Mobilizing for WWll Push for Climate Action

Brian and I have been saying for years that both the planet and the economy needed was for the world/Australia needed to do was to go on a WWll style war footing to save the planet and boost the economy.  Now the US Democrats have endorsed a WW2-scale mobilisation on the climate challenge.  Hillary is promising to mobilise a global effort on a scale not seen since the second world war to tackle climate change, if elected US president in November.

That became official Democrat policy on Wednesday at the party’s national convention in Philadelphia.

Within 100 days of assuming office, Clinton promises to bring together engineers, scientists, policy experts and activists “to chart a course to solve the global climate crisis”.

The party called for a clean energy revolution and a federal investigation into fossil fuel companies accused of misleading the public about the risks of climate change.

It did not embrace all the most climate hawkish proposals, rejecting a carbon tax, fracking ban and climate test for new energy infrastructure.

A key point to make here is that wars tend to boost the economy (unless you are the ones being bombed to smithereens).  It is  not unreasonable to expect that going onto a climate challenge war footing will have a similar effect.

The benefits might be more for many countries if the free trade agreements are set aside for this campaign so that the economic boost will go to countries acting on the climate challenge, not just the few countries that manufacture the world’s cheapest solar panels.

4 thoughts on “Mobilizing for WWll Push for Climate Action”

  1. John, thanks for this, it’s good to see the language has an appropriate degree of urgency, even if action will still be difficult. (I’ve inserted the link into the post.)

    Clinton, if she wins, is still likely to have a hostile House of Representatives, so, like Obama, she might have to rely on regulation rather than legislation.

    On the economy, I mentioned Spain in the other post. This is an extract about what their renewable energy has done for them:

    At the same time, domestic electricity companies such as Iberdrola have become global giants and leaders in renewable energy production; others, such as Acciona, are big names in clean-energy project development and maintenance as part of a suite of industrial services. Gamesa, another Spanish company, is among the world’s largest turbine manufacturers and wind farm developers.

    In Spain, technology-heavy research and development clusters dedicated to alternative energy sources have driven economic regeneration in the country’s north-west, while entire villages have been resurrected by wind farm developers happy to buy or lease land that has fallen fallow or unsuitable for livestock.

    Your link points out that the California is doing well economically while transforming to renewables.

    One problem with WW2 was that most countries came out of it with piles of debt. The US debt went from 39% of GDP before the GFC to 70% now and rising. Clinton has actually ignored this small issue, as has Trump.

  2. One feature of wars, Brian, is that countries manufacture huge amounts of goods for export (guns, bullets, and bombs), but never get paid for the product as it is effectively destroyed.

    “One problem with WW2 was that most countries came out of it with piles of debt. The US debt went from 39% of GDP before the GFC to 70% now and rising. Clinton has actually ignored this small issue, as has Trump”

    A war scale productive effort for renewable energy, energy efficiency and climate action has the opposite effect. The goods are manufactured and put to use within the country yielding huge efficiencies, huge savings, and delivering a major increase in the standard of living. Along the way the effort delivers a massive increase in innovation and technology deployment of the kind that our Malcolm Turnbull can only talk about.

    America is losing the debt battle because it has completely demolished the principle that Ford so dramatically proved, and that is that a well paid work force is a tax paying and product and service buying work force.

    The climate challenge is an opportunity for the US to make a new start, in the right direction.

  3. Excellent comment, BilB.

    For those who came in late, Henry Ford paid his workers enough so that his workers could afford to buy T-Model Fords.

    His fellow capitalists thought he was mad, more fool them.

  4. One of the features of renewables is that once the capital is paid off the cost of production per kWh is very very low. If we simply limit the kWh for the initial contracts to say the equivalent of 10 yrs operation we could end up with an economic surge driven by very low cost electricity. (That is, if we can cut out the grid lurk merchants.

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