Friday, 25 August 2017 03:25

Only Solution, Says McKibben, 100% Renewables 'As Fast as Humanly Possible'

Written by Jake Johnson | Common Dreams
"It's important news that the environmental movement seems to be rallying round a new flag. That standard bears a number: 100 percent," McKibben writes. "It's important news that the environmental movement seems to be rallying round a new flag. That standard bears a number: 100 percent," McKibben writes. (Photo: Clark Maxwell/Flickr/cc)

"No more half-measures," warns prominent climate author and activist

"Given the state of the planet," writes 350.org founder Bill McKibben in his new feature piece for In These Times, it would have been ideal for the world to have fully transitioned its energy systems away from fossil fuels to 100 percent renewable sources "25 years ago." But we can still push for the "second best" option, McKibben concludes. To do so, we must move toward wind, solar, and water "as fast as humanly possible."

The transition to 100 percent renewable energy is a goal that has gained significant appealover the past decade—and particularly over the past several months, as President Donald Trump has moved rapidly at the behest of Big Oil to dismantle even the limited environmental protections put in place by the Obama administration. Trump also withdrew the U.S. from the Paris climate accord, a move McKibben denounced as "stupid and reckless."

"Environmental groups from the Climate Mobilization to Greenpeace to Food and Water Watch are backing the 100 percent target," McKibben writes, as are many lawmakers, U.S. states, and countries throughout the world.

Given the climate stance of both the dominant party in Congress and the current occupant of the Oval Office, McKibben notes that we shouldn't be looking toward either for leadership.

Rather, we should look to states like California and countries like China, both of which have made significant commitments to aggressively alter their energy systems in recent months.

The newest addition to the push for renewables is Maryland, which is set to announce on Thursday an "urgent" and "historic" bill that, if passed, would transition the state's energy system to 100 percent renewables by 2035.

McKibben also points to individual senators like Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), who in April introduced legislation that would transition the U.S. to 100 percent clean and renewable energy by 2050. The bill will not pass the current Congress, "but as a standard to shape the Democratic Party agenda in 2018 and 2020, it's critically important," McKibben argues.

"What Medicare for All is to the healthcare debate, or Fight for $15 is to the battle against inequality, 100 percent renewable is to the struggle for the planet's future," McKibben writes. "It's how progressives will think about energy going forward."

Previously a fringe idea, the call for 100 percent renewables is "gaining traction outside the obvious green enclaves," McKibben adds. This is in large part because technology is such that a move toward 100 percent renewable energy "would make economic sense...even if fossil fuels weren't wrecking the Earth."

"That's why the appeal of 100% Renewable goes beyond the left," McKibben writes. "If you pay a power bill, it's the common-sense path forward."

Writing for Vox last week, David Roberts noted that "wind and solar power are saving Americans an astounding amount of money" already.

"[W]ind and solar produce, to use the economic term of art, 'positive externalities'—benefits to society that are not captured in their market price," Roberts writes. "Specifically, wind and solar power reduce pollution, which reduces sickness, missed work days, and early deaths."

For these reasons, and for the familiar environmental ones, 100 percent renewables is no longer merely an "aspirational goal," McKibben argues. It is "the obvious solution."

"No more half-measures... Many scientists tell us that within a decade, at current rates, we'll likely have put enough carbon in the atmosphere to warm the Earth past the Paris climate targets," McKibben concludes. "Renewables—even the most rapid transition—won't stop climate change, but getting off fossil fuel now might (there are no longer any guarantees) keep us from the level of damage that would shake civilization."

Read 19779 times

Latest Voting Rights/Election Integrity News

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7

Let Me Vote/Count My Vote

Feed not found.

