13 votes

The Green New Deal Needs WWII-Scale Ambition

2 comments

  1. spctrvl Link
    I think this is the first time I've ever read an article that categorically overestimated the amount of money we need to be spending on reversing climate change and achieving a just economy. I get...

    I think this is the first time I've ever read an article that categorically overestimated the amount of money we need to be spending on reversing climate change and achieving a just economy.

    We can end global warming pollution and build a just, green economy in ten years with a budget of $50 trillion a year.

    I get that the numbers aren't really the point, but maybe that means the article shouldn't have featured so many of them, especially given they're mostly asspulls. For reference, $50 trillion is pretty close to the entire global GDP, and the article was just talking about America, which has a less than 20 trillion dollar GDP.

    And let me tell you, it is some twilight zone shit for me to be critiquing an environmental or economic plan for being too ambitious, but frankly, there's nothing I can think of that you can even do that costs that much money. I guess that 'building a more just economy' gives you some leeway, but even a guaranteed living income for all Americans only runs about $3 trillion, and a shift to a socialist mode of production wouldn't have 'costs' in the traditional sense, so it's difficult to quantify in that way. But even if you expropriated all wealth, and tallied that under costs, you'd be looking at $50 trillion, not half a quadrillion dollars.

    Back to the environment. In my mind, the most ambitious fix to climate change is deploying an orbital ring network to provide globally accessible, limitless, constant solar power, global ultra-high-speed rail, and a platform for cheaply deploying solar shades in orbit, and then using your now-massive clean power budget to run carbon capture systems until you're back at preindustrial levels. And even with current launch costs, inexperience, and budgeting for massive overruns in all areas, you'd have an extremely hard time spending more than a trillion a year.

    In fact, that's the single most frustrating thing about climate change mitigation: it costs a pittance relative to what we stand to lose, and still our ruling class does nothing. This makes people think it's harder than it really is, so they collapse into despair à la deep adaptation, rather than organizing politically and demanding our various governments stop corporations shitting the bed.

    2 votes
  2. ForgotPants Link
    This is the argument most governments use when trying to avoid switching over to greener alternatives; it costs too much. Make it sound so expensive that the average person will worry about...

    This is the argument most governments use when trying to avoid switching over to greener alternatives; it costs too much. Make it sound so expensive that the average person will worry about expenses and you can sap their willpower.

    Can't imagine putting a price tag on the planet, the only goddamn home we have.