Monday, December 1, 2008

Green America

One of the things we will hear a lot about is how we don't have money to spend to get ourselves well again. This is a load of crap but it will be the way the Republicans and Conservatives try to concern troll any plan to fix health-care or the environment. So I find this article very powerful. It talks about how the technology to reduce our emissions by 95% exists today and could be done with a combination of regulation and carbon pricing. It points out the roll of both regulation and smart carbon pricing rules. The summary from the article is a good read and also useful as a primer before reading the entire thing:
Making the unrealistic assumption of zero technical breakthroughs in efficiency or renewable technology, the total cost of a complete transition to 95 percent (or better) emissions-free energy in the U.S. would be about $1.7 trillion annually, if financed at 5 percent over 30 years. (There is no reason a 20-year build-out could not be financed over 30 years. It would provide paybacks for at least that long, and many aspects such as transmission lines and railroads would last 40 years or longer.) From a social standpoint, total paybacks would be $600 billion a year more than this, meaning in the 20th year, the economy would grow $600 billion more per year net than without such investments (not counting global warming reductions, but only immediate and short-term social returns.) Energy costs only, not counting possible fossil-fuel price increases or any social costs, would be about 31 percent higher in this scenario than under a business-as usual-scenario. However the particular subsidies I projected start at around $275 billion annually, average to $365 billion a year for the first 20 years, and peak at $475 billion annually in the 20th year. They drop back to $275 billion a year in the 21st year, as the renewable industries mature and can get by without further subsidy. The other $275 billion continues for another 10 years to pay back the green debt. These not only overcome most of the bottlenecks to phasing out fossil fuels, but they also compensate for what would otherwise be increases in energy costs.

I recommend you read the article and see for yourself. One of the things about the crises we are in right now is that we can't solve all of them without drastic actions on numerous fronts. Luckily it appears Obama is aware of that. Lets see how this plays out.

No comments: