The Green New Deal – What’s the deal?

This wouldn’t even be worth looking at if it weren’t for some of the people who have endorsed it. People like Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) – all of whom just happen to be running for president in 2020. This will most likely be a topic of discussion during the election campaigns. There are 67 Co Sponsors of this “Green New Deal,” all are Democrats.

There are a number of states represented in those Co-Sponsors; California [17]; New York [11]; Massachusetts [8]; Connecticut [3]; Illinois [3]; Oregon [3]; Florida [2]; Michigan [2]; Texas [2]; Arizona [1]; Colorado [1]; District of Columbia [1]; Maine [1]; Maryland [1]; Minnesota [1]; New Jersey [1]; New Mexico [1]; Northern Mariana Islands [1]; Pennsylvania [1]; Rhode Island [1]; Tennessee [1]; Vermont [1]; Virginia [1]; Washington [1]; and Wisconsin [1]

You can read the resolution on Congress.Gov.

We thought we might do some fact checking.


United States has historically been responsible for a disproportionate amount of greenhouse gas emissions, having emitted 20 percent of global green-house gas emissions through 2014

According to the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, in 2014:

China (mainland) was responsible for 30%, the US for 15%, EU for 9%, India 7%, Russian Federations 5%, Japan 4% and Others at 30%.

Here’s the thing about data, it’s important in cases like this, we break it down to the lowest common denominator and even out the playing field. For example, if we had 5 houses on the street putting out their garbage and we see:

House A 4 bags (28%)
House B 2 bags (14%)
House C 2 bags (14%)
House D 4 bags (28%)
House E 2 bags (14%)

We might go to House A and House D and say, “Hey, you’re producing too much trash and you have to reduce the amount you are producing.” But these numbers are not really placing everyone on even ground as there are factors we do not know about these houses. What if we knew this:

House A 4 bags (28%) – 4 people (1 bag/person)
House B 2 bags (14%) – 1 person (2 bags/person)
House C 2 bags (14%) – 2 people (1 bag/person)
House D 4 bags (28%) – 12 people (.3 bag//person)
House E 2 bags (14%) – 5 people (.4 bag/person)

Now we see that House D produces less garbage than everyone else. And House A is 3rd. The people who really need to cut back in order to make an impact are House B and C.

The US is ranked 14th on the per capita list. This list takes into account the number of people living in that country.

1st Qatar 13.54 MT (metric tons), population 2.38M (million)
2nd Curacado 10.30 MT, population 155,909
3rd Trinidad and Tobago at 9.32, 1.4M
4th Kuwait at 6.93; pop 3.8M
14th US 4.43, population 318M
15th Australia 4.17, 23.5M
16th Canada at 4.12, 35.54M
25th Russian Federations 3.24, 143.8M
32nd Japan 2.61, 127.3M
48th China (Mainland) 2.05, 1.3 billion
140th India  0.47, 1.3 Billion

So the statement that the US is responsible for a disproportionate amount isn’t accurate.


net-zero greenhouse gas emissions through a fair and just transition for all communities and workers

What creates greenhouse gases?

According to the EPA: 28% Transportation; 28% Electricity; 22% Industry; 11% Commercial & Residential; 9% Agriculture. The GHG Emissions level in 1990 was at 6,100, in 2014 it was at about 6,800, and in 2016 at 6,500.

For Transportation we have to eliminate fossil fuels such as coal and gas, as well as cars, trucks, ships, trains, and planes which use those fuels. In 1990 GHG Emissions was about 1,550, in 2014 it was at ~1,750, in 2016 about 1,800.

For Electricity we have to eliminate any generated by coal, gas, petroleum, and nuclear which is about 62% of the currently generated electricity.  In 1990 Electricity created about 1,800 GHG Emissions, in 2014 it was at about 2,100, in 2016 it was at about 1,800. Electricity Greenhouse Emissions comes from Residential and Commercial (32%), Industry (29%), Transportation (29%, and Agriculture (10%).

Industry emissions have been on a level or downward trend since 1990. Some of these emissions come from leaks, the rest traces back to making electricity.

Commercial & Residential was at 1,900 GHG Emissions in 1990, 2,250 in 2014, and 2,000 in 2016. A large portion of emissions in this sector are related to heating, cooling, and lighting.

