Friday December 21st… Dear Diary. The main purpose of this ongoing post will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials)😊.
The Green New Deal
Bold action is required to win the Climate War, so I am pleased that a relatively new idea, the Green New Deal, is catching fire across most political divides worldwide. For this post let’s see what the Green New Deal entails and briefly go into how it can help to win the Climate War. Here is some history and a definition from Wikipedia:
The Green New Deal (GND) is a proposed economic stimulus program in the United States that aims to address both economic inequality and climate change. The name refers to the New Deal, a combination of social and economic reforms and public works projects undertaken by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in response to the Great Depression. Supporters of a Green New Deal advocate for a combination of Roosevelt’s economic approach with modern ideas such as renewable energy and resource efficiency.
An early use of the term Green New Deal was by journalist Thomas L. Friedman. He argued in favor of the idea in two pieces that appeared in the New York Times and The New York Times Magazine. In January 2007, Friedman wrote: “You have put a windmill in your yard or some solar panels on your roof, bless your heart. But we will only green the world when we change the very nature of the electricity grid — moving it away from dirty coal or oil to clean coal and renewables. And that is a huge industrial project — much bigger than anyone has told you. Finally, like the New Deal, if we undertake the green version, it has the potential to create a whole new clean power industry to spur our economy into the 21st century.“
This approach was subsequently taken up by the Green New Deal Group, which published its eponymous report on July 21, 2008. The concept was further popularized and put on a wider footing when the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) began to promote it. On October 22, 2008 UNEP’s Executive Director Achim Steiner unveiled the Global Green New Deal initiative that aims to create jobs in “green” industries, thus boosting the world economy and curbing climate change at the same time.
Broadly, the proposals for a Green New Deal echo the recommendations of United Nations organizations such as ICLEI or the TEEB, of global NGOs, and of the Basel II and related monetary accords, especially as these relate to reforms to measurement of fundamental ecosystem risk and financial liabilities. The reinsurance industry has also expressed support for the general principles of global carbon and emissions charges, for metrics of ecosystem destabilization risk, and for raising the price companies and individuals have to pay when using nature’s services and natural resources.
Several measures proposed as part of a Green New Deal have already been implemented in one or more G8 or G20 countries including Norway, South Korea, the UK, Germany, and the US. The financial proposals echo some of the programs already underway at the IMF, World Bank, BIS and ECB that aim to better reflect the value of ecosystems and reduce systematic incentives to invest in “dirty” or destructive industries. Global indices like the Global Green Economy Index (GGEI)  have been tracking national performance on many of the topics included in the Green New Deal framework, allowing for transparent comparisons and benchmarking between states. This approach enables an integrated view of how different aspects of a national green economy interact.
- Government-led investment in energy and resource efficiency, as well as reusable energies and microgeneration;
- Low-carbon infrastructure redevelopment in order to create jobs;
- A directed tax on the profits of oil and gas companies with proceeds being invested in renewable energy and energy efficiency;
- Financial incentives for green investment and reduced energy usage, including low interest rates for green investment;
- Re-regulation of international finance, including capital controls, and increased scrutiny of financial derivatives – likely along the lines of Basel II;
- Curbing corporate tax evasion through compulsory financial reporting and by clamping down on tax havens;
- A Global Marshall Plan Initiative using “green quantitative easing” to create money to fund the “great transition” to a society free of fossil fuels and other measures that aim to preserve the biosphere.
Please read the Wikipedia article in its entirety for more.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a new firebrand House Of Representative from New York, has led the charge for the Green New Deal, actually leading a sit in and protest in the halls of Congress for the proposal. New Democrats with very little governing experience, though, need to be cognizant of how polarizing such a proposal can get…and fast. Already political lines on the Green New Deal are being drawn for 2019 as 2018 comes to an end.
