Realistic solutions to climate change

We need to invest in infrastructure, not panic

Liam Smith, Staff Writer

Illustration by Gabrialla Cockerell

Over the last few decades, the issue of climate change has become more prevalent in political discourse. The issue has been studied, researched, analyzed, and campaigned on. Solutions to the problem of a warming climate have been posited and debated. These solutions can be rationalized and reasonably sorted. However, what we see today from the modern-day political left is anything but that.
On the left, alarmism around climate change has stretched from a genuine concern for the earth to the widespread hard peddling of conspiracy theories and radicalism.
This radicalism can be clearly identified. The Sunrise Movement, a far-left political think tank (and a major contributor to the Biden campaign), is a proponent of the so-called “Green New Deal.” Their version of the Green New Deal seeks to “mobilize every aspect of American society to 100% clean and renewable energy—all in the next 10 years.”
This sounds good on its face, but it is absolutely horrible for the country both economically and environmentally.
The effects to which it would be horrific cannot be overstated. A transition to complete renewable energy within ten years would lead to massive unemployment as tens of millions of people would likely lose their jobs.
According to an analysis published in the American Action Forum by the former director of the Congressional Budget Office Douglas Holtz-Eakin, the economic impact of the “Green New Deal” would be “damaging.” He states in his report that massive inflation of the U.S. dollar would likely ensue as “the federal government would have to spend $60,000 per household annually”. As the median family income in the United States is around $68,700, that would mean an average tax rate on all citizens would be 87.3%. In other words, poverty.
Furthermore, the greatest economic damage would likely fall far disproportionately on poorer Americans, according to the Center on Poverty & Social Policy at Columbia University. Black, Latino, and Native Americans would be among the hardest hit as these racial groups tend to be more affected by what the Poverty and Social Policy Center defines as “inflation inequality”. These racial groups also tend to work more in manufacturing, transportation, and material moving which would largely be undercut by the Green New Deal.
Despite the fear and alarmism, there are ways to mitigate and reduce the effect of climate change without the partisan rhetoric. Dr. Ryan Ferrer, a professor of biology at Seattle Pacific University, agrees. “There certainly is a lot more awareness around the issue,” says Ferrer with the disclaimer that, “the two far ends of the spectrum is unhelpful.”
Ferrer goes on to note that there is research being done as it pertains to the breakdown of plastic beads on the ocean floor. According to Ferrer, there seems to be an indication that we are “discovering new insects and bacteria who can break down small plastic beads on the ocean floor”. This would no doubt lead to a better breakdown of trash and human waste in the ocean long-term.
This body of research all leads to the answer that is staring society straight in the face. The answer is not more alarmism, denial, or partisan rhetoric. The answer is to invest in research, infrastructure, and better data to help mitigate and reduce the effects of climate change.
There is little doubt that climate change is real and human-caused. No doubt the effects of climate change have been and will be felt further in the future. But by investing in infrastructure consisting of old technologies (such as planting trees to remove carbon from the air) and new technologies such as plastic breakdown, we can mitigate, and prevent, the effect the damage has, and not destroy our economy in the process.
These technologies consist of a wide array of things related to energy infrastructure and preventative impact. For example, by developing a nuclear infrastructure for electricity we can become far more energy-efficient while mitigating our carbon emissions.
If we build better pipelines, drilling for oil can be done safely, thus mitigating the widespread impact of oil spills. And lastly, and perhaps most importantly, we can divest from these politicians that care more about their agenda than the issue at hand.
All of these solutions are by no means the be all end all answer. There are many different policy opinions on the issue of climate change by many different climatologists and public policymakers. But I believe that these solutions, coupled with others, would lead to a greener future for our environment, as well as our wallets.