Letter to Editor: Green New Deal needed

To the Editor:

The letter in the Feb. 28 edition of the Islander titled “New Deal a bad deal” wildly exaggerates both the cost of the Green New Deal and what’s in it. You can find the facts about that by Googling factcheck.org “Green New Deal.”

The “bad” letter, like almost all attacks, fails to mention why the GND exists and why we can’t afford not to pass it:

We have only until 2030 to reach zero greenhouse gas emissions or we’ll face runaway global warming costing $550 to $600 trillion, causing “global economic collapse” followed by “societal collapse” (National Academy of Sciences, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or IPCC, U.S. Climate Assessment 2018). The Green New Deal is the only plan we have to reach that 2030 deadline.

Just a half-degree increase in global temperatures would cost $54 trillion (IPCC). Global gross domestic product (GDP) is $87 trillion. In contrast, rapid decarbonization would add $2.6 trillion to annual global GDP (IPCC). The United States is 24.32 percent of global GDP, so that would be about a $500 billion annual increase in our GDP. Climate disasters just from 2016-18 cost U.S. taxpayers over $450 billion (NOAA).

The Green New Deal will create 15 million good-paying, permanent, local clean energy jobs (Stanford University’s solutionsproject.org). The Hill reports it has “overwhelming support” (81 percent) from voters in both parties (Yale, Monmouth and George Mason University polls).

We can pay for the GND with a bill already in Congress (HR 7173) called “Carbon Dividends.”

It will tax fossil fuel corporations out of existence and give all the tax money to the taxpayers, adding $75-80 billion annually to our GNP. Canada’s done it for a decade: “Canada passed a carbon tax that will give most Canadians more money” (The Guardian). Carbon dividends can also make other nations cut their emissions. See how at citizensclimatelobby.org.

Pete Kuntz

Lancaster, Pa.

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