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Paying for a Green New Deal and a maximum effort to minimize climate change is not really the problem. The world is teetering on the edge of recession at present in no small part due to the economic orthodoxy of tight money and austerity in Europe and the USA. Aggressively pursuing a Green New Deal would change that dynamic and put the economies of those following such a plan into a growth mode. Growth will provide additional resources to support the endeavor. That growth largely needs to be channeled into social overhead capital rather than personal consumption.

The renewable energy investments would be self liquidating and profitable due to the reduction in cost of energy they would bring. To quell deficit hysteria it might be wise to form a federal agency tasked with issuing bonds at rates around 2% with interest returning to the US Treasury. Injection of more than $1Trillion per year in GND projects would boost GDP and employment growth as it would be investment in real assets, vs. money supplied simply for stock buy backs and asset speculation. With broader understanding of economic possibilities these investments could simply be deficit financed.

The challenge then would be to encourage the additional income derived from this activity to go into buying new products that have low carbon emissions, such as electric vehicles, energy efficient housing, education and cultural activities. We would want to see longer design lives for durable consumer goods so as to amortize the carbon costs of their manufacturing over a longer time period. And we need to reduce the waste involved in the sale, distribution and consumption of food and clothing.

But all of the above is conditional on wresting control of the US Government from Republicans and diluting the influence of 'centrists' in the Democratic Party. When we can start such programs depends on how much political power changes and how quickly. We may not be able to pursue the most ambitions aspects of such a program until 2022, if Republicans and centrist Democrats retain too much control after 2020. Even with a Democratic Senate in 2020, unless the Senate majority is in the mid to high 50s pushing through a bill to end fossil fuel subsidies will likely be a non starter. That is not to say we should not do so at the earliest real opportunity.

But just having control of the House and the Presidency allows significant progress. Regulations and regulators that Trump has changed can be changed back and some aspects of a GND could be started. The fact that the climate won't wait just increases the extent to which our efforts have to go when we do get the chance.

Politics is the art of the possible. That does not well comport with the urgent needs of the ecosystem.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Jul 8th, 2019 at 05:59:10 PM EST

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