“Let's talk about climate change” (Aug. 20): No, let’s talk about economics. Climate deniers/skeptics are almost exclusively Trump supporters and are not likely to be swayed by scientific evidence. They feel they know better because conservative media has been feeding them pseudoscience, funded by a $2 billion fossil fuel denial operation for two decades (scientificamerican.com).
But what can work is explaining that clean energy is now cheaper than any fossil fuel and it gets substantially cheaper every year (forbes.com, lazard.com). Scaled up nationally, solar and wind will be “essentially free” by 2030 (Financial Times, UBS, Aug 2018).
And scaling it up won’t have to cost us anything, either. It will pay for itself and then some. A new, detailed version of the Green New Deal’s energy plan shows two-thirds of the cost will be paid by private enterprise (vox.com May 18, 2019). The rest of the cost will be massively counterbalanced by a $500 billion annual increase in US GDP (IPCC).
That will be mainly due to all that free energy and the 8 million high-wage, local, permanent (40-year) jobs it will create (Stanford University’s solutionsproject.org).
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Then there’s the over $800 billion Americans spend on medical bills to treat illnesses caused by carbon pollution from burning fossil fuels (forbes.com), not to mention the over 200,000 deaths in the US from carbon pollution in one year (MIT.edu).
Climate change has cost US taxpayers over $1.6 trillion so far and is now costing us hundreds of billions annually (NOAA.gov). It’s projected to cost over $160 trillion if we don’t have Green New Deal-scale emissions cuts starting now (Forbes, April 2019).
So why don’t we already have clean energy? Because tens of millions every year from the nation's biggest fossil fuels corporations are given to corrupt members of Congress (opensecrets.org).
Pete Kuntz, Northglenn, Colorado