by Jeremy Brecher, LNS Research and Policy Director
Trade unionists have been asking some TOUGH questions about the GND. Here are some examples — and a few quick responses that don’t aim to provide complete answers, but to highlight the top lines of more detailed answers that need to be developed.
Q. 100% renewable energy in 10 years is unrealistic – and whatever the timeline, how are you going to fuel airplanes? The trucking industry?
A. Climate science and the Paris agreement say 100% renewable energy is necessary by 2050 — but we’ve got to jump-start the process now. The Green New Deal proposes a ten-year emergency program to begin that process, not to finish it completely. Creating the technology to electrify airplanes and trucking is part of that jump-start. The reality is that planes are often grounded and transportation disrupted currently by extreme weather events caused by climate change, so we need to address the root cause of the problem. And the GND recognizes that while reductions in some areas may not currently be technically feasible, every effort needs to be made to find solutions. Our country has made huge technological advances in the past, from putting a man on the moon to creating jet planes and computers – led by government investment. The GND builds on that experience; it will jump-start necessary technological advances in electrification from renewables; upgrading and modernizing the grid; accelerating electrification of cars, buses, trucks, and even planes; in regenerative agriculture; and in many other fields.