environmental rambles #1: the market is unequipped to handle the fight against climate change

figsandnewtons:

It just occurred to me that for all I post about politics, I don’t actually post about my area of expertise—that being environmental policy and sustainable measures. And as I’m getting deeper into conversations with people, I forget how much I just assume is known. So here’s a loose series I’m going to begin. I have no outline or general idea about how long these posts will be.

The key issue when tackling *climate change* or environmental degradation (ugh do I have to write a post that explains how this is a real problem? Please no.), and frankly the key issue when tackling anything in this political climate, is money. Because solving any problem usually requires shelling out, and we have a very entrenched economic system where profit is valued above all else. For instance, with healthcare, consider how many conversations there were about the burdens on small to mid-sized business, or costs shifting to states, or how best to implement price controls. It’s the first thing anyone looks at.

Climate change is tough, because our largest sources of GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions are electricity, transportation, and heating. It seems logical to tackle the actual shit we burn to power this stuff, which is why there’s a push for renewables, or for nuclear energy (97% renewable, but that 3% is a Problem). Ditto for mixing our gas with ethanol (there’s claims that GHG emissions are net-zero because corn fields act as carbon sinks, but honestly, corn production in the USA is its own damn topic), or the push to mass transit, telecommuting, the purchasing of off-sets for travel, and electric cars.

Keep reading