The most significant goals:
- Reaching 100 percent renewable energy for electricity and transportation by no later than 2030 and complete decarbonization by at least 2050
- Ending unemployment by creating 20 million jobs
- Directly invest an historic $16.3 trillion public investment
- A fair transition for workers
- Declaring climate change a national emergency
- Saving American families money
- Supporting small family farms by investing in ecologically regenerative and sustainable agriculture
- Justice for frontline communities
- Commit to reducing emissions throughout the world
- Meeting and exceeding our fair share of global emissions reductions
- Making massive investments in research and development
- Expanding the climate justice movement
- Investing in conservation and public lands to heal our soils, forests, and prairie lands
- This plan will pay for itself over 15 years
> ...reduced hours worked in low-wage jobs by 6-7 percent, while hourly wages in such jobs increased by 3 percent ... consequently, total payroll for such jobs decreased.
> Those who were already working more hours before the wage increase saw “essentially all of the earnings increases,” while the workers who had fewer hours saw their hours go down, but wages go up enough so that their overall earnings didn’t really change
Seems like its a mixed bag, and depends on circumstances.
In other words, A) does the local cost of living matter to its success? and B) does the limited rollout keep inflation in check?
Is YC still studying UBE in an attempt to answer questions like these?
Even a full scale rollout probably would as well - minimum wage workers are not only a small part of the overall workforce but also the ones that obviously make the less, so they can't possibly increase total consumption significantly.
If Republicans gain control of the President at any point between 2024 and 2050, they will make every effort to ruin it as much as possible. And if they also get the House and Senate, they will dismantle the whole thing. Then what? Will it all be for nothing?
They've already dismantled Obamacare by removing the individual mandate. It's just a matter of time - Obamacare will inevitably collapse because the economics are unsustainable.
They'll do the same to Bernie's deal. Is there anything Bernie can do to stop this?
The only reason it worked for the short period that it did is because many insurance plans significantly raised their deductibles.
It was a half measure that only further entrenched insurance companies.
Healthcare needs to be single payer, period. Allowing for individuals to purchase plans to supplement single payer if they choose to do so, but it needs to be single payer at its core. And the US govt. needs to be able to strong-arm providers into lowering costs.
The green deal would, hopefully, be mostly infrastructure. Solar power plants, battery installations, maintenance jobs for those fields.
I'm not sure how I am misinformed about the individual mandate. I see nothing that I disagree with in your comment, so I think you missed my point, or misread something I said?
I'm with you as being pretty pro nuclear, but if I'm making a plan to spend $16T, why even bother with half measures; just go straight for the future ideal.
Why bother with energy storage if we can just deliver enough capacity to meet peak demand 24/7 and use the excess energy to sequester carbon out of the atmosphere during non-peak hours? If we don't just want to stop emitting CO2 but actually reverse climate change, then we need truly immense amounts of energy.
Nuclear lost (for commercial generation; edge cases like the Arctic circle and marine applications are still valid). It’s time we get over it and build as much solar, wind, and batteries as we can, and get Americans trained to deploy these technologies. Anything else is deck chairs on the Titanic. Drive out fossil fuel use through any means necessary.
American nuclear plants tended to be one-off projects of unique designs. This is drastically less cost efficient than what the French did, design a handful of standardized designs and do serial production.
Everyone gets subsidies, provide them wisely.
If the government is going to pick our power source, then there's little justification not to choose the source that is more cost effective and does not require complex energy storage.
The main reason I see why democrats stay away from nuclear power is twofold. One, nuclear plant operators are typically traditional power companies and thus Republican donors. Democrats don't want to give contracts to the people that fund their political opponents. Second, the cost efficiency of nuclear power in the long term mens that it won't result in as many jobs. The reality the emphasis on the phrase "Green New Deal" is on the latter two words. These plans are promising 10-20 million jobs. These are federal jobs programs with the word "green" prepended to them.
Yes, batteries can be recycled, but from what I've seen, many of the efficiency figures are grossly overstated (or absolute best-case scenarios rarely seen in practice).
If so, it can only mean exponentially more coal/gas power generation to supply power during peak demand. How does that help?
Batteries and their lower costs will meet us at peaking needs in 3-5 years. There are hundreds of GWs of battery manufacturing capacity coming online over that time frame. Every million Tesla EVs is 10GW of controllable battery storage load on demand (example used only because I’m familiar with their presentation on it, and have seen it’s orchestration demo).
I’ve also seen a proposal to transmit electricity from Northern Africa solar generation to Europe, but nothing has come of it.
It’s absolutely silly to keep arguing against renewables. Enough sunlight falls on the Earth in an hour to power humanity for a year. The wind blows almost everywhere.
