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A Green New Deal Is Technologically Possible. Its Political Prospects Are Another Question.

The New York Times

President Trump derided the Green New Deal as a “high school term paper that got a low mark.” Congressional Republicans mocked it as “zany.” Even Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic House speaker, called the proposal a “green dream,” and some of the party’s 2020 candidates are starting to describe it as merely aspirational.

Yet, despite that disdain, the goals of the far-reaching plan to tackle climate change and economic inequality are within the realm of technological possibility, several energy experts and economists said in recent interviews.

Getting there will cost trillions of dollars, most agreed, and require expansive new taxes and federal programs. It certainly could not be accomplished within the 10-year time frame that supporters say is necessary, according to these experts.

The Green New Deal, in other words, is an exciting idea for many liberals and an enticing political target for conservatives. But, most of all, it is an extraordinarily complicated series of trade-offs that could be realized, experts say, with extensive sacrifices that people are only starting to understand.

Proposals for a Green New Deal — which would aim to slow climate change and catapult myriad industries into cutting-edge, low-carbon technologies — have been debated for more than a decade. But the subject was given new urgency last year by a high-profile United Nations report that said the Earth was on track to experience food shortages, fatal heat waves and mass die-offs of coral reefs by 2040, sooner than earlier projections. The report called for staggering changes to the global energy economy.

If the planet follows its current trajectory, the result by century’s end would be “catastrophe,” said John P. Holdren, the former science adviser to President Barack Obama. “The world would be almost unrecognizable compared to today’s world.”

Read the full and original article at The New York Times

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