To solve this problem requires the right market-based incentives, some new regulations, plus a massive grassroots political movemnet
The climate change problem cannot be solved in isolation. It must be part of a bigger plan to achieve prosperity for all American citizens. We must create a grassroots, populist movement that represents the interests of 90% of Americans. This movement will demand that a "new bill of rights" be passed by congress. Our movement will have a 12 point plan to stop climate change that includes many market-based incentives that will be acceptable to most traditional conservatives. The overall plan will also include ways to cut government department costs by 25% ( more for the military) while being more effective at meeting the challenges of the 21st century. The plan will also include necessary changes to trade policy and the financial system. The net total cost to stop climate change and achieve our new "rights" will be less than business-as-usual---and maybe far less.
Which proposals are included in your plan and how do they fit together?
( the whole proposal won't fit in your space . I could email it to you. firstname.lastname@example.org )
- The actual economic and political systems in the U.S. primarily benefit the wealthiest 10% --- not we-the-people. The middle class is vanishing as 60,000 manufacturing plants have moved to Asia. And low income people have been exploited by banks and abused by law enforcement and drug laws.
The only solution is to modify our economic and political systems , and our tax laws, drug laws, etc.
- Climate science is settled. Climate scientists have stopped arguing among themselves. 97% of them believe global warming is a serious problem and is primarily caused by mankind’s emission of greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas) and the release of methane from fossil fuel wells.
If present business-as-usual trends continue, it is certain that the U.S. and the world will experience an irreversible destruction of ecosystems. Climate tipping points will likely be reached within 10 years. The result will be economic collapse and extreme hardship for all but the wealthiest 10%.
World wide business-as-usual will result in over $1 trillion per year in direct climate event damage costs (1.6% of world GDP)---and this number will greatly increase as the situation worsens. Food supplies will decrease as population continues to rise—leading to starvation and wars for food. There will also be wars for diminishing fresh water supplies. Seacoast flooding and inland droughts will cause mass migrations.
As a compromise, can we just slow down the greenhouse emissions and have “semi” business-as usual?
NO! Because that might only delay reaching the tipping points by a few years. Once we reach the tipping points we’ll be on an irreversible slide toward collapse.
The only solution is to slow global warming enough to STOP climate change (hold CO2 equiv. to 350 ppm).
Can we stop climate change? The experts say we can do this by reducing fossil fuel use by 75%. Yes, that means fossil fuel companies must leave most of their reserves in the ground!
Won’t this decrease in fossil fuel use cause upheaval in our economy and citizen hardship? No! Not if it’s done right.
We’re going to tell you exactly how this can be done.
But first we need to tell you about our coalition and the objectives of our movement.
We call ourselves the Climate+Prosperity Solutions Movement.
Think of us as a coalition of many different movements.
We represent the common interests of about 90% of Americans ---and we vote. We realize we must join together in solidarity to get necessary changes in our economic system, political system, and government policies. These changes will benefit us ---and the long term prosperity of the country.
We care about Values: economic fairness, real equal opportunity, social justice, environmental stewardship.
Who are we? We’re conservatives, progressives, teachers, scientists, production workers, blacks/Hispanics/whites, business people, investors, capitalists, insurance companies, and faith organizations.
We’re also people in movements for gender equality, a living wage, civil rights, and human rights. And some of us are anti-war, anti- population growth, anti-WallST greed, and anti- pollution/climate change.
In short, we are everybody who isn’t extremely wealthy or doesn’t have a big stake in fossil fuel companies.
So what are our demands?
Congress must pass a “new bill of rights”
(These are basic rights for all citizens, not privileges for a few)
a. Right to have scientifically based policies in place to stop climate change and hold CO2 to 350 ppm.
b. Right to single-payer, affordable, basic healthcare for all.
c. Right to public education from pre-school through trade school or college.
d. Right to a job with a livable wage for those over 18.
e. Right to income tax fairness. No special capital gains rate. 75% marginal rate for earnings over $600 K /year.
f. Right to a truly fair representative democracy. Publically funded elections lasting only 3 months. Consequences for untrue political statements.
g. Right to law enforcement and criminal justice systems that are not biased against low income people and minorities.
This is our detailed plan:
This plan will lead to health and prosperity for all U.S. citizens , and the cost will be equal or less than we are now paying. This plan will allow us to achieve our New Bill of Rights.
- Plan to stop climate change:
A. Eliminate all current energy industry subsidies.
E.g. tax breaks, depletion allowances, loan guaranties, free insurance, no-interest loans.
- levels the playing field for energy sources.
- Knocks out nuclear power and corn ethanol.
- Lowers profitability of fossil fuel companies
- Saves taxpayers $80? Billion/year
B. Implement a revenue neutral carbon fee………. based on number of tons of CO2/methane emitted when fossil fuels are burned.