I didn't do the math, but some dudes (officially half pro nuclear) say that you cannot run industries on "maybe sun will power your furnace today".
The hypothetical scenarios in which nuclear waste can contaminate humans are borderline hyperbolic. Yes, if society collapses and all records of disposal sites are lost, and if some future civilization digs a mile deep in a location with no natural resources, and if they crack open a nuclear waste casked, and if they manage to do all this without knowledge of radiation then they will be irradiated.
All we need is safe transport across large distances? It's not something we're very good at..
1. These concrete caskets look like this: http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2015/ph241/avery-w2/images...
> An average of 1,390 containers have been lost at sea each year over the past three years, [...]
And besides, losing one (or even dozens) of these caskets at sea will not result in any noticeable increase in radiation. Multiple nuclear powered summaries have sunk with fuel still in their reactors.
The point remains: nuclear waste is a non-issue, and it is extremely difficult to use it as an objection to nuclear energy in an intellectually honest manner.
Don't huge windfarms affect the local climate and wildlife? Afaik we don't know the long term effects of massive sustained wind farms.
Have we solved the solar storage problem yet?
I read something about massive battery plants and/or high speed flywheel energy storage, but as far as I know this is still a problem.
I vote we go all in on nuclear just to quickly remove coal, and then slowly phase out nuclear with better, low-impact renewables.
Yes, and we should pay (with money) more attention to study that. However we shouldn't/can't stop because of that and wait till we'll know more certainly - in general; some decisions need to be made early, and this question is an example.
> Have we solved the solar storage problem yet?
We have a variety of ways to store energy, and we're getting better with it with time, so forecasts here are optimistic. This is still a problem, but, again, we may move forward with other parts while we improving on batteries.
> I vote we go all in on nuclear
I think with nuclear we're uncapping worst case scenarios. This is harder to calculate, so I'm hesitant.
Wish he had more of the spotlight.
I mean, free market is still free to jump in and create nuclear power plants and CCS technologies, or am I wrong?
How do you do that efficiently is going to be a challenge, sure, but one we need to undertake.
Firstly it can only be applied to large stationary emitters of co2 so stuff like refineries and gas/coal power stations but that makes up if i remember only 25% of our total emissions so the bigger stuff like transport and agriculture is missed.
Secondly its quite challenging to implement. think about how few plants can be retrofitted with the process, and even so you need a bunch more energy to convert it to a liquid form for long term storage so you need excess power generation in the first place (even more if you want to convert into a sort of brick). Even once its in liquid form thats an enormous volume of liquid we need to store somewhere and just think how much people hate living next to powerstations right now - so people are going to be okay living under like a billion cubic meters of Co2 gas that can start seeping into air in a few years time. So ok we have to start piping this gas far away into giant underground storage containers but even so thats a lot of infrastructure and there arent many places that have these big caverns we can pipe it into. And the volumes must be immense. Like absolutely immense if we want to do it on a large scale. And right now oil is worth like 30-40 USD per barrel? Pumping that Co2 back into the ground who wants to pay for that? It seems crazy to me. Planting trees and stopping the amazon from burning seems like a much more sensible investment
The other reason is that there's a large consensus that believes that we're not in a climate for moderate politics to thrive because some members of congress have a tendency to negotiate in bad faith. There's a widely held belief on the left that the GOP cannot be negotiated with, and any kind of call to the center requires giving them more power.
If politicians like Sanders created their proposals based on what the other side was saying, we’d never have major discussions around our culture, policy, or anything else of consequence. In this hyper partisan, bifurcated media environment, we’re constantly bombarded with accusations of Nazism juxtaposed with accusations of Red-scare socialism. I don’t know many people that actually care what the other side is saying because we tend to focus on what our side is saying.
The big problem I see is that people want proposals to be perfect on arrival, which isn’t possible because A) perfect is subjective and people disagree on details, and B) in our legal system, just like life, nothing ever goes exactly to plan. As I said earlier, legislation is often passed by making trade-offs, and the ideal is often a moving target.
We shouldn’t look at proposals like this and expect them to come out exactly the way they’re advertised because our system has never, ever worked that way.
Look at the early drafts of Obamacare compared to what was eventually passed. Was the ACA a failure because dems made serious concessions around several aspects of the bill? How often do you hear that Obama was a failure because he wasn’t able to pass the ACA as he originally envisioned it? Never.
The problem is, there's no "middle solution" to climate change. There was 30 years ago, but we didn't do it then, and now it's too late. There's nothing "realistic" about being too indecisive to save the planet.
If a middle ground is "not surviving" then it sounds pretty shit.