Agriculture emissions come from crop and livestock production for food. This sector is the only one with an upward trend in GHG Emissions from 550 in 1990, to 625 in 2014, and 650 in 2016. Things like synthetic and organic fertilizers, drainage of organic soil, certain ways of irrigation. “Management of agricultural soils accounts for over half of the emissions from the Agriculture economic sector.” Cattle produce methane and is almost 1/3 the emissions in this sector. “Manure management accounts for about 15 percent of the total …”


should be accomplished through a 10-year national mobilization …
that will require the following goals and projects

Oy-vey! Okay, that is a very ambitious deadline. These are some of what is expected to be accomplished in that 10 years:

building resiliency against climate change-related disasters, such as extreme weather, including by leveraging funding and providing investments for community-defined projects and strategies

repairing and upgrading the infrastructure in the United States,

meeting 100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources

building or upgrading to energy-efficient, distributed, and ‘‘smart’’ power grids, and ensuring affordable access to electricity

upgrading all existing buildings in the United States and building new buildings to achieve maximum energy efficiency, water efficiency, safety, affordability, comfort, and durability, including through electrification

spurring massive growth in clean manufacturing

working collaboratively with farmers and ranchers in the United States to remove pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector as much as is technologically feasible

overhauling transportation systems in the United States to remove pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector as much as is technologically feasible

mitigating and managing the long-term adverse health, economic, and other effects of pollution and climate change

removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and reducing pollution by restoring natural ecosystems through proven low-tech solutions that increase soil carbon storage, such as land preservation and afforestation

restoring and protecting threatened, endangered, and fragile ecosystems

cleaning up existing hazardous waste and abandoned sites, ensuring economic development and sustainability on those sites;

identifying other emission and polluion sources and creating solutions to remove them

promoting the international exchange of technology, expertise, products, funding, and services, with the aim of making the United States the international leader on climate action, and to help other countries achieve a Green New Deal

providing all people of the United States with— high-quality health care; affordable, safe, and adequate housing; economic security; and clean water, clean air, healthy and affordable food, and access to nature

Ten years seems like a short period of time to accomplish all of this. It’s a massive amount of changes to make. However, if the focus was renewable energy and not zero emissions, much of this could be accomplished.

Energy Post from EU outlines some obstacles to us implementing everything in this document.

Australia’s already moving toward 100% renewable energy and is at 17%. Note the focus is renewable energy – not zero emissions. This means they are not focused on eliminating the transportation system.

As far as renewable energy, the US was at 17% in 2017. Several other countries are working on renewable energy. Denmark is already 30% wind and have targets of 50% wind by 2020 and 100% by 2035. Germany was at about 21% and has a target of 80% by 2050. Scotland is 35% (mostly hydro) with 100% target by 2020, and Australia was at 13% in 2012-13.

You can read Australia’s study here. And this report outlines research showing how Australian greenhouse gas emissions from land use – agriculture and forestry – can be reduced to zero net emissions within 10 years.

 

2 thoughts on “The Green New Deal – What’s the deal?

  1. RGHE theory says the atmosphere performs similar to a greenhouse, “trapping” energy making the “with” it atmosphere 33 C warmer than “without” it, i.e. 288 K – 255 K.
    The 288 K is a WAG pulled out of WMO’s butt. The 255 K is an unrelated S-B calculation for the average 240 W/m^2 OLR at ToA (got it? w/ atmos!!) requiring a 30% albedo.
    The earth w/o atmosphere cannot have a 30% albedo, more likely 14% like the moon.
    The atmosphere is not like a greenhouse, it is like that reflective panel you put behind your car’s windshield. By reflecting away 30% of the ISR the w/ atmosphere COOLS the earth compared to w/o.
    In actual physical and mathematical fact removing the atmosphere exposes the earth to 20% to 40% more kJ/h and the ASR temperature increases 20 C to 30 C. That’s warmer not colder.
    The greenhouse effect does not exist and 30 years of crap science stacked upon it goes straight in the trash.
    (If you don’t understand the acronyms maybe you should do the homework.)

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    • Thank you for your input. We are not saying that we believe or do not believe the greenhouse effect. Just trying to provide information for people to make educated decisions. Thank you for contributing with more education.

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