Hopeful President Andrew Yang has produced a climate plan that fulfills his dreams for a geo-engineered world. According to his proposal, released on August 26, it takes 20 years, $ 4.87 trillion, and maybe even mirrors in the room to prevent a climate disaster.
Just like other Democratic candidates, including former Vice President Joe Biden and former Rep. Beto O & Rourke, Yang wants the US to achieve zero carbon emissions mid-century – although he is trying to improve their plans by setting a target of 2049 instead of 2050. Achieving net zero emissions means that the country is successfully as much carbon as it enters the environment. To get there, the US would have to significantly reduce the use of fossil fuels, increase renewable energy and use methods to retain global warming that we have already released into the atmosphere over the years.
That last part is where Yang & # 39; s plan is starting to get a little crazy, but it is all of the brand for the starting entrepreneur. He is the only candidate whose plan to turn the climate crisis banks towards geo-engineering (aka development of technologies to manipulate the environment). His plan would invest $ 200 million in research into geo-engineering methods such as space mirrors. That's right, he looks at "huge folding mirrors" that would reflect the sunlight from the sun as a "last resort" of the earth.
It's all part of Yang & # 39; s ambition to make the US the world leader in green technologies. "We are the most enterprising country in the history of the world. It's time to activate American imagination and work ethics to provide the innovation and technology that will power the rest of the world," he writes. his plan.
Yang wants to spend $ 45 billion on a & # 39; National Lab & # 39; under a new Department of Technology. The central goal would be to explore new ideas about how climate change can be prevented.
The $ 200 million geo-engineering line item is likely to receive the most attention, but by far the most expensive of Yang's goals is to spend $ 3 trillion on financing household loans for the transition to renewable energy in the next 20 year. That alone is almost twice as much as Joe Biden's entire $ 1.7 trillion climate change proposal. Yang's plan also includes $ 200 billion to modernize the nation's electricity grid and more than $ 330 billion to zero ground and air transportation. To recover part of that money, Yang & # 39; s plan would impose a carbon tax on polluters from $ 40 per tonne of carbon emitted and then increasing every year.
Yang & # 39; s most controversial climate stance can be his support for boosting nuclear energy. His plan includes a timeline for getting new nuclear reactors online by 2027, and he wants to invest $ 50 billion in research into new technologies that he believes would remove many of the risks from older nuclear infrastructure.
"We cannot reject ideas," writes Yang. "We have waited too long, so we must act quickly and recognize that all options must be on the table." Yang's comments reflect criticism of Bernie Sanders' recently proposed version of a "Green New Deal", which is the first explicitly exclude nuclear energy, geo-engineering and carbon capture technologies.
Some environmentalists have criticized these ideas approved by Yang for not cutting the US from fossil fuels or addressing public health concerns about oil, gas and uranium chains. "For us, the best way to tackle the climate crisis is to reduce CO2 emissions instead of taking a plaster approach," says José Bravo, executive director of the Just Transition Alliance, a coalition of justice and labor environmental area. organizations. "We cannot move forward with a plan that does not take into account the legacy that dirty energy has left in our communities and the cleanup that must happen."
Yang has expert support for some of his ambitions. The United Nations Climate Scientists Panel concluded that capturing carbon and increasing nuclear energy is necessary to achieve the global goals of the Paris climate agreement. But the most recent one from the UN report remains agnostic about the issue of geo-engineering, and mentions insufficient research into the effectiveness and consequences it could have on the planet.
Steve Cohen, Director of the Sustainability Policy and Management Research Program at the Earth Institute at Columbia University, takes Yang's plan with a pinch of salt. "I think he's basically on the right track to focus on science and technology, but I think his confidence in technology might be a little out of place," Cohen says The edge. According to Cohen, it is not so bad that Yang wants to stimulate research into unproven technologies such as carbon capture and geo-engineering. "It's one thing to do research … but something else to count on to save the world."