Wind and solar power do not do any of these things either. By comparison, maritime nuclear power could power cruise ships. Nuclear powered carbon sequestration can produce oxygen. I don't know why you're bringing up ocean waste dumping, since that's a waste disposal issue and has little to do with energy production.
For the same amount of money it would take to build up wind and solar capacity to 100% (or even close to 100%) of electricity generation, we could build nuclear plants that put out 5x as much energy or more. And then use that excess energy to sequester CO2 out of the atmosphere. That's what it takes to actually stop global warming. Even eliminating all CO2 emissions won't stop global warming because the existing CO2 emissions are enough to keep temperatures rising for the next 100 years.
If we can hand over trillions of dollars to save big banks, we can hand over what is necessary to save the planet.
Yes, it sucks, but someone has to be the first to bite the bullet.
That's not how subsidies work. "Subsidies" here are just lower tax rates for R&D spending.
If those tax breaks go away, so do most of the energy projects associated with them. The taxable income would shrink, and you'd have less money, not more.
The levelized cost (that is, including overhead costs of plant construction) are still lower than solar. Less than solar and about the same as wind, except that nuclear isn't intermittent which eliminates the need for energy storage. At $120 per megawatt hour, this $16 trillion could be used to generate 128000 terawatt hours of electricity .
Let's put this in more concrete examples. The total us electricity generation is ~1 terawatt. The Palo Verde plant generates ~4 gigawatts and cost $12 billion in 2018 dollars . At this cost/capacity ratio, $16 trillion could be used to generate just over 5 terawatts. Over 5x the current capacity of the US power generation grid. What's even more impressive is that this is a one-off plant design, which is much less cost effective than serial plant production (like what the French did during the 70s and 80s) where a handful of designs are created but dozens or more plants are built using those designs.
Granted electricity isn't the only form of energy consumption, but it is a huge source of carbon production that can be replaced.
Contrary to popular belief nuclear power plants have historically been the safest forms of power generation. Even more so if you restrict the analysis to nuclear power plants in developed western countries, where there are zero deaths due to radiation and only a few during construction. We could take 1/5th of the 16 trillion to construct the plants and have over 12 trillion left over to insure them.
>Japan's economy, trade, and industry ministry recently (as of 2016) estimated the total cost of dealing with the Fukushima disaster at ¥21.5 trillion (US$187 billion), almost twice the previous estimate of ¥11 trillion (US$96 billion). A rise in compensation for victims of the disaster from ¥5.4 trillion (US$47 billion) to ¥7.9 trillion (US$69 billion) was expected, with decontamination costs estimated to rise from ¥2.5 trillion (US$22 billion) to ¥4 trillion (US$35 billion), costs for interim storage of radioactive material to increase from ¥1.1 trillion (US$10 billion) to ¥1.6 trillion (US$14 billion), and costs of decommissioning reactors to increase from ¥2 trillion (US$17 billion) to ¥8 trillion (US$69 billion).
Three Mile Island is one where the liability cap wouldn't have mattered so much, but compare Chernobyl. And compare plausible scenarios affecting populated areas depending on the winds, etc.
The liability cap is so extreme, it is as if you had to only buy insurance to cover your healthcare deductible, and the government paid for all the actual insurance.
The nature of insurance is that th cost of it is amortized. One individual plant may create a hundred billion dollar disaster, but spreading this risk over hundreds or thousands of plants results in a liability rate that is not so large per plant.
Three-mile island was a 5 on the INES scale, Fukushima a 7:
Tokyo (the most populous metropolitan area in the world) was considered for evacuation, and had things gone a little different it may have been evacuated.
When they do we tend to get ignorant choices (because 99% of them are not scientists or engineers) and corruption. A great example is our biofuels programs that gave us corn ethanol, which is literally the absolute worst possible biofuel for EROEI. Another example unrelated to energy is the Space Shuttle. NASA would have built a much more affordable and reusable orbiter had Congress not mandated a bunch of extra capabilities that were never used, specific contractor mandates, and other meddling that ruined the design.
Just tax fossil fuels and other carbon emitting activities. Do not allow politicians to get involved in picking the alternatives or they'll pick the wrong ones or be influenced by lobbyists for the most expensive or politically well connected ones.
I also don't like the categorical rejection of nuclear. I'm not strongly for expansion of current-generation nuclear power but I am also not at all opposed to more research on better ways of exploiting fission energy. I'm also strongly in support of increasing funding for fusion energy given the progress that's occurred in areas like compact superconductors and computer modeling. If we can solve fusion we'd at the very least have a source of base load power for regions with strong base load power demands and that lack large scale renewable resources sufficient to meet that demand.