- Starting at $20/ton of CO2 equiv. and adding $15/year.
(Need scientific consensus on how much tax is needed).
- Will make fossil fuels significantly more expensive.
- Assessed at well or mine or border. Put into a trust fund where politicians can’t touch it.
- Will encourage utilities to switch to renewable power sources.
- Will cause big investment in energy efficient processes and devices.
- Could call it a “greenhouse gas emissions fee”.
- Will save future climate damage costs.
- It’s gradually phased in. Companies and people can plan their purchases.
-All U.S. households will be given a monthly “energy dividend” , e.g. $200, to offset the higher energy costs they will pay. Lowest 50% of earners will come out ahead and get a net “tax reduction”. Upper income people can buy high efficiency products –and break even.
- Mid and lower income people could be given 1% loans for new, “basic”, efficient cars, refrigerators, etc.
- Companies/schools would get back what they paid—to ease their transition to new energy sources---but only for 4 years.
- To keep companies from buying energy intensive components in China etc, and to encourage China to adopt its own carbon tax, a carbon tariff will be applied to the energy content of all U.S. imports. U.S. exporters may get a rebate.
- Part of the revenue raised could go to subsidizing production of U.S. renewable energy products we will export to developing countries to help them get off fossil fuels. A win-win for companies and aid.
- No carbon fee exclusions for specific industries.
- To sell the idea to Americans it must be revenue neutral or revenue dedicated. (Note: “cap and trade” won’t work because citizens won’t get money back)
C. All companies must bear the full cost of their pollution. E.g. their oil spills, methane leaks, chem spills, fly ash spills, toxic waste, non-recycled fracking fluid. EPA/DOE will monitor & assess fees.
- Gives companies an incentive to install proper pollution prevention equipment. (to save them $).
- Forces all companies to include all their costs in their product pricing
- Huge taxpayer savings
D. An NO2 tax and SO2 fee (similar to a carbon fee). Goal: to scrub all NO2 and SO2 from all power plants within 4 years. Since 1980 NO2 is down only 41%. SO2 only down 66%. Still get acid rain.
E. Fines for fertilizer and pesticide run off. One third of rivers and ½ of lakes are un- swimmable/fishable.
F. Make the federal gas tax flexible to create a minimum gas price of $7-8/gal. Revenue neutral. It would be dedicated to specific uses: repair of roads and bridges, fossil fuel health costs, incentives for new energy technologies. If OPEC/oil companies decide to drop the gas price to hurt new technologies, then the gas tax adjusts to maintain a $7-8 pump price.
G. Add a fee-bate program of consumer incentives. When buying a car or light truck, buyers will get an immediate rebate if they buy a high MPG vehicle in a given class (e.g. 4 person car) and pay an extra fee if buying a low MPG model. It will be revenue and technology neutral. No net taxpayer cost. Essential for innovation. Auto companies have assured demand. Retains consumer choice.
H. Change electric utility rules. They will make more $ by helping consumers save electricity and moving to renewables…… rather than by selling more electricity.
I. The government will do the R&D on and coordinate a national smart electrical grid system.
J. The government will offer “x-prizes” and R&D subsidies to companies with the best new , low carbon or energy efficient products. Prize is proportional to production volume.
k. The government would regulate electric energy instead of the states. This would allow feed- in tariffs and better grid coordination.
L. Mandate new efficiency standards for processes, buildings and appliances
Explanation of the emissions scenario calculated in the Impact tab
What are the plan’s key benefits?
What will these energy policies do for us?
- Provide huge entrepreneurial incentives to stop climate change
- Create new industries ---with millions of good jobs--- so we can hopefully become the world experts in the future technologies.
- Help prevent costly catastrophic warming
- Improve our quality of life –- living in efficient cluster housing with shared parks and farms; driving electric cars or using mobility services;
- Give us less pollution and better health.
- Prevent wars for oil
What are the plan’s costs?
- Fee-bate and carbon fee programs are revenue neutral so net cost =0. Politicians can’t touch the money.
- Smart Grid R&D cost plus oversight and coordination by Dept of Energy. Cost=?
- X prizes. $1 billion?
- Cost to transition to more solar and wind systems, etc. is about $900B/year of private investment. Taxpayer cost=0.
- Low interest federal loans for new technology (e.g. battery) start up needs. Approx. break even.
- Cost of a new smart grid will be $trillions. But this is private investment and will be repaid with increased efficiency and less downtime. Taxpayer cost =0
- Private investment in energy saving methods like more insulation or more efficient pumps = about $150B/year--- but with a return of about 50% from fuel savings and less waste. Taxpayer cost=0
- Cost to reorganize federal departments=? But paid back many times over with savings.
What are the key challenges to enacting this plan?
political. see above
all above steps must be initiated as soon as the coalition forces action
Most of the energy related solutions come from Amory Lovins's "reinventing fire".