The letter “Climate Change and Knowledge” (Press & Dakotan, July 29) asked “What to do?” Vote. Vote November 2020 for a new president and a new Congress that will make the massive greenhouse gas emissions cuts we need, nationally, starting January 2021.
We have run out of time. We have ignored the warnings of the scientists for decades and now we have just a decade left to get at least close to net-zero emissions by 2030 or we’ll create “catastrophic” global warming (National Academy of Sciences).
The good news is a rapid, nationwide transition to clean energy won’t have to cost us anything and it will have enormous economic rewards. By scaling up solar and wind, we’ll make them virtually free by 2030, according to UBS and the Financial Times (August 2018).
A new, detailed 38-page version of the Green New Deal’s energy plan shows it will more than pay for itself, with two-thirds of the money coming from private investment (vox.com May 18, 2019). The remaining third will be massively counterbalanced by a $500 billion annual increase in U.S. GDP (National Academy of Sciences), mainly because of all that free energy and 8 million high-wage, local, permanent green jobs.
The costs of doing nothing about climate change will be disastrous. Just a half-degree increase in global temperatures will cost the $13 trillion, and we’re already locked into at least a 1.5C increase and heading for a 4C to 5C increase (National Academy of Sciences). You do the math.