Kamala Harris Becomes Latest 2020 Dem to Support a Green New Deal
Kamala Harris on Monday became the latest Democratic presidential contender to back a Green New Deal, in what has become a "litmus test" for 2020 hopefuls, according to the youth-led Sunrise Movement that helped launch the ambitious economic and climate proposal.
"I support a Green New Deal and I will tell you why," the California Senator said during a CNN town hall in Iowa. "Climate change is an existential threat and we have got to deal with the reality of it."
Harris also took aim at the climate skeptics in office.
"We have got to deal with the reality of the fact that there are people trying to peddle some ideas that we should deny it. They are peddling science fiction instead of what we should do, which is rely on science fact," she said at the town hall.
“I support a Green New Deal … Climate change is an existential threat to us and we have got to deal with the realit… https://t.co/TDr5B49Zig— CNN (@CNN)1548733428.0
The Green New Deal—made popular by freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.)—aims to create a select committee of House members that would have the authority to "develop a detailed national, industrial, economic mobilization plan" to allow the United States to become carbon neutral and to "promote economic and environmental justice and equality."
The increasingly popular plan has been backed by at least 45 members of Congress and hundreds of environmental, social justice and political groups.
As for the names vying for the 2020 presidential ticket, Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) as well as former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro have also backed the Green New Deal, according to The Hill.
Climate change is an immediate and catastrophic threat to our future. And yes, it's real. We need to: ✅Get to net-… https://t.co/efyWTSlqOU— Kirsten Gillibrand (@Kirsten Gillibrand)1548366103.0
"It's becoming the new litmus test for every Presidential candidate: if you want to lead our nation and claim to represent young people, come out in FULL support of the Green New Deal," the Sunrise Movement tweeted after Gillibrand announced her support at a recent event in San Francisco.
"If mobilizing to confront the climate crisis is not one of your top 3 issues, it's going to be hard for our generation to take you seriously," the group also tweeted to the presidential contenders. "Embrace it, or thank u, next."
Last night, @Gillibrandny voiced support for the #GreenNewDeal at an event in San Francisco! It's becoming the new… https://t.co/jelUQaNxO8— Sunrise Movement 🌅 (@Sunrise Movement 🌅)1548381466.0
Sen. Warren, who appeared on The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on Monday, explained how her newly proposed wealth tax plan can help fund Green New Deal policies.
"How about we invest that in a Green New Deal, to help protect this planet?" she said.
Also during the CNN town hall, Harris mentioned that the top two fastest-growing occupations on the Bureau of Labor Statistics list are installers for solar panels and wind turbine service technicians.
"We need those jobs to be created and filled because we need to be dedicated to that kind of work, and that's what a Green New Deal has to include," she said.
She then lamented, "Our planet is at great risk ... we have policymakers who are in the pockets of big oil and big coal (and) don't fully appreciate the fact that we are looking at something that is presenting an existential threat to our country.
"And, listen, all children need to be able to breathe clean air and drink clean water, and we've got to have a commitment to a policy that will allow that to happen for ourselves and our children and our grandchildren. And right now we don't," she concluded.
"The Best and Worst Midterm Results for the Environment" by Olivia Rosane for @EcoWatch: https://t.co/lk15e8lnUo— Michael E. Mann (@Michael E. Mann)1541605359.0
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A "trash tsunami" has washed ashore on the beaches of Honduras, endangering both wildlife and the local economy.
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More long-finned pilot whales were found stranded today on beaches in Tasmania, Australia. About 500 whales have become stranded, including at least 380 that have died, the AP reported. It is the largest mass stranding in Australia's recorded history.
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By Harry Kretchmer
By 2030, almost a third of all the energy consumed in the European Union must come from renewable sources, according to binding targets agreed in 2018. Sweden is helping lead the way.
Sweden is a world leader in renewable energy consumption. Swedish Institute/World Bank
Naturally Warm<p>54% of Sweden's power comes from renewables, and is helped by its geography. With plenty of moving water and 63% forest cover, it's no surprise the <a href="https://sweden.se/nature/energy-use-in-sweden/#" target="_blank">two largest renewable power sources</a> are hydropower and biomass. And that biomass is helping support a local energy boom.</p><p>Heating is a key use of energy in a cold country like Sweden. In recent decades, as fuel oil taxes have increased, the country's power companies have turned to renewables, like biomass, to fuel local 'district heating' plants.</p><p>In Sweden these trace their <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140#fig3" target="_blank">origins back to 1948</a>, when a power station's excess heat was first used to heat nearby buildings: steam is <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/district-heating-system" target="_blank">forced along a network of pipes</a> to wherever it's needed. Today, there are around 500 district heating systems across the country, from major cities to small villages, providing heat to homes and businesses.</p><p>District heating used to be fueled mainly from the <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140" target="_blank">by-products of power plants</a>, waste-to-energy plants and industrial processes. These days, however, Sweden is bringing more renewable sources into the mix. And as a result of competition, this localized form of power is now the country's<a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140#fig3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> home-heating market leader.</a></p>
Sweden is using smart grids to turn buildings into energy producers. Huang et al/Elsevier
Energy ‘Prosumers’<p>But Sweden doesn't stop at village-level heating solutions. Its new breed of energy-generation takes hyper-local to the next level.</p><p>One example is in the city of Ludivika where 1970s flats <a href="https://www.buildup.eu/sites/default/files/content/transforming-a-residential-building-cluster-into-electricity-prosumers-in-sweden.pdf" target="_blank">have recently been retrofitted with the latest smart energy technology</a>.</p><p>48 family apartments spread across 3 buildings have been given photovoltaic solar panels, thermal energy storage and heat pump systems. A micro energy grid connects it all, and helps charge electric cars overnight.</p><p>The result is a cluster of 'prosumer' buildings, producing rather than consuming enough power for 77% of residents' needs. With <a href="http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:1232060/FULLTEXT01.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">high levels of smart meter usage</a>, it's a model that looks set to spread across Sweden.</p>
<div id="d7bf9" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="8757b138d5570bec9d6aad18074a429a"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1273556364263071744" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Read more about Western Harbour and book a visit: https://t.co/ujSmVs9rNK 🏡🌳🌊 https://t.co/C5PuPziqIM</div> — Smart City Sweden (@Smart City Sweden)<a href="https://twitter.com/SmartCitySweden/statuses/1273556364263071744">1592474473.0</a></blockquote></div>
Scaling Up<p>A recent development by E.ON in Hyllie, a district on the outskirts of Malmö, southern Sweden, <a href="https://www.eonenergy.com/blog/2019/February/sweden-smart-city" target="_blank">has scaled up the smart grid principle</a>. Energy generation comes from local wind, solar, biomass and waste sources.</p><p>Smart grids then balance the power, react to the weather, deploying extra power when it's colder or putting excess into battery storage when it's warm. The system is not only more efficient, but bills have fallen.</p><p>Smart energy developments like those in Hyllie, Ludivika, and renewable-driven district heating, offer a radical alternative to the centralized energy systems many countries rely on today.</p><p>The EU's leaders have a challenge: how to generate 32% of energy from renewables by 2030. Sweden offers a vision of how technology and local solutions can turn a goal into a reality.</p>
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By Jessica Corbett
In another win for climate campaigners, leaders of 12 major cities around the world — collectively home to about 36 million people — committed Tuesday to divesting from fossil fuel companies and investing in a green, just recovery from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
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