Regarding the letter to the editor, “Climate fight needs new alternatives” (Aug. 11), there are other ways to fight climate change besides clean energy, but if we don’t largely phase out fossil fuels by 2030, none of them will matter. We have only a decade left to at least get close to net zero greenhouse gas emissions if we are to have any chance of preventing “catastrophic” global warming (National Academy of Sciences). Clean energy is the only way to do that.
We have to start now making a national transition to a clean energy economy. But it doesn’t mean it has to cost us anything. Solar and wind energy, with storage and without subsides, are now cheaper than any fossil fuel, and their prices drop substantially every year (forbes.com, lazard.com). Scaling them up nationally will make them “essentially free” by 2030 (Financial Times, UBS August 2018).
Clean energy will create over eight million high-wage, local, permanent jobs in the U.S. (Stanford University’s solutionsproject.org) and add over $500 billion to U.S. GDP annually (IPCC). This means the Green New Deal’s energy plan will more than pay for itself. Two-thirds of the funding will come from private investment (Vox May 18, 2019).
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Clean energy will be the greatest economic opportunity of the 21st century, and its biggest economic reward — if we act now — will be preventing over $160 trillion in damage to the U.S. economy from future climate disasters (forbes.com).
If you doubt any of this, take a look at the first chapter of the No. 1 New York Times best-seller Uninhabitable Earth (The Times calls it “brilliant”) by Googling “PBS.org, Uninhabitable” and see the peer-reviewed science that shows how inadequate the IPCC and Paris Accords goals are.
“The Green New Deal is affordable; the cost of inaction is incalculable” — Forbes.
Pete Kuntz, Lancaster, Pennsylvania