The Republican party has lurched from claiming that climate change doesn’t exist (including Trump’s claim that it is a Chinese hoax), to admitting that it does exist but that it is not caused by humans, to just attacking it as a job killer. What they are really doing is “picking winners and losers” by trying to prop up old failing technologies like coal. Why? Because it gets them cold, hard cash in the form of campaign contributions from fossil-fuel energy companies (who may be failing, but still have donations to throw around).
So they go negative and pull out of the Paris climate accords, reverse anti-pollution regulations, and try to kill sustainable energy initiatives.
You know, the same kind of strategy they are executing to kill Obamacare to keep the health insurance companies making money so they can donate contributions. It is a cynical strategy that obviously won’t work over the long term (like giving tax breaks to the wealthy), but they don’t care as long as it gets them their money fix.
Unfortunately for them, even their claim that fighting climate change will be a “job killer” is a big lie. A new report from the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate points out something important that should be fairly obvious: a war against climate change will create jobs, not kill them.
After all, it was World War II that finally got us out of the great depression. War stimulates the economy. But not just real wars, but virtual ones too. Like the space race (part of the cold war) ushered in the age of computers and cell phones. One can only imagine that if something like this were happening now, the Republicans would be campaigning to save land-line phones and all those jobs manufacturing slide rules.
The report points out that fighting climate change would provide economic benefits of $26 trillion by 2030, and create more than 65 million new jobs worldwide. And unlike a real war, a war against climate change would prevent 700,000 premature deaths.
There is plenty of evidence that fighting climate change would generate jobs. After all, the coal industry, which Trump is fighting so hard to save, employed only 160,119 Americans in 2016, while the solar energy industry employed 373,807 Americans — more than twice as many. And that doesn’t include other sustainable energy industries, like wind (101,738) and bioenergy (130,677). These numbers come from a report from the US Department of Energy.
Also published on Medium.