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California’s dreaming of going carbon neutral

They think fossil fuels cause climate change. Trump doesn't agree.

The Golden State wants to stop using fossil fuels by 2045 

What it means: California is already pretty green - it gets about 40 percent of its electricity from clean energy sources like sunlight, wind and nuclear power. But after seeing a lot of scary stats about the damage climate change could do if fossil fuels aren't reduced, the state has promised to stop releasing any carbon dioxide that it can't recapture.

Plenty of people think California’s plan to ditch fossil fuels is pretty stupid, including President Donald Trump. Trump says climate change is a hoax ‘created by the Chinese’ (we’re just going to leave that one there). He points out that fossil fuels provide Americans with coal mining jobs and the American economy with money, especially from selling shale oil to other countries.

Clean energy critics also worry that being reliant on renewables could cause power cuts if, say, the wind didn’t blow enough or the sun didn’t shine enough. If only America had a Windy City or a Sunshine State. Oh wait.

Meanwhile, Californians are calculating what they could lose if unchecked climate change does indeed destroy two-thirds of their beaches, dry up two-thirds of their water supply and cause bigger wildfires to burn up to 75% more land.

Putting a price on the environment is hard, and economists are divided over how we should value things like how happy living by a beach makes people, or the cost of losing wildlife habits to wildfire. But tourists (who use a lot of beaches) spend about $126 billion in California each year, agriculture (which uses a lot of water) puts about $46 billion yearly into the state's economy, and current-size wildfires cost California $18 billion in 2017.

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Reader Comments

  • RW

    Your right to a degree. You mentioned “the wandering Jew”.

    I elaborate that the Jewish people, historically have tended to migrate almost exclusively to locations that are economically and culturally vibrant already. I would speculate that Jews have thrived in these places and have often improved the bounds of their economies and knowledge base.

    You can also ask; how many massive entertainment conglomerates, Nobel winners or billionaires has Isreal developed? If Jews are so capable, why isn’t Tel Aviv the Rome of our time?

    Jews are successful because they value education, maintain a strong social cohesive, they actively monitor and have a good sense for Zeitgeist wherever they are and they carefully choose the places they settle and congregate themselves heavily in these choice locations.

    But most importantly (haulocaust increased the importance of this aspect), they actually designed their culture for success. They not only attend Harvard, they use what they learned to better the group as a whole. With as much, they studied intricate networking systems, adapted to it and in many cases improved upon them. (See how Japan acquired Aegis warships and made them better).

    Of course there is nothing wrong with any of this. It’s when you elaborately gain disproportionate power in any society where you would stand out, you must take care when attempting to make a society better (Civil Rights movement) and rewriting that society all together (mass immigration). Ask blacks in China, Mexico, Philippines or India how much opportunity they have? Go to businesses owned by their American diaspora and see how many blacks they hire. Go to Silicon Valley and see how many East or South Asian tech workers wish they could work with more black people. California might work as a state, but as a nation, I think your rolling the nuclear dice here. I hope we can succeed as a tolerant pluralistic superpower but at this stage in human societal development, it’s a pipe dream.

    And if Jews really are the icon for success, they would see that fundamental human successes happen over generations. Just look at the rest of the planet? Are we ready?