Monday marked the 50th anniversary of what is arguably the inception of the modern environmental movement: Earth Day. Founded in the U.S. in 1970, Earth day established a national day to focus attention on the environment. It received broad, bipartisan support and led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. In 1990 Earth Day went global, mobilizing 200 million people in over 190 countries and placing environmental issues onto the world stage.
So where are we now? In this week’s Deep Dive we look at climate policy and the ideas driving the debate around what is now a major 2020 campaign issue.
“We Don’t Have Time For A Revolution…”
“It is, I promise, worse than you think.” That was the first line in David Wallace-Well’s 2017 New York Times essay on Climate Change. He has now set out his apocalyptic vision for the future of our planet in his aptly titled new book, ‘The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming’. In it, he argues that the destruction we are doing to our planet will wreak catastrophic consequences impacting everything from the supply of food and water, to the state of the economy. What is worse: we are doing more damage in knowledge than we did in ignorance. Since Al Gore published his book on climate change in 1992, we have emitted more carbon dioxide pollution from fossil fuels than in all prior human history. The situation is urgent.
In this episode, Wallace discusses the climate 'hellscape' that scientists predict lies ahead of us if we fail to take serious action right now.
The Economists’ Simple Solution
Forecasts around climate change are getting worse, but action remains slow. The solutions available to us must be complicated, costly or just plain impossible to make work quickly, right? Apparently not. In this episode, Planet Money looks at the market-based response to climate change being backed by a growing number of economists: a carbon tax. It has bipartisan support and would cost us... nothing. Can the policy gain momentum or is it too good to be true?
Is This The Start Of A Movement?
The Green New Deal has garnered much attention over the past few months. And while the Democrat-backed climate change resolution was recently voted down in the Senate, it has nonetheless situated climate policy as a front and center campaign-issue ahead of the 2020 election.
But with its ambitious range of policy goals designed to transform not just the U.S. energy sector, but the U.S. economy too, what exactly is the Green New Deal? In this episode, we learn about the five key things to look for in the Democrat’s broad sweeping climate change resolution.