Here is more from Politico: https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/12/19/green-new-deal-congress-history-mcgovern-223315
Since Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made a “Green New Deal” a cornerstone of her legislative agenda earlier this month, liberals have been buzzing about its transformative potential to fight climate change. Some even view the comprehensive package of federal planning and jobs programs designed to tackle emissions, pollution and environmental decay as a progressive panacea: a strategy to rollback President Donald Trump’s climate policies (or lack thereof), end economic inequality and win elections in 2020 and beyond. “This is going to be the New Deal, the Great Society, the Moonshot, the Civil Rights Movement of our generation,” Ocasio-Cortez said alongside Senator Bernie Sanders recently. Over the last month, a number of lawmakers, including presidential aspirants like Cory Booker, have been pressured by activists to endorse the program.
The Green New Deal, while ambitious, is smart politics. By branding proposals for carbon emission caps, infrastructure investments to adapt to the already changing climate, and federal job creation to satisfy those and other environmental objectives all as a Green New Deal, Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders and other proponents have made the unprecedented seem familiar, wedding the party’s successes of the 20th century to its future in the 21st. Indeed, they have aligned their agenda by name with a time when outsized aspirations for reform were commonplace in the Democratic Party.
Please read the article, which goes into how a similar proposal as the Green New Deal (The National Economic Conversion Commission) got botched during the 1960s. To sum up the political situation quoting Politico:
“Above all, if a Green New Deal is to ever happen—and it likely couldn’t until at least post-2020 because of the extent of modern partisanship—Democrats would need to be united this time and firm in their commitment to its bold agenda and its place in their broader platform.”
It will be interesting to see what happens with the Green New Deal in the United States the next couple of years. I’m not too optimistic thinking that Democrats will have to regain the presidency and Senate with the party swinging much more to the left by 2021 to get anything substantial done. Also though, more extreme climate change related weather could sway more policy makers towards doing the right thing. We will see. And yes there is a facet of the Democratic Party is not alarmed enough:
Asking Members who accept fossil fuel money to recuse themselves from climate change legislation avoids a conflict of interest. Not a 1st Amendment violation! It’s common sense political reform which Dems say is our first priority! @Ocasio2018 https://t.co/9vdXvmoDoQ
— Ro Khanna (@RoKhanna) December 21, 2018
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 21, 2018
Here is some more climate and weather news from Friday:
(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity.)
Be patient, wait for the ending…#ClimateChange
— #ClimateJustice (@1o5CleanEnergy) December 21, 2018
Greetings Earthers, its the Winter Solstice for us in the North and the longest day of the year for those of you down under. What wonderful world we live on! pic.twitter.com/jGAUIYlCCi
— Bill Nye (@BillNye) December 21, 2018
The 1.5C warming goal puts us in a bind: either we have to reduce global emissions to zero in two decades (which is incredibly unlikely to happen), or to rely on massive-scale deployments of technologies to remove CO2 from the atmosphere, as in all the 1.5C IAMs. pic.twitter.com/T8wHMv1geZ
— Zeke Hausfather (@hausfath) December 21, 2018
These outcomes only perpetuate the inequity at the heart of these global climate talks.
Wealthier countries, like the US, that have done the most to cause the climate crisis are shirking their moral and legal responsibility toward poorer countries, https://t.co/pOEi0MXaPK
— Paul Dawson on Climate Change (@PaulEDawson) December 21, 2018
Hailstones the size of tennis balls hammer down on Sydney amid summer storms in the Australian city.
— ABC News (@ABC) December 21, 2018
It's official! With 0.97" of rain today, the Newport/Morehead City National Weather Service has eclipsed the 100-inch mark for 2018, our wettest year on record! Our year-to-date total is now at 100.43 inches.
— NWS Newport/Morehead (@NWSMoreheadCity) December 21, 2018
Here are some of today’s warm “ETs:”
While astronomical winter arrived at 5:23 pm this afternoon, the strong southerly flow ahead of the storm moving through the Eastern US resulted in several high temperature records broken today across the Northeast. pic.twitter.com/KNC7oDupJK
— NWS Eastern Region (@NWSEastern) December 21, 2018
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The Climate Guy