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100 Months to Save the Planet... and a Green New Deal (10 posts)

  1. chrisc

    This site:

    Is based on the idea that if CO2 level increases are not stopped within 98 months (it was launched two months ago) we will reach a tipping point and from then on it's runaway climate change...

    They link to a Guardian feature on this:

    Which I read and a PDF report which I haven't yet read:

    The Guardian article is basically advocating a "Green New Deal":

    So what can our own government do to turn things around today? Over the next 100 months, they could launch a Green New Deal, taking inspiration from President Roosevelt's famous 100-day programme implementing his New Deal in the face of the dust bowls and depression. Last week, a group of finance, energy and environmental specialists produced just such a plan.

    Addressed at the triple crunch of the credit crisis, high oil prices and global warming, the plan is to rein in reckless financial institutions and use a range of fiscal tools, new measures and reforms to the tax system, such as a windfall tax on oil companies. The resources raised can then be invested in a massive environmental transformation programme that could insulate the economy from recession, create countless new jobs and allow Britain to play its part in meeting the climate challenge.

    Goodbye new airport runways, goodbye new coal-fired power stations. Next, as a precursor to enabling and building more sustainable systems for transport, energy, food and overhauling the nation's building stock, the government needs to brace itself to tackle the City. Currently, financial institutions are giving us the worst of all worlds. We have woken to find the foundations of our economy made up of unstable, exotic financial instruments. At the same time, and perversely, as awareness of climate change goes up, ever more money pours through the City into the oil companies. These companies list their fossil-fuel reserves as "proven" or "probable". A new category of "unburnable" should be introduced, to fundamentally change the balance of power in the City. Instead of using vast sums of public money to bail out banks because they are considered "too big to fail", they should be reduced in size until they are small enough to fail without hurting anyone. It is only a climate system capable of supporting human civilisation that is too big to fail.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  2. chrisc

    More articles on the "Green New Deal":

    Wanted: a green 'new deal'
    Caroline Lucas, April 09 2008

    Post-bubble possibility -- Beyond the plummeting markets and whingeing banks is a ray of hope - for a Green New Deal
    Larry Elliott, October 17 2008

    UK needs ‘Green New Deal’ to tackle ‘triple crunch’ of credit, oil price and climate crises

    Which advertises the "Green New Deal" book (free but registration required):

    A Green New Deal: Joined-up policies to solve the triple crunch of the credit crisis, climate change and high oil prices

    And the idea has gone global:

    A 'Green New Deal' can save the world's economy, says UN
    By Geoffrey Lean, Environment Editor
    Sunday, 12 October 2008

    But it's not a new concept, an article on it from 2001:

    A New Green Deal

    Another article from a founder member of the Green New Deal Group in the UK:

    Climate crisis: Roosevelt revisited

    And if you just want to listen to something about it rather than reading about it, the 300-350 Show on it:

    The New Green Deal

    First Broadcast: 20 August 2008

    Could we be heading towards economic meltdown in the face of the triple challenges of the credit crunch, climate crunch and energy crunch? A new group calling itself The Green New Deal has put forward a policy package that aims to address this triple crunch. Their inaugural report looks at how the UK and US recovered from the Great Depression of the 1930s and also draws important lessons from Britain Wolrd War II experience, oil-crunched Cuba in the 1990s as well as nef's work on well-being.

    We spoke to Andrew Simms, policy director of the new economics foundation and one of the report's authors.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  3. mark

    We will always be told that the tipping point is in the future ...

    by those who don't want to ask why the warnings were ignored for decades.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  4. truthmod

    It's a great idea. If it genuinely involves paradigm shift towards equal distribution and sane agricultural policies and truth, then I'm all for it.

    The whole "tipping point is near" thing is pretty old. I guess most people want to strike a balance between urgency and fatalism...

    Posted 9 years ago #
  5. emanuel

    You all, I've just done my own calculations of CO2 emissions and atmospheric build-up factoring in peak oil, bio-fuels, and increased coal burning, and I have discovered that we have 10 MINUTES UNTIL THE TIPPING POINT!!!!!! WE MUST DO SOMETHING NOW TO STOP THIS OR WE WILL HAVE RUNAWAY GLOBAL WARMING! EVERYBODY TURN OFF ALL YOUR LIGHTS. GO OUTSIDE AND FLAG DOWN AS MANY CARS AS YOU CAN AND TELL THEM TO STOP DRIVING IMMEDIATELY!!


    Posted 9 years ago #
  6. chrisc

    It's a great idea.

    I'm not so sure, it's clearly a better idea than the "business as usual" path we are currently on that appears to be heading straight for the death of the biosphere via a host of looming crisis' and no doubt a variety of unexpected catostrophies...

    But is it much more than a alternative, slower, route to the same destination, would it just prolong the death throes of capitalism?

    Or course given the choice of a fast route or slow route to planetary death I'd pick the slow one but are these really the only two options facing us?

