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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 2/17/19

Bill McKibben: Climate Change Is Scary -- Not the Green New Deal

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What the future looks like is "upgrading all existing buildings," because it's now easy to do. Example after example shows that technology like, say, air-source heat pumps don't just cut carbon, they cut heating bills, making them affordable from day one.

We're against these things because why again?

That better future doesn't come for free, but it costs pennies on the dollar compared to the future Ebell and his Beltway ilk apparently accept, the one where you have to start moving all the residents of Miami, the one where fire season never stops, the one where growing wheat becomes a chancy proposition. And if you think these political conservatives prefer a less costly plan, think again: When Barack Obama proposed the mighty-modest Clean Power Plan to reduce the use of coal-fired power plants, Ebell called it "illegal."

What Ebell and his colleagues prefer is -- nothing. It's sticking with coal and gas and oil while the global temperature rises another degree and another and another. Forget the Dark Ages merely 1,500 years ago -- Ebell would set Earth back to the interglacial Eemian era, 130,000 years ago. Or maybe the Eocene-Paleocene Thermal Maximum, 55 million years ago.

It's very clear that conservatives have one plan for dealing with the popularity of the Green New Deal: scaring the hell out of people. And it's very clear that they have one big problem: The hell they're building through inaction is a lot scarier than "upgrading all existing buildings."

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Bill McKibben is the author of a dozen books, including The End of Nature and Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future. A former staff writer for The New Yorker, he writes regularly for Harper's, The Atlantic Monthly, and The (more...)
 
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