Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Transferring a trillion a year (in the USA) from burning fuels to building renewables...is the scale of the problem and my little exercise has enabled me to measure it, something I haven't seen from any of the "experts" I've watched over the decades...

To paraphrase Upton Sinclair: "It is hard for a man to measure something if his livelihood depends on him not being able to measure it." Trump's >$1Trillion tax gift to the 0'1% has done one good thing. It has clearly demonstrated that the USA CAN make expenditures on that scale. The task then becomes convincing the electorate that making that scale of expenditure, but on a Green New Deal, is a much better use of the money.

The first argument is that our descendants are doomed if we do not. 'How would you like your great grandchildren? Baked, broiled, boiled or fried?' The next argument is that a Green New Deal instead of fossil fuel subsidies will be vastly more beneficial to the average citizen as mobilization for such a project will end austerity and bring prosperity back to ordinary people by offering them well paying jobs to perform needed tasks. The third argument is to ask them where they suppose their great grandchildren are going to live? Is where they currently live more than 230 feet above sea level?

A fourth argument is subversive of our current understanding of economics. We do not have to choose between abandoning fossil fuels immediately or losing the climate for future generations because of affordability. How did we afford to fight WW II?

Our economy has been limping along because we have allowed economics to be defined by academics who have been bought by billionaires. Money clearly does not work the way it is described by Mainstream Economics. Trump's tax cut for the rich is about the same size as are the needs to finance a Green New Deal, and we have not yet seen high inflation; so do both until we start to see inflation, and then cut the tax break and the subsidies to fossil fuel. What do you fear - prosperity?

And the fifth argument is that the abundant oil from fracking is not now sustainable. Fracking has destroyed capital since the boom started. Wells don't last long enough after being drilled to pay for the cost of drilling. They need to be re-drilled after a few years with new capital. And every reasonable prospect is that this will get worse and that the US will cease to be either an exporter of fossil fuel or even self sufficient in fossil fuel at any price, monetary and environmental, we are able to pay. So it is vastly better to transition to renewable energy while we still can.

Carrots and sticks.

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

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Jul 9th, 2019 at 03:41:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How did we afford to fight WWII?

JM Keynes wrote a book about that back in 1940.  It was one of the references mentioned at that Harvard Law School conference and suggested as a method of funding the Green New Deal.

Wikipedia article on the book:
https:/en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_to_Pay_for_the_War:_A_Radical_Plan_for_the_Chancellor_of_the_Exche quer

Full text:

Solar IS Civil Defense

by gmoke on Tue Jul 9th, 2019 at 07:00:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The consensus view in US Mainstream Economics is that the Stagflation of the '70s discredited Keynes. That is a lie that has been promoted by propaganda spread by media owned by conservative billionaires and taught in countless universities, but it is the common view of those who have even taken introductory economics.

Keynes' discussion in The General Theory about the 'euthanasia of the rentier class' was taken very seriously by the wealthy. Stanford economist Laurie Tarshis sat in on lectures by Keynes in the '30s in England. After WW II he wrote Elements of Economics, an excellent introduction to economics based on Keynes' thinking. William Buckley led the charge against him and stirred up Joe McCarthy who further denounced Tarshis. Elements of Economics became radioactive.

Samuelson introduced some analytical techniques devised by followers of Keynes, Hick, Hanson and Phillips, as what became known as the Samuelson Synthesis in his introductory text 'Economics' in 1948. It was that version, especially the Phillips Curve, that was demolished by stagflation. The Phillips curve was based on assumptions of relatively closed national economies.

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

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Jul 9th, 2019 at 07:33:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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