November 17, 2023: 033–Eric continues to review the book by Noam Chomsky and Robert Pollin entitled “Climate Crisis and the Global Green New Deal,” and discusses with Robert what are the important aspects and failings of this book. The authors call for improved energy efficiency and to add renewables, which is in line with THE RED CUP, where RED stands for more renewables, increased efficiency, and less energy demand. Where there is a departure is the book’s focus is on net zero which decreases energy efficiency and then adding traditional causes that Noam has championed throughout his life like social justice and equality. Trying to solve multiple problems at once removes from the actual task of avoiding biodiversity loss by implementing THE RED CUP. We require to switch to a world that uses renewable energy with careful attention to energy efficiency once renewable energy is converted into a commodity like electricity and hot water and reduce energy demand through social change behavior like living in a smaller house.
Eric highlights that the authors significantly underestimate the remaining value of fossil fuels left to be extracted in the ground. As the world’s GDP is almost 100 trillion, and the fossil fuels extracted every year require an “equivalent” train that goes 84 times around the world to carry them, it does not take much understanding that the value of the fossil fuel before further processing is at least 5 trillion per year (5% of GDP). With the apartheid against renewable presently in full swing, and as we continue fossil fuel extraction for 50 years or more, then the value left to extract of fossil fuels is in the many trillions of dollars, not billion as mentioned by the authors. Moreover, linking the solution to solve climate change to other complex social issues that have been around for centuries does contributes to the apartheid against renewables. We need 40 TW at an average 25% capacity factor of renewable energy, and we receive 20,000 more energy than we need from the sun at the ground level, not counting geothermal, planets, and nuclear.