    Posted 9 years ago #
  7. truthmod

    would it just prolong the death throes of capitalism?

    Well, as I mentioned, it all depends how such a plan is implemented. It could just be green fascism or it could an incremental step towards awakening and the fundamental change that we all want.

    And what's the alternative? An abrupt collapse of capitalism would be wonderful--if it entailed a shift toward less destructive practices, but that's not guaranteed. We might have warring factions and all-out, end-of-the-world type militarism, with people just trying to survive and not paying any attention to what damage is done to the environment. There will still be stores of nuclear bombs, caches of oil/coal, fishing trawlers, biological weapons, etc., and in a ruthless future, there might not be any second thoughts about using them.

    The "ideal" future I see would involve the human race waking up and shifting priorities towards sustainable ways of life and repairing the biosphere, in as short a time period as possible. A "Green New Deal" could be a step in this direction, if it was implemented in an honest way. But I'll admit, I'm pretty skeptical of any solutions offered by the establishment.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  8. chrisc

    Richard Heinberg on The Green New Deal:

    Conversations at the Bioneers conference last weekend (and by e-mail for many days now) have been dominated by a single theme: There is immediate need for a coherent policy with which the new US administration can deal with both the financial crash and the energy transition. Instead of propping up failing financial institutions, the new president must inject investment into the real economy by supporting wide-ranging but tightly coordinated projects to create far more renewable energy generation capacity, build railroads and public transport facilities, insulate millions of homes while providing alternative heat sources, and re-configure the national food system to dramatically reduce and soon eliminate the need for fossil fuels.

    Clearly the next administration will have to do something dramatic to stop the hemorrhaging of the economy. Why a Green New Deal and not some other kind of stimulus package? Is this just the demand of a single constituency, one that will have to be weighed against and balanced with the needs of business, national defense, the struggling middle class, and of course, the bankers?

    The answer to that question must be clear and unequivocal: This recession or depression is appearing at the exact historical moment when action to end our dependence on fossil fuels is required in order to avert the chaotic collapse of the entire human enterprise. Peak Oil and Climate Change present threats and imperatives of a scale unprecedented in human history. By taking up these imperatives through a de-carbonized retrofit of the nation’s (and ultimately the world’s) transport, food, and manufacturing systems, policy makers can address a number of crises simultaneously—environmental decline, resource depletion, geopolitical competition for control of energy, unemployment, balance of trade deficits, malnutrition and food-related health problems, and more.

    If we (meaning, ultimately, the human species) cannot agree upon and undertake this course of action, then we will have lost what is almost certainly our last chance for collective survival. More policies will be required, such as ones to stabilize and reduce population and to rework the economic system so that it operates on a steady-state rather than a continuous growth paradigm. But the rescue process must begin with a plan to get society off of fossil fuels.

    The plan must be comprehensive and compelling so that it can be sold first to the administration, and then to the American people. Soon, public education on a massive scale will be required to help ordinary citizens understand what is at stake and how sacrifices undertaken now can help build a better world later.

    The plan must not be merely a wish-list of unrelated good ideas, but a prioritized, staged program with hard but realistic targets and adequate funding.

    Now is the time to be formulating the elements of the plan, so that it can be formally presented immediately following the election. Now is also the time to be gathering input from energy, food, and climate leaders.

    The moment may for action may be soon and brief. This morning Ben Bernanke called for a new economic stimulus package, and there are indications that such a package may be cobbled together prior to the change of administrations, hopefully with the President-Elect team’s input.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  9. chrisc

    Green New Deals are clearly the new big idea. Governments need to spend to avert the worse kind of slump and it makes sense for their expenditure to focus on renewables and energy efficiency. At the same time the finance system needs greater regulation.

    This is instantaneously the new conventional wisdom. The beginnings of an alliance created by the New Economics Foundation (NEF) for a Green New Deal appears to be pushing at an open door. The United Nations Environment Programme are calling, apparently, for something similar.

    But are these ideas radical enough for the problems that we face? The NEF alliance has created a draft programme about the banking crisis, peak oil and climate change that is effectively relating the finance and money system to the limits to growth. However it leaves out that key idea and its implications for the banking and finance system.


    The real solution, the one that gets to the root of the problem, is the one that makes the process of money creation a matter for an accountable public body to fulfill in the interests of everyone in society equally. That means forbidding to the banks or any private individual or institution the right to create money. A public body should do this, creating only so much money at the economy needs, and then either giving this money into circulation to everyone equally or making the available money to other accountable public bodies like elected governments to spend into circulation.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  10. chrisc

    Reality Report: Talking with Richard Heinberg about the Green New Deal

    The global crises of 2008 all relate to growth in debt, pollution and consumption reaching their limits, but will the incoming Obama administration recognize the new reality? This show discusses "Energy Realism and the Green New Deal" with Richard Heinberg of The Post Carbon Institute. Hear what message Post Carbon Institute is presenting to the incoming U.S. President.


    Posted 9 years ago #


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