I’ve been pretty hard on the Green New Deal. That’s partly because its proponents don’t seem to see that a transition to a new zero Carbon energy economy is inevitable. It’s opponents don’t see that either. It may not come as quickly as we might want it to come, but it will come. The thing of it is, a piece which Green New Deal has correct is that there is a need to prepare for the transition.
Because we are late doing it, the transition is going to need to be faster than we might otherwise want it to be. And, given that there are no governments really guiding the transition at present, that it is presently wholly embedded in a Schumpeterian flow, there are many people whose livelihoods could get radically displaced, really quickly. The 2020s are going to be a uproarious technological time, particularly with regard to the evaporation of the internal combustion engine vehicle industry, its supply chains, and its repair shops. Government could make the transition gentler, by providing free education, universal basic incomes, universal health care. Right now, that’s not on easel of government leadership, at least not set in a positive light.
But, known or not, there are a set of companies and corporate alliances, none of them fossil fuel companies or chemical companies, who are taking this seriously, working to set up such a transition.
Witness The B Team‘s Just Transition Guide, and Virgin Unit are planning for and lobbying for governments working on such a transition at home. It won’t stop with the automotive industry, but will extend to energy, even to relocation of personal wealth and lives from areas at risk.
There’s a lot of practical stuff which has been thought about and planned here. We oughtn’t start from scratch.
One way to start to do this now is to encourage people to take their energy local. That cannot supply all our energy needs, but it will make the energy system easier to transition and send powerful signals to those who benefit from centralized control of energy that their time in the limelight is ending. Some big energy systems, notably large wind farms and solar farms and hydropower will be needed, unfortunately or not, because, again, we are collectively late to the change.
It’s also useful to engage with the big players, and begin a conservation, or a negotiation if you will. Sometimes there’s distrust and stereotypes on both sides.
Happy Earth Day.
Love your home.