Sanders has categorically rejected PAC money and large donations from high-profile donors. If you had a rate a candidate's platform based on likelihood of lobbyist influence, this would undoubtedly be one of the least corrupt proposals.
Edit to clarify: I also think we'll end up with a lot of well-meaning people who simply don't understand the science or the engineering wasting a lot of money. Corruption is a problem but it's not just corruption.
That's why I like incentives much more, whether they be tax incentives or general goal-oriented subsidies. There's a lot of surface area to work with here, not just carbon taxes:
* Extending and deepening EV tax credits.
* Reforming zoning laws to encourage density and eliminate impediments to it. This is largely a state thing but the Fed could apply pressure or incentives to states. It would also help with the housing affordability crisis that exists in some cities and states.
* Tax credits to encourage higher density housing, such as an increased mortgage deduction for condominiums in multi-story buildings and a rent deduction.
* Building public transit, a lot of public transit, and fixing/elminiating the regulatory and bureaucratic nonsense that stops the US from building high speed rail like other developed nations.
* Funding R&D by labs and universities with a record of producing results in areas like batteries, next-generation nuclear power, fusion, better solar PV, etc.
There are also some areas where you might have to fight with environmentalists, like expanding hydropower. I've long wondered how much hydropower potential there is in Northern Canada and how efficiently it could be transported by HVDC lines to the US. Would Canada like another big export?
What data do we have on how much is skimmed from proposals like this, or fraudulent companies that are set up to exploit this funding?
Michael Lewis talked a bit about this in The Fifth Risk, particularly the Solyndra scandal. The Obama administration took a lot of heat politically for Solyndra, which in reality amounted to a tiny tiny fraction of funds made available for solar development, and the overall solar research fund that Obama allocated wound up turning a profit for the government. You wouldn't know that based on the reporting though.
So Manhattan Project and Apollo program were mistakes, in your opinion?
What I dislike about this and other proposals is politicians specifically saying what technologies should and should not be used. That's the road to an expensive failure. Instead we should just tax carbon and set emissions goals and let the people who know how to build stuff build stuff.
1) Carbon taxes just get passed on to the consumer. This makes them incredibly unpopular, because consumers see a short-term cost, but not a short-term benefit. In the US, this means that implementing a carbon tax is a good way to make sure you get voted out and replaced by a climate-denier in the next election. The Yellow Vests movement in France was sparked largely by a fuel tax.
2) Using a consumption tax also means that the poorest people of society pay the highest cost (relatively speaking.) It's unjust to make the poorest people pay the most, especially since they also do the least "damage."
3) According to the IPCC report, a carbon tax high enough to effect a rapid enough change would effectively be a fossil fuel ban anyway.
People do these things to make ends meet. Make their ends meet on condition that that stop doing $BadThing, and the problems stemming from e.g. burning the rainforest will diminish.
If the countries themselves aren't willing to establish these programs, let's help. Climate is a world game with all humanity on one side.
Alternatives are always welcome; but the premise here is that we need them to do it. We need everyone to do it.
China now burns more coal than all the other countries of the world, combined.
Any plan ignoring China's dramatic carbon emissions growth (for example: the Paris Accords) will do nothing to stop climate change.
Commit to reducing emissions throughout the world, including providing $200 billion to the Green Climate Fund, rejoining the Paris Agreement, and reasserting the United States' leadership in the global fight against climate change.
from p. 12:
In order to help countries of the Global South with climate adaptation efforts, the U.S. will invest $200 billion in the Green Climate Fund for the equitable transfer of renewable technologies, climate adaptation, and assistance in adopting sustainable energies. U.S. leadership can ensure that the developing world secures reliable electricity, reduces poverty and pollution-related fatalities, creates greater net employment, and improves living standards - all while reducing greenhouse-gas emissions
nitpicking, did he consider changing "reasserting" to "asserting" ?
If, e.g., droughts and floods make a various regions holding, say 1 billion people unable to sustain themselves, those billion people are going to be forced to try to move to some place they can survive. That may cause us a lot more than $200 billion worth of trouble.
(Not that $200 billion is going to counteract the effects of climate change, but they idea is that it would substantially mitigate the most serious issues. I have no idea if that's true under this plan or possible under any plan, but that's the idea.)
Devaluing the currency as a form of redistribution downward seems to be way more radical then devaluing it for wealth transfers to military contractors and large institutions. Why is that?
Oddly, I hear it all the time.
Perhaps two wrongs don't make a right.
Maybe, from a libertarian "I got mine"/"I did this all on my own" attitude. But, damn that is a simplistic, selfish outlook