The Green New Deal is the best plan to prevent catastrophic global warming

A letter that ran in Tuesday’s Colorado Daily, “The most effective climate policy is also the most realistic,” claims a rebated carbon tax is the best policy, and I have supported it, but at this point it’s simply not enough.
Its goal of a 40% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2035 is far from what’s now required to prevent “catastrophic” global warming, according to the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports.

We will have to come a lot closer to net-zero emissions by 2030 or we’ll face “global economic collapse” followed by “societal collapse” (National Academy of Sciences). And these warnings came before the Thursday report that global warming has already reached the 2C (2 degrees Celsius) level in many parts of the U.S., 80 years ahead of schedule (Washington Post).

This is consistent with the data in the No. 1 New York Times best-seller “Uninhabitable Earth,” which begins with the words, “It is worse, much worse than you think,” and then goes on to explain, in plain English, the latest peer-reviewed evidence that shows that the goals of the Paris Accord are totally inadequate and even the latest scary IPPC report is far too conservative. You can read the first chapter by Googling “PBS.org Uninhabitable.”

The only plan that comes close to getting us to net-zero emissions by 2030 is the Green New Deal’s energy plan. The good news is that it won’t have to cost us anything. A new, detailed version of the GND’s energy plan shows it will more than pay for itself with two-thirds of the money coming from private investment (vox.com, May 18).

The final third will be will be massively counterbalanced by a $500 billion annual increase in U.S. GDP (IPCC). That will be mainly because rapidly scaling up solar and wind nationally will make them “essentially free” by 2030 (Financial Times, UBS August 2018). And it will create over 8 million high-wage, local, permanent careers in green energy (Stanford University’s solutionsproject.org).

“The costs of a Green New Deal are affordable, but the costs of inaction are literally beyond calculation.” — Forbes

Pete Kuntz, Northglenn

Eating less meat is the No. 1 way to reduce your carbon footprint

How do we get people to understand that animal agriculture is a major contributor to climate change and simply choosing to eat plants instead of animals is the No. 1 thing you can do to reduce your carbon footprint on an individual level?

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report on Aug. 8 that says we need to make massive changes to our land use, including substantially limiting meat and dairy. Cows are the No. 2 source of methane emissions in the U.S. Methane is 28 to 32 times more harmful than CO2 in the atmosphere.

The Green New Deal doesn’t address animal agriculture. I’ve called and challenged the most progressive congressmen who divert from the subject and say we need to focus on oil and gas to fight climate change. If climate change really is an existential threat to life on Earth, shouldn’t we do everything we can to mitigate our impact?

CNN aired a report last week showing a half pound of beef produces as much greenhouse gas emissions as driving 55 cars for 1 mile. Start listening to the science and the scientists. The IPCC report comes from over 100 scientists from over 50 countries.

If you think you’re on the climate’s side, how can you justify eating meat? There are so many wonderful plants available to eat. Go check out the farmers market or any grocery store or many different eateries around Boulder that have plant-based offerings and try saying no to eating animal flesh or secretions. The report lays out that a vegan diet excluding all animal products is the optimal diet for the planet, but any movement away from eating animals will help.

Joshua Smith, Boulder

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