Letter: Green New Deal's energy plan is essential, affordable

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Editor of the Reformer,

Regarding the letter to the editor, "This is what an emergency looks like," Aug. 8: Well, Go Brattleboro! Unfortunately, local climate actions are virtually useless. At this point, the only thing that matters is congressional action that will create Green New Deal emissions cuts starting January 2021. This, of course, will mean we'll to have a new president and a new Congress.

The Democrats won't be able to take the Senate, but if the blue wave in 2020 is big enough, it could scare the GOP into ending its opposition to clean energy, especially if the Democrats are successful in getting across the message that solar and wind mean not only climate action but jobs and economic prosperity.

Solar and wind energy, with storage and without subsidies, are now cheaper than any fossil fuel and their prices drop substantially every year (forbes.com, lazard.com). Rapidly scaling them up nationally will make them "essentially free" by 2030 (Financial Times, UBS, Aug 2018).

Of course, the message will have to include the fact that without a national transition we'll create "catastrophic" climate change that will cost the U.S. economy over $160 trillion (Forbes, April 2019). Just a half-degree increase in global temperatures will cost us $13 trillion (IPCC).

But carrots usually work better than sticks, so the message of a Green New Deal's energy plan will more than pay for itself with two-thirds of the cost paid by private investment (so, not socialism) may work better.

"The Green New Deal is affordable; The cost of inaction is incalculable" —Forbes

Pete Kuntz

Lancaster, Pa., August 8

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