the strategy. 

Green New Deal: what is the progressive plan, and is it technically possible? by Emily Holden, Environment, Guardian, Dec 29, 2018

Links posted on Facebook

Sun Dec 23, 2018

Mon Dec 24, 2018

Tue Dec 25, 2018

Wed Dec 26, 2018

Thu Dec 27, 2018

Fri Dec 28, 2018

Sat Dec 29, 2018

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Comments 1 to 3:

  1. "Discovery of recent Antarctic ice sheet collapse raises fears of a new global flood" points to sks itself. Probably meant link:

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    Moderator Response:

    [JH] The correct link has been inserted into the OP. Thanks for bringing this glitch to our attention.

  2. Regarding the Democrats Green New Deal, their huge, somewhat jaw dropping infrastructure plan to combat climate change. The idea appears to be essentially for the reserve bank to create credit to finance construction of a clean electricity grid, and fund incentives for various projects, somewhat akin to the New Deal of the 1930's.

    The public would obviously be sympathetic because it doesn't involve taxes or levies. That is a significant plus in the scheme.

    I have to confess I'm personally attracted to such things in principle, but I have a big internal sceptic as well. The thing is the risk of inflation. The New Deal of the 1930's worked because the economy was deflating, so printing money was never going to be an issue. The situation is different now in that the economy is not really deflating, and so theres a risk such massive credit creation could be inflationary, and if it emerged the federal reserve would be forced to push up interest rates quite significantly.

    I'm not ruling the scheme out, just raising an issue that would need some analysis.

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  3. It has been almost 20 years since Mark Hertsgaard explained that a Global Green Deal would be required to achieve the corrections that climate science has exposed are required for humanity to develop a sustainable and improving future on this planet (more info in WP Opinion piece by Katrina vanden Heuvel "Why the time has come for a Green New Deal")

    A recent update of that understanding is the USA Green New Deal. And the WP Opinion piece ends by stating that Green New Deals are required in every nation (it needs to be global).

    I reviewed the Green Party's detailed presentation of their Green New Deal. The GP Green New Deal has many similarities to the Leap Manifesto that was developed in the spring of 2015 in Canada. So Global action is happening.

    A significant problem is how easy it is for misleading marketing to convince people that the system corrections identified in the Leap Manifesto or Green New Deal would not be personally advantageous (compared to their incorrectly developed perceptions of prosperity and opportunity).

    Through the past 30 years most of the supposedly more advanced nations, and supposedly most rapidly advancing nations, have developed in the incorrect direction. They have developed an increased requirement for correction (and more future climate change harm).

    Too many people are easily tempted to try to get away with more incorrect activity while avoiding suffering negative consequences. And their exposure to potential negative consequences from the required correction has increased as they prolonged or increased their development in the wrong direction.

    That is the insidious damaging result of the deliberate misleading marketing efforts of undeserving wealthy people. An increasing number of people incorrectly develop larger required corrections that they will have to suffer the consequences of. And their increased resistance to being corrected (to avoid those consequences), just makes things worse (except for a few craftier rich people who manage to evade suffering significant negative consequences for their incorrect harmful actions)

    Correcting popular and profitable activities is very difficult. It is more difficult the more popular and profitable they have been allowed to become.

    The Leap Manifesto and Green New Deal contain many elements that would substantially correct the systems that so incorrectly developed unsustainable and harmful activity.

    But to get to that corrected system, the undeserving winners in the existing systems need to be exposed as being the harmful people they actually are with real potential negative consequences for how they have behaved (the threats of law suits by young people are a good start).

    As Naomi Klein titled her book that was associated with the development of the Leap Manifesto "No is not Enough". It is necessary to do whatever is required to correct or limit the behaviour of the undeserving rich (and wanna be rich) likes of Trump, not just tell them No. Don't just explain that they are incorrect and hope they will behave better (because they won't change their mind unless they sense that they really need to behave better to avoid personally suffering a worse consequence as a result of stubbornly refusing to correct their thinking and actions).

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