Latest News

  • Trump administration's voter suppression attempts ahead of midterms are not only 'morally wrong,' they're illegal +

    Trump administration's voter suppression attempts ahead of midterms are not only 'morally wrong,' they're illegal Imagine going to the polls on Election Day and discovering that your ballot could be collected and reviewed by the Read More
  • ACLU Blueprints Offer Vision to Cut US Incarceration Rate in Half by Prioritizing 'People Over Prisons' +

    ACLU Blueprints Offer Vision to Cut US Incarceration Rate in Half by Prioritizing 'People Over Prisons' ACLU Blueprints Offer Vision to Cut US Incarceration Rate in Half by Prioritizing 'People Over Prisons' Read More
  • As Florence Makes Landfall, Poorest Once More Likely to Suffer Most From Storm's Destruction +

    As Florence Makes Landfall, Poorest Once More Likely to Suffer Most From Storm's Destruction "These disasters drag into the light exactly who is already being thrown away," notes Naomi Klein Read More
  • How about some good news? Kansas Democratic Representative advances bill for Native Peoples. +

    How about some good news? Kansas Democratic Representative advances bill for Native Peoples. How about some good news? Kansas Democratic Representative advances bill for Native Peoples. Read More
  • How One Dying Man Changed The Debate About The Tax Bill +

    How One Dying Man Changed The Debate About The Tax Bill What mattered was that he showed up — that he put himself in front of the people whose opinions on Read More
  • Democrats Just Won a Major Victory in Virginia +

    Democrats Just Won a Major Victory in Virginia On a night of Democratic victories, one of the most significant wins came in Virginia, where the party held onto Read More
  • Repealing the Jim Crow law that keeps 1.5 million Floridians from voting. +

    Repealing the Jim Crow law that keeps 1.5 million Floridians from voting. A seismic political battle that could send shockwaves all the way to the White House was launched last week in Read More
  • Nuclear Weapons: Who Pays, Who Profits? +

    Nuclear Weapons: Who Pays, Who Profits? In an interview with Reuters conducted a month after he took office, Donald Trump asserted that the U.S. had “fallen Read More
  • Sessions issues sweeping new criminal charging policy +

    Sessions issues sweeping new criminal charging policy Attorney General Jeff Sessions overturned the sweeping criminal charging policy of former attorney general Eric H. Holder Jr. and directed Read More
  • 1
  • 2

Featured Voting Rights/Election Integrity News

  • Trump administration's voter suppression attempts ahead of midterms are not only 'morally wrong,' they're illegal +

    Trump administration's voter suppression attempts ahead of midterms are not only 'morally wrong,' they're illegal Imagine going to the polls on Election Day and discovering that your ballot could be collected and reviewed by the Read More
  • Democrats Just Won a Major Victory in Virginia +

    Democrats Just Won a Major Victory in Virginia On a night of Democratic victories, one of the most significant wins came in Virginia, where the party held onto Read More
  • Repealing the Jim Crow law that keeps 1.5 million Floridians from voting. +

    Repealing the Jim Crow law that keeps 1.5 million Floridians from voting. A seismic political battle that could send shockwaves all the way to the White House was launched last week in Read More
  • The System IS Rigged!—The Electoral College and the 2016 Election +

    The System IS Rigged!—The Electoral College and the 2016 Election Donald Trump was right: the system is rigged! But it is rigged for the Republicans, not the Democrats, for conservatives, Read More
  • Clinton Campaign Joins Jill Stein’s Recount Of Votes In Wisconsin +

    Clinton Campaign Joins Jill Stein’s Recount Of Votes In Wisconsin Hillary Clinton’s campaign on Saturday announced they would participate in former Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein’s recount of the Read More
  • Virginia Supreme Court slaps down Republicans’ attempt to block ex-felons from voting +

    Virginia Supreme Court slaps down Republicans’ attempt to block ex-felons from voting The Virginia Supreme Court rejected a petition from Republican leaders on Thursday that sought to hold Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe Read More
  • Keep Politics Out of Virginia Voting Rights Restoration +

    Keep Politics Out of Virginia Voting Rights Restoration On Tuesday the Virginia Supreme Court heard arguments in a suit challenging Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s (D) April order that restored Read More
  • Use it or lose it: Occasional Ohio voters may be shut out in November +

    Use it or lose it: Occasional Ohio voters may be shut out in November When Larry Harmon tried to vote on a marijuana initiative in November in his hometown of Kent, Ohio, the 59-year-old Read More
  • Virginia governor signs order restoring voting rights for felons +

    Virginia governor signs order restoring voting rights for felons Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe signed an order on Friday restoring the voting rights of more than 200,000 convicted felons who Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5