since out first ancestor lit a fire, humans have been pumping CO2 into
the atmosphere. Add to that the first herder because ruminants are
another large emitter of greenhouse gas (GHG).
people want to declare a national emergency and ban fossil fuels within
ten years. How? I am for it and all ready to go. But please tell me how.
Think of the quarter billion
vehicles in the U.S. and the infrastructure supporting them; the myriad
gas stations and repair shops and the people employed in them;
the thousands of miles of domestic gas pipelines to homes using
gas stoves and gas heating. Think of
the restructuring, the replacement, the energy required, the megatons
of metal and other materials used and their production which all require
one thing -- energy. And what about air travel and the shipping
What of the millions of jobs lost? Think of the jobholders and their families.
Most of these workers cannot switch skills overnight.
These are not just the
million and a half employed in the industry directly, but include
gas company employees,
your gas-furnace repair and maintenance man, the people building
furnaces, gas stoves, the auto-repair infrastructure -- electric motors
of course are darned reliable and need attention only to brakes, tire
rotation and battery coolant checks for the most part -- and so on.
you offer this laundry list, the response is likely to be, "Well I
didn't mean that." In effect, it defines the problem with the Green New
Deal: It is remarkably short on the 'whats' and especially the
'hows'. Funny though I first searched for the Green New Deal at Representative Alexandria
Ocasio-Cortez's (whose courage I admire greatly) official web page and surprisingly found ... well nothing.
Why not something practical like mandating solar collectors on new
you want to suck the CO2 out of the air; you can. It takes 300MW to
500MW of electrical energy per million tons annually. To put it in
perspective, we need to remove at least 20 billion tons (20,000 times
more) each year to remove the minimum of a trillion tons expected to be
emitted by the end of the century. The 10-million-megawatt electrical base required
for this is ten times the current total US electrical power grid of 1.2 million megawatts.
want to bring carbon emissions down to zero. I am all for it even
though our ancestor -- the one who lit the coal fire -- could not. Just
tell me how. If you want to talk about carbon neutrality ... now
there's an idea. But "switching immediately away from fossil fuels"
as I read from one advocate recently
I wish it was possible.
rest of the goals are equally laudable -- in fact I have advocated many
including the necessity for well-paying jobs, infrastructure spending,
eating less meat, and even net-zero emissions. The big question is
'how' against entrenched interests.
meantime, would someone please electrify my local suburban train. The
1950s diesel-electric locomotives spew black smoke and the carriages
designed in the same era. Worse still, the service is chronically
late. Electrification of rail lines and improving public transport in
the U.S. should be job one. But every activity -- and change
particularly -- uses energy.
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