Realistic Alternative to Green New Deal

 

Alex Berezow takes up the challenge from factually-challenged AOC in his article at American Council on Science and Health Okay, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Here’s An Alternative To Green New Deal Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

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 article that gives a general outline. If even that’s too long, here’s the TL;DR version. [ I had to look it up; TL:DR means Too Long; Didn’t Read]

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.)
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

6 comments

  1. Bob Greene · February 28, 2019

    The first problem is you agree with her premise that we are doomed if we don’t address the problem. In replying you left out cow farts and redoing every building.
    If you believe that action along the green new deal is required, first tell us why you believe that. In doing this first you need to tell us what scenario of doom is valid. I’m a little skeptical because I haven’t found one since Ehrlich in the 60’s that has come true. Then, which projection is right or accurate and what methods of verification it is based on.

    Coal will likely die because of the economics of natural gas. However, coal is not a problem requiring any mandated phaseout.

    Improved nukes sound great, but we do need to address the long term storage and disposal of nuclear wastes. It’s an environmental problem we seem to refuse to address.

    The best green new deal response is not to rise to the AOC’s bait. Remember, we’ve survived NYC under water with constant hurricanes in 2008, end of the world as we know it in 2000, ice free arctic in any of a number of years, mass species extinction, the end of winter as we know it, mass starvation from climate change destroying food production and a host of other disasters. We just might survive AOC.

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    • Ron Clutz · February 28, 2019

      Agree that Cortez is a disaster that we can only survive by keeping our wits about us. And I also await evidence that global warming is dangerous.

      I posted Berezow’s plan because he asserts a realistic way to get where activists say they want to go: a low carbon society. He raises the core issue up front by saying the first step is to start now building GenIV nuclear power plants. Anyone unwilling to do that proves they are not serious, just posturing..

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      • Bob Greene · March 1, 2019

        That means he accepts their arguments as true. Then the discussion is not if it should be done or if anything done in the US would have any effect but how to do it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ron Clutz · March 1, 2019

        I see it differently. My position, at least, is even if you are worried about global warming from CO2 emissions, the longer-term priority is more power from nuclear with natural gas in the meantime. This is about no regrets policy choices in the absence of scientific quantification of human forcing of the climate.

        I think the politics require that climate realists also have a plan for future climate possibilities. Wait and see is not a strong position. Better to affirm that the future will likely have periods both warmer and cooler than the present. And to acknowledge that cold periods are the greater threat to human life and prosperity. The policy imperatives are to ensure reliable, affordable energy and robust infrastructure, which priorities are consistent with Berezow’s plan.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hifast · February 28, 2019

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

    Like

  3. manicbeancounter · March 2, 2019

    Both the AOC and the alternative forget parts of basic the AGW hypothesis.
    Human emissions of GHGs (mostly CO2) cause those GHG levels to rise. This in turn raises global average temperatures which in turn has adverse impacts on the planet.
    It follows from the central hypothesis that constraining future temperature rises means constraining global emissions. But only a minority of countries are proposing to reduce their emissions. So although constraining temperature rise to 2C is estimated by the UNEP Emissions Gap Report 2018 to require emissions to be 25% lower in 2030 than 2017, emissions are projected to rise slightly over that period.
    The USA now has less than one seventh of global emissions. Two-thirds of emissions come from countries who have no current obligation to reduce emissions in the near future. In aggregate these countries have been increasing their emissions for decades, and are likely to continue that growth for decades in the future. In these countries cutting emissions might have huge adverse economic and political consequences.
    The upshot is that restraining emissions in any country will fall far short of delivering the alleged benefits of stopping human-caused climate change. The proposers need to show that the alleged benefits exceed the costs in theory, and they have the competencies to optimize those net benefits in implementing policy.

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