Columnist Jim Fossel’s offering on April 21, “Maine’s Green New Deal as substance-free as the federal version,” like virtually all attacks on the Green New Deal, conveniently forgets to mention why it exists. The worldwide scientific community is now warning that if we do not slash our greenhouse gas emissions at least 50 percent by 2030 we’ll have “catastrophic” global warming causing “global economic collapse” followed by “societal collapse.”

The “substance-free” column says the Green New Deal costs too much. This is like saying we can’t afford life boats for the Titanic. The cost of business-as-usual would be over $160 trillion in future climate disasters in the U.S. Just a half-degree increase in global temperatures would cost the U.S. economy $13 trillion; we’re currently on a trajectory to an increase of 5 degrees Celsius.

The Green New Deal’s energy plan would more that pay for itself. It will cost $5 trillion over a decade, but it would also add $6.5 to the economy. It would create 10 million to 15 million good-paying, local, permanent jobs with good benefits and pensions, the kind of jobs our country has been losing for decades. By scaling up solar and wind it would create clean energy that will be essentially free.

The contrast between guaranteed, total global disaster and prosperity and a safe future could not be more stark. We need to act now. For nitpickers and naysayers, the appropriate reply is, “What’s your plan?” They have none.

As three economists said in Forbes magazine, “The costs of a Green New Deal are affordable, but the costs of inaction are literally beyond calculation.”


Lynn Goldfarb

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

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