Earth's future at stake in election (USA Today)

News Journal – “A cruel chorus of fire [forest fires in western states], water [Hurricane Sally’s flooding along the Gulf coast], and ice [melting glaciers]” are cited as a reminder of “the planetary stakes in November’s presidential election.”

Trump & Biden are offering “starkly different choices for dealing with the reality that greenhouse gases, primarily from the burning of fossil fuels like coal and oil, are raising global temperatures and creating a climate crisis.”

Trump is a denier, smirking at evidence that drought and rising temperatures have dried out forests and turned them into prime fuel for massive fires. Claims it will get colder. As for the experts, “I don’t think science knows, actually.” But get real, as “measurable rates of heat-trapping carbon dioxide are at levels the world hasn’t seen in 800,000 years, and global temperatures have risen significantly since the dawn of the industrial age.”

So what does Trump do, but (1) pull America out of the Paris Climate Accord, (2) stock government agencies with climate change skeptics, and (3) support “wholesale dismantling of environmental regulations” (no fewer than 100 rules aimed at “curtailing the gush of greenhouse gases into skies, water and land”).

Meanwhile, Biden mixes concepts from the Green New Deal “with practical considerations such as continued reliance on nuclear energy, and wraps it all in a commitment to generate millions of jobs.” Spend $2 trillion on green energy technology, infrastructure, wind turbines & solar panels “in his first four years” - 100% carbon-free power generation by 2035 - net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Some necessary technology will need to be developed or scaled up, e.g., grid-scale battery storage, hydrogen fuel (?), and carbon-capture operations. Use federal investments and tax incentives to boost research into these areas. Seek “global dominance in green technology, and guide other nations to cheaply reduce carbon emissions.”

Several details “remain murky” including “the financing,” how other countries would be pressured to clean up their economies, and the goal of imposing “a refundable national carbon tax” in order to provide “a crucial, market-based solution.”

In sum, Biden would do something about the problem while Trump is making it worse.

Compare to SAFE's analysis of the same issue: Proposed solutions to global warming,
9/7